Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Sage Health Practice Update

Hello Sage Health Practice Members:

I hope you and your family are well. The Sage Health practitioners miss you and wish you the very best health! The Corona virus pandemic has caused an immensely challenging time for our country and community. Due to our current health epidemic it is best to pause our wellness membership monthly fees until the stay at home order is lifted and you can enjoy your self-care wellness routine. Should you need chiropractic or acupuncture care in the interim you will continue to receive your member discounted rates.

We will continue to provide you with chiropractic and acupuncture services as healthcare is considered an essential service in these times. Should you find yourself in pain and needing our care it is always an honor to be of service to you and you can schedule your appointments online as our administrative has very limited availability.immune system  Your health and safely is of our utmost concern our precautionary measures to keep our community healthy and safe include: reducing and staggering the number of patients we care for, practitioners wearing protective masks when we treat you beyond social distancing requirements , disinfecting our treatment tables, providing hand sanitizer and a hand washing station, and of course diligent cleaning protocols.

Thank you so very much for allowing us to be a part of your health and wellness care. Keep your immune system strong and body healthy with good choices: healthy fresh fruits and veggies, reduce stress, exercise, practice social distancing, and use and chiropractic and acupuncture to strengthen your immune system.
With love and light,

Dr. Kirsten Sage, D.C., L.Ac.

20 for 2020!

This new year, 2020, marks the twentieth anniversary of Dr. Sage’s chiropractic journey! She began as an associate at a chiropractic office in Solana Beach, learning the ropes of a new practice, and is now running a thriving wellness center as a chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, mom, and so much more.

Even though Dr. Sage now has 20 years of chiropractic experience under her belt, she is always trying to expand her business and grow her treatment repertoire. 2019 marked her first year as an acupuncturist after ten years of schooling. She chose to begin this journey at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in 2009 after working with many acupuncturists and viewing the wonderful effects the healing medicine had on the mind, body, and soul. She loved that they had the ability to heal internally and knew the combination between chiropractic, acupuncture and massage would be a powerful healing tool. When her patients come in to get adjusted and something else is bothering them (a cold, cough, constipation, etc.), Dr. Sage can treat them with both a focused acupuncture treatment and adjustment through her acu-lite treatment to help them heal better by balancing spinal alignment and normalizing the flow of qi through the body. Her patients tell her that after their treatment, they are feeling the benefit of this new addition and Dr. Sage could not be more proud and joyous.

Happy New Year!

Sage Health Team

Women’s Free Sunday Acupuncture Clinic

Out of our experience, foresight and passionate belief in complementary integrative medicine the Sage Healing Team was born. We hope to provide alternative cancer supportive care and safety-net social services and health education to low-income women with cancer. Sage Health is expanding to offer free acupuncture and massage to women battling cancer in our community. We have a group of acupuncture and massage volunteers many who have been trained at the UCSD cancer center. Our compassionate team helps underserved women who would not normally have access to such beneficial treatments.

Our free acupuncture clinic for women with an active cancer diagnosis is offered on Sundays from 10-2 pm. In order to qualify for free treatments please call our office at (760)753-2157, and our staff will determine if you are eligible. You can then schedule your appointments online at and select the Sunday free acupuncture clinic. If you do not qualify for our free low-income services, we will offer you sliding scales fees bases on your ability to pay ranging from $10-80 per treatment.

Acupuncture is helpful with the side effects of cancer treatment: nausea, fatigue, hot flashes, dry mouth, dyspnea, depression and anxiety, neuropathic pain, insomnia, nausea, loose stools, pain, and chemotherapy related neutropenia. Acupuncture has shown to be more effective than some prescription medications for nausea.
A study in Hematology Oncol Clin North Am. 2008 Aug; 22(4): 631–viii. Discusses the Value of Acupuncture in Cancer Care has positive results with use of acupuncture.

We are here to help you HEAL better, and look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

Your Sage Healing Team

People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do – Steve Jobs

Happy Mother’s Day!


There are so many wonderful phases of being a mother. This month’s focus is on the first part…prenatal. A common ailment that moms suffer with is morning sickness. I recently completed a seminar about the benefits of changing the diet and supporting the liver and gallbladder. It is crucial to keep the liver in its optimal function when creating a new human!

