Kris Stockwell graduated from Bastyr University in 1998 with a combined BS/MS in acupuncture. He is now a practicing acupuncturist at two clinics in the greater-Seattle area and is also committed to serving overseas. We recently caught up with him to discuss his career pursuits and future ambitions.
I focus on treating patients with pain and headaches, since acupuncture often produces the quickest treatment outcomes for those complaints. I also have a special interest in multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. To fulfill this interest I am conducting private-sector research and treating MS and Parkinson's patients with advanced electro-pulsed magnetic therapies.
I work with two clinics in Bellevue, Washington. At one clinic, I work with an MD and RN, while at another location I collaborate with an awesome team of 10 massage therapists and a veteran chiropractic physician. I am considering practicing acupuncture again at a hospital, as I spent more than six years at Northwest Hospital where I owned and directed a decompression center, and I loved having access to the diagnostics and other services.
I had a real and strong desire to be of service to others and at the same time fulfill my need to conduct research.
My past includes a long list of professions, from trading stock and currencies to flying airplanes, and working as a scuba diving instructor and rescue diver. But I really love Bastyr, and I loved my time at the University. I am not sure if I found Bastyr; I think Bastyr found me. I used to have visions as a kid of the body lighting up, so to speak. So the acupuncture body models, which show the body's acupuncture points and meridians, caught my interest, and I realized I was meant to practice acupuncture for a living.
I really appreciated the quality of professional expertise gathered under one roof at Bastyr, as well as my externship in China. The BS/MS program in acupuncture was amazing. When I left the University I had a clear sense of direction and a genuine understanding of how to map it out. And, well, I did just that and it worked!
I'm going to Guatemala this summer to work in a hospital where there is a need for acupuncturists. I am also looking into building some geodesic domes to provide quick, sustainable housing to those in the area. Then I will travel to India in October to do more of the same work in Punjab province and in some small villages nearby. If anyone wants to come along and help, just contact me through the Bastyr alumni office.
Interviewed June 2009