About The Practitioner

    Russell Koester is a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) in the state of California and maintains national certification through the NCCAOM as a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.). He graduated from Five Branches University, Santa Cruz with a Masters of Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM). During his time in Santa Cruz Russell served the Monterey Bay Peninsula at Pacific Grove Acupuncture specializing in chronic pain management. He is now rooted in Sonoma county with his family and maintains a private herbal medicine practice as well as being the resident acupuncturist at Sonoma County Indian Health Project as part of an intergrative health team. Russell is specializing in herbal dermatology and immunology after completing an in-depth and intensive training with world renown master herbalist Mazin Al-Khafaji. As an athlete he additionally has a strong focus in orthopedic sports acupuncture as well as Kiiko Matsumoto Style (KMS) acupuncture. Russell has a true passion for traditional medicine and loves taking on unusual or difficult health concerns.

    Prior to perusing Traditional Chinese Medicine, Russell spent his time in concert halls and class rooms as a preforming musician, teacher, and avid supporter of the arts. As a classically trained musician, he learned the dual importance of diligent study and creative expression. The skills cultivated in the study of music, his personal journey in meditation, martial arts, and the study of classical Chinese texts all serve him in his current practice. 

    Russell’s latest endeavor is fatherhood and the fine art of dad-jokes. Outside of the clinic you can find him playing with his daughter, Imogen, and partner, Hannah. You might also run into him at the farmer’s market, hiking, mountain biking or rock climbing.


Immune Support Congee

Ingredients for cooking:
1 Cup - Jasmine rice
5 cups - water
4 cups - broth of your choice
Black Sesame seeds - approx ⅓ cup
Astragalus Root - 9 grams
Star Anise - 1 pod
Dried Reishi mushroom - 5-6 pieces
Dried Ginger - 6 grams
Jujube Fruit - 3-4 pieces,
Salt - to taste
Rice Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
2 Baby bok choy - sliced
For Serving:
1 bunch - Cilantro, 1 bunch - Green Onion
Toasted sesame seed oil, Soy Sauce, Fish Sauce

Cooking: Combine dry herbs and rice into 6-8 quart stock pot with water and broth. Bring it to a low boil. Maintain low boil with lid slightly ajar until the rice grain splits and soup has thickened. (30-60min) Stir occasionally to prevent a sticky bottom. The congee should take on a blackish color due to the sesame seeds. Add rice vinegar and sliced box choy at end and stir in to blend. The bok choy should be slightly cooked but still have crunch. Remove and discard cooked herbs. Your congee is ready to serve!

Add fresh herbs, sauces, and oil to taste. Personally I love adding all of them.
Optional extra: 1lb. ground pork, 1 cup Shiitake mushroom, 4 cloves garlic, 2 inch piece fresh ginger. Peel ginger skin with spoon. Mince ginger and garlic. Slice Shiitake. With saute pan on med-high heat combine ingredients. Cook until meat is just cooked and mushrooms have softened. Add a couple shakes of soy sauce at end and stir into congee.

*** If you have trouble finding all the ingredients I do have a small stock of herbs to help you make your congee.


Russell is only accepting new patients for Chinese herbal medicine consultations. Acupuncture services are not being offered at this time.