Brett Lewis M.S.A., L.Ac.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herb Academics and Experience
Brett Lewis is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Montana. In 2008 Brett obtained his Master of Science in Acupuncture (MSA) from Bastyr University, became nationally board certified with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and opened his private practice.
During his time at Bastyr, Brett took advantage of every opportunity to expand his professional tool box by focusing on a combination of acupuncture theories and understanding when each one was best suited to treat a particular condition. This approach allowed for a diversified understanding of the acupuncture paradigm which allows flexible treatment approaches to suit the individual needs and conditions of the patients Brett sees. (Back to Top)
Harborview Medical Center
In addition to this diversity within the field of acupuncture, Brett took the opportunity to include a couple of specialized clinical rotations at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle during his studies.
The Madison Clinic at Harborview focuses on the treatment of long term survivors of HIV and AIDS. It is one of six Center for Disease Control (CDC) sites across the US that is dedicated to the long term study and treatment of HIV and AIDS. During his time treating patients at this clinic, Brett learned to identify multiple layers of diagnostic patterns and focus down to the root causal factor that will create the most change. The complexity of these cases with the multiple co-infections and drug side effects trained Brett to look beyond the surface of a patient’s complaint and focus on the details that will provide the most effective change for the patient.
The Chronic Fatigue Clinic at Harborview helped Brett learn to treat fragile patients, with whom more is not always better. This specialty clinic focuses on the treatment of patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue and/or Fibromyalgia and the study of the diseases themselves. During the early days of these diseases, many people were ignored or misdiagnosed. As these conditions became better known many patients were again misdiagnosed by doctors that had only a fledgling understanding of these distinct conditions and the two were often considered the same disease. During his time at the Chronic Fatigue Clinic Brett learned the subtle distinctions in these two disease processes and the best treatment approaches for each. (He also learned what a lot of paper work is… just over 3.5 inches of paper work for the patients to fill out before they would even be considered for the waiting list for treatment. Yes, a ruler was actually used. Luckily, Brett keeps the new patient paperwork to a minimum in his practice.) (Back to Top)
Five Branches University
After graduating with his MSA, Brett was running his private practice and continued his studies with an additional year of Chinese herbal medicine at Bastyr before transferring to his doctoral studies at Five Branches University with a dual focus in advanced neuromuscular pain management and women’s health and endocrinology. Due to larger than initially planned time requirements of their modular program, Brett had to place his doctoral studies on hold after one year of additional training at Five Branches University.
During his time at Five Branches, Brett had the opportunity to learn from many interesting and amazing instructors. Many were flown over from China for the class, and others were borrowed from nearby Stanford University. A few of the most memorable experiences included actually learning Dr. Jiao’s Scalp Acupuncture from Dr. Jiao himself. He taught us how he came up with his system so that we could use the principal and think more deeply about how the patient was presenting and combine that with modern day functional neuroanatomy. Dr. Jiao used to be a neurosurgeon in China before the cultural revolution when began studying acupuncture. His approach to scalp acupuncture is unique and has proven to be a very effective approach to recovery from stroke, head trauma, or brain surgery. Thousands of studies have been done in China on his approach, and understanding the basis for it has helped Brett more effectively treat stroke patients and head trauma patients (no brain surgery patients have come to Brett seeking treatment so far).
Another memorable experience was getting to learn pregnancy and postpartum care from Raven Lang. Raven is an acupuncturist and midwife who has been birthing babies long enough to help those babies give birth themselves… and again. Her experience and insight were fantastic and also well expressed. Though Brett has not framed his practice solely around birth and fertility medicine, he still loves helping people give birth in happy and healthy ways (he just doesn’t love the on-call hours required to have a dedicated birthing practice). Brett now has two boys, and had the opportunity to help his wife through her own labor. He discovered it is difficult to be a father-to-be and an acupuncturist at the same time… he forgot to take the ear seeds used for labor induction off his wife to slow her labor down and her active labor was only 3.5 hours the first time.
He has been able to help prepare people for birth, and also for conception. Brett has worked with women and men to optimize fertility and increase their chance of conception and a stable, full-term pregnancy. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs for women can help regulate your cycle and hormones, and reverse diminished ovarian reserve (help your ovaries function like they did when you were younger – yes, you read that right, and yes, there is some really astounding research that has been done to this effect in the last few years). For men, Chinese medicine has more stringent guidelines than western medicine in regard to sperm quality (motility, morphology, liquefaction, etc.). As men age (30+) their sperm quality decreases and the odds of complications and reduced offspring health increase (overview). The good news is that men can also benefit from acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The other good news is that in most cases you just take your herbs, and that is all that is required.
Hobbies, Other Interests and Influences
Recently, Brett has been learning to fly an airplane (something he has wanted to do since childhood), and tried his hand at deer and elk hunting. While the hunting was not so successful this year, someone was kind enough to hit a deer with their car as Brett was on his way home from his last day of hunting, and now he has a freezer full of yummy venison and has learned how to butcher a large animal.
Brett also loves the water and finds that a little time in or on the water is really one of the best stress relievers. He grew up swimming on our local Bitterroot Swim Team from age seven to eighteen, and that love of the water is still with him… years later. Once upon a time Brett was a whitewater rafting guide and swift water rescue technician, there are a couple of stories to be had, but most involve fun, beauty of nature, and doing a few things you know you really should not have.
During his time in the Seattle area Brett had the opportunity to do many sweat lodges with Gilbert Walking Bull who came to visit the area for 2 weeks and stayed for many years. Gilbert was instrumental in Brett’s choice to attend Bastyr University, and without this teaching Brett might not be your acupuncturist today. Gilbert passed April 7, 2007 while Brett was attending Bastyr University, and is still missed today.
After graduating from Bastyr in 2008, Brett began his studies with Char Sundust through her classes, mentorship, ceremony, and being a teaching assistant for her classes. Due to the profound impact Char’s teaching had, Brett’s classes are heavily influenced by Char’s teaching and the teachings of Angeles Arrien that were passed down by Char. (Back to Top)