Before becoming a doula & birthworker, I had NO understanding of what acupuncture was or what it could help with as far as health & wellness goes. I had read a few research articles that indicated people can be successfully treated for a myriad of ailments using acupuncture, including back pain, weight loss, and fertility support. However, I had never met anyone who had actually done acupuncture in my life. Then came the doula trainings. In the Orange County birth world, acupuncture & chiropractic go hand in hand as regularly recommended resources. Acupuncture is known as one of the best ways to support the pregnant woman's body, and its usefulness is expansive. In pregnancy, acupuncture has been cited to reduce nausea, the risk of miscarriage, & the need for medical induction procedures. Your Birth Team's own Brandy Ferner has utilized acupuncture at multiple fertility stages. First, when she and her husband were planning to have a family, she saw an acupuncturist to help regulate her menstrual cycles. Then, when her midwife told her that her son was presenting as breech in the womb, she saw an acupuncturist again to help turn him in order to continue on her home birth path.
Finally, after years of hearing about others’ positive experiences with acupuncture, I decided to try it in order to figure out if some of the things I was experiencing in my own body could be remedied. Attending multiple births a month & caring for babies all week definitely takes its toll physically! So, I began seeing Kristin Hauser, a Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist, Birth Doula, & Certified Sex Educator & Practitioner of Women’s Holistic Sexuality in Costa Mesa, CA. I knew Kristin from the doula circles I’m in and she came highly recommended by clients who utilized her services during pregnancy & even during labor. While acupuncture's inner workings are still somewhat of a mystery to me, I can definitely say I've seen an improvement in my low back pain, heel discomfort, & general well-being. Kristin even cleared up my sinuses after two bouts of illness this winter season. I woke up the day after her treatment able to breathe again and now I'm hooked on acupuncture for wellness! Naturally, I want to share this amazing provider with the greater Orange County community and provide a resource for our birth & postpartum doula clients. Here's what Kristin has to say about her work as a women's health provider & acupuncturist...
Finding a Healing Path
"I feel like I got started in the field of women’s health and sexuality initially through my own personal struggles and health challenges as a woman. It was more than a decade ago that I realized that the modern medical approach was not actually addressing my concerns. I knew there had to be another way and I was determined to discover my own healing potential.
Fortunately, I grew up in a family that was very prone to choosing healing methods outside the western medical model. This gave me the foundation to explore many healing pathways and modalities from a young age. So, when I did have some challenges around my menstrual and sexual health, I knew where to look for options beyond oral contraceptives or surgical procedures.
My own healing journey inspired me to want to make this knowledge and embodied wisdom available to all women. This desire to serve something greater than myself and change the limiting cultural narratives around being a woman in today’s world is my driving force. I truly believe that radical transformation of our larger culture for the benefit of all beings is currently being shaped by women who are empowered in their bodies and connected to their sexuality and femininity.
My place in the weaving of this bigger-than-life tapestry is in respectful, embodied, and intuitive women’s healthcare and education that merges modern medical understanding with ancient wisdom. This is the path that has unfolded for me since my early 20’s.
After finishing my undergraduate education in Spanish Language and Literature alongside pre-medicine bio-sciences, I spent a few years travelling and diving into other ways of being in the world beyond what I had previously known. This opened my mind and heart to the years that followed. During this time, I also spent 8 weeks in India studying yoga and meditation and became a certified yoga instructor."
Orange County Focus...
"I later returned to the USA to study Chinese Medicine at Southern California University of Health Sciences, earning a Master's Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. During my time there, I completed a birth doula certification and began working with women through the mystery of birth. This gave me a deeper understanding of cultural belief systems that are ingrained in women’s healthcare and affect all of us. This further encouraged me to focus my practice as an Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist on women’s healthcare, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
I have been practicing as a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in Orange County since 2015. I also work with women virtually providing mentoring, education, and embodied support around menstrual health, sexuality, and spirituality. My most recent educational endeavor was becoming a Certified Sex Educator and Practitioner of Women’s Holistic Sexuality through The Artemis School, which I completed in 2016. This has allowed me to provide more full spectrum support to women and provide a safe container for exploring a topic that is not commonly taken into consideration in modern medicine.
My mission is to guide women through a transformational journey that allows them to gain deep insight into their own healing potential and capacity for embodied expression. In this way, together we can shift the paradigm around women’s healthcare, sexuality and empowered expression in the world."
What Acupuncture Sessions Look Like
Acupuncture, or any other new-to-you healing modality, may at first make us feel uneasy. If needles are absolutely terrifying to you, this might not be the best approach to your care. If you're on the fence, though, I'd like to share some specifics to help you get a clearer picture of what this process entails.
You don't dive right into the needle-work. The acupuncturist usually spends at least a few minutes discussing what is going on in your body, assessing your pulse, & may check your tongue for health signs before ever having you get on a table.
The needles do hurt (to most), but only for a split-second. It feels like a tiny pinch. The weirdest part for me is that one side of my body always reacts more sensitively than the other. Kristin says this shifts throughout the day and is normal.
Falling asleep is recommended, if possible. You do need to be able to stay relatively still on the table, whether face-up or face-down. The more you move, the more sensitive the skin around the needle can feel.
When the needle is removed, any skin sensitivity or discomfort at the needle's site disappears instantly. It's pretty astonishing.
You may need to take a few moments to stand back up or walk around. I've felt lighter and drowsier (think super relaxed state) for up to 10 minutes following a session.
You may see results quickly or you may need a plan of care that spans weeks. It just depends on your goals and what's going on in your body.
For Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine services, Kristin is currently located at
2900 Bristol St. Building J, Suite 106 in Costa Mesa, CA next to The Lab.
Free parking is widely available.
Monday and Wednesday from 11am-6pm, Thursday 9am-4pm, & Saturday 9am-1pm.
Some insurance plans are accepted.
Call to inquire! Cash paying patients do receive a discount.
~$150 for an initial consultation and treatment lasting 90 minutes
~$85 for follow up visits lasting 60 minutes.
~Home visits available for an additional $50 travel fee. **This is a popular option for women who are close to giving birth or immediately postpartum and want support in their own environment!**
~Virtual mentoring support sessions, including a 60-minute recorded video session with Kristin & follow up email support are also available. $150/session, $500/4 sessions.
Risks of Acupuncture while Pregnant, Birthing, & Breastfeeding:
In regards to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, the risks are limited when working with a practitioner that specializes in this area. With acupuncture, there is always a minimal risk of getting a small bruise on the skin that usually fades within a short period of time. With Chinese herbal medicine, there are risks associated with herbs that should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so it’s important to work with a qualified professional who has experience in this area. There are many Chinese herbs that are safe and have a long history of use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Workshops & Events with Kristin
Kristin offers an amazing 3-month virtual mentorship for women on a path to embodied, conscious conception. You can read more about this at www.wombmedicine.com. Enrollment will open again at the end of the year, so check back and sign up for her newsletter for updates. All other workshops, classes or special events are updated on her website and Facebook page.
How to Reach Kristin & Learn More
You can visit www.healingiswithin.us or www.wombmedicine.com to read more about Kristin's work and offerings. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healingiswithinus. You can also reach her directly via email at Kristin@healingiswithin.us or via phone at (714) 202-7896.
Amanda Cagle is a childbirth educator, doula, yoga teacher, & more in Orange County, CA.
Learn more about her or Your Birth Team HERE!