Another helpful and natural modality to morning sickness is acupuncture. Acupuncture in a nutshell is all about qi. Qi is an invisible life force that courses through your body’s twelve meridians. Meridians are highways of energy, and each one is connected to a vital organ which is woven in a circuit with all the other meridians. I’ll try to summarize 2,000 years of acupuncture theory, if one of those meridians gets a “traffic jam” you can expect to experience symptoms. Now, you’re probably thinking what can cause the meridians to get unhealthy? I have three reasons: trauma, thoughts, and toxins. Trauma could be a fall, or even small repetitive daily microtraumas like poor sustained posture over many years. Thoughts are all about emotional stressors… need I say more. Lastly toxins, we experience these through viral attacks, poor diet choices, and environmental pollution.

There are acupuncture diagnosis protocols for morning sickness. Your acupuncturist will determine the treatment by taking a detailed history and complete examination which includes feeling twelve different pulses on both of your wrists and examining your tongue to figure out your pattern.

The first TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) pattern diagnosis is spleen and stomach deficiency. One may experience all or only a few of these symptoms which may include nausea, vomiting of liquid or food immediately after meals, fullness or a distending feeling in the chest, sleepiness, or mental weariness.

The second pattern of disharmony is of the liver and stomach. In this pattern one may have vomiting of bitter liquid, epigastric fullness, hypochondriac pain (pain below the ribs), frequent belching, sighing, mental depression, and dizziness.

Both patterns of morning sickness have similar symptoms and treatments using acupuncture or acupressure. The acu points commonly treated are Ren 12 (ONLY if mom is under 12 weeks pregnant), Pericardium 6 (also used as a common sea sickness point), and Stomach 36 (this point helps reverse the rebellious flow of qi causing morning sickness.)

I hope this blog helps you learn more about natural ways to help morning sickness. I also personally loved to sip on ginger tea to help with morning sickness. It helped me so much that when I was considering names for my first baby girl, I choose Ginger. And yes, she is a little bit spicy in terms of her personality. Chinese Medicine texts refer to ginger as Sheng Jiang. This herb sends its energy into the lung, spleen, and stomach meridians. It tastes spicy and its temperature is warm. It’s wonderful for a mom with a cold stomach that may cause vomiting. Please share this information with a friend that may need help with morning sickness. Our team of health care professionals would be honored to be your family’s wellness center choice.

Happy May,

Dr. Sage

Love is the Answer

February has arrived, along with its age-old association with the heart and love. The commercial aspect of Valentine’s Day and strong focus on couples can be really troubling, especially for those not in a satisfying relationship.

But wait! Love is everywhere, and the concept of romantic love is only a tiny fragment of what it’s all about. There are endless ways to honor this month, to open our hearts and celebrate love. Here are some ideas:

  • Approach things with a loving manner. If you can put your love, care and attention into your work, no matter how simple or difficult the task, it is likely to be more enjoyable and bring you a sense of opening your heart.
  • Give thanks and appreciation. When you appreciate what you have, or thank someone, you are expressing love in a way that benefits you and others.
  • Learn more about heart health. February is also American Heart Month. If you or a loved one have, or are at risk for, a heart condition, do something small (or big!) to improve your heart health. Check out the American Heart Association for ideas.
  • Spend some time doing something you love. When do you feel best? What for you makes time stand still and gives you a sense of peace? It’s different for everyone: spending time in nature, dancing, playing with your dog, listening to a great piece of music. Make it a priority to spend some time each day doing what you love.
  • Do something nice. It doesn’t have to be big, in fact the smallest things often count the most. A simple compliment is a great gift, or a quick note to just say hello. Do something kind for someone else, it can even be anonymous.
  • Treat yourself well. Give yourself the love that you deserve, in every form. Thank yourself for everything you do to take good care of yourself. Buy yourself something nice for no particular reason, it doesn’t need to cost much at all.

As for me? This year, during this month of celebrating love, I’m focusing on how much I love what I do. I felt called to become an acupuncturist after surviving a horrible accident where acupuncture was pivotal to my recovery. I wanted to share with others that which helped me. Every day I am grateful for being where I am now and being able to use my skill and knowledge to help others. This year I feel very honored to be celebrating my tenth year in practice. I am as much, if not more, in love with acupuncture now as I was when I was first introduced to it.

How are emotions like love, and the heart itself related to acupuncture? In Chinese medicine, the heart is of such importance that it is likened to the emperor in a society. The heart is integral to all mental, spiritual and emotional activities as well as providing circulation of blood and its healing energy to every part of the body. If the heart system is not balanced, a person can suffer from such things as palpitations, poor circulation, feeling scattered, anxiety, insomnia, or feeling disconnected. Acupuncture addresses this by balancing the heart, calming it, improving its function, and enabling the person to feel more grounded and secure.

At Sage Health, I feel incredibly privileged to work with such a talented group of providers who love what they do and have so much to offer. Any of our services would be a great way to treat yourself, or someone else, and celebrate this month of love!

Wishing you a love-filled February,

Dr. Aimee C. Holdwick, DAOM, L.Ac.


2019 is Here! Don’t Forget to be Grateful for 2018!

It’s that time of year again, much of the holiday celebrations have passed, and we are turning our eyes to the New Year! Lots of people are preparing for the new year with resolutions and plans for the future. Those plans and resolutions are great to do (I’ve got a few of my own!). But before we run off to the next lap around the sun, I think that it’s important and powerful to reflect on and be grateful for the year that has been. This grounds us in the reality of time passing and helps remind of us of the good the past year has delivered.

Here’s what I’m grateful for from 2018:

Opening Ears and Trusting

Our two children, Ginger and Kira, were feeling constrained and confined with their afterschool daycare. This year we allowed them the freedom to walk to my office after school (they walked with friends and/or their iPhones) and provided them rides to home or after school activities. All of us gained freedom and independence from this experience.

Breathe and Enjoy

We took vacations for relaxation and renewal. My favorite was a trip to Boulder, Colorado which was a twofer! I got to hang in a beautiful place with my family and achieve my annual goal of completing an Ironman 70.3.

Aspire to be Great

Persistence works! My ten year journey to complete acupuncture school is quickly coming to a close. My last semester will kick off 2019.

The Gift of Giving

Part of my clinic training at acupuncture school gave me the humbling opportunity to give back to the community through internships at the UCSD cancer center and a downtown senior citizen clinic. I learned a ton, helped improve lives and made some lasting friendships with my colleagues.

Being Vunerable and Seeking Guidance

Our family got help through counseling to improve our communication dynamics. This allowed each of us to feel empowered and empathic when we interact.

Health and Fitness Plus Friendships

 Let’s go ( with coach Cindy Gary is another amazing twofer! This woman’s running group helps me stay in shape and has provided me with an amazing group of friends with the shared interest of fitness.



Just Pure Magic and Love

Watching my kids grow into who they are going to become takes my breath away every single day. They amaze and challenge me with their special gifts. I’m one lucky and proud mom!

Art time

I’ve rediscovered my internal artist with my new hobby of jewelery making. Putting together the healing properties of the stones with the joy of artistic creation is a new business which, oh yes…I love!

Finding Greatness in Others

People, of course, make the world the amazing place it is. The team at Sage Health is what truly makes it great, and the patients we get to serve continue to bring us joy and purpose.

I hope 2019 brings you many experiences that bring you joy!

Yours in health,


Kirsten Sage IRONMAN Finish Line

My 6th IRONMAN in Boulder, Colorado – What an Experience!

A few weeks ago I participated in my 6th IRONMAN race in Boulder, Colorado — the IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon to be specific. I have a passion for this type of race as I’ve been competing in triathlons for 23+ years. Wow!

I really wanted to share my experience with you but moreover why I love it so much, what I’ve learned, and continue to learn from it.

What I Love About Triathlons

Variety. Balance. Social connection. It’s all-encompassing. Triathlons are such a balanced sport and offer a healthy variety of exercise in terms of training — your body is given proper breaks from one type of exercise to the other. I also really enjoy the social aspect of triathlons. The spirit and energy that surrounds them are so positive and powerful. And honestly, anyone can train for them. I see so many different types of people compete, and it is incredibly inspiring. It’s an unassuming sport, and albeit humbling, but in the best way. For example, at one point I passed a super-fit looking 20-year old, yet at another point, I was passed by an insanely fit 60+ year old. Who knows why, and it honestly doesn’t matter because it’s not about comparison. We never know what someone may be dealing with from a mental or health perspective that is affecting their performance. The point is that you can’t assume anything in these types of races, nor allow yourself to fall into compare and despair. You have to release judgment and allow yourself, and others, some grace because we’re all there for our own personal growth and journey.

The Challenges = Such Growth!

One of the biggest challenges, that I personally face, is the number of people that surround you during certain points of the race. But this is where some mental growth can happen, which I love. You have to allow yourself to release your ego, judgment, and not allow what I call “race rage” to take over (similar to road rage…you get the idea!). At this particular race, during the swim portion, there were just so many bodies in the water all at once. For me, this part of the race can be overwhelming. {GULP} I had to dig deep mentally and find a visual that helped me to relax and stay the course; I envisioned that the crowd of bodies aggressively treading water around me were dolphins, playfully swimming alongside me. This vision allowed me to relax and focus… AND I found that I was a much better swimmer than I thought. My triathlon learning experiences are never ending!

New Perspectives and Family Connections

Another thing I love about attending tri’s is that it can be paired perfectly with a vacation but in a very different way. You really get to immerse yourself in the landscape and surrounding environment of wherever you happen to be racing. We combined my participation in this race with a family vacation and something really special happened in terms of family connection. My 12 (soon-to-be 13-year-old) daughter is finding her independence…and while I encourage this discovery of her individuality, at times it can be hard. She’s at a stage where everything is the opposite of me, almost to the point of rebellion. Which I understand but, ya know….deep breaths! But on this trip, she saw me in a new light…or at least I think she did because after seeing me compete she expressed interest in some of the activities that the race entailed. Swimming and biking, specifically. This, perhaps, meant the most to me because not only did we find some common ground (which felt amazing!), I learned that I was setting a healthy example and precedence for my daughter that inspired her.

Here’s a pic of her giving me a high-five when I crossed the finish line, along with some other fun photos we took while on the trip.

Dr. Kirsten Sage after IRONMAN 2018 enjoying beer


Pretty landscape in Boulder, Colorado

In conclusion, I can’t recommend the triathlon experience enough. But any healthy physical exercise challenge is encouraged because there’s so much to be gained!

IRONMAN-70.3-Medal-2018 from Boulder, Colorado race

Lastly, if you’re a patient at Sage Health, you’ve probably noticed that the bathroom key is different. *WINK* Yep! That’s my medal of accomplishment. Meant to serve as inspiration, and also prevent losing the key itself — haha! It is kinda large and in-charge.

Recipe: Bok Choy with Wood Ear and Shiitakes


Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a cooking and nutrition class with Dr. Yuan Wang, author of “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen”, where we focused on the topic of lipid health and the rising concern of high-cholesterol. I could go on and on about the educational value of this class, and may do so in another future blog, but the number one thing I wanted to share with you is this delicious that we cooked up that contains a special blend of ingredients that help to support healthy cholesterol and lipid levels in the body. I hope you’ll enjoy cooking and eating this recipe as much as I did!

Bok Choy with Wood Ear and Shiitakes Recipe

This delicious stir-fry combines the benefits of mushrooms, wood ears, greens, and herbs. Serve with rice.




  • 1⁄2 cup (3⁄4 ounce, or 20 grams) dried black wood ear (hei mu er in Chinese, kikurage in Japanese)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 medium-size (3⁄4 ounce, or 20 grams dried; 1⁄4 pound fresh) dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 (1⁄2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 medium-size green onion, chopped into 1⁄2-inch pieces, roots and tough tips discarded
  • 1 medium-size cluster bok choy, (about 1⁄2 pound), cut into 1 by 2-inch strips grouped by color (white and green parts)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon powdered kudzu, arrowroot, cornstarch, or thickener of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

1. Place the dried wood ear in a bowl of warm water with the salt and soak for about 30 minutes, or until soft (it will expand to two to five times its original size). If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them with the wood ear; if you are using fresh shiitakes, simply rinse them.

2. Cut the wood ear and shiitakes into 1⁄4-inch pieces, discarding the fibrous base from the wood ear and, if desired, the stem from the shiitake.

3. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat.

4. Add the ginger, garlic, and green onions, and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant.

5. Add the white stalks of the bok choy and stir-fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently.

6. Add the wood ear, shiitake mushrooms and leafy part of the bok choy and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

7. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for another 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are done. Stir in the soy sauce.

8. Mix the kudzu with about 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir out the lumps, then add the mixture to the wok. Cook for a minute, stirring, to mix the flavors together and set the thickener, then serve warm.

Bok Choy with Wood Ear Shiitake Mushrooms

From Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2010.

Healthy doses of self-love

Give Yourself a Healthy Dose of Self-Love This Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day has historically been associated with all things related to romance. While we love roses, hearts, and chocolate (DUH!) we think the holiday has started to shift towards ALL things related to love. Love for others. Love for the planet. Love for spirituality. Love for all that we have been blessed with. Love for ourselves…and by this, we don’t mean narcissism, we mean showing ourselves the love, kindness, and patience we show to everyone and everything around us. In these busy times where we go go go, it is more important than ever that we take a moment to stop, breathe and appreciate who we are, who we’ve become, how we’ve grown, and show ourselves a healthy dose of self-love!

How?! Here are 10 suggestions…

  1. Enjoy watching the sunset with a glass of wine and a good friend (pets totally count!)
  2. Eat the chocolate (goes great with #1 *wink*)
  3. When you’ve truly given back in some way, put your hand on your heart, take a deep breath and feel the amazing energetic vibration of the good deed you’ve just done.
  4. Write in your journal what you love about YOU, whatever that may be. Your kind heart. Your tenacity. Your passion. Your compassion. Your determination.
  5. Take a pause and truly recognize what you’ve accomplished recently – nothing is too small here.
  6. Treat yourself to a massage or facial or BOTH!
  7. Dedicate a meditation session to some healthy self-love, especially if you’re dealing with or have recently dealt with something particularly difficult emotionally or physically. Grab some oracle cards, crystals, or whatever spiritually uplifts your soul and dedicate a moment to YOU.
  8. Eat or drink something super healthy and delish to nourishes your mind, body, and soul — perhaps some golden milk, kombucha, elixir, tea or a heart/belly warming veggie bowl.
  9. Dedicate and calendar out at least one day (or half day) out of each month dedicated to some self-love and healthy reflection.
  10. Buy YOURSELF some beautiful fresh flowers – bask in their aroma and place them somewhere to remind you that you are truly amazing and deserving of the love and light that surrounds you.

Tips for Finding a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Sage Health is a holistic wellness center in Encinitas, California founded by Chiropractor, Dr. Kirsten Sage. We specialize in advanced chiropracticacupuncture and massage treatments. We are focused on helping patients with natural alternatives to optimal health and wellness.

We are located at 531 Encinitas Blvd. Suite 100, Encinitas, CA 92024.

Email: |  PH: 760.753.2157

Woman holding a silver holiday ball

‘Tis the Season for Giving Positive Vibes!

Today we’re focusing on the concept of giving the gift of positive vibes.

While the holidays are a happy time for some, for others it can be melancholy. On either end of the spectrum, it is indeed a season where emotions are heightened. Our emotional state can greatly affect our health both mentally and physically. So it’s important to keep those good vibes at the forefront of our holidays and remember that it’s more of a feeling than pretty lights, gifts, and fancy dinners. Sure, all of those fun things are part of the season, and we’re not saying to not enjoy them — by all means please do! But it’s important to remind ourselves of what it truly means to “give” and allow ourselves to really feel the positive vibrations that surround us when we do so with kindness, compassion, and authenticity.

Giving doesn’t always mean we have to give a tangible gift. Not everyone has the means to give a wrapped gift and this isn’t something anyone should feel bad about. There’s a deeper meaning to the word “give” that we’d like to touch base on here, and that is to give authentically from your heart in whatever beautiful vibration you can. Giving from the heart can be simple; a smile to someone who might be having a tough day — like that person behind the register who’s inevitably having to endure the last minute gift buying rush. It can also be giving your time to someone who is need of help, or perhaps to that one friend who’s had a particularly tough year and needs someone to lean on over a glass of wine and good conversation.

So when you think about the word “give” try to not only think of it as a something to be unwrapped but as a gift of positive energy from your heart that will make an impact, whether big or small.

Many people have lost a great deal this year due to natural disasters, for example. The most important thing these people have now is each other and the kindness of those around them…people who care and are willing to give by donation or their time to help them thru this challenging moment.

However, you plan to give this holiday, give with your whole heart. Give with a sense of humility and gratitude. Give with kindness, grace, and compassion. Give without the expectation of receiving and let the gift of positivity surround you!

From the staff at Sage Health, we want to wish you ALL a merry, happy, and healthy holiday.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also want to read our blog, “The Importance of Expressing and Practicing Gratitude.”

Sage Health is a holistic wellness center in Encinitas, California founded by Chiropractor, Dr. Kirsten Sage. We specialize in advanced chiropracticacupuncture and massage treatments. We are focused on helping patients with natural alternatives to optimal health and wellness.