Hello there! Here are some rapid-fire facts to get to know me a little better.
Mission: Inspiring others to cultivate radiant health through intentional, daily self-care
Born + Raised: Mid-City Los Angeles
Ancestry: Guatemala + the Iberian Peninsula
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Wildest Thing I've Ever Done: Walked 500 miles across Spain along the Camino de Santiago
Daily joys: Sipping on Herbal Teas, Meditation, Forest Walks, Reading, Writing
Greatest Pleasures: Growing Food & Medicinal Plants, Writing, Reading, Cooking, Sharing Meals, Traveling, Learning about Plants and Mushrooms
Favorite Books: The Alchemist, The Prophet, Tao Te Ching, Women Who Run With Wolves, A House of My Own, The Surrender Experiment, Callings, The Artist's Way
Favorite Meal: Pine + Crane in LA
Three Cup Mushroom or Dan Dan Noodles, spicy peanuts, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, marinated lotus root, and sautéed spinach. Best meal in LA!
Favorite Places I've Traveled: I've visited 25+ countries but my favorites are Guatemala, Canada, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Taiwan, and New Zealand
Andrea Penagos LAc, Dipl. OM, MATCM is a California-Licensed Acupuncturist, Clinical Herbalist and Reiki Master Teacher with over a decade of experience in the wellness field. Andrea guides her patients towards radiant health through the tools of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Western Herbalism, lifestyle medicine, and individualized care.
Andrea began exploring healing modalities in 2009 after completing Liberation Yoga's 200-hr yoga teacher training and Golden Bridge Yoga's Kundalini Prenatal Yoga teacher training in Los Angeles. A life-changing trip to India in 2010 introduced her to Reiki and Tibetan acupressure massage, after which she deepened her studies in the healing arts by enrolling in acupuncture school.
Andrea holds a Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Yo San Unviersity of Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles, California. Since 2015, Andrea is an active Board Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California and is also certified by the U.S. National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Andrea has studied with outstanding clinicians like Mazin Al-Khafaji, Lorie Eve Dechar, and Mikiyo Sankey, and is certified in Advanced Cosmetic Acupuncture through AcuRegen, London. Andrea is also a Reiki Master Teacher trained under Reiki Master Syd Yang in Los Angeles, California.
Andrea studies Clinical Phytotherapy (Western Herbal Medicine) at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She offers free in-person and virtual Phytotherapy consults through the student clinic at Pacific Rim College where she takes local clients as well as international clients from across the Americas.
Andrea is currently on sabbatical from her TCM private practice.
Now that you know a bit about me, here's the longer story about why I chose the healing path...
I’ve had an affinity for traditional healing and plants since childhood. Born & raised in Los Angeles, I spent much of my early years playing in my family’s lush backyard in Mid-City, an oasis within the urban jungle surrounding our small house. On any given afternoon, you would find me outside tending tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and any number of herbs alongside my mother. My favorite pastime, much to her dismay, was making "tea" with her beautiful flowers - lemon blossoms, begonias, geraniums, passionflowers, birds of paradise. I didn't know at the time, but nature was teaching me to make my first herbal remedies and flower essences. In the evenings, I'd treat my parents to a hand or foot massage when they returned home tired and achy from work. These were the small joys in my world - connecting to nature and supporting my loved ones' well being.
Those formative years left a strong impression on me as I became a young adult fascinated by the world of healing and herbal medicine. As a teenager growing up during the early years of the Internet in Guatemala City, I would spend hours searching the web for information about herbs, aromatherapy, and healing. At my middle school's book fair, I spent my entire allowance on Robert Hittleman's "Yoga 28-Day Exercise Plan" (written in 1969), and started experimenting with yoga and meditation after school. This early exploration of the healing arts laid a strong foundation for what was to come, personally and professionally.
I returned to LA for a Bachelors Degree in International Relations at USC, which turned into a full-time job at a small non-profit facilitating healing arts curriculum for survivors of domestic violence. I loved my job, but quickly felt burnt out after five years of higher education and long days at a busy, demanding organization. I yearned to be more involved in the healing arts side of my job, but instead felt like my talents were buried under mountains of administrative work.
I chose to pivot directions. While still working my 9-to-5, I reignited my passion for yoga and enrolled into a 200-hr teacher training at Liberation Yoga, and then a prenatal Kundalini yoga training at Golden Bridge Yoga.
Shortly after completing yoga teacher training, I quit my job and traveled to India. While in India, I was introduced to other forms of alternative healing, earning certificates in Reiki Level One and Two, and Tibetan acupressure massage. Dr. Kyi, my massage instructor, was also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and the first to introduce me to acupressure points, meridians, and a basic understanding of Chinese medical theory (to read more about that story, click here). My exposure to Eastern healing modalities during that trip led me down yet another rabbit hole and shifted the trajectory of my life.
Realizing I wasn’t cut out for a desk job, I sought out a comprehensive program in traditional healing, herbalism, and energy cultivation. In 2011, I enrolled in Yo San University’s Masters of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine program in Los Angeles. Over the span of four years, I trained in TCM theory and diagnostics, acupuncture energetics, Chinese herbal medicine, and Qi cultivation practices. In my last year of the program, I interned at Yo San’s Community Clinic and completed an integrative healthcare externship at the Venice Family Clinic. In addition, I traveled to Beijing, China to observe at the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center, receiving specialty seminars on gynecology, neurology, internal medicine, orthopedics, and dermatology.
In 2015, I passed the California Acupuncture Board Exam and became a licensed acupuncturist. I went on to earn a Diploma in Oriental Medicine (Dipl.O.M.) from the U.S. National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In 2017, I became a Reiki Master under intuitive healer Syd Yang, deepening my studies in energetic and spiritual healing.
For five years I held a private practice in Mid City Los Angeles, focusing on pain management, fertility, women’s heath, emotional wellness, and lifestyle medicine. I was active in my community offering a weekly BIPOC meditation circle, group acupuncture clinics, teaching self-care workshops, and leading wellness retreats locally and in my ancestral homeland of Guatemala.
Becoming a licensed acupuncturist and clinical herbalist has been an incredibly fulfilling journey, and it's not over yet.
In May 2020, I began a 3-year study program in Clinical Western Herbalism (Phytotherapy) through Pacific Rim College in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Since the early days in my mother's garden, I longed to create a deep relationship with the medicinal plants of my birthplace and homeland, and now that dream is being realized. What better time than now to dive deeper into the bounty of Nature's medicine.
Traditional healing and herbal medicine are my path. Over and over, I have been led to plants, practices, and modalities that promote healing and transformation in myself and others. It's what has lit me up, engaged me, and given my life meaning.
Traditional healing, herbal medicine, whole foods nutrition, energy medicine, mindful movement, meditation, and individualized care strategies are the life-giving practices I know and trust. I have worked in the wellness industry for nearly a decade and in that time have witnessed the impact of natural healing not only in myself, but in the clients I have helped transform through these modalities.
We all have an innate capacity to heal, and we all deserve to be vibrant, healthy, and fulfilled in this lifetime.
At the moment, I am on sabbatical from my TCM private practice, but I offer free in-person and virtual Phytotherapy consults through the student clinic at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC where I see local clients as well as international clients from across the Americas.