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How To Thrive In The Modern World: A Layperson's Guide To Chinese Medicine

About Me

I am the proud mother of three boys, including a set of identical twins.

About Me About Me

Conditions that benefit from treatment

In 2002, the World Health Organization published a comprehensive review and analysis of controlled clinical trials on acupuncture

Conditions that benefit from treatment Conditions that benefit from treatment

Women's health and infertility

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have proven effective for many common women's health concerns.

Women's health and infertility Women's health and infertility

What is Chinese medicine?

Chinese Medicine (CM) is a highly effective method of health care that has successfully treated billions of people over the past 2,500 years. In fact,currently one-quarter of the world’s population makes use of Chinese medicine!

What is Chinese medicine? What is Chinese medicine?

How does acupuncture work?

Although acupuncture may seem mysterious, the mechanism behind its effectiveness is quite simple.

How does acupuncture work? How does acupuncture work?

The three free therapies

Meditation, contemplative prayer, or using prayer beads (such as rosary, chotkis, or mala beads) can be an important adjunct to treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

The three free therapies The three free therapies

Dietary recommendations

In order to maximize the impact of acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment, it is important to make sure that you are making good choices when it comes to the foods you eat and your other habits.

Dietary recommendations Dietary recommendations

Bach Flower Therapy

Bach Flower Therapy is an ideal adjunct to acupuncture and often brings about an even deeper level of healing than acupuncture does alone.

Bach Flower Therapy Bach Flower Therapy


Can I ask a favor?


Live Oak Acupuncture & Wellness Center is supported in part by patients purchasing products (herbal medicines, dietary supplements, essential oils, etc.) from me. It is no exaggeration to say that I have invested hundreds of hours of time and tens of thousands of dollars into selecting the products that I recommend and sell to you. For each product that you see on my shelves, I have researched and tested dozens of others. I have spent over a decade researching and testing herbal medicine and dietary supplements and only carry the best... [Read more...]

Why dōTERRA essential oils?


JOIN OUR NEWSLETTERJoin nearly 1,000 subscribers to receive exclusive content every month, including essential oil recipes, protocols, and invitations to members-only events.We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else. Why did I chose dōTERRA essential oils? Several months ago a patient introduced me to dōTERRA essential oils. I was reluctant to spend much time looking at the catalog and other materials that she gave me for two reasons. First, about ten years ago I spent several hundred dollars... [Read more...]

Differences of opinion regarding essential oil safety

Sibling Rivalry

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTERJoin nearly 1,000 subscribers to receive exclusive content every month, including essential oil recipes, protocols, and invitations to members-only events.We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else. “To get out from underneath these layers of trumped up concerns, the whole safety and toxicity discussion needs to be turned upside down. Instead of perpetuating mantras about imaginary dangers, the inherently benign nature of essential oils needs to be recognized.” –... [Read more...]

Five ways you’re not living with chronic illness


I absolutely LOVE this article. The author shares insight that only a sufferer of chronic illness could have. I have included the article in its entirety here (with links to the site that originally published it and the author’s website) because I believe it is so important and insightful.     by Ilana Jacqueline, freelance writer and patient advocate. Published in The Huffington Post A fine line, ladies and gentleman, its what stands between living with chronic illness and being alive with chronic illness. I’ve straddled... [Read more...]

Promoting emotional balance with essential oils

human piriform cortex

This article is the fourth in a recent series I have written about emotions and how they impact our physical health. You can find the first three articles here: Stress as the primary cause of modern disease Are you suffering from unresolved anger? I had a black dog, his name was depression If you have been around me lately, you have probably heard me talk about essential oils. Complementary and natural medicine has been my vocation for twenty years but I have never been more excited about anything than I am about certified pure therapeutic... [Read more...]

I had a black dog, his name was depression


In previous posts I have written about the effect that stress and unresolved anger can have on physical and emotional health. Today I’d like to discuss depression. From the point of view of Chinese medicine, depression is the result of unresolved emotions (especially anger) turned inward and “deep-pressed”. When the energy of anger is not allowed to motive us to change our lives and relationships, the eventual result is the energetic collapse that is characteristic of depression. Depressed individuals feel cut off... [Read more...]

