I first met Corinne at a networking event earlier this year and I was immediately drawn to her energy. After our quick ten minute exchange I knew I needed to connect with her beyond that ‘speed networking’ space.
We met for tea a few weeks later and within moments of speaking with her I felt the kindness and generosity pouring out of her. Furthermore, she inspired me with her caring heart which led her into a career of helping others. Specifically, her calling is to help young children through the power of acupuncture.
I honestly never thought about acupuncture being something for children. I always heard about acupuncture being used to help people quit smoking or help with back pain. While speaking with Corinne, I quickly realized that I didn’t understand the full extent of the healing powers of this eastern medicine. So, as she told me more about her journey and I witnessed her heart for her work I knew that I just had to feature her on my blog in a new series called – The Women Warrior Blog Series.
I’m so excited to introduce you all to the lovely, amazing, talented – Corinne LeBlanc – who owns Portland’s first fully pediatric acupuncture clinic – Portland Pediatric Acupuncture.
We met in her SW Portland office space and I was immediately struck by the atmosphere she created. But more on that later…
We sat down to chat about life, work, and what it’s like to be a small business owner. Upon my arrival, she brought out a tray full of cheese, crackers, and salami – totally my kinda gal. (In case you didn’t know – cheese trays are my jam!) It was unexpected and oh so sweet. She attributed her desire to supply a snack to her Italian roots.
This lady from upstate New York, who spent a significant time in Boulder Colorado is now living with her husband and pup in SE Portland Oregon. She shared her experience of growing up in a large Italian family with weekly Sunday dinners, learning how to make homemade pasta sauce from her grandmother. While she loved growing up surrounded by her family, she knew she needed to get out and explore the world, a feeling I know I can relate to as well. Since she is the only one in her family who moved away from home she calls herself the one, “rouge westcoaster.”
Corinne’s Acupuncture Journey
Corinne’s, acupuncture journey started when she was “working with kiddos on the autism spectrum, doing one-on-one, play based therapy in their homes: helping families create games and developmental goals that made sense for where the kids were at.”
This is when she noticed that “a lot of the families that [she] was working with were doing some kind of complementary medicine in addition to this home based therapy and acupuncture came up a few different times. And it just sort of lit a fire because [she] noticed that when [she] would work with kiddos after an acupuncture treatment, there would often be subtle changes, and sometimes really big ones: improved eye contact, better language, and improved reciprocal attention span. So [she] was like, what the heck is this acupuncture stuff?”
To Corinne, something pretty incredible was happening and she needed to know more of. She observed some treatments thanks to some really generous parents and practitioners. Then went and got her own acupuncture done. Eventually, going back to school to study acupuncture more in depth.
Afterwards, Corinne decided to go to China to study acupuncture, in its country of origin. She spent a month studying acupuncture in a Chinese university hospital learning about acupuncture and herbal medicine. She says, “It was an amazing experience and a total game changer for me to be able to see the medicine practiced in its most authentic way.”
Portland’s First FULLY Pediatric Acupuncture Clinic
While there are other acupuncturists in the area who also work with children, Portland Pediatric Acupuncture is the first FULLY pediatric acupuncture clinic in Portland. Corrine spent time working in other acupuncture clinics that served both adults and children. But she felt like the offices were too clinical – spaces meant for adults, not children. Since her background involves working with children, she knew that’s where she wanted to focus her attention. Furthermore, she desired to create a space specifically designed for kids. Where they could come, be themselves, play, and get treatment all at the same time.
And let me tell you, this space is definitely designed with kids in mind. There is a shelf full of children’s books and a small teepee tent set up with a team of stuffed animals just waiting for some kids to come and play. The space is fresh, vibrant, and inviting. The patient rooms have colorful flags hanging from the ceiling, cozy massage tables, comfy chairs for parents, and stuffed animal heads on the walls. Cutest clinic office I’ve ever been in.
Corinne works with kids between 8 weeks and 18 years and helps them with issues such as: sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal issues, ADHD, anxiety disorders, allergies, asthma, and the like.
But get this, she only uses acupuncture needles about 30% of the time. The other style of acupuncture she does is called, Shonishin, a Japanese form of acupuncture. It involves these really small tools (photos below) that are pressed, brushed, or tapped on the body, to get the same effect as acupuncture.
Another form of treatment that Corinne offers is, “qigong sensory treatment, which is a sensory massage that’s specific for kids on the autism spectrum.” This is an incredible massage that Corinne teaches to parents, who are then able to do it at home with their children.
Beyond that Corinne also uses lasers in her acupuncture she says, “There’s been some good research out of Europe on the benefits of laser acupuncture. It’s another totally non-invasive way to stimulate acupuncture points. You use a cold laser and different wavelengths of light and it’s another really fun way to treat kids that doesn’t involve needles, and we can still do acupuncture. And kids LOVE the lasers!”
“It’s really awesome to have different techniques to use on kiddos to hit these pressure points, because if one thing isn’t working, or the kid isn’t responding to it, we can move on to something else.”
In addition Corrine uses a lot of herbal medicine, which has “profound effects on the body.”
How to find Corinne
Corinne offers a free 30 minute consultation to come in to the office, see the space, meet her, let your kids play with her and see if you are the right fit for each other. Corrine says, “a big part of the healing journey is for a kid to be able to trust me, I’m going to do things that are most likely going to be foreign to them. My particular style comes from a play background, so that tends to inform a lot of what I do in the treatment room. It’s important to get to know and trust your acupuncturist.”
Additionally, Corinne and a colleague of hers offer monthly clinics called, the Full Moon Kids Clinic, “where [they] treat kiddos of all ages. [They] only offer Shonishin at these clinics, so it is needle free and performed in a group style of treatment. It’s an opportunity to introduce kids to the medicine in a way that is super comfy and feels really good. [Through this model, they] are able to reach a pretty broad audience.” These clinics are $25 for a single treatment and $40 max for the whole family. So if you have two or three kids, you can bring them all, [they] encourage it.” They happen on Sundays, once a month. View the schedule here.
I am incredibly inspired by this woman making waves in our community through her passion for healing little ones through noninvasive forms of medicine. I admire her ability to identify an opportunity to create a safe, inviting space for littles while they receive acupuncture treatment and she took action to make it a reality.
She told me one of the biggest things she’s learned since becoming a business owner, is that “when you’re being your authentic self and you’re standing in your truth, well that’s when you’ll find the people that are meant to be with you.” And I just love that. I think being true to ourselves is of the utmost importance. Once you meet Corinne, you’ll discover she’s not just saying that, she absolutely lives her truth.
Thank you, Corinne for taking the time to chat with me and being the first of what I hope to be many in this series of Women Warriors! And thanks to you for reading this, I hope you found it inspiring! ❤️
Here are some photos of Corinne and her office space in SW Portland, Oregon.