Zoe Brenner


My university background is in Anthropology and Psychology and I was interested in natural healing modalities. In my mid 20s I had some acupuncture treatments for stress, leg pains and painful menstruation, and what I noticed first was that I came out of the treatment singing (something I never did). My health issues resolved and I felt so much better that I was hooked and decided to learn, so that I could offer that feeling of vitality to others. I was really interested in what allows people to heal.

I started my study of Asian medicine in 1976 at The College of Traditional Acupuncture in England from which I received three degrees ( Lic. Ac., B.Ac., M.Ac.). In 1984 I started my study of Chinese Herbal Medicine with a two year certificate course. Since then I have studied Chinese Medical Classics with the scholars Claude Larre,S.J. and Elisabeth Rochat de la Valleé in France and the U.S. And I began my study of Japanese acupuncture in 1989 and Toyohari and Japanese pediatric acupuncture in 1996 and have continued in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

I find that the central focus of healing is assisting people to come into their most vibrant balance so that they find their way back to a state of health and feeling of well-being. This requires that I use insight and observation and all the tools of Asian medical diagnosis to understand what is happening with the individual that is blocking them from that vitality. I make these observations with respect for each person’s unique situation at that time and keep adjusting as the person changes. My job is to observe and respond with the modalities that I use, to bring awareness and energy to the areas that are lacking and to urge the blockages to open and flow again. I have heard people describe this as coming back to themselves. Thus symptoms and feelings of disease can abate and you may discover your own inner wisdom and dynamic balance.

Practicing this medicine gives me great pleasure. I enjoy working with people and learning from them about the wonders of life and the nature of healing.
Teaching and Writing

Naturally, education and development are of great importance to me both as a student and as a teacher of many years. I have greatly enjoyed teaching acupuncture theory and history, as well as Chinese herbal medicine and Chinese Medical Classics in the U.S. and Europe for many years. I am an internationally certified instructor of Toyohari Meridian Therapy. I have also taken great pleasure in educating the general public. These lectures have been varied and include the Smithsonian Institution, Women’s Association of Virginia and the Psychology Association of D.C. My interest in education goes also into the written word, contributing chapters to a number of books for practitioners, editing and writing books for the general public, as well as articles in professional journals.

Research has also been one of my interests and have done a very interesting pilot study of brain wave changes during treatment. I have been on research panels at the Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH and at Beth Israel/Harvard Medical School. I feel that it is important to have research studies available so the public and the scientific community can have credible evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture.

​I was involved in the discussions that led to the formation of the National Certifications in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine (NCCAOM), because I felt that there should be a way for the public to know that practitioners had a level of expertise. I worked on the examinations and I was in the first group of practitioners to receive certification. I was also given the honor of being elected by my peers in the first class as a Fellow of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.