About Bending Bamboo
Essential Acute & Chronic Pain Care
Bending Bamboo is a metaphor for flexibility and strength. As with each tree , healthy roots yield strong trunks, strong limbs, strong branches and leaves.
A functional model of training in and applying eastern and western pain recovery methods has yielded a model that when applied touches the deep roots of the central nervous system while balancing the function of our spine, torso and limbs.
In Bending Bamboo, as a practice, the goal is to meet injury & pain with compassion, carefulness and comprehensive technical ability, subtlety and intuition.
About Aaron Hemmen
Acupuncture / Doctor of Oriental Medicine
From 1969 to 1986, I was a performance dancer and ultimately a dance teacher. During this time, I was confronted with sports injuries, which set the stage for a deepening interest in injury prevention and recovery. This led me to become a personal trainer, gymnasium manager and massage therapist.
I came to Santa Fe in 1987 and found work as a personal trainer at a tennis, swim and fitness club. Within a few months, a position opened up for me to be trained as a physical therapy tech at a new clinic. I worked under an M.D.’s supervision while being trained by an excellent staff of professionals in how to apply electro-stim, ultrasound, heat therapies, medical massage, and rehab exercise for pain relief and injury recovery. Our pain patients had experienced auto accidents, whiplash, slip-and- fall injuries and a variety of sprain-strain injuries. Weekly case reviews helped to tailor each treatment plan to fit a patient’s needs. An additional key in our patient’s successful recovery was in providing longer comprehensive treatments.
From 1990 to 1994, I was still working as a PT tech and massage therapist. Simultaneously, I began a four-year course of study to become an acupuncture practitioner/doctor of oriental medicine. This interest arose from observing how effective the D.O.M. at our clinic was in helping to quell pain with our shared patients. I believed that bridging these two worlds would yield a method that would better serve my patients’ recovery from injury and pain.
After becoming licensed as acupuncturist/doctor of oriental medicine in 1994, I branched out into private practice to test the waters by combining acupuncture and manual therapies. I could now add Chinese hands-on forms to my treatment plans. While on staff as a medical massage instructor at The New Mexico Academy for Healing Arts, I took advanced courses in skeletal biomechanics and cranial-sacral technique. This led to a two-year association with an M.D. colleague and my acquisition of the physical medicine modalities I had used in my first clinic training. The responsibility to diagnose and provide treatment for my patients required careful application of all that I had learned.
Today, I continue to provide longer treatments to benefit my patients’ recovery from acute and chronic pain. Additional education has opened me to subtler approaches that stem from cranial-sacral methods. It has become clear that combining oriental medicine with cranial-sacral methods increases central-nervous system relaxation and the body’s ability to activate immune system response and resolve pain.
Medical Field Experience:
- 1994 to now – New Mexico licensed Doctor of Oriental Medicine / Acupuncture
- 2000 to 2004 – New Mexico Academy for Healing Arts, Medical Massage Instructor
- 1998 to 2000 – Medical Office Association with Doctor Stephan Wise M.D.
- 1992 to 2008 – New Mexico licensed Massage Therapist
- 1990 to 1992 – Physical Therapy Tech., under Dr. Richard Shurla D.O.
- 1988 to 1990 – Physical Therapy Tech., under Dr. Bill Dean M.D
Personal Training Experience:
- 1990 to 1992 – Rehab Exercise Trainer, Santa Fe, NM, under Dr. Skurla D.O.
- 1988 to 1991 – The Club at El Gancho, Santa Fe, NM, Personal Trainer
- 1988 to 1990 – Rehab Exercise Trainer, Santa Fe, NM under Bill Dean M.D.
- 1984 to 1987 – Palm Springs Spa Hotel, CA, Personal Trainer, Gym Manager
Dance & Tai Chi Experience:
- 2008 to now – Celestial Dragon Tai Chi & Chi Gong, Santa Fe, NM, Student of Frank Aon
- 1990 to 1997 – Tai Chi & Chi Gong, Santa Fe, NM, Student of Daniel Santos, DOM
- 1981 to 1984 – Center for New Dance & Yoga, Palo Alto CA, Instructor
- 1979 to 1980 – West Coast Teaching & Performing Tour, 5 University residencies
- 1977 to 1980 – Juneau, Alaska, Wet Weather Refuge Dance Studio, Director
- 1973 to 1976 – Founding member of Mangrove Dance Company, Contact Improv.
- 1972 to 1976 – Everybody's’ Dance Studio, Modern Dance Student and Instructor
- 1973 to 1976 – Oakland Ballet Company, Company Member
- 1971 to 1972 – San Francisco Ballet Academy,
- 1968 to 1970 – Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA