Supporting Caregivers,
First Responders
& Community Members


Healing Opportunities is a non-profit organization committed to facilitating NADA ear acupuncture treatment to assist in periods of transition, crisis and disaster relief. This protocol helps to reduce the negative health effects of stress and trauma. We focus on the often underserved population of caregivers, from health care providers to non-profit workers.

The fundamental concept of our Care for Caregivers program is to provide loving care for the caregivers in our community; a group of individuals and professionals who are overworked, and who continue to be in need of care themselves due to their focus on the patient, family member or the local community that they serve.


To promote health within Santa Barbara County by facilitating NADA ear acupuncture treatment to reduce the negative effects of stress and trauma for caregivers, first responders, healthcare professionals and community members in need.



Founded in 2001 by Joann Tall and Scott Blossom, Healing Opportunities responded to what had emerged as a dire need for caregivers in our community, and took service to the homes of terminally ill patients, providing acupuncture care for patients and their caregivers. The signature program, Compassionate Care for Caregivers provided a multi-disciplinary application of functional medicine modalities, with services offered in Acupuncture, Acupressure, Yoga, Qi Gong, Reiki, Massage, Tuina, as well as practices for moving through bereavement, and more.

Practitioners worked in a variety of settings with the goal of alleviating stress and medical difficulties experienced by caregivers during, and because of the care they extend to others. Settings included patients’ homes, clinics, or a locale best-suited to the caregiver in need, where services were provided free of charge for caregivers, patients, staff, family and friends. A few organizations who benefitted from the service offerings of Healing Opportunities, were Hospice of Santa Barbara, Visiting Nurses of VNHC, Cottage Hospital, and the Santa Barbara Cancer Center, and more.

Recipient feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and demand for service affirmed the need, as daily log entries recorded the emotional and physical benefits that improved overall well-being for those who received care.


The fundamental concept of Compassionate Care for Caregivers, was just that – to provide loving medical care for the caregivers in our community; a group of individuals and professionals who are still overworked, and who continue to often be in desperate need of care themselves due to their focus on the patient, family member or loved-one.

The positive impact of caring for caregivers is immeasurable and we recognize that the need is greater than ever, so we endeavor again to generate compassionate care within the realms of our current offerings at Healing Opportunities.

Our ongoing efforts as a non profit service organization will build upon our history, strengthening the Santa Barbara community through holistic healing and collaboration with other organizations.

“ The fundamental concept of Care for Caregivers,

was just that –

to provide loving compassionate care for caregivers

in our community; individuals, and professionals

– who are often in desperate need of care themselves. ”


~ Joann Tall, Healing Opportunities Co-founder

Board of Directors

Rachil B. Vincent, L.Ac., C.N.


Rachil has an eclectic approach to healing. She is trained in clinical nutrition, holding a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine, which includes: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Constitutional Dietary Training, Shiatsu, Cupping Tai Qi and Qi Gong (energetic healing.) Rachil enjoys helping people heal themselves naturally. Through educating her patients she empowers them to access their bodies’ own healing powers: promoting health and preventing disease.

Founder of The Sage Center for Health: Consisting of a private a practice as well as a corporate wellness program, Ms. Vincent is dedicated to creating awareness and access to integrative medicine in our community. Having lived in Santa Barbara for over 20 years, she has directly contributed and guided the efforts of Healing Opportunities since its inception in 2001 and is proud to serve now as President.

Yvonne Wood, C.F.P.


Yvonne is a Certified Financial Planner offering her expertise to Healing Opportunities as Treasurer. Having served other charitable organizations in the same role, she brings nonprofit experience and knowledge to the mission of Healing Opportunities, proud to represent an organization that she views as highly valued in the Santa Barbara community.

As a Certified Financial Planner, Yvonne has worked with families to create successful long term financial game plans to achieve economic freedom and greater peace of mind. In this process, she works to promote appropriate investment solutions, estate and tax planning strategies, children’s education and multigenerational planning, insurance analysis, long term care planning and cashflow management. She takes a very comprehensive approach in assisting in the lives of her clients.

Yvonne graduated with a Psychology degree from UC Santa Barbara in 1990 and currently lives in the Santa Ynez Valley. She has worked for Mercer Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisory Firm since 1993.

Jacquelyn (Jackie) Sugich, L.Ac.


Jackie is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher, offering her aptitude in health and wellness to her role on the Board of Directors for Healing Opportunities. She began her journey as a wellness practitioner in 1999, attending The School of Healing Arts in San Diego, to study massage therapy, and completed a 750 hour program.
Her studies at SHA included substantial coursework in eastern medicine and philosophy, which influenced her to pursue acupuncture. She graduated from Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine with a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2006. While attending SBCOM she participated in a study abroad at TCM School of Wanzhou in Chongqing, China where she worked closely with doctors treating patients in a local hospital.

Jackie held a private practice in Santa Barbara from 2006-2012, during which time, she volunteered with Hospice of Santa Barbara and Food from the Heart. Following her wanderlust, Jackie joined a cruise ship line as an on-board acupuncturist, traveling the world for a several years, then decided to return to land and found her way to back to Santa Barbara and to Healing Opportunities.

