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Philosophy and Vision

Cindy Micleu, MTCM, LAc, EAMP

I first came to study East Asian medicine through a deep respect for the wisdom embodied in Eastern perspectives, and a belief that health is far more complicated than the absence of disease. Over time, it became clear that health and wholeness include the integration of many aspects of our life – body and mind, self and community – honoring our selves and nature, as well as learning to live gently and harmoniously with the earth itself.

And so after attending the University of California in Santa Barbara, I began training in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (NIAOM) in Seattle, Washington, where I graduated in 1985 with a master’s degree in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Soon after, I continued my studies in 1985 in the People’s Republic of China at the Chongqing First Hospital in Sichuan, and in 1994-5 at the Chengdu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my teachers there, and to all those who have guided my studies, shared their wisdom and experience, and fueled my deep passion for East Asian medicine.

Since then, I have carried the traditions of my teachers, along with my own clinical experience, into my practice, and into teaching acupuncture and herbal medicine in master’s degree and post graduate courses in Seattle and around North America. My love for East Asian medicine prompted me to found the Jade Institute in 2007, out of the desire to support the development of an open and engaged professional learning community. The heart of the Institute is a deep respect for the classical healing of traditions this medicine and their integration into modern life. Our mission has been to provide excellent education from teachers around the world, encourage the sharing of experience and perspectives within the professional community, and to foster integration and dialogue between Eastern and Western medical providers.

In my private practice, my philosophy includes the belief that helping to facilitate wellbeing in others begins with deep listening. Each person is different, and there are no set protocols for achieving a sense of health and wholeness.   In East Asian medicine, our work is to “read” each person’s unique system on various levels, and encourage the body’s natural healing ability by supporting vitality and opening blockage. Supporting healing is supporting transformation. And sometimes a change in perspective, diet, activities, and daily patterns can be just as important as the use of acupuncture needles and medicinal herbs.  It is my honor to bring the deep wisdom traditions embodied in acupuncture and Chinese medicine to assist patients in a healing process, to nourish vitality and restore balance in a way that aligns with nature and the health of mind, body and spirit.



“Nature has its own positive agenda, which is at work in all of us. The point in education, as in medicine, is not just in knowing how to interfere with nature, but – most important – how to observe it without interference, how to help it unfold.”

– Gabor Mate, MD