La Mesa Integrative Health

5268 Baltimore Dr.
La Mesa, CA 91942
» Map/Directions

(619) 335-1786

Acupuncture Team

Ryan Altman, L.Ac., Executive Director

Ryan Altman, L.Ac., Executive Director

Ryan Altman, L.Ac., HHP is the Founder and Executive Director of the Alternative Healing Network. While studying Chinese Medicine at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Ryan created the San Diego Healing Arts Festival, a free community event that brings music and healing together, allowing a fun and accessible forum to teach the public about integrative health care.

Later he worked to bring these healing techniques directly to the under-served communities who needed it the most. With the help of a growing team of volunteer practitioners and affiliations with Pacific College, Concorde Career College, IPSB, Bellus Academy, and UCSD – School of Medicine, he created a series of “Integrative Health Nights” at local community centers to offer free “integrative” health services to the under-served community.

In June 2008, Ryan created Adams Avenue Integrative Health (AAIH). As a project of the Alternative Healing Network, AAIH is a community oriented integrative health center that operates on a sliding scale to make services available and affordable to everyone. The proceeds from AAIH go to support the free Integrative Health Nights and other programs of AltHealNet.Org.

Additionally, Ryan is a graduate of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He practices a combination of Classical Japanese acupuncture with Reiki, offering gentle, energetic treatments that follow meridian theory while using lighter gauge needles and a shallow insertion. This is good for anyone who may be a bit more needle sensitive. Ryan also incorporates “tui na“, a Chinese therapeutic massage technique, and “moxabustion” or heated herb therapy into most treatments.

Michelle Coltart, L.Ac.

Michelle Coltart, L.Ac.

Michelle Coltart, L.Ac. discovered the Chinese healing art of Acupuncture in the early 1990’s while working in the computer industry. After a co-worker suggested she get a treatment, she realized her true calling. She fell in love with this healing modality, instantly impressed by the effect it had on the health and wellbeing of herself and those she cares for. She began her studies by attending seminars and reading every book she could find; a few years later she left the world of computing and returned to school to explore the wonders of this medicine in-depth. Along the way, she has studied nutrition, herbology, postural analysis, and medical qi gong.

Michelle’s passion for this medicine shows in her commitment to her patients. Her compassion, humor and gentle needle technique set people at ease. She delights that those she treats are as amazed by the effect as she first was.


Drew Pollack, L.Ac. graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. His focuses are pain management, postural alignment, and sports medicine. Drawing from a wide range of experience and over 15 years of meditation practice Drew uses several treatment methods to achieve optimal and lasting results.

Drew’s passion for helping others has expanded to regular trips to Tijuana to offer medical treatment to the homeless. He is currently volunteering weekly at Las Memorias, a HIV hospice run by volunteers in Tijuana.  Read more about his work in a recent San Diego Citybeat article!

His hobbies include rock climbing and ultimate frisbee. His passion is meditation.


Amy Thornton, L.Ac.

Amy Thornton, L.Ac.

Amy Thornton, LAc. has been involved in the healing arts since 2003. Her background is in therapeutic massage and holistic health. She is a certified massage therapist, Feng Shui consultant, Reiki master, Acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. Amy’s life as healer, and as a patient, has led her to discover many techniques and pathways to healing body, mind and spirit.

She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. Her background in therapeutic massage also makes her adept at working with physical pain. Amy uses a variety of techniques in her acupuncture treatments including Traditional Chinese medicine and 5 element.

Amy prides herself on being open-minded enjoys treating people from every walk of life, orientation and gender identity. She believes that Chinese medicine, bodywork, breath and awareness practices are all wonderful holistic tools that allow people to shine their light fully in optimal health and balance.



Ariel Whitworth, L.Ac and Herbalist

Ariel Whitworth, L.Ac., Herbalist, MSTOM, MA, is a California and NCCAOM licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. She graduated from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. She loves using acupuncture for mental health issues and stress relief, managing pain and orthopedic injuries, and working with women’s healthcare. Ariel also works to write and create customized herbal formulas to help manage internal medical conditions, such as insomnia, infertility, or gastrointestinal disorders.

Ariel uses a combination of traditional Chinese, five-element, and orthopedic styles of acupuncture to create harmonious and well-balanced treatments that match a patient’s needs. She likes to incorporate moxibustion (an herbally-based heat therapy), “Tui Na” (Chinese massage), and gua sha (a pain relief technique) into her treatments. She believes that wellness begins with with inner strength, an open heart, and the willingness and curiosity to motivate deep self-work and unfolding.

In addition to being an acupuncturist, Ariel works as a science journalist and editor, currently for the Society for Acupuncture Research. She also teaches yoga and dance, and enjoys aerial arts, including aerial silks and rope.