Dr. Viveka S. Rucker
D.A.C.M., L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., A.C.N.
Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine,
Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist,
Diplomate in Oriental Medicine,
Applied Clinical Nutritionist
Professional background & highlights
Executive Assistant, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority 1989 – 1994
Reiki 1 1994
Certified Therap-Ease Jin Shin Jyutsu Acupressurist 1994
Licensed Massage and Acupressure Therapist 1995 - 2021
Master’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with honors, Yo San University, Los Angeles 2003
California Licensed Acupuncturist & Herbalist 2003
National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental medicine Certified Diplomate in Oriental Medicine 2003
Certified Clinical Nutritionist Southern California University of Health Sciences 2013
Doctorate in Acupuncture & Chinese medicine, with honors, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine 2019
Co-Founder – Healing Compass & Qi Center DBA Healing Compass Natural Health Center 2011
Instructor: Qi Gong in the Park class 2011-2014
Speaking presentations at various groups including Rotary, Kiwanis, and Chamber of Commerce
Purification program and Blood Sugar Management program presentations for Healing Compass Natural Health Center
Invited alumni speaker at Yo San University forum offered for senior year students
Writer for Acupuncture Today online education “Ask the Doctor” series
Co-writer, articles on Chinese medicine, complementary cancer care and nutrition for “Your Health Connection” magazine
Welcome To My Practice
What I want for you is the same thing I want for myself and our community-at-large:
• To enjoy a long and healthy life with the least amount of mental, emotional, or physical illness and debility.
• To avoid or minimize illness and disease conditions by continually cultivating health and well-being in ways that are natural, sustainable, and in harmony with the other aspects of our lives, our personal environment, and the planet.
• To actively promote optimal functioning and well-being on an ongoing basis, rather than only after something has already gone wrong.
• To be as resilient as possible, preventing and overcoming illness as quickly and as naturally as possible.
• To successfully manage any chronic issues in ways that not only relieve symptoms but support healthy function and are free of adverse effects.
• To have a maintenance care and first line health treatment plan that is the most natural, least-invasive, and health supporting - one that leaves each person on the healthiest trajectory for the long term.
The above is my interpretation of the term “health care.” My desire is to help you create the conditions under which your body can heal, help you thrive in your life, so that like me, you can actually feel better as you age, not worse. Yes! This is possible! Western medicine refers to this as “Lifestyle Medicine,” which is something usually not afforded by conventional care. Yet, it is the other part of the equation needed if we want it all to add up to successful health care.
Cultivating health rather than just managing disease is not a passive medicine. Physical treatment is important and involved in this type of care, but to get optimal results requires us to be open to growing more and more into the lifestyle patterns that really support us mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Gradually new habits replace the old and become satisfying and “normal.” The process of change and healing depends on many factors and is different for everyone. Naturally, as the level of participation increases, it usually increases the pace of recovery. The insights and discovery of how well and fulfilled you can be, are of course, ongoing.
As someone who is walking this path myself, I have had to confront many of my own pitfalls along the way. I struggle too sometimes and am by no means perfectly taking care of myself 100% of the time. Who is? But I am now well equipped with the tools and long-established habits that bring me back into balance. I have great compassion for each of us on this journey towards true well-being on all the levels that occurs on. It is not a race and there is no score. It is a life that we want to live well.
What your care with me looks like:
My desire is to thoroughly understand your concerns in the context of your life, your labs, your health history, environment, preferences, what brings you joy, what challenges have been in the way and what inspires you, so that I can provide meaningful support for your goals. I aim to provide the personalized professional guidance, acupuncture, nutritional and herbal medicine treatments that help you achieve the health and well-being you’d like to have. The first visit including consultation and treatment is about 2-hours. Telehealth initial consultations are about 45-minutes. If at any time I feel that seeing another type of specialist or M.D. is indicated or more appropriate, I will refer you out for that care. Usually this can usually be done alongside our work together.
In terms of in-person functional health visits after the initial consultation, the appointments include a brief check in followed by an acupuncture session. Patients usually rest with the needles in for half an hour and have the option of adding on a Celluma LED light therapy treatment at the same time. This visit is about an hour and a half. If this is a cosmetic acupuncture session, the visit will be two hours, as after the acupuncture with or without LED treatment, there will be hot towels, hydrating masks, and natural potions to and renew your skin. Cosmetic Acupuncture with appropriate topicals is also used to treat facial and other skin conditions.
Having a background as a licensed massage therapist with 26 years of experience to date, I have always included some massage at the end of the treatment to further relax your mind and body, provide therapeutic care, and help the acupuncture treatment integrate. It also provides me with more information about your body and where any blockages are. While I have always tried to downplay this aspect of my treatments when I discuss my work so that the focus stays on the overarching intent of natural functional medicine, I nevertheless continually receive feedback from my patients that the massage is one of my super-powers and always a part of what makes the treatment so special. As someone once said, “There is nothing like feeling better to feel better,” and I want you to feel better.
The health coaching aspect of your care includes my thoroughly reviewing your history, labs, our one-on-one discussion, and preferences to develop a personalized plan I believe will provide the best prognosis for you. We discuss and agree on the plan which can be done separately or along with an acupuncture visit. Through our sessions together I work with you to integrate the plan, so that whether quickly or gradually, you create a new normal in terms of habits and strategies that encourage your health and well-being for the long term. This includes supporting your day-to-day lifestyle management, eating healthfully while traveling, building in new habits, navigating around inconvenient situations, etcetera. This is a level of care not usually offered in western medical settings. Together, we find ways that allow your well-being to get onto the priority list of everything else you are taking care of. So much can change in a positive direction when you say yes to embracing yourself and your health, since they are the foundation of everything else in your life.
I appreciate the privilege of serving you.
