Personal statement, experience and training


Dr. Ruther has 29 years of experience treating people with acupuncture, injection therapies, herbology, nutrition, myofascial therapy, structural integration, rehabilitation and exercise. David graduated from the International institute of Chinese medicine in 1991.  David continued his advanced studies in Chinese Medicine with the Blue Poppy Institute.  He continued studying western pathologies with Dr. Datis Kharazzian, who is an appointed research fellow at Stanford Medical University.  David also completed a program with the American Institute of Myofascial Studies.  He also completed internships at several hospitals in China, one of which is the prestigious Quan Jie Hospital in Beijing, where the modern system of TCM was developed during the Peoples Revolution in the 1940’s.  David is experienced with treating all kinds of pain syndromes.  David develops individual protocols for all kinds of disorders. David is experienced with treating people with many kinds of illnesses related to pathologies in blood sugar, adrenal function, thyroid and endocrine function, lipid and cardio function, circulatory, blood cell disorders, digestive function, liver and gallbladder function, brain chemistry, neurology and immunology.  Dr. Ruther is experienced with all readings of blood chemistry biomarkers, x-rays, ct scans, and other imagery.

There are many other complimentary or alternative models to choose from.   I focus a lot on the Functional models, and excito-toxic models.  I supplement these views with an extensive background in herbal, acupuncture, nutritional medicine.

Functional medicine assesses the picture of physiology as an integrative unit.   Supporting glucose metabolism, for example, can have a huge impact on liver function, lipid metabolism, adrenal physiology, digestive function, as well as pituitary, hippocampus, thyroid, sex gland function and pretty much every metabolic process.  This interrelated picture does an excellent job of treating the underlying causes and concomitant causes of many disease processes.  This is, of course, a brief over view.  For more complete reviews, please see my articles on the research page of my website;

Functional endocrinology, for example, looks not only at how hormones are being managed by their respective tissues, and their output of hormone levels, but also at how other organ functions may be impacting those processes.  The liver, in terms of endocrinology, also relates to detoxification, breakdown, elimination of and management of hormones and hormone metabolites levels.  This impacts the feedback loops in the brain, mostly the pituitary, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus, which regulate all the other endocrine organs, as well as impact other physiology as well.  The liver also manufactures albumin, globulin, and other globulins, such as sex hormone binding globulins important for transporting hormones.   All these factors will influence hormone function with their respective tissues.  Other important components of functional endocrinology are cholesterol management, gastro intestinal function, glucose metabolism, essential fatty acid metabolism, adrenal, ovary, testes, pituitary, hypothalamus, thalamus, hippocampus, thyroid, pancreas.  Auto immune disease has now outpaced all other pathologies in the United States and auto immunity to some of the above tissues, and many others, are very common now.

The excito-toxic model assesses how the body is responding to, or reacting to the exposure to toxins we come into contact with on a daily basis.  It is of course a good idea to minimize your exposure, but sometimes, it may be impossible to completely eliminate the exposure to certain compounds.  In this case, we need to be able to assess which organs or physiological processes are being impacted and how.  The excito-toxic model especially looks at how brain function and the whole neurological system is being impacted by toxins.  Some of these toxins are the result of internal physiology gone awry.   The brain is especially sensitive to immune mediated inflammation, cortisol and insulin mediated inflammation, gastro intestinal dysfunction and inflammation, and fatty acid metabolism.  Correctly identifying and treating these systems can have a huge impact on the nervous system, our entire physiology and of course, our well being.

I enjoy working with people of all ages, and backgrounds. I have practicing Acupuncture since 1990.   I have studied many forms of acupuncture.  The most common of which is TCM ( traditional Chinese medicine, sometimes called Maoist medicine, which is actually a compilation of styles brought together in 1947 during the peoples revolution), and includes eight principles pattern discrimination, five phase pattern discrimination, viscera and bowel pattern discrimination, channel and network pattern discrimination, qi and blood pattern discrimination, fluids and humors pattern discrimination, six aspect patter discrimination, four aspect pattern discrimination, three burners pattern discrimination, disease causes i.e. western syndrome pattern discrimination, ) in the United States, and at hospitals in China.

