About Ella

Ella began her career as an Entomologist, studying insects. In Florida she studied mosquito-borne diseases, particularly viral encephalitis and malaria. In California she taught biology, ecology and control of disease vector insects and conducted research on natural controls for the common cockroach.

Realizing that her career would be severely limited without a Ph.D. in this field and lacking the funds to pursue a doctorate fulltime, Ella migrated to a more business-related application of her biological training. She launched a career negotiating contracts and licenses for research projects for the Department of Defense, NASA, and UC’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. During this time she earned her MBA from San Francisco State University, taking classes at night and on weekends. Then Ella moved into the biotech industry and became Senior Manager of Research & Development Contracts and Licenses at Genentech and Director of Corporate Contracts at Coulter Pharmaceutical.

It was during her last two years in the biotech industry that Ella was introduced to acupuncture. Her cat, Tess, had inflammatory bowel disease. Having been completely and compellingly influenced by western scientific thinking, she never considered anything but allopathic (western) medicine. And though this approach worked for Tess for many months, ultimately it failed. After an extensive and expensive diagnostic regimen failed to find a definitive cause, and after every western drug therapy, including an experimental regimen, failed to control Tess’ diarrhea, Ella tried acupuncture. The results were stunning. And no one could claim that a placebo effect was at work on a cat. Ella no longer insisted on clinical data to demonstrate the effectiveness of acupuncture. She had seen its effectiveness up close and personal.

Ella went back to school, earning her second Master’s Degree, this one in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco. While there, she completed an externship in veterinary acupuncture and herbal medicine with Lisa Pesch, DVM, and Molly Rice, DVM, at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS). Both doctors are internationally certified clinicians of holistic veterinary medicine. Upon receiving her license to practice, Ella joined the staff of SFVS as its first non-veterinarian clinician, where she worked for many years.  Since 2012, Dr. Ella has seen animal patients at A Well Adjusted Pet, with Ilana Strubel, DVM, in Pacifica (see link to Ella's animal practice).

While in school Ella thought that her only patients would be four-legged ones. But she discovered in the ACTCM teaching clinic that she truly enjoyed treating people, too. She took on extra commitments studying with Beverly Burns, who later served as principal acupuncturist at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. It was with Beverly that Ella learned how to work with cancer patients to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and to help build their body’s core constitution in order to stay cancer free once the allopathic protocol was finished. Ella worked with Beverly at Mission Lotus Center in San Francisco during her first year of practice. Later she moved her practice to Pacifica and founded Acupuncture Works. Originallty located at Eureka Square,later moved to her current location nearer the beach at Rockaway Beach.

Dr. Ella completed her doctoral studies in acupuncture, herbal/Oriental medicine ACTCM and including a residency at Yue Yang Hospital in Shanghai in 2009.  Her areas of special training were in Women's Health and Pain Management.

Her areas of specialty in practice are Pain Management, Gastrointestinal disorders and Integrative Oncological Therapy. Because of her extensive background in public health and western medicine she is especially suited to work with your MD in a collaborative way and to represent your treatment plan in a way that she/he can appreciate.

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Photography by Lynne Fried