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Karen DeBraal

"My goal was to work at the Los Angeles Zoo," says Karen DeBraal, who grew up in nearby Glendora. She earned a two-year degree in vet tech, studied zoology at Cal Poly Pomona, then worked as a zookeeper for four years. "I was severely disillusioned," she says. "I thought zoos should be genetic arks and participate in reintroduction." DeBraal moved to Santa Cruz, where she worked for Greenpeace, served as media rep for Earth First!, and returned to school at UCSC for a degree in environmental science. After graduating in 1986, she suffered a severe head injury in a car wreck. "I got acupuncture during recovery," she says. "I was inspired to learn it." She cared for a friend with AIDS until he died, then worked for an in-home care agency while completing a four-year master's program at Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. "I'm licensed in acupuncture and certified in Chinese herbology," she notes. DeBraal and Tom Kruzik, her partner of 30 years, moved to Springfield in 2007. She took a job at Evergreen Nutrition and practiced acupuncture at home until September of 2014, when she opened Wise Turtle Acupuncture at 807 A Street, Suite D, in Springfield. WTA offers affordable community acupuncture sessions in a room equipped with recliners and massage tables. "I can see as many as eight people at once," she says, "or as few as one." She also schedules private treatments, either acupuncture or Acutonics, where tuning forks are used in place of needles. Find details online, or drop by during Springfield's Second Friday Art Walk to check out the facility and the monthly exhibit.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 5 March 2015

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