Your body as a garden


The concept of gardening gives us an excellent illustration for the theories behind Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. Imagine you are a gardener whose job it is to help a garden thrive. To help nature along, you must provide necessities such as water and fertilizer. You must make sure plants receive the right amount of sun, and you must weed out any undesirable elements. Gardening takes time and effort, but the reward is a beautiful, healthy garden, abundant with flowers and vegetables. One of the philosophies underlying... [Read more...]

An extra hour of sleep increases healthy gene expression

Radiant woman sleeping on her bed

The BBC recently conducted a short study to assess the health effects of an extra hour of sleep. The article is well worth reading. Two high points: During deep sleep memories are consolidated and moved into long-term storage. This consolidation must take place within 24 hours or the memories are lost. This is why it is important to prioritize adequate sleep during times when you are learning new things (e.g. finals week, the first few months in a new job, etc.) The REM sleep phase is the only time, day or night, when the body stops producing... [Read more...]

What to expect from the early phases of treatment


Did you ever notice that the biggest hill of a rollercoaster is always somewhere in the beginning of the ride? This is so that the cars can develop enough momentum from the first hill to propel them through the rest of the course. Getting to the top of that first hill, however, takes some work. The full weight of the cars must be towed up the hill from a standing start before they can be released at the top. In fact, if the ride contains a really gigantic summit, sometimes you are pulled up a smaller hill first and then the momentum from... [Read more...]

Are you suffering from unresolved anger?


As I wrote about here, in Chinese medicine we believe that the primary cause of disease in adults is unresolved emotions. In my clinical experience, unresolved anger is particularly common and troublesome. It is unusual for me to encounter patients whose health problems are not caused (at least in part) by unresolved anger (Liver Qi stagnation, in Chinese medicine parlance). At times it can be difficult to identify unresolved anger in ourselves, however. We are so adept at hiding it, even from ourselves, that we think it is not there.... [Read more...]

Acupuncture…alternative to what?


You have probably heard acupuncture referred to at some point as “alternative medicine” but classifying acupuncture this way is based on two erroneous assumptions. First, it implies that acupuncture is a runner-up or a contingency plan to turn to when medicine inevitably falls short, or should one choose not to utilize medicine in the first place. Second, it implies that acupuncture is a type of medicine, albeit an alternative type. To set the record straight, acupuncture stands alone in the detection and correction of the body’s... [Read more...]

Once I start, do I have to get acupuncture forever?

teeth with braces

One of the biggest myths about acupuncture is that “once you start, you have to go forever.” First of all, it is entirely up to you how long you choose to continue to get treatments. Of course, like any other healthy habit, the longer you maintain it, the better your quality of life. But just to clear up some confusion, let’s look at the process of a comprehensive schedule of acupuncture care in another light. Perhaps the most apt analogy for continuing care for the meridian system is reconstructive orthodontics for your teeth. Both... [Read more...]

Are you stuck in first gear?

First Gear

Imagine you are driving down the road with your gas pedal to the floor. Your car runs great and gets you to where you need to be. All is good. But then you look around and notice that everyone else is whizzing right by you. Determined to keep up with those around you, you take your car into the shop and have the mechanic give it a good once-over. The mechanic finds that while you have been getting to where you need to be, you have been doing so while driving in only one gear. In actuality, he discovers that your car has an entire set of... [Read more...]

Does it hurt?


This is the number one most common question that I get, whether I am talking to a prospective patient or if I’m chatting about what I do for a living at a cocktail party. The simple answer to this question is “no, not nearly as much as you would think”.  Most first time patients are surprised and pleased to find that acupuncture treatment is a relaxing and pleasant experience. If I could have a nickel for every time a patient left their first appointment saying “if I had known it was going to be that painless and easy... [Read more...]

Kids love acupuncture!

Voa, age 3, loves acupuncture! She has nine needles in her body in this picture — they are so small that they are hard to see.

Voa, age 3, loves acupuncture! She has nine needles in her body in this picture — they are so small that they are hard to see. Really?! Kids can get acupuncture? Yes! Acupuncture works by activating and focusing the body’s own self-healing capacity and, because children’s self-healing capacity is much stronger than that of most adults, we often see remarkably quick and dramatic treatment results in children. While many adults have physical or emotional health problems are very firmly entrenched, children often require much shorter... [Read more...]

Are we headed for a post antibiotic era?


In my last post I described a protocol for handling sinus infections without resorting to antibiotics. Over the weekend I read this article and it reminded me that it is important to spread the word far and wide — we need to stop resorting to antibiotics to treat ourselves and our children as routinely as we do today. Rather than trundling off to the doctor’s office for an amoxicillin prescription as soon as our child develops a sniffle or a fever, we need to take the common sense watch and wait approach that many public health... [Read more...]

Are you ready for the central Texas cedar season? Part 2

Young blonde female blowing her nose

Click here for part one of this article. More so than other allergies, cedar allergies seem create a fertile ground for bacterial and fungal infections of the sinuses. It is very common for cedar allergy sufferers to be plagued by almost constant sinus pressure and headaches and to fall prey to at least one or two sinus infections each year, typically timed inconveniently to fall in the middle of the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. Your sinuses — a cozy home for bacteria and fungi Your sinuses are warm and moist and are therefore... [Read more...]

Are you ready for the central Texas cedar season? Part 1

Sunlight through cedar trees at  Cheverny Chateau parkl. France Series

When I moved here from Colorado ten years ago, I had never heard of cedar fever. I was accustomed to a Spring and Fall allergy season, but all the allergy sufferers that I knew in Colorado got a break from their symptoms during the winter. That is why I was surprised to meet so many people in Waco whose WORST allergy season starts around Thanksgiving and extends through January or February. And, even more so than other allergens, cedar allergies seem to lay the groundwork for some really nasty secondary infections — all the way from... [Read more...]

Live Oak Acupuncture moving to Westrock Center, Waco TX

Today is my last day of seeing patients at 305 Londonderry. I am moving to the Westrock Center on Hewitt Drive and will be open for business there on Monday November 4. I am excited about the new location, which I believe will bring all kinds of good things for my family and my patients. But moving is bittersweet because Londonderry has been such a cozy home for my practice and my family. As my kids said, “we have so many memories here!” I moved into the Londonderry office in 2006, when my twins were 10 months old and my oldest... [Read more...]

Exciting new NON-NEEDLE treatment available!

Disco and laser show

Perfect for those who are scared of needles I am excited to announce that I am now offering laser acupuncture. This non-needle treatment is perfect for babies, children, and anyone who is frightened of needles. This treatment is extremely safe and uses 450 nm (calming blue) and 635 nm (stimulating red) cold lasers to stimulate acupoints. The really cool thing about this treatment is that recent research suggests that acupuncture meridians function like optical fibers or “light pipes” and transmit light energy throughout the... [Read more...]

The Science of Acupuncture Documentary

A great and very informative documentary from the BBC. Thanks to Shae Doty-Whisenhunt for passing this onto me!  Read More →

Getting more out of fewer acupuncture treatments


If you are like most people, you do not have the time or money to go to acupuncture on a weekly basis any longer than you absolutely have to. You are eager to get relief from your health concern and get on with your life! I completely understand and feel the same way when I seek acupuncture for my own health problems. People often ask me what they can do at home to support the acupuncture they are getting at my office. Here is a great article on this topic: The Five Best Complements to Acupuncture. By following the advice in this article,... [Read more...]

Auriculotherapy in the News


For the past ten years I have made frequent use of ear pellets, seeds, and tacks (also called auriculotherapy) to reinforce the effect of the acupuncture treatments I perform in my office. I have found this treatment to be of key importance in the long-term management of chronic pain in many of my patients. Auriculotherapy has been in the news a lot lately, from Penelope Cruz being photographed at a recent event with tiny gold balls on acupuncture points in her ears to the United States Air Force developing an auriculotherapy protocol... [Read more...]

