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Our Practitioners

All of the practitioners at the Temescal Acupuncture Center have their own private practices. Please contact them directly with the contact information provided below.


Brian Barlay, L.Ac.
Licensed Acupuncturist

Brian founded the Temescal Acupuncture Center in 2003, creating an integrative clinic to serve the Oakland community and beyond. He has 40 years of experience in the healing arts, starting as a Tai Chi practitioner and teacher and eventually becoming an acupuncturist. He received an Asian Studies degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1983, then his Master’s from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1991. Brian was an associate professor on the faculty of the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in Berkeley for over 10 years. He has been in private practice for 28 years and specializes in pain management and orthopedics.  Brian is also a lifelong resident of Oakland and when not seeing patients is usually out on the tennis court.



Cara Brockbank, L.Ac.
Licensed Acupuncturist

Cara is a graduate of Meiji College of Oriental Medicine and has been a practicing acupuncturist and herbalist for over 25 years. Her style of acupuncture reflects the teachings of renowned Japanese master Kiiko Matsumoto, and focuses on the whole body and root causes of illness to provide effective and long-lasting treatments. With gentle acupuncture and herbal remedies, she treats patients of all ages who want to reduce stress, anxiety, allergies and pain, and improve digestion, skin health, sleep, immunity, and hormonal balance. Cara is a mother, gardener, and environmentalist, who finds the inspiration for her healing arts in nature. Her goal to serve her community and provide compassionate care to reconnect people to themselves and to the healing gifts of nature.



Deborah Croan, L.Ac.

Licensed Acupuncturist

Deborah's work in the field of natural medicine started over 25 years ago. During that time, she earned a Master's of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine and completed the National Certification and State licensing process. She then maintained an active practice on Piedmont Avenue, treating a variety of conditions while emphasizing pain management, compromised immunity and women's health. In 2019 Deborah joined The Permanente Medical Group where she supports members with chronic pain and those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. She is proud to be a part of a medicine so deeply rooted in ancient history yet still so profoundly useful in a complex modern world.



Laura Northrop, CMT

Certified Massage Therapist

Laura is a certified massage therapist with over 20 years of experience. She trained at California College of Physical Arts and Maui Academy of Healing Arts. Her style is integrative therapeutic and she customizes each treatment to suit the needs of the individual by applying a combination of modalities, such as deep tissue, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, assisted stretching and myofascial release. She finds the most career satisfaction in the good health of her clients and strives to provide effective treatment by listening, learning and being mindful of each person’s needs. Laura believes in the body's ability to heal itself and that massage therapy is one of the many paths to restoring health and balance.


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