Meet Dr. Erika

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Dr. Erika Halle, DVM, CVA, CVSMT, CVTP, CVFT

Dr. Erika and her "kitten" Pippilotta Fluffstocking

“I am committed to creative holistic, integrative options for pet health”

After a youth spent being driven to achieve a veterinary degree, I found myself floundering in my first year of veterinary school. I had worked so hard to get there, and once there I discovered that I was utterly bored with the conventional solutions to pet health issues that I had come to be familiar with. For a few months I considered dropping out and changing careers altogether until a classmate reintroduced me to my curiosity about complementary and alternative treatments. Suddenly a holistic veterinarian was born! I believe that conventional medicine has its place and is extremely important but, for many conditions, offers limited options. Because of this, my career has been dedicated to holistic medicine since before its official start.

I am committed to creative integrative and complementary solutions for pet health. Above all, I believe that veterinarians and pets are only a part of the pet healthcare team. The most important team member is you: The pet’s parent! My goal is to provide solutions that work for your pet and for you. After all, daily herbs for life sounds like a great idea until you try to pill your cat twice a day for five years! I was a pet parent before I was ever a veterinarian and though I haven’t been through every situation with my own pets, I have handled many challenges and understand the need for compassion and flexibility in their medical care.

I enjoy hearing people’s stories, and my clients have commented that they appreciate my calming presence when they are facing a crisis or difficult decisions with their pet. Sometimes silence is what is necessary, and I am committed to being fully present with my patients and their people. This allows me my best chance to truly hear your story and be open to finding solutions that not only work for your pet’s issues, but also work for you. Sometimes there are no answers, and it is in those times that having someone to simply listen to your challenges compassionately can be the most valuable.

I use many modalities in my practice, but the one that resonates most strongly with me is traditional Chinese medicine. I love the elegant philosophy that underlies the system. I love the options from acupuncture and herbs to gentle massages and food therapeutics. In chronic and sometimes terminal conditions like organ failure or cancer, I love that treating the Chinese diagnosis nearly always means increasing quality of life as well as increasing quantity. Most importantly I became a true believer after using Chinese medicine to cure my puppy’s behavioral problems and my own chronic migraines.

I’m also passionate about food, which leads to a very natural partnership in Traditional Chinese food medicine. To share this love with the world, I have written a short book, The Tao of Feeding Your Furry Friends, that discusses Chinese food medicine principles and how they relate to Five Element constitution/personalities.

I’m always up for adventures in cat food cooking up creative (read as “often frustrating”) meals for my picky kitty Pippilotta. I also enjoy horseback riding and working with mares who are sometimes challenging and sometimes angelic but always remind me why my veterinary school professor referred to mare as a “four letter word”.

Dr. Erika Halle (previously Raines) obtained her D.V.M. degree from Oregon State University. She was certified in veterinary acupuncture, traditional Chinese veterinary food medicine, and Tui-na (Chinese medical massage) by the Chi Institute in Florida and certified in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (veterinary chiropractics) by the Healing Oasis in Wisconsin. She is happy to be back in her childhood home of the Willamette Valley.

Dr. Erika’s Qualifications

Dr. Erika graduated from Oregon State University in 2010 with her veterinary degree. Shortly afterward (2 months later) she completed the final session of the Chi Institute’s mixed animal acupuncture certification course where she learned the basics of acupuncture and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) for cats, dogs, horses, and other animals.

Afterwards she continued her training by moving to Canada to work with the founder of the first established holistic veterinary clinic in British Columbia. Dr. Marlene was one of the group of veterinarians who were the first generation of North American veterinarians trained in acupuncture, and she passed the wisdom of her many years of TCVM experience on to Dr. Erika.

At the same time, Dr. Erika continued her formal training with a certificate in veterinary spinal manipulative therapy (chiropractic therapy) from the Healing Oasis Wellness Center. She also went on to further her TCVM training by achieving further certifications in food therapy, Tui-Na (Chinese medical massage), and has since been building her training in Chinese herbal therapy. All of these TCVM trainings have come from the Chi Institute.

At this point, in addition to all the training that Dr. Erika has completed, the entire 10 years of her professional career experience have been spent in integrative and holistic practice, most of which has been spent in practices that were exclusively integrative. These types of practices tend to attract many unusual cases. Within the first year of her career, Dr. Erika had seen at least half a dozen things that she had been told in school she might see one time in her entire career.

If you have a difficult or unusual problem, chances are good that Dr. Erika has treated it several times before. If it’s quite an unusual problem, there’s a good chance she’s seen it at least once or has seen something very similar to it.

Though the American Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine has been working for some time with the American Veterinary Medical Association to create a board certified specialty in TCVM, as of this writing that has not been completed. Despite this, when proposals have been made, Dr. Erika fulfills all the proposed requirements for the proposed board certification aside from completing the certification exam which, as yet, does not exist.