Who I am and Why I do what I do:
(To read my story, just scroll down…)
Erika Fayina Marie, LAc., MSOM, Dipl.Ac., and founder of Chiyu Center is a board-certified licensed acupuncturist in both Colorado and Oregon, an Integrative Medicine Consultant, and a Traditional Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master. She graduated with a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and Certificate in Shiatsu from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in 2012. She holds Diplomat in Acupuncture (Dipl. Ac.) certification with the NCCAOM and Clean Needle Certification with CCAOM. She is currently Chair of Public Relations and Board Member of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado (AAC). Her acupuncture treatments are informed by Classical Chinese Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kikko Matsumoto, Dr. Tan, Shonishin, and Five-Element Acupuncture. She treats people of all ages at her clinic, Chiyu Center, located in Longmont, Colorado, and offers virtual consultation worldwide. Erika is also a speaker, artist, and author of the to-be-published books: Autoimmunity, Sex, & the Dao and Modern Testament.
Erika understands what it means to lose one’s health. After a difficult pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, she became very ill. Erika was able to put her aggressive immune disorder into remission and help her child thrive despite a life-threatening and rare blood disorder. With all this deep, personal experience, Erika specializes in reversing incurable and complex disease and restoring the health of both adults and children.
Prior to her medical career, Erika attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Engineering Psychology (Human Factors Engineering) with a F.O.S. (Field of Study) in Systems Engineering in 2002. During this time, she designed, analyzed, and conducted multiple randomized-controlled trials and won an award from the American Psychological Association (APA) for her team’s contributions to the scientific research community. After graduating West Point, Erika spent nearly five years in the military as an active duty Army personnel officer, and worked under both Army and Joint Commands. Because of her time in service, she loves assisting service-members and veterans. As a certified Traditional Usui Reiki Master, she is also an ordained minister. She provides Reiki treatments in hospitals, hospice, and other out-of-clinic situations for her patients on request.
Whatever your current health struggles, Erika is honored to help you through the hurdles and get you into the next phase of your life adventure!
Erika has personal and in-depth experience with using integrative medicine for herself, her family, and her patients.
When I was pregnant in my third trimester, my right kidney went into acute renal failure several times. Doctors told me that my excruciating and come-and-go back pain was likely due to mild scoliosis. Yet, after giving birth, the pain didn’t go away. Four months later, I was vomiting from a flare of pain so intense I asked to be driven to the ER. To make a long story shorter, doctors were confounded. I had symptoms of right kidney obstruction but no history that would lead to assumption of classic UBJ obstruction, and I also had other symptoms that no one could make sense of: brain fog, confusion, burning neck and spine pain, and severe abdominal bloating with pain. I had some blood markers for autoimmunity but no clear diagnosis. And why was I feeling more left kidney pain if my right one was the one obstructed? I began doing everything possible to save myself from an integrative medicine perspective. In 3 years, I underwent 6 surgeries. I began a regimen of nutritional, herbal, homeopathic, and other therapies. One day, a nephrologist told me he thought the herbal medicine I was taking was responsible for my kidney problems. I did not believe him, but decided to be a good scientist. I took him up on his challenge and stopped my herbal medicine. Two weeks later, I had a routine blood draw to check on my kidney function. The very next day, I received a call from a nurse telling me I was in full-blown renal failure and that I needed to come in to talk about dialysis. Of course, I immediately resumed my herbal medicine after hanging up the phone, and when my labs were re-drawn the next week, I was no longer in renal failure. Whew! A few months later, a nuclear medicine study of my kidney function showed that my right kidney had stopped contributing — the left kidney was doing all the work. Surgeons recommended removal of the non-functional right kidney. I asked for a chance to save it, researched my options, and saw that there was no true precedent. Determined to do what I could, I spent the next four months giving myself electro-acupuncture with the intention of resuscitating my right kidney. The scan was repeated, and it showed that the kidney had regained significant function. Surgery to remove it was cancelled and instead, surgeons agreed to operate to save it. We agreed to let them conduct an exploratory surgery and they removed an growth of tissue that was obstructing flow from a place they had not expected — although it was a place I reported feeling pain. All the while, I continued using appropriate integrative treatments, including dietary therapy, supplements, herbs, qigong, breathwork, and reiki. With these combined efforts, I was able to eliminate my abdominal, neck, and spine pain. I recovered my ability to think clearly, my energy, my joy, and my sense of self. I honestly feel better now than I have in decades. It was not one medicine that can claim triumph for saving me — it was all of them, together.