At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.–Lao Tzu

Who We Are as a Team

Together, the Bridges Team is a group of people with similar values and a fire to make a difference in our patient’s lives. We love connecting with each of our patients and facilitating transformation, each in our own unique way. We also enjoy working together, supporting each other when things get chaotic and laughing together as we plan and vision our next projects and to-do’s.

As a team leader, Laura looks for candidates with strong emotional intelligence, responsibility, and clear visions for a better future for all humanity. Always seeking balance, Laura’s philosophy is that a successful healthcare business must walk the talk, and Bridges Acupuncture provides well-paying jobs with generous benefits to nurture the emotional and physical health of all staff members, regardless of position. We are deeply grateful to each of our patients who supports us - through payment for services, leaving positive reviews, and sending friends and family to us - and in turn allow us to support you.

Thank you.

Laura Ellis

Laura Ellis with Montego

Acupuncturist, Practioner of Oriental Medicine

Laura has felt like a bridge for most of her life, although when she was young she mostly thought of it fondly as “being weird.” She was unschooled and enjoyed educating people about it so much, she and her brother started this website, and she still answers the curious emails that periodically come through.

Laura was also politically and spiritually apart from most of her peers, which early on caused her to question, to doubt, to explore, to trust, and to explain her different perspective - sometimes exhaustively with her more argumentative friends!

So it was only natural that Laura became interested in alternative medicine and energy healing in college, where for her, “experimenting” meant driving several hours for a weekend course in Reiki or Akashic Record consulting. She didn’t discover acupuncture until after college, but of course, the timing couldn’t have been more right.

With a degree in human sciences, Laura has studied sociology, anthropology, religion, psychology - all the things that make us human. Spiritually drawn to alternative medicine and energy healing, she is helping forge paths toward a world of balance and equality.

Joys in Laura’s life include traveling, writing, craft Belgian beer, scotch, Indian food, training horses, and geekