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Welcome to Coastal Hills Acupuncture Project and Medicinal Herb FarmIMG_3692! We are a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing affordable acupuncture and traditional medicine practices and healthcare education to our community.

We offer safe, effective, individualized acupuncture treatments in your home or in a peaceful community setting. Our mobile practice treatment area is centered in Gualala Ranch, and extends from Jenner to Salt Point State Park, and covers the rural ranches in the hills down to the Cazadero area. On our homestead we grow annual and perennial medicinal, aromatic, and flowering herbs and shrubs on our 1/4 acre garden for beauty and for our community pharmacy.

Clinic hours

In-home appointments: sliding scale fee $25-75 depending on location
Monday – Friday 12:30pm-6pm

To request an appointment, please visit our appointment page or call 415-710-7363.

What We Do

DemetraBioPhoto copy
Demetra Markis, L.Ac.

People often seek alternatives when they have an illness or an injury that has not responded fully to conventional treatments. Some feel more comfortable looking to traditional healing practices, or have had difficult experiences with conventional medicine. Many of my patients have never seen an acupuncturist before and are unsure what to expect. One of my goals as a healthcare provider is to make acupuncture accessible, understandable, and easy to receive. I love to practice within an ancient and long-practiced tradition, and I also appreciate and respect the incredible advances made by medical providers and researchers with modern treatments.

While we still don’t have a definitive modern explanation for why or how acupuncture works, its strength as a treatment seems to lie in its ability to promote the body’s innate self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms. For that reason, we can to reduce the severity of current conditions as well as to improve your general wellbeing in the long term. My practice intention is to support you in addressing your health concerns with the goal of increasing your quality of life.

About Demetra: 

Demetra Markis, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist (CA license #AC 13328). She received her Master’s degree from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco in 2009, and has been studying Western herbal traditional medicine since 1998. She founded Yerba Buena Community Acupuncture (now Tiny Needles) in San Francisco in 2010, providing over 25,000 acupuncture treatments during her time there, and is a registered continuing education provider with the state of California. She is a volunteer EMT with the Fort Ross VFD and a volunteer board member with the Coast Ridge Community Forest. Demetra lives with her partner and 15-year-old daughter on Gualala Ranch where she tends a growing pharmacy garden of medicinal trees, shrubs, and perennials. 

In-home treatments

Mobile in-home treatments

An old-fashioned house call with a twist: safe, effective acupuncture and traditional medicine services in your home. I will bring everything I need; all you need is a quiet space to relax! Learn more about acupuncture, cupping, and herbal medicine by clicking here.

Demetra and patientGetting started: Many people begin acupuncture treatment because they have a health issue or issue they would like to focus on. I suggest making an initial appointment, and then at the conclusion of that we can discuss a treatment plan and set up regular visits for a few weeks or months. You are also welcome to schedule an appointment to get a tune-up, maintain your health, and relax. If you have questions about how acupuncture can help with any kind of problem, please don’t hesitate to ask.  am always available to check in by phone, email, and in person.

Timing: In-home visits last an hour. We will check in about your health and progress, then you will settle in comfortably in one of my zero-gravity reclining chairs or massage table (or you are welcome to be treated in a chair you already have). After needling, I will remain nearby completing my notes while you rest (no need to entertain me!). The acupuncture needles are generally left in place for 20-45 minutes, and then I will remove them and schedule your next appointment before leaving.

Scheduling: Currently, I take appointments Monday through Friday. The earliest appointment is 12:30, the last at 5pm.

The easiest way to schedule with me is to send me an email with a few times (ie, “Monday after 2pm or Tuesday between 1 and 5”) and I will then find a spot for you. As a mobile practice, I do my best to group nearby appointments together, to reduce my driving and keep me on time! I will always do my best to arrive at our scheduled time but thank you for understanding that driving around these hills can sometimes take longer or shorter than planned.

