Alzada Magdalena has been interested in medicine since she was 6 years old.
"My grandfather was a doctor, and I followed him around like a puppy dog," she says. "He was really well-known for diagnostics."
They would sit in public places for hours, diagnosing people as they passed by — that person's knees hurt, that man has a problem in his lower back, that lady has lost a lot of weight, that man's complexion indicates that he has a heart problem…
"He could look and read people like a book, and I always wanted to do that," Magdalena recalls.
She opened Healing Arts North in Prineville in October of 2015, and she wants to share her alternative, holistic strategies for health, wellness and pain management with locals.
Although it took several years and a few side roads, she graduated with a master's degree in Oriental medicine from Meiji College in California in 2001.
Before earning her degree, she was a massage therapist. She added acupuncture and Chinese medicine to her healing practice in Davis, California, and ran The Healing Arts clinic in Davis from 2002 until 2011, when she and her husband, Ellis Bouvier, moved to Bend to be closer to her son, Kai.
She opened Healing Arts North in Bend, but when they purchased a fixer-upper in Prineville, they decided to relocate to the smaller town. She moved her business to the Hanes Wellness building on Northwest Third Street in Prineville, and they settled into their renovated home in March of last year.
Magdalena is offering a healing arts class at the Crook County Library this evening, Tuesday, May 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Another class is set for May 30.
"The library was looking for somebody to talk about things, and I was thinking that it would be nice to have a neutral place to explore some different topics that I see coming up again and again in Oregon," Magdalena explained.
This evening's class will focus on trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder with a special focus on alternative, drug-free treatments for PTSD.
She'll discuss chronic pain on May 30.
"It's interesting to talk about pain, and it's interesting for people who are in pain to start talking about pain," Magdalena said. "But for the pain to truly stay away, you have to say, 'Why is my back hurting?'"
She calls herself a healer, offering acupuncture, massage, Chinese herbs and classes as well as advice on nutrition and exercises.
Chinese medicine has a complete diagnostic format that is very different than Western medicine. The nice thing about Chinese medicine, she said, is that it's an individualized medicine.
"Chinese medicine works from the perspective of the patient. It considers the individual personality, constitution and relationships. People are given specific exercises, diets and meditations for their particular problems," Magdalena explained. "It gives them tools that they can use to get better."
Magdalena says she loves working with people who are in pain and diagnosing what is causing the pain. Once they find the source of the pain, she works with her patients to eliminate the cause.
"I check on you. We look at all of the different facets that go into creating that problem and the different facets that are necessary in order to solve that problem," she said, adding that most patients are out of pain after five to seven treatments.
"I love muscular skeletal things, so I have a really good time with all my bull riders and rodeo guys because they have all sorts of wonderful muscular skeletal problems. Chinese medicine is really good at unravelling those past injuries," she pointed out. "It's a discussion between the patient and me, and we fine-tune how to fix things."
Magdalena deals with a variety of problems, such as trauma recovery, accidents and recovering from surgeries. She sees people with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, and while she may not be able to reverse their effects, she can help her patients have a higher quality of life.
She does not accept health insurance but says she can be more effective without health insurance companies being involved.
"I can see you and work on your nutrition, I can give you exercises, I can do bodywork and acupuncture all in one go," she said. "The insurance would make you go to four different treatments for that."
Healing Arts North offers a wide range of herbs, including raw Chinese herbs, powders and pills. She also teaches Chi Gong, a self-healing class.
"I don't want to manage your pain, I want you to be out of pain," she said. "My whole purpose in seeing people is to not be needed anymore."
Healing Arts North
Owner: Alzada Magdalena
Address: 446 NW Third St., Ste. 231, Prineville
To make an appointment: Call or text 530-219-9337 or visit HealingArtsNorth.com