I have also done a lot of studying in Classical Chinese Medicine, (which focuses on 4 older texts, Su Wen, Ling Shu, Wen Bing, and Shang Han Lun.) I use these with the more modern Taiwanese and Japanese styles, and applications. Those styles have adapted to modern peoples problems, nervous systems, and physiology, which really differs from the Chinese. China is still a very poor country and conditions there are really rough, and their acupuncture is rough too. Japanese acupuncture is much gentler, and works better with all modern people as so far as I have experienced. I have tried many different needling techniques from different styles and have found several that I employ regularly with amazing results. The retention of needles can vary from seconds, to 45 minutes or more. I evaluate how long to leave the needles in through pulse diagnosis, and an assessment of the patients overall clinical picture.

I bring simple mindfulness practices into the clinic to help with developing deep, relaxing healing states.

Other Background information;

I began to explore eastern modalities of healing in 1984 as a natural inclusion into meditative practice. I began meditating as part of an interest in tai qi, yoga, martial arts, and qi gong. I just seemed to have an inherent interest in these kinds of activities, out of curiosity for cultures that seemed so different and had their own systems of intelligence, cosmology. I began to become more interested in the healing potential of meditation, and deep relaxation. I have tried a lot of different types of meditation approaches over the years, and I continue to go to various talks and retreats in different subjects; Sufi, Vippassana, Zen, Shamanistic, Shavite, Tantric, American Indian, Tibetan Buddhist, Tibetan pre-Buddhist and Christian systems all intrigue inform me spiritually and psychologically. I have spent the most time with Vippassana Theravadan Buddhist teachings and would qualify my meditation mostly as such. I went to the Naropa Institute to study Buddhist meditation, literature, eastern and western psychology, and dance in 1986. I was deeply involved in meditation, tai ji, dance, music and creative writing. I continue to pursue all these as an exploration of spirit and healing.

In my travels I met several teachers in various disciplines that exposed me to acupuncture. One of my early meditation/qi gong teachers was an acupuncturist and I received several acupuncture treatments from him, for general well being, energy balancing.  I attended the International Institute for Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe from 1988 to 1991. I then went to China to do an intensive internship. I returned still yearning for more education.

I attended numerous workshops and began studying more western medicine at that time. I discovered many great teachers and sources of inspired research and treatment. I completed a two year post graduate course with Bob Flaws of Blue Poppy institute. Bob is one of the most prolific translators of Chinese medical material in the United States, and the world actually. Bob emphasizes knowledge of the classics as well as contemporary studies. I began to read more thoroughly about all the different styles of Chinese medicine throughout history and the preeminent scholars and major developments in Chinese medical theory.

The current common types of TCM are eight principles, five phases, viscera and bowel, jing luo (meridian theory), qi and blood mechanisms, fluids and humors, six aspects, four aspects, three burners, disease cause discrimination (western pathology). I also use the older I Ching medical theories to diagnose and treat. I was feeling very strong in my eastern studies and began to study western metabolic processes. I completed a number of intensives through Apex seminars that cover a vast scope of mainstream allopathic as well as alternative western types of disease models and treatment modalities. Some of these areas included identifying toxic loads and how to detoxify organs, assessing metabolic insufficiencies in different organs and how to treat them naturally, and endocrinology.

I continue to explore all these avenues of healing today, and bring the inquiring, exploring nature of my journey into the treatment room, inviting people to engage in discovering their own healing process. I do this by helping people to identify their areas of discomfort, of dysfunction. I use a lot of palpation, (pressing on areas to identify tightness or weakness, swelling or lack of circulation,) range of motion testing, strength testing, postural analysis, then guiding people in relating to those areas, integrating them, making them more conscious, bringing healing to them. My approaches are always gentle and non intrusive. I have developed ways of inserting needles that are almost always pain free. There are occasionally some very sensitive regions that may be beneficial to needle and I can even make these regions very easy to treat.

In 1994 I began studying with a Taiwanese doctor named Richard Tan. I had read an old Taiwanese acupuncture text and found the strategies very effective and was looking into other systems of acupuncture. I also came across a Japanese acupuncturist name Kiiko Matsumodo. I found these two systems to be the most innovative, and effective. I think they are most effective because they are some of the most modern treatment modalities. Offering modern strategies and techniques for modern people. They have developed amazingly effective treatments for adrenal fatigue, and all the related endocrine problems that arise therewith, systemic toxicity, cardiac problems, digestive problems, structural problems and much more in the current framework of modern society.

I integrate these different modalities by exploring them with clients and finding which one works best for that person. The treatments can also vary by the number of needles, time of retention of needles, and size of needles.


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