Deb Follingstad began her path with Chinese Medicine after retiring from a long career in the music industry. She studied at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco graduating with her Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2008. Upon completing her Licensing exams, Deb studied in China with Dr. Wang Ju-Yi for Channel Palpation and theory. She began working at Smith Integrative Oncology (SIO) as soon as she returned from China in April 2009. Her specialties include Integrative Oncology, Fertility and fertility preservation, pain management and cosmetic acupuncture.
Touched deeply by the loss of her beloved Aunt Christine to metastasized breast cancer, Deb set out to learn everything she could about cancer care combined with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Since then, Integrative Oncology has become Deb’s focus, passion, and specialty. In her first year at ACTCM, Deb sought out a mentoring program and internship at SIO with Julie Argyle, LAc, PhD, the Cancer specialist at ACTCM and Acupuncturist at SIO. Deb took over her practice at SIO when Julie left to join the Peace Core to bring medicine to less privileged communities around the world. More information on Integrative Oncology can be found under the Treatments section.
Deb’s major influence and constant mentoring is with Yefim Gamgonishvilli LAc. After 28 years of friendship, Deb refers to him as “her big brother.” Yefim opened Deb’s eyes to Chinese Medicine, herbology, Qi Gong, and Rolf Cahn School of Movement martial arts in 1989.Most importantly he encouraged her to go to Chinese Medicine School when she was looking for a new career path. She has studied under Yefim more specifically for Sports Medicine and Channel Palpation at his seminars and interned at his clinic during her last year at ACTCM.
Deb got her first certification in Chi-Akra Center Advanced Facial Rejuvenation in 2007 and furthered her cosmetic acupuncture studies getting further certification in 2009 with Mary Elizabeth Wakefield, LAc. More information is under the Facial Acupuncture link at the top of the page.
She began her Medical Qi Gong Therapy (certification in July 2013) and Yangsheng Qi Gong Immersion and Teacher Training (certification completion early 2014), with Dr. Suzanne Friedman in 2012.
Certified in Shinpiden Reiki Masters level in 2011 with Anna Dorian and Vibrant Reiki.
Some of her other favorite mentors, influencing professors, and internships are:
Deb has strong roots in music and the San Francisco punk scene, a community of which she is very proud. Because of her punk rock roots and open attitude, Deb provides a welcoming, compassionate, and non-judgmental environment to those from all walks of life on their healing journey. When she isn't at a punk show or practicing qi gong, she's out camping in the wilds, taking photographs, writing, or spending time in her incredible rock and roll community in San Francisco.