Meet Steve

About your acupuncturist

Prior to my career as an Acupuncturist, I was a Wildlife Biologist for the Forest Service. I graduated from Colorado State in Fort Collins with a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, and I would have pursued that career, had I not suffered an accident that led to immediate and chronic low back pain. Neither standard medical treatment – which mainly involved prescribing drugs – nor chiropractic care, were able to relieve me of pain. Acupuncture, combined with yoga, were the treatments which did. 

The experience was so profound that I became engaged and interested in the methods of acupuncture. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know, until finally I was motivated to change my career.


I attended the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Seattle, Washington and graduated in December of 1989. Upon graduation I worked for two years at Seattle Acupuncture Associates, where I collaborated with physical therapists and occupational therapists. This clinic was one of the first of it’s kind to blend different therapies, and it taught me the value of structural medicine in combination with Acupuncture and other techniques. I continue to apply that perspective in my own private practice, which I opened in Kalispell, Montana in December 1991.

I have advanced my professional education primarily in the area of Japanese-style acupuncture. While acupuncture originated in China, it spread throughout Asia. Each culture has provided its own influence, with all of these now slightly different practices referred to as East Asian Medicine.

I participated in the first Toyo Hari Association training outside of Japan, a Blind Acupuncturist tradition and I have studied Yoshio Manaka’s Eight Extra Vessel Treatment System, which is also Japanese. I practice moxibustion in the Sawada style and I practice Sotai, a Japanese system of structural balancing.

I was fortunate enough to have teachers who emphasized a practice based on palpation, and my practice is palpation based. Touching the pulse, touching the abdomen, palpating the meridians, and a gentle listening touch from the feet along with taking a good history are my primary diagnostic tools.

In 2001 I started studying and practicing NAET (Nanbudripads Allergy Elimination Technique). It is a simple and gentle technique that effectively desensitizes people to triggers that cause a variety of allergic symptoms. I now combine Traditional East Asian Medical Systems and NAET to effectively treat a variety of health problems.

 ​Steve Martinez


What type of training must an Acupuncturist have to be licensed?

In order to become a licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac) in Montana, practitioners must graduate from a nationally accredited school, or other approved program, and pass rigorous national board exams administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The NCCAOM requires a minimum of three years of education to become a Diplomate of Acupuncture (Depl. Ac), which includes over 1,900 hours of schooling. An additional 720 hours of education in herbal medicine is required to become a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.). Both Diplomates in Acupuncture and in Oriental Medicine qualify to apply for Acupuncture licensure in Montana. All national board applicants must be certified in the practice of Clean Needle Technique to assure that they are knowledgable and competent in proper skin preparation, insertion, and manipulation of sterile Acupuncture needles, and disposal of used needles.

Approximately one-third, or a minimum of 660 classroom hours, are spent treating patients with Acupuncture and Oriental medicine in a clinical setting. During this time practitioners see patients with a wide variety of health issues to ensure they are prepared for practice. In addition to clinical training, students are required to complete extensive coursework in biomedicine, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and pathology. To maintain licensure, all licensees must complete continuing education each year and be in good standing with the Montana Board of Medical Examiners.


Acupuncture works

Acupuncture has stood the test of time and is currently one of the most widely used health care treatments in the world. Its effectiveness has been proven through rigorous research. Its safety is assured through the education and competency training of licensed practitioners. And it uses the most potent therapeutic power known to humanity – the body’s natural healing abilities. The presence and manipulation of an Acupuncture needle stimulates or sedates those systems of the body that are out of balance. This restores functional equilibrium to the entire person so that they can be healthy in body and mind.


Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other health care modalities. This is where the medical systems of East and West meet for the greater good of the individual. In almost all instances, Acupuncture can be a helpful addition to the use of drugs, surgery, and radiation therapy. The two medical systems – Asian and Allopathic – have their own important contributions to health care. But Acupuncture can often be used to treat disorders before they progress to the point of needing radical intervention. And it is safe, gentle, and nurturing.

You can be assured that a Montana Licensed Acupuncturist has your best interest at heart. He or she will listen to your history with an open mind, perform a detailed examination, and deliver a treatment with sensitivity and skill.

Kalispell Family Acupuncture Inc.

Contact us at:


We're in the K M Building

Steve Martinez Acupuncture
40 2nd Street East, Suite 228
Kalispell, MT 59901