"Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.

Non-being is the greatest joy"

Lao Tzu

About Maria

Accupunture Cupping Chinese Herbal Medicine Chinese Herbs Santa Cruz Maria Mitchel
Accupunture Cupping Chinese Herbal Medicine Chinese Herbs Santa Cruz Maria Mitchel
Accupunture Cupping Chinese Herbal Medicine Chinese Herbs Santa Cruz Maria Mitchel

I am one of the few second-generation acupuncturists with a lifetime of exposure to Chinese Medicine, with a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University of Chinese Medicine. My mother, Donna Leight, L.Ac. O.M.D. was a pioneer in Traditional Chinese Medicine with over thirty years of clinical experience.


I specialize in Women's Gynecological Health. I have completed a 6 year clinical internship in advanced acupuncture with renowned practitioner and speaker Holly Guzman L.Ac. O.M.D.(a specialist in Women’s Health and Infertility) and studied for 15 years with Kiiko Matsumoto, a Japanese acupuncturist renowned for her innovation, precision, and dramatically effective use of acupuncture. 


I have a comprehensive background in Integrative Sports Medicine and Trauma. I received my B.S. in Kinesiology from San Jose State University and was a Firefighter for seven years, trained in emergency protocols. I have worked for five years in a physical therapy setting and later received certification in Integrative Sports Medicine, with Frank He, L.Ac. I specialize in the treatment of athletic injuries, musculoskeletal and pain related conditions.


Currently, I am on faculty at Five Branches University teaching TCM theory, Japanese (Kiiko Matsumoto ) style Acupuncture, and a clinical supervisor. I also have a private practice in Santa Cruz.

I accept insurance from Blue Shield, and other insurance providers, call or email to learn more.

Discounts provided for Senior (65 and up) and students with valid ID.


Shasta T.

Maria is a very gifted healer and is very knowledgeable about the physiology as she has a degree also in kinesiology. Whenever my back is hurting she is the acupuncturist I go to. She's very precise and takes her time to get all of the spots so I feel much better when I leave. She helped me be able to continue playing beach volleyball even after some injuries. I love maria and anyone who goes to her will love her too.

Robin S.

I first saw Maria after a car Accident.  Whiplash Neck.  I was getting great results when I was rear ended in a second car accident.  In addition to a second whiplash neck I suffered a concussion with migraine headaches.  Over the course of the treatment time not only did I get headache relief but the soft tissue damaged has now healed and I don't think I felt this good before the first accident   Besides the healing and relief from the injuries of the car accidents my overall health has benefited as I am as healthy as I have ever been in my life.

Nancy P

I've been seeing Maria since August of this year and she has almost cured my back and neck problems.  In addition to a great bedside manner and a relaxing atmosphere, she bills insurance and works with patients so her treatments are affordable.  Best of all, she is totally thorough - treatments are long but she makes sure she takes care of what ails.  I LOVE her and highly recommend her!!  5++++ stars!