By R.J. DeLuke
High Peaks Acupuncture is a new heath care business in Saratoga Springs, being run by a woman who was once a professional big mountain skier and is an experienced rider of horses. She knows what stress on the body is, and says a main focus of her practice is pain management.
Sandra Sang Lee, known as Sam, operates High Peaks Acupuncture at 3 Franklin Square in Saratoga Springs.
She comes from a family of orthopedic surgeons and appeared headed to medical school herself when she came to the realization that she didn’t want to be associated with hospitals and the kind of practice most doctors are involved in.
She was an acupuncture patient herself for pain issues and turned to it fully as a career. Lee uses small disposable needles that are place strategically, without pain, to provide pain relief to virtually any portion of the body. There is also a stress relief treatment, and procedures that can help with things like acid reflux.
“It’s a whole body treatment,” she said. “You’re re-balancing everything in the body, so to speak.”
After regular treatments, patients can be “feeling your optimal health. You can get to that pain-free stage. You can trust the acupuncturist and trust the medicine.”
Lee has a standard fee for single sessions, but also has what she calls “community” sessions at a reduced price. Those in the latter category will attend a one-on-one session with Lee so she can do a thorough assessment. They then return in a setting with others. Each gets their individual treatment during that time, but it allows her to charge the reduced fee.
“I take what I do very seriously. I take a great deal of interest in my patients” to do the best job, she said.
She said there is generally a lack of knowledge about what acupuncture can manage, as far as pain and injuries. Her practice allows people the ability to manage pain without medicine or drugs, “which is a big thing.” Especially for athletes who are very particular what they put in their bodies, or expectant mothers who are very conscious about drugs that would have to take through other doctors.
“It’s a really effective alternative,” said Lee.
Lee graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in biology, and spent over a decade as a professional ski patroller in Utah, California, and New Zealand. She still is a ski patroller, at Royal Mountain in Caroga.
Her competitive ski days are over, but she continues to train and compete in both road and trail races, specializing in the half marathon.
Lee has a master’s in acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture. She is a state-licensed acupuncturist and certified by the National certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
She is currently continuing her studies toward earning a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine at the American College for Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, where she travels once a month for an intensive week that involves lectures, clinics, training in advances techniques and cases with experts from around the world. “It’s almost like a residency,” she noted. The DAOM is the highest level of training for acupuncturists in the U.S.
Her mission, she said is for High Peak Acupuncture to be a benchmark for sports and orthopedic acupuncture. Ultimately, she hopes to work as a part of an integrated team of professionals within the current western medical model. By gaining privileges in local hospitals, High Peak Acupuncture can continue to develop relationships with practitioners that seek to give their patients cost effective, low risk, accessible, effective care.
“It’s going well, growing slowly, but steadily,” said Lee. “I’m pretty pleased.”
People can reach Lee at (435) 640-3472 to schedule an appointment. More information is available at highpeakacupuncture.com.