Schedule a group: If you want to set up an appointment at your home along with a friend, neighbor, spouse, or family member, even better! I offer a discount on the sliding scale for two or more people seen together. I can see 1-6 people within a 60-90 minute time frame, and can bring up to six recliner chairs to your space. Just let me know when you are scheduling how many people will be present.

Treatment Cost: The sliding scale is meant to make my services affordable. I trust you to pay what works for you any time I am treating you. The scale is based on travel time from my home on Gualala Ranch, and is as follows:

Gualala Ranch: For one person: $25-50, sliding scale; for two or more people, $20+ each

Seaview Ranch, Navarro Ranch, and Timber Cove (and nearby areas): For one person: $50-75, sliding scale; for two or more people, $40+ each

Jenner, Cazadero Highway, north of Salt Point: For one person: $60-75, sliding scale; for two or more people, $50+ each

Other areas
: please inquire! If I can make it work, I will do my best to get to you!

Payment is due at the time of service, and can be made with cash, check, credit or debit card, or Flexible Spending or Health Savings accounts. Payments can also be made in advance via Paypal; please let us know when you schedule your appointment if you would like to pay online.

Request an appointment: In-home appointments are available Monday through Friday between 12:30-6pm. Please request an appointment by phone or email (available on our Contact page) or using the form below. We do our best to schedule appointments in similar locations on the same day to allow for more practitioner availability.

Q&A

Q&A from the National Institutes of Health:

About acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. It is one of the practices used in Traditional Chinese medicine.

About Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM encompasses many different practices, including acupuncture, moxibustion (burning an herb above the skin to apply heat to acupuncture points), Chinese herbal medicine, tui na (Chinese therapeutic massage), dietary therapy, and tai chi and qi gong (practices that combine specific movements or postures, coordinated breathing, and mental focus). TCM is rooted in the ancient philosophy of Taoism and dates back more than 2,500 years. Traditional systems of medicine also exist in other East and South Asian countries, including Japan (where the traditional herbal medicine is called Kampo) and Korea. Some of these systems have been influenced by TCM and are similar to it in some ways, but each has developed distinctive features of its own.

The ancient beliefs on which TCM is based include the following:

  • The human body is a miniature version of the larger, surrounding universe.
  • Harmony between two opposing yet complementary forces, called yin and yang, supports health, and disease results from an imbalance between these forces.
  • Five elements—fire, earth, wood, metal, and water—symbolically represent all phenomena, including the stages of human life, and explain the functioning of the body and how it changes during disease.
  • Qi, a vital energy that flows through the body, performs multiple functions in maintaining health.

Safety

The FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices and requires that the needles be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported. Some Chinese herbal products may be safe, but others may not be. There have been reports of products being contaminated with drugs, toxins, or heavy metals or not containing the listed ingredients. Some of the herbs used in Chinese medicine can interact with drugs, can have serious side effects, or may be unsafe for people with certain medical conditions. Reported complications of moxibustion include allergic reactions, burns, and infections, but how often these events occur is not known. Both moxibustion and cupping (applying a heated cup to the skin to create a slight suction) may mark the skin, usually temporarily. Tai chi and qi gong are considered to be generally safe practices.


Additional questions you might have:

Does it hurt?

Demetra is highly experienced in gentle needling techniques. Some acupuncture points will provide no sensation at all; other may feel heavy when needled, as if a stone is resting on the area, or have slight tingle. Points on the tips of the fingers, on the face, and in some other sensitive areas, may have a brief ‘zing’ when placed but shouldn’t register as painful by common standards. The act of needling itself results in the body’s natural release of endorphins, bringing about a feeling of calm and lightness.

And if you are afraid of needles, you are not alone! Many people have had negative experiences with needles, whether in a conventional medical office, while receiving acupuncture from a ‘heavy-handed’ acupuncture practitioner, or just being naturally needle-shy. You will be relieved to find that the needles we use at our clinic are about the size of long eyelashes and even thinner. They are more like hairs than needles, and an almost-universal experience for first-time clients being needled is to say, “Oh! That was nothing!”

What does acupuncture treat?

Because acupuncture treatments engage with the body’s fascial network and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of ‘fight-or-flight’, also known as ‘rest-and-repair’), acupuncture can help to varying degrees with a wide variety of health conditions. A partial list includes:

  • Musculoskeletal: Neck pain, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, back pain, knee pain, sciatica, foot pain, sports injuries, post-surgical pain, overuse symdromes
  • Neurological/Nervous System: headache, insomnia, stroke, stress disorders, Bell’s palsy, thyroid disorders, neuralgia, epilepsy
  • Reproductive: infertility (male/female), menstrual pain, PMS, menopause, pregnancy, cysts, low libido
  • Respiratory: asthma, cough, sore throat, common cold, hay fever, allergies
  • Gastrointestinal: constipation, diarrhea, acid reflux, nausea, stomach pain, poor digestion, IBS, colitis
  • Others: Heart disorders, high/low blood pressure, chronic fatigue, support during cancer treatment, prostate disorders, addiction and recovery, accident-related injuries, anxiety & depression, skin disorders.

What is cupping?

Cupping therapy uses suction to put negative pressure on connective tissue and muscles to increase circulation and relax stiff muscles. Traditional cups are glass while modern ones can be made of silicone or plastic. Your practitioner will apply coconut oil on your back, put the cups over the areas to be treated and then slide them around before leaving them to work their magic.

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

Almost everybody who gets acupuncture will need a series of treatments to get good results. Most treatment plans begin with 6-8 weeks of regular treatments to get results and go on from there. These suggestions are based on our experience with treating different kinds of conditions. If you don’t come in often enough or long enough, acupuncture probably won’t work for you.

​Acupuncture treatments can take time to work and to provide lasting results. While some patients will feel immediate relief or a measurable lessening of symptoms with each treatment, this does not mean your condition is gone for good. A good analogy is the use of antibiotics in western medicine. With antibiotics, you are not asked to take a pill once. Instead you are prescribed a course of treatment that can last for days or weeks. You might feel markedly better after a short time, but you still need to complete the course of treatment. Acupuncture is the same. We are slowly changing the way your body is balanced, and this is not something that typically happens in one treatment. Your body needs time to learn how to balance itself, so it won’t revert to its old ways.

Testimonials

“Demetra made me feel so comfortable right away. She is amazingly warm and is really attentive. I feel she genuinely cares about helping people and that is her main goal. When you are having a particularly bad day she genuinely expresses her concern and does her magic to try to help any physical pain. I have been going for several months and the neuropathy in my feet is improving steadily and I have to say I am feeling much more relaxed and sleeping better too (a welcome side effect).” ~Debbie G.

“I’d always been too nervous to try acupuncture because I really don’t like needles. However, I’ve had bad migraines for years and a friend recommended it. Demetra is fantastic. She did a great job getting to know me and my issues during our first appointment. She took into consideration my issue with needles and I had no problems at all. I’ve returned once a month or every other month and my migraines have been much better. I highly recommend Demetra.” Jessica R.

“Really wonderful first acupuncture experience, thank you Demetra. Demetra was very easygoing to make the whole experience very simple/ relaxing. Will be back soon, thanks for your knowledge and dedication, definitely really helped to quiet my overactive mind and allow natural self-healing. Keep up the excellent work, highly recommend and will be telling my friends/ colleagues about this.” Theresa G.

“I’ve been studying for an excruciating test for the past year (CPA) and was experiencing an extremely hard time focusing, not to mention the anxiety that comes with studying for a major test. A week before my first test, I decided that I needed to do something to help me focus—- everything I was previously doing was not cutting it. Almost immediately after the acupuncture session, I felt unusually calm and grounded.  My mind, for once, was not in a million places at one time. Later that day, I was studying for my test, and noticed that it was easier for me to focus and retain knowledge. I do believe that it does work and has helped me with my test taking.” Clarissa P.