Neil Conaty, LAc, Licensed Acupuncturist
Neil Conaty, LAc has been practicing acupuncture for over 25 years.
After having treatment in the mid 80’s for hand pain, he became fascinated with acupuncture and soon found himself moving across country from New York City to study in Seattle at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NIAOM). Soon after graduating, he joined Seattle Acupuncture Associates (SAA), one of the busiest acupuncture practices in Washington state. Simultaneously, he also taught at NIAOM and worked as lead acupuncturist at Therapeutic Health Services treating patients for drug addiction.
His first practice on Bainbridge Island opened in 1996, and he moved into the New Motion Physical Therapy building in 2003. In 2015, he left SAA and started his second acupuncture office in the Cabrini Tower on First Hill in Seattle.
Neil feels very fortunate to have found his profession as an acupuncturist. He is passionate about the practice of acupuncture and believes in a holistic approach — interacting with his patients to understand what is going on in their lives, learning about their tendencies/patterns and how this may affect their overall health.
I first experienced acupuncture in the mid 80’s when I had a mysterious pain in my index finger which made it difficult to play the bass, which was how I was making my living at the time. After seeing a few doctors, over a period of a few months, who were unable to successfully treat the problem, I visited an acupuncturist. After one treatment the pain resolved, never to return. At that visit I asked the acupuncturist if she had any books about acupuncture. My acupuncture education began that evening as I read about it.
Over the next two years, I made all the preparations to move across country and study acupuncture.
I enrolled in the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NIAOM) which was located in Ballard at the time. NIAOM had an intensive three year program with clinical training starting in the first year and gradually becoming the prime focus. I enjoyed the challenge of learning the channel system – an incredibly detailed map of the body which includes over 350 acupuncture points and is supplemented by hundreds of ‘extraordinary and miscellaneous’ points.
Not long after graduating, I joined Seattle Acupuncture Associates. SAA was one of the first large acupuncture practices in Washington state and is still one of the most highly integrated practices with western medical practitioners. We worked in conjunction with rheumatologists, physical and occupational therapists, and psycho therapists to develop innovative programs for the treatment of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
“I gained extensive experience treating patients with a wide variety of conditions.”
During this time, I was lucky to join the faculty at NIAOM where I taught Acupuncture Meridians and Points for 8 years. I spent those years honing my knowledge of one of the foundational bodies of information in acupuncture with an incredible level of detail. I am grateful to my many students who helped me learn more and more each year.
I had taken an interest in acupuncture treatment of drug addiction at an early stage of my education. Having grown up in New York in the 1970’s I had seen the devastation of addiction. When I found out that addiction acupuncture had been developed largely at a hospital in the South Bronx I was intrigued. I took all opportunities to attend seminars and study addiction acupuncture while in school and after graduation I was proud to be in the first group of Washington acupuncturists to receive National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) training at the Portland Acupuncture Addiction Center (PAAC). After completing the program and receiving NADA certification, I participated in acupuncture research studies at Evergreen Treatment Services and the King County Detoxification Center. I worked at Therapeutic Health Services (THS) providing acupuncture for people struggling with heroin, cocaine, alcohol and amphetamine addiction. I stayed at THS for fifteen years as lead acupuncturist at both of their locations. I found that many of the principles of addiction therapy were applicable to other conditions, particularly difficulties with prescription drugs including anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and pain medications as well as many emotional and behavioral conditions.
While still working at SAA, NIAOM and THS I decided I would like to offer acupuncture treatment closer to my home. I opened my Bainbridge Island practice in 1996 in a small cottage perched over a ravine on Erickson Ave. During this time, in conjunction with Diane Eggleston, LAc, I set up a drug treatment clinic which became Bainbridge’s first community acupuncture clinic, on Winslow Way.
I was very happy when Suzy Powers, owner of New Motion Physical Therapy asked me to move my practice to her clinic. While we are not affiliated in a business sense, I have benefitted greatly from working with the Physical Therapists at New Motion.
In 2015, I decided to end my 23-year association with Seattle Acupuncture Associates and start my own practice in Seattle. I am currently practicing in the Cabrini Tower in a lovely office with spectacular views of Seattle.