Melissa M. Monroe, Ph.D., L.Ac is the owner and founder of Eastside Family Acupuncture and is licensed by the State of California, as well as being nationally certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Monroe has been a faculty member at Dongguk University, as well as her alma mater, Samra University of Oriental Medicine.

Dr. Monroe began her academic pursuits by completing a Pre-Med curriculum at Loyola University Chicago where she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University Honors Program with a B.S. in Psychology. After graduating, Dr. Monroe worked as a Research Technologist at the University of Chicago in the Departments of Drug Abuse Research and Anesthesiology/Critical Care, as well as conducting collaborative research with the Departments of Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.

After several unsuccessful operations on a knee injury, Dr. Monroe found amazing rehabilitative results from yoga, Pilates, and acupuncture, and began to study all of the modalities intensively. As she healed herself, many people came to her for advice on healing their injuries, and so began her teaching career. 

Dr. Monroe attended Pilates Teacher Training with Romana Kryzanowska from NYC and studied with Rael Isacowitz and Moira Stott as well. Dr. Monroe also completed Hatha Yoga Teacher Training with the wonderful Erich Schiffman and has attended many workshops with other great teachers such as Rodney Yee, David Life, and Sharon Gannon. She is also a certified Qigong Instructor, having completed Level One training with Jeff Primack of the Supreme Science Qigong Center.

Dr. Monroe formed her own business in 1995. She taught Pilates and yoga while attending Samra University, where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA and earned an Award for Academic Excellence. Among other groups and individuals, she taught Pilates and yoga to the staff of Children’s Hospital (LA).

In addition to the training Dr. Monroe received at Samra, she has completed several post-graduate training programs, including programs for the treatment of acute and chronic pain such as The Balance Method by Dr. Richard Tan, which utilizes points away from the injured area to help reduce inflammation and encourage muscle relaxation via distal reflex connections. She completed an intensive one-year Advanced Acupuncture Orthopedics course with Don Lee, L.Ac., making her one of the first professionals to become a Board-certified Acupuncture Orthopedic Specialist. She has also studied advanced herbal prescription construction and has completed several training programs in the treatment of women’s health issues, including fertility and reproductive health. 

Dr. Monroe has been active in promoting her profession by serving on the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s Student Organization Board as a Regional Director, as well as serving as the Co-Chair of the AAAOM Media and Publication Committee. In doing so, she has written several articles for the professional online journal.

Dr. Monroe earned a Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine in June 2009.  Her dissertation explored “The Treatment of Female Infertility due to Disorders of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis,” which is one of her specialties along with treatment of pain syndromes, neuromuscular re-education and rehabilitation, pediatrics, and stress-related illness, such as digestive problems, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Dr. Monroe’s diverse educational background ensures that every patient receives the highly individualized treatment that is necessary for optimal health and she firmly believes that empowerment and education of the patient towards prevention and self-care is of the foremost importance in the healing process. 

Dr. Monroe maintains office hours at a conveniently located clinic in the Atwater Village area of Los Angeles. In addition to her private practice in Atwater Village, Dr. Monroe recently helped to launch a community acupuncture program at USC-Martin Luther King Hospital in Watts, CA, where she conducts a weekly session for patients. She also teaches continuing education courses to other acupuncturists through eLotus, the nation’s largest provider of acupuncture continuing education.   

The majority of Dr. Monroe’s work in continuing education has been on the topics of PTSD and Grief. Supporting patients in grief has always been a large part of Melissa’s practice, but her understanding of grief became far more personal after she lost her 2-year-old daughter to Sudden Unexpected Death in Children in August of 2013. Since that time, Melissa has blogged about her healing process on Mothering in Memoriam, founded an annual memorial concert, Agastock, to benefit a local sliding-scale counseling center, accepted public speaking engagements about grief and healing, all while continuing to see patients each week in her Los Angeles clinic. 

In April 2022, Melissa launched a podcast This Club Suuucks, Grief Support for Parents After the Lasagnas Are Long Gone, recorded from the weekly #ChildLossChat on Twitter Spaces, aided and abetted by co-host Alexandria Szeman. No one wants to be in the bereaved parents club, but here we are. The podcast is available on all major platforms and recently was awarded the bronze Social Audio Awards 2022 from The Global Interview. Soon to launch is This Book Club Suuucks.

Melissa’s new book, Mom’s Search for Meaning: Grief and Growth After Child Loss, will be published March 28, 2023 by Monarch Books. More details can be found here.

Patients come to Dr. Monroe’s private clinic for general wellness and prevention as well for existing conditions such as: pain syndromes, neuromuscular reeducation and rehabilitation, gout, shingles, colds/flu, women’s health issues, fertility, digestive problems, pediatrics, depression, anxiety, insomnia, grief, and PTSD.

Dr. Monroe’s primary objective is to educate her patients so that they can take control of their own health and vitality. As her patients learn about their conditions, Dr. Monroe’s educational background has provided her with many tools with which to provide healing and support. 

Contact her today to schedule an appointment: