Jennifer M. Cariño, L.Ac., MSTCM

What’s a Broadcast major doing in the health and wellness field?

I come from a family of healthcare providers.  I grew up working with my parents in various healthcare ventures and volunteered at hospitals.  I was expected to follow the family tradition and enter the field, hopefully going to medical school.  But I surprised everyone when I chose instead to study Broadcast Communication Arts at San Francisco State University, a degree I felt was perfect for learning how to express my progressive values, in a city that is well known for its nonconformity.

After graduating, I worked for Global Exchange, a non-profit social justice organization, traveling the world, sharing ideas of social change with U.S. citizens and with citizens of countries experiencing conflict or transformation.  This was an exciting and gratifying career.  However, it was upended by my personal life when my boyfriend learned that he had a cancerous brain tumor. Without blinking, my instinctive and learned family role as a caregiver kicked in.  The two of us wholly changed our lives.  We studied and incorporated holistic practices into our routines.  We changed our diet, started yoga, and engaged acupuncture and herbal treatments.

It was at this time that I realized that my family’s rich healthcare history was a natural part of my being that I could combine with my interest in creating social change.  How?  By becoming my own type of health care practitioner: A highly qualified acupuncturist and herbalist.

I went on to receive my Master’s degree at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, CA, graduating in 2001.  I spent 5 years working alongside distinguished acupuncturists, learning how to create herbal formulas patterned specifically after each client’s particular diagnosis. In addition to private practice, I worked as an acupuncturist for Stanford University on an NIH sponsored research study, “Acupuncture for Depression During Pregnancy: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

I was also a volunteer with the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic in Oakland, where I provided acupuncture treatments to low-income women living with cancer.

I have since been living with my boyfriend, now cancer-free husband, for the last 20 years!  And I have combined all of these life, work, and career experiences to grow a thriving practice in downtown San Francisco.

My Methodology

I specialize in Japanese Acupuncture techniques, which emphasize gentle methods in combination with effective results. I will give you a comprehensive diagnosis using traditional pulse taking, tongue examination, and abdominal palpation.  With this information, I am able to recommend a complete plan which may include, in addition to acupuncture and herbs, supplements and lifestyle recommendations.  While I enjoy taking part in your healing process, I also believe in everyone’s ability to care for themselves, especially preventatively. I will include specific dietary suggestions to enhance treatment effects and tailor nutritional plans specific to your constitution.

Special Qualifications

Jennifer is a graduate of the San Francisco Zen Center’s “Contemplative Caregivers Course”, where she and other providers and family members caring for ill loved ones, learned to incorporate compassionate care, presence, meditation, and Zen teachings into their personal and professional lives.

Her Services Include:

Japanese Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Medicinal Herbs, Nutritional Counseling

She Has Expertise In The Following Areas:

Menopause, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inflammatory Skin Conditions, Weight Loss, Stress and Pain Management, Immune Disorders, Cosmetic Acupuncture and Fertility and Pregnancy

Jennifer Possesses The Following Certifications and Specialized Trainings:

  • California Acupuncture License
  • National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  • Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture
  • CPR and First Aid
  • Japanese Acupuncture Techniques. San Francisco and Oakland, CA
  • The Treatment of Children’s Diseases with Chinese Medicine. Oakland, CA
  • The Art and Science of Obstetrics. Oakland, CA
  • Mei Zen Acupuncture System for the Abdomen: From Fertility to Weight Loss. New York City, NY
  • Course study and certification for Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System for the Face and Neck. Los Angeles, CA
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine and Complementary Care for People with Cancer. Oakland, CA



Notes from the Table Con Cariño