Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria

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herb-ACSMDr. Herb Kandel, L.Ac., O.M.D. is a California licensed acupuncturist and a doctor of Oriental Medicine in his 25th year of private practice as owner of the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria. Kandel graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology in 1979 after which he spent a year of study in Ghana West Africa.

In 1985 he graduated from the California Acupuncture College in Santa Barbara going on to complete an intensive post graduate program at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Subsequently as the first American to study at the Xiyuan Hospital in Beijing China, he earned his doctorate in Oriental Medicine in 1987. Bringing his skills back to the US, he pioneered acupuncture on the Central Coast with the opening of the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria in 1989.

Dr. Kandel regularly teaches workshops and classes on acupuncture, Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese exercises. Outside of his regular practice he has taken his comprehensive skills well beyond the confines of the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria to include serving with Acupuncturists without Borders as they addressed need in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

He is an active community volunteer having served numerous nonprofits to include Good Samaritan, the Red Cross and PCPA Foundation. He is currently active with the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and with the Dana Adobe Amigos. An avid musician, author, composer and theater enthusiast, Dr. Kandel is married to his wife of 30 years Donna and is the proud father of two brilliant and talented daughters Anya and Zosha.


Since opening in 1989, the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria has been a hub for alternative therapies and holistic healing. Located in a historic, 1896 carpenter style Victorian house and originally owned by one of Santa Maria’s founding families, patients describe the atmosphere of the Center as warm, comfortable and conducive to healing.

Utilizing five treatment rooms and the outdoor colorful and fragrant landscape, the Center is committed to providing a sanctuary for rest, healing and recovery. Patients are invited to experience the peace and comfort of the Center as during treatments they enjoy ambient music, the caress of natural fiber sheets and towels and the care and focus of our dedicated staff.

Many insurance plans now carry opportunities to incorporate acupuncture into your health routine. Our administrative staff are very knowledgeable and happy to assist if you are exploring ways of bringing more natural healing remedies into your life. As a courtesy to our other patients, we ask that when you visit, you refrain from the use of fragrance and scented cosmetics as many who come to the Center are hyperallergic to perfume.

If you have questions before, during or after treatment we welcome conversation. Every patient is given space to express their needs and concerns and our appointment schedule is designed to provide time for you to leave unhurriedly, energized and refreshed.

The Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria additionally hosts art exhibits, inspirational speakers and is a popular venue for local musicians. As both a center for healing and for the promotion of general well-being and as a gathering place for our friends and neighbors, we honor our place in the community.

cathrynaikenCathryn has lived on the Central Coast of California for most of her life and currently resides in Nipomo. Acupuncturist by day and “Yogi by night,” Cathryn leads a full and healthy lifestyle. She began her career in the healing arts as a massage therapist from 1998 to 2004, during which time she worked her way through acupuncture college. Cathryn received her Master of Oriental Medicine from the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine and opened her practice in February of 2005. She maintains a full practice and is co-owner of Arroyo Grande Health & Wellness. In her spare time, she enjoys running, spinning, and yoga.

casey-caninoCasey began her Pilates journey after college. She became a certified Mat instructor through the AFPA and went on to recieve her full certification through Body Arts and Science International (BASI). She has worked in many different studios throughout New York City and Lake Tahoe, CA. She currently lives on the California Central Coast and teaches at multiple studios including Five Seasons Pilates, Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, and Acupuncture of Santa Maria. Casey is a Pink Ribbon Certified instructor for Post-Op Breast Cancer Rehabilitation. She teaches a variety of classes and private clients, and has experience working with injuries and pathologies, athletes, and perfomers.

“Brilliant rays of orange, pink, red and purple encompassed the sky as I drove on the 101 into Pismo Beach. It had been a long drive, and I was exhausted from packing up my life for a move to the Central Coast. However, this spectacular view trumped my fatigue, leaving me in awe with a heart bursting in gratitude. Coming to this special place that I would be calling home gave me an innate sense of peace – and also passion. I have relocated to the Central Coast so I can help people heal, grow, and become stronger and more balanced humans. My tool to inspire this in others is the Pilates Method, which has already transformed my life in countless ways.”

Read more about Casey at her website.