Chinese New Year — a second chance to get your new year’s resolutions right

Oriental calligraphy 2013: Chinese Year of Snake, shape of a sna

It’s about a month into the New Year. Do you already wish you had a do-over for your New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you’re in luck. You do. February 10th is the Chinese lunar New Year. The celebration of the New Year, the Spring Festival, is China’s longest and most important holiday. Because it is based on a different calendar, it falls on a different date between January 21 and February 20 every year. You can think of Spring Festival as Christmas and New Year all rolled into one. Just like our holiday season,... [Read more...]

Kristen featured on KCEN news talking about acupuncture for migraines – KCEN HD – Waco, Temple, and Killeen  Read More →

When acupuncture doesn’t work


This article piggy-backs on my last post about How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I Need? I couldn’t have summarized things any better than Mei Li has, so I will just link directly to her article — I highly recommend that you take the time to read it: When Acupuncture Doesn’t Work By the time people make it through my door, they are generally exasperated and desperate. This is because the acupuncturist isn’t the first stop for most Americans when they develop a health problem. Most new patients that I see have... [Read more...]

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

antique wood number abstract

This is one of the first questions that most people considering acupuncture have. We are all busy and money doesn’t grow on trees. It is natural to feel impatient and to hope for a dramatic and rapid results from a new treatment. The short answer to this question is that an “average” initial course of treatment consists of eight to ten sessions, with most people noticing a clear benefit within three to four sessions. Usually during the initial course of treatment sessions are scheduled on a weekly basis. Many chronic problems... [Read more...]

Stress as the primary cause of modern disease


Conventional health care providers have just caught onto the notion that disease can be caused or at least perpetuated by emotional factors – just last night I saw a segment on the news that featured a MD at Harvard University who is “pioneering” the use of deep relaxation and meditation for the prevention and treatment of disease.  In reality, the idea that mental and emotional stress can cause disease is very old.  Chinese medical practitioners have espoused this idea for over 2,000 years.  In fact, according to ancient Chinese... [Read more...]

Acupuncture for pain


Although acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of conditions, it is mostly widely renown in the United States as a treatment for pain. In general, there are three types of pain patients who walk in the door of an acupuncture clinic: Patients with acute pain – This type of pain is typically the result of an injury. A good example would be an ankle sprain. In this case, pain serves as an alarm that signals you to rest and protect the painful area long enough for it to heal. In a way that is not yet understood by science, acupuncture... [Read more...]

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1424364_10151787399630732_1749379234_nMy name is Kristen Horner Warren. I use a combination of natural methods, including acupuncture, essential oils, herbal medicine, and practical dietary and lifestyle recommendations to help people find relief from chronic and difficult to treat health concerns.

Since 2003 I have helped thousands of Central Texans with conditions ranging from arthritis to anxiety, chronic pain to cedar fever, fertility enhancement to fibromyalgia, and sciatica to shingles (as well as many more!) Under my care, patients experience relief from symptoms, improved energy, enhanced sleep, and increased peace of mind. Time and again, patients have told me that they no longer feel overwhelmed or stuck when it comes to their health and that they are filled with joy and satisfaction because they have been able to return to full participation in their lives.

In my office you and/or your child will receive careful, individualized attention and a treatment plan that is personally tailored for your body and your life. I will listen carefully to you so that we can get to the root cause of your health concerns (rather than just covering up your symptoms) and activate your body’s own ability to regain homeostasis, heal itself, and maintain dynamic balance in the face of the stress of your busy life.

To read dozens of comments from patients like you whose lives have been changed by acupuncture and herbal medicine, please click here. To learn more about my background and what makes me so passionate about the work I do, please click here. To learn more about the core values that guide me personally and professionally, please click here. To learn more about acupuncture and other topics, hover your mouse over the Services link on the top menu bar.