Both acupuncture and sacred plants like hemp have been foundational elements in Eastern medicine practices for thousands of years. Now these holistic methods have migrated West to offer health-conscious patrons a more natural alternative or enhancement to traditional techniques and treatments.
Samantha Manka-Segal, a Board-certified physician of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, established her business with the hopes of helping individuals achieve their personal wellness goals through alternative channels, Eastern medicine and CBD included.
Aqu, her health studio located in picturesque Pacific Palisades, specializes in the treatment of patients with a wide range of wellness concerns. In a serene, polished setting, Samantha guides patients through a variety of regimens, including acupuncture, cupping, Gua Sha massage and nutrition assistance.
Many who practice or use alternative modalities scoff traditional medicine, but Samantha takes a more well-rounded stance. She believes in working in tandem with a primary care physician and finding the best care for an individual’s ideal state of balance, which means not discounting any form of health care.
Enter CBD. Recently, Samantha proudly began offering CBD (the cannabinoid most associated with calm and relaxation) to clients seeking a little extra comfort during their wellness sessions.
“I offer CBD to my patients as a topical treatment after an acupuncture session for the added benefit it has on relaxing tense muscles. I normally incorporate it before or after cupping, gua sha or any other type of myofascial release that is appropriate for the condition at hand,” Samantha says.
The holistic practitioner recommends supplementing CBD into a patient’s routine if they’re having restless sleep, trouble relaxing or overall muscle tightness. Samantha finds that a regular CBD regimen is a great way to naturally restore balance in the body as it works harmoniously with acupuncture treatments.
“I chose to carry Bloom Farms CBD because of the quality of the product. It’s really important to me that it’s grown organically with biodynamic practices. I love that there’s no added flavors or solvents and that you can actually taste the natural nutty flavor that MCT oil has,” Samantha shares. “I also find it really useful that you can look up the lab results of each batch online!”
While CBD-infused treatments weren’t her initial focus, a positive personal experience with CBD left Samantha wanting to share it with her Aqu clientele. CBD has been unsurprisingly well-received by the people who visit her studio.
“Almost 100% of my patients felt a noticeable difference after using CBD, so I made it a mainstay in my practice and make it available to anyone who wants it,” Samantha says. “I now offer the CBD sublingual tincture from Bloom Farms in my shop for people who want to take it a step further [by maintaining a CBD regimen at home]. Acupuncture, cupping and CBD seem to work well together in my experience.”
The Southern California native first discovered Chinese medicine in 2006 when her “incredibly healthy and fit mother” became severely ill with chronic kidney infections. While Samantha had a prior brush with acupuncture as a child to help soothe chronic migraines, this crisis was unexplored medical territory for both mother and daughter.
Due to her severe allergies to antibiotics, Samantha’s mom experienced many unsuccessful treatments, which culminated in the devastating prognosis of only one year to live. The desperate duo sought alternative methods and pursued holistic Chinese medicine as a last resort. That year, Samantha’s mother maintained a consistent regimen of acupuncture, herbal treatments and other alternative modalities, resulting in fully restored strength—and eventually zero signs of kidney infection.
“We were no longer in fear for her health, and my faith in Eastern medicine was solidified. During my tenure, I became passionate about treating pain management, nutrition and digestive health, beauty and skincare, stress, insomnia and anxiety disorders,” Samantha shares.
Samantha didn’t take her mother’s success with Chinese medicine lightly. The aspiring healer went on to receive her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, in addition to Herbology from the esteemed Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She also earned a certification in Traditional Acupuncture Facial Rejuvenation by the American Acupuncture Council. In accordance with Taoist philosophy, Samantha has additionally completed the Qi Cultivation curriculum at Yo San University and is trained in Qigong energy work.
At the intersection of her personal health experiences—with both traditional and alternative modalities—and her extensive professional training lies Samantha’s one-of-a-kind approach to a modern, holistic wellness that combines the best of new and old, East and West, well-established and emerging (such as CBD). “Aqu combines traditional Chinese medicine with more advanced techniques to restore optimal health for the modern lifestyle. Whether someone is seeking acupuncture, cupping or something more modern like facial acupuncture or ear seeds, people can feel that they’re in good hands,” Samantha says.
Learn more about Samantha’s wellness offerings, including CBD and acupuncture and more, at https://aqu.co/.
Born and raised by the beach in Southern California, Valeri Spiwak lives and breathes West Coast culture and its surrounding artistic charm. Valeri, with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Minor in French, continuously seeks to explore the beautiful and obscure, and shares her adventures through captivating wordplay, clever writing and skillful copy.