Thia (Cynthia) Hoff MAT, MAcOM, L.Ac
My gentle approach to healthcare focuses on you as a whole person. I’m committed to supporting your wellness by treating your immediate symptoms, plus addressing their root causes.
I specialize in treating pain conditions, women’s health, stress-management and health care for seniors.
Diplomate in Acupuncture
National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)
Oregon Board of Medical Examiners
Qi Gong Instructor
Liu Dong Qi Gong Method
Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist
National Acupuncture Detoxification Association
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Portland, OR
Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, (M.AcOM)
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching (BA)
Becoming A Health Care Practitioner — the joy is in the journey
Because many of my patients ask how I came to practice acupuncture and Chinese medicine after a career in education, I’d like to share a bit about my journey. Even though I am no longer in the classroom full-time, my dedication to and love of education continues. Being a health care practitioner entails a lot of teaching as I help people to be the healthiest they can be. This is my passion.
My path to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, like many of my colleagues, was one of self-healing. At the age of 28, I was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day (and had been for many years), working 60+ hours a week and living mostly on fast and packaged food.
I stopped smoking in 1990 and wish I’d known about acupuncture because it definitely decreases the intensity of cravings. Quitting smoking feels like a lifetime ago, but it was one of the hardest things I have done in my life; it took me seven years to fully kick the habit. Being free from cigarettes changed my entire life and was the beginning of many positive steps to improving my health and wellness.
Most of my lifestyle changes were gradual and I have found in working with people that huge changes are often unsustainable. Change must be integrated into one’s life and how it occurs must fit with an individual’s personality and temperament. One size definitely does not fit all.
My Introduction to Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
While teaching at Kumamoto University in Japan, I was introduced to acupuncture. My first treatments were for elbow tendonitis and neck pain. I learned the hard way a very important truth about the human body: if you ignore it when it gives you little hints, it doesn’t go away, it shouts louder!
My primary care physician gave me muscle relaxants and pain medication. These were useful, but I knew that only the symptoms were being addressed. Finally, one of my students (I am forever grateful to her) suggested I see an acupuncturist. I was skeptical but intrigued, and since my pain was worsening, I went. All the talk of moving Qi, or as the Japanese say “Ki,” was new to me, not to mention the idea of using tiny needles to stop the pain. After each treatment, my pain decreased and I didn’t need the medication anymore. To my delight and surprise, with each treatment, I also felt really good overall. My sleep and digestion improved and I didn’t feel as stressed.
What attracted me to this medicine is the way it treats symptoms and gets at the underlying cause of the problems. Our bodies want to be in balance and healthy; and acupuncture, herbs and meditation support the body’s innate self-regulating functions. I didn’t understand how Chinese medicine worked, but was deeply fascinated with it and increasingly interested in my own health. And, here I am today. Had you told me twenty-five years ago I would be doing this, I would not have believed it!
Valuing the Strengths of Eastern and Western Medicine
Moving from the humanities and arts into the sciences was very challenging, but I was thoroughly energized by the process. Fortunately, the Chinese know that medicine is a science and an art. I have always loved learning and I feel extremely privileged to study and practice this medicine.
I value the strengths of Western medicine and have a strong background in biomedicine. While working at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, I completed the equivalent of a pre-med degree and I have taken several doctoral level classes in biomedicine.
These courses have helped me to more fully understand what I read in Western medical journals, which I often do to stay abreast of the latest research that may affect my patients’ health. Eastern and Western medicine each have their strengths, and I truly value the ways in which each system allows me to help my patients achieve and maintain health and vitality.
This has been my path to becoming a health care practitioner, but it’s far from over because I am always refining my skills and learning new ones. The joy truly is in the journey!