How I got here and why I treat this way
I grew up in Malibu California in the 1960’s and 70’s when it was a relatively undeveloped place for artists and celebrities to get away from it all and enjoy the beach life. We lived on a hill away from neighbors, immersed in nature, overlooking geranium fields and the Pacific Ocean. My journey as a lifelong environmentalist and natural health care advocate began in response to having trouble breathing as a child playing on my family carport. My father explained to me this was due to smog pollution, and where it came from. Sometimes, when on the beach, I saw dirty foam, trash that washed up, and some surfers were even getting staph infections at the time from pollution in the water. This was before “Heal The Bay” had such an enormous impact on cleaning it up. I saw trash strewn along Pacific Coast highway and learned about whale extinction. This began my questioning of authority in terms of how we safeguard our health, and the wisdom of those who make policy decisions that parcel off things as basic to survival as air and water for profit.
Daughter of architect and artist parents, I was exposed to art and design, learning the importance of our environment in how we feel. I was also indoctrinated with my very athletic father’s philosophy, “health first, everything else, second.”
While growing up I enjoyed modern dance, competitive springboard diving, jogging, and bodysurfing. However, due to many contributing factors, I fell into the trap of fad dieting in my pre-teens, and eventually experienced the profound distress and physical symptoms that came with the ensuing digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, and blood sugar imbalance from constantly battling my weight despite starving myself. As is so common, I began trying to diagnose and treat myself with herbs and products off the shelf from the health food store which were ineffective and wreaked havoc. I learned a lot but did not have the professional training, context or perspective that would have helped me restore my health. The symptoms worsened until I was having daily panic attacks and bouts of insurmountable fatigue that left me lying in my hallway, waiting for my ability to get up to return. I was exhausted, anxious, depressed and having many physical symptoms. Only at that point did I seek care.
I sought psychotherapy and then a naturopath, who, to my surprise, told me I was malnourished, toxic and sick. I was shocked due to my “healthy lifestyle,” and doing so much of my own research. When calling to check on blood chemistry results with a lab, the technician asked me, due to my blood markers, if I had leukemia. I did not, but it was the scare that got me to finally began nutritional therapy with professional guidance, and my symptoms began to improve.
Seeking greater balance and insight, I studied Tai Chi and Qi Gong for five years, and was drawn to learn first degree Reiki, then a western version of Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure, and massage therapy training while continuing to work with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for the preservation of parks and wildlife habitat as assistant to the executive director.
The Asian understanding of everything’s interconnectedness, and the wisdom of encouraging healing through practices that foster ease, balance and harmony in a person’s life and environment, as well as in the body, spoke to me. I was inspired by nature’s ability to nourish and support every species and process because we are actually part of it and continue to evolve with it. In this way we are not separate beings living on top of nature. Our bodies contain all its elements and return to it. Sustaining health and well-being by living synergistically with nature made sense to me for myself, the planet, and its inhabitants.
In 1994 I experienced profound mental/emotional/physical integration and balance that came from a series of acupressure treatments which led me to become a certified acupressurist and licensed massage therapist. Realizing that I felt most at home in myself when helping others heal, I left my job with the Conservancy to start my acupressure and massage practice, which I continued successfully for 6 years. In 1997, an acupuncturist gave me a series of ten facial acupuncture treatments, which helped me regain lost muscle function due to slight one-sided facial paralysis which may have been caused by a childhood episode of Bell’s Palsy. These results and my natural resonance with Asian medicine philosophy were what convinced to enroll in the study of Chinese Medicine at Yo San University, Los Angeles, beginning their master’s program in 1998. I was thrilled to graduate 3rd in my class with honors and hung my shingle as soon as I got my license.
Since beginning my Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine practice in 2003, internal medicine has been a primary focus which led to advanced training in nutrition, blood sugar management, and treatment of glucose dis-regulation from hypoglycemia to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome to type 2 diabetes. I focused on blood sugar balance because I had been through it myself and experienced the return of normalcy after learning how to eat properly, use targeted nutrition and herbs, lifestyle modifications and receiving acupuncture. Having been helped to regain facial function and wanting to look my best as I age, I also took numerous post-graduate courses allowing me to specialize in Cosmetic Acupuncture for those wishing to age more gracefully and heal skin and neuromuscular facial conditions naturally.
I met my longtime business partner and “office wife,” Linda, when we rented space in the same building in 2003. We connected through our mutual aesthetic and the same philosophical commitment to treating patients as complete people. We wanted to provide an atmosphere that began healing individuals from the moment they walked in the door.
In 2011 Linda introduced me to Standard Process, Inc., and their concept of healing by feeding the cells with whole food nutrition. This took my practice to another level, as I experienced tremendous improvement in my own health, and results patients experienced from my Chinese medicine treatments when personalized nutrition was used as a foundation, I began providing these concentrated whole food nutrient complexes that retain the ratios found in nature to feed the tissues in need of repair. It makes sense!
Together Linda and I achieved our Clinical Nutrition certifications in 2013 from Southern California University of Health Sciences, and later achieved our Doctoral degrees from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. We were among only ten of our cohort to graduate with honors.
The greatest joy for us is watching our patients become more and more empowered to be who they want to be and do what they want to do as they reclaim and maintain their health and quality of life, while being treated like they matter, because they do!
Viveka lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband, Tom, and two adopted tabbies. She loves being in nature, gardens, around large bodies of water, and anywhere there is a beautiful view. She is naturally drawn to want to help people, plants, animals, places, and situations to thrive. Outside of her healing work she enjoys her elliptical workouts, Pilates, yoga, hiking, and kayaking. She loves fashion, beauty and decorating, organic gardening, cooking healthy vegetable-based meals, eating, writing, creating,
continually learning, her patients, colleagues, friends and family, and lots of laughing.