Acupuncture points are stimulated via needles or pressure to restore the proper circulation of qi which helps bring the body back into a balanced and healthy state. While Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms, Chinese medicine’s goal is to treat the root cause of the illness while alleviating accompanying symptoms.

Originating in China over 3,000 years ago, acupuncture is the oldest continually practiced medical system in the world. The ancient Chinese recognized the vital energy behind all of life’s processes. It is believed that this energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”), circulates throughout the body along meridians or channels. If this energy flow is disrupted, normal physiological function is affected resulting in pain or illness.


Your first appointment is an opportunity for you to tell me about your symptoms. A first typical treatment includes:

  • A complete health history intake

  • Chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis

  • Acupuncture treatment (needle retention)

  • Other Traditional Chinese therapies as needed

  • (ie. Moxabustion, cupping)

  • Chinese herbal recommendations (as needed)

  • Dietary/lifestyle recommendations



Made from organic substances such as plants, flowers and minerals, Chinese medicinals are the precursors of Western pharmaceuticals. Unlike their synthetic counterparts however, Chinese herbs rarely elicit side effects and have been proven safe during thousands of years of use.

Chinese herbal prescriptions are highly specific in the actions, temperature and flavor and are carefully combined to treat individual needs. Depending on the nature of your complaint, you may be prescribed Chinese patent herbs.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete health care system with a history and depth that spans thousands of years. Not only does TCM treat modern day ailments, but it also enhances recuperative power, immunity, mental/emotional balance, and great vitality. TCM addresses the root of the disease as well as the symptoms. Health is achieved, and disease prevented, by maintaining the body in a balanced state.

The principles of TCM mirror that of the natural world by seeking to improve the capacity to renew our resources and create harmony between the mind and body. Chinese medicine is based on the belief that we live in a universe in which everything is inter-connected. What happens to one part of the body affect every other part of the body. The mind and body are not viewed separately, but as part of an energetic system.




A committee of the United Nations World Health Organization and the National Insitute of Health have endorsed acupuncture as safe and effective treatment for a wide range of conditions including:

  • Arthritis

  • Menopause

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Infertility

  • Low back pain

  • PMS

  • Asthma

  • Hypertension

  • Allergies

  • Depression

  • Sinusitis

  • Tendonitis

  • Headache

  • Insomnia

  • Chronic Fatigue

  • Nervous tension

  • Sciatica

  • Carpal Tunnel


Acupuncture points are stimulated via needles or pressure to restore the proper circulation of qi which helps bring the body back into a balanced and healthy state. While Western medicine focuses on treating symptoms, Chinese medicine’s goal is to treat the root cause of the illness while alleviating accompanying symptoms.

| Melinda Choy, LAc, CEO Elevate Wellness Center

Often I am asked the question, “Why did you decide to become an acupuncturist?”  In writing my biography, I decided to answer this question for you. It’s a long story and it came about from life experiences throughout many years.  My simplest answer is that I’m an activist and environmentalist.  I graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a BA Degree in Political Science and a minor in Global Peace and Security.  I received an internship position my senior year in Washington, D.C. with Amnesty International.  After a week at my dream internship, my mother came to the end of her battle with cancer. 

That experience shook up my world and my perspective on everything.  How could I be focused on trying to change the whole world and not be able to affect a single person?  I’m not trying to heal people to heal my mother, nor do I think that I could have saved her.  It’s only that I saw that healing and change needs to come from deep within.  It also needs to come from looking at a dynamic and complex body in physical, emotional, and spiritual planes.  My experience with acupuncture has affected my life personally.  I think that medicine and healing is a personal journey.

That is the experience that I want to provide for my patients at Elevate Wellness Center.  A place for personal healing and growth, whatever it may be: back pain, insomnia, infertility, etc.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) allows for us to see the big picture and the root of disease.  TCM is a long tradition of healing that is proven by its growth and popularity over the last 20 years.  The science is in the 2000 years of practice and it’s continued success in treating a variety of conditions.  I felt that these were the tools that I wanted to have to enrich my life and for those around me.

Elevate Wellness Center provides an opportunity for people to change their lives one step at a time.  I strive to create a supportive environment where my patients feel empowered and informed to realize that their health is in their own hands.  Making good decisions for your body is making good decisions for our environment on a micro and macrocosmic level.  My favorite Thich Nhat Hahn quote is, “Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos ~ the trees, the clouds, everything . . .”  Thus, I feel accomplished in my work as an activist for the human right of being healthy and an environmentalist.

In case you are interested in everything else that comes along with a bio, here it is.  I graduated from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz in 2003 and received a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I started my practice in South Lake Tahoe in 2004.  While in school, I apprenticed with a long time local acupuncturist in Santa Cruz.   I also studied at the Zhejiang University in China.  I am a Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of California and have my National Certification in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology.


Adults (10 +)

  • New Patient / 1.5 hrs / $135

  • Follow Up / 1 hr / $85

Children (10 & under)

  • New Patient / 1 hr / $110

  • Follow Up / 30 min / $55

We accept some types of insurance. Please call us for an estimation of benefits. 

We also offer discounted rates for multi-session packages.


| Jessica Cerasoli, LAc., RN (BSN)

My personal experience with complementary and alternative medicine began at a very young age. One of my fondest childhood memories is the smell and experience when going to see the herbalist for earaches and eczema. Through dietary modifications I was able to correct these branch symptoms by focusing on the root of the pattern. This experience highlighted the connection between nutritional choices and my physical and emotional well being. Ultimately, this transpired into motivating me into making conscious decisions about my overall health and well being.

My literal mind was curious to know how it was that what I put into my body would
ultimately have an effect on my physical and emotional wellbeing. I enrolled in anatomy and
physiology and was in complete awe. The more I learn the greater my desire to share my
knowledge with others, leading to my interest in working in health care. I decided to begin my training as a nurse. I received my bachelors of Science degree in nursing from Orvis School of Nursing at the University of Nevada, Reno. I worked at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV on the general surgical unit before returning home and working with my community at Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, CA on the medical/surgical and orthopedic units.

This was a very exciting time and it was also a very stressful time in my life. The pace that I was going at combined with emotional and physical stress came to a head. I found myself in the ER looking for answers to why my body was failing-I had a schedule to keep up with!

Looking back, I was a product of our modern society; I was burning the candle at both ends and this was the way my body was responding. I had burned up all of my reserves, completely disabling my body’s ability to manage daily stressors. This is when I discovered acupuncture. It was extremely helpful in rebuilding and resetting my system and assisting me in pealing back the layers and addressing the root of this pattern I was stuck in. I almost immediately knew I wanted to return to school and practice Chinese medicine.

I returned to school and graduated from Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, CA, where I received my Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and became a licensed Acupuncturist. My internship focused on Integrative sports medicine and orthopedics with emphasis on pain management. My desire and passion is in providing high quality care and working with all members of the health care team to help elevate others to reach their individual, optimal health.