Ruth Ackerman, Ph.D., L.C.S.W


Ruth provides a wealth of information and is a guiding force on the board at Healing Opportunities. Deeply involved in advocacy for NADA protocol ear acupuncture, she is a past president of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association and remains active with the organization. As a Registered Trainer for NADA, she has taught and trained the NADA protocol nationally and internationally. In 1988 Ruth was instrumental in founding Project Recovery, an addictions treatment program, originally NADA Protocol, based in Santa Barbara.

Ruth is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been a practicing psychotherapist since completing her Masters in Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley in 1967. She was also awarded a PhD in Human and Organizational Development with an emphasis on non-profit management from Fielding University.

With early clinical experience in child and adult protection services, her work has been focused on macro and micro systemic interventions and trauma treatment including EMDR and other integrative modalities such as mediation and hypnosis.

Christian A. Guier, MD


Dr. Guier is a Board Certified orthopedic surgeon working in San Francisco and Santa Barbara; privileged to do orthopedic surgery at California Pacific Medical Centers, as well as directing FastTrack Orthopedics, an orthopedic walk-in clinic at Orthopedic Institute of Santa Barbara.

A graduate of McGill University Medical School in Montreal, Canada, Dr. Guier’s credentials include a history in orthopedic surgery in Montreal, San Francisco, and Jackson, Wyoming, including physician and surgeon to the French National Ski Team, following a Sports Trauma fellowship in Lyon, France.

Dr. Guier has held appointments on numerous boards and committees, and is the recipient of various honors and awards. He offers his years of experience as a medical professional and his worldly perspectives to is position on the Board of Directors for Healing Opportunities.

LeAnne Thomason

LeAnne Thomason, L.Ac., C.N.


LeAnne is a licensed acupuncturist with a private practice in Santa Barbara, CA. She holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine and has been working in the healthcare field since 2006, and working with the Healing Opportunities Board of Director’s since 2007. Blending the healing tools of acupuncture, medical massage, herbology, Qi Gong/yoga and dietary therapy, LeAnne brings all five branches of Chinese Medicine together to help each patient achieve balance. With Bachelor’s Degrees in Sociology and Religious Studies, she brings her passion for creating a cultural understanding of health and spiritual development to her role with Healing Opportunities.

Advisory Board

Scott Blossom


Bio coming soon...

Joanne Tall


Bio coming soon...

Rob Croteau

Bio coming soon...

Ann Van De Water

Bio coming soon...
Kathleen Zisser, MD, Vice President

Kathleen Zisser, MD

Kathleen is a UCLA trained physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is also trained in Medical Acupuncture, Yoga therapy, Mindfulness, Guided Imagery and Reiki. She combines these areas of interest in her private practice East West Medicine of Santa Barbara where she uses medical acupuncture for pain management, orthopedic and neurological issues, stress reduction and wellness. A larger passion of Dr. Zisser is to bring many of these healing modalities into the hospital setting to provide truly integrated medical care that can address all of the complex needs of the hospitalized patient. She joined the board of Healing Opportunities in November 2013.

Our Team

Danelly Teutle

Danelly is the Development and Marketing Coordinator for Healing Opportunities from Indio, California. She is a third-year communication major at UC Santa Barbara. With her experience in social media and photography, she hopes to further her career in marketing. Danelly has also previously assisted in research dedicated to analyzing support that young language brokers receive and looks forward to applying those skills at Healing Opportunities. She contributing her skills to support fund raising and advance the goals of Healing Opportunities.

Jen Thatcher

Bio coming soon...

Acupuncturists, Volunteers, Interns, other team members

Coming soon...

Coming soon...

Coming soon...

Previous Interns
Internship Opportunities Available Now

Riley Lindheimer

Communications and Public Relations Intern

Riley is the Communications and Public Relations intern at Healing Opportunities. Originally from Orange County, California, Riley is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with Bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Global Studies. Her experiences with the Jane Goodall Institute and completing a social marketing project for Just Communities in Santa Barbara have fueled her passion for helping people and the environment, particularly in the nonprofit sector. Volunteering for organizations such as Worldhealer’s UCSB Global Awareness Club in Santa Barbara and One Voice in Los Angeles have also allowed her to give back to the communities she loves.

Emely Mancia

Administrative and Events Intern

Emely is the Administrative and Events Intern for Healing Opportunities. She is a Salvadoran American who enjoys reading and drawing in her free time. She is a fourth-year transfer student at UC Santa Barbara, who is majoring in Communication. In the near future, she hopes to publish her own children’s book and start a nonprofit that provides more art programs in schools for children living in low-income communities.

Rozi Yesayan

Social Media and Fundraising Intern

Rozi is the Social Media and Fundraising Intern for Healing Opportunities. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is a junior transfer at University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Communication. She hopes to pursue her ultimate educational goal of earning a PHD and becoming a Communication professor or working as a social media coordinator for Disney.