Don’t be scared: New Santa Monica studio aims to take the fear out of acupuncture


In Santa Monica, acupuncture goes mainstream and a gym rolls out a new high intensity interval training class; a new meditation studio in Sherman Oaks offers mindfulness sessions for teens; and a crystal healing workshop is happening in Silver Lake. Here are some well-being options around Los Angeles over the most stressful time of year.

At the newly opened Amplify Acupuncture in Santa Monica, founder Yunuen Beristain’s goal is to make the ancient Chinese practice accessible and welcoming.

“A lot of people say they’ve always wanted to try it but are intimidated,” said Beristain, a licensed acupuncturist and master of traditional Chinese medicine. “The fact that we are in a retail location with big windows is an open invitation to walk in without an appointment and get a treatment.” Clients sit in zero gravity reclinable chairs separated by dividers in the open-plan 750-square-foot space; mellow music plays in the background as their acupuncture points are stimulated to neutralize stress, encourage better sleep or recover from illness.


Info: Amplify Acupuncture, 2717 Main St., Santa Monica. Until Dec. 15, a one-hour consultation and treatment is $60. Thereafter $90. Follow-up 30-minute sessions are $60.

For those seeking an effective yet quick workout, Exhale, a spa in Santa Monica that also offers barre and yoga classes, earlier this month introduced its new HIIT 30 workout. The 30-minute class spends five of those minutes just on abs; the rest is a series of intense sequences on a mat, some using weights, done in 50-second intervals. The regimen is designed to keep the heart rate up while providing a full-body workout.

Info: Exhale Spa, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. $27 a class.

Another addition to the wellness landscape in the San Fernando Valley is Soul Hum, a meditation studio in Sherman Oaks that opened in October. Founder Natalie Kiwi said she began to practice in earnest a few years ago while dealing with chronic fatigue and realizing she enjoyed being part of a class more than meditating solo. Her 1,400-square-foot studio will host drop-in classes throughout the day, with some sessions tailored to middle- and high-schoolers.

“These classes help families deal with stress,” Kiwi said. “Students especially learn how to breathe and visualize and be at their calmest whether they are getting ready for a test, recital or playing at a sports event.” Classes vary in length from 30 to 45 minutes and explore different types of meditation and breath work.

Info: Soul Hum, 13721 Ventura Blvd, first floor, Sherman Oaks. First class free. Thereafter, $23 a class. Discounts available with packages. For the first week of December, the studio is offering a monthly membership for $100 for unlimited classes. Thereafter $130.

Templework LA, which offers Swedish and deep tissue massage and other types of bodywork, is opening its doors Dec. 10 for a group sound bath and Reiki healing circle, held by Los Angeles healer Janae Archuleta. The hour-long class will take the form of a group meditation accompanied by singing bowls and relaxation using crystals and Reiki.

Info: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10. $25. 3401 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles. (323) 522-3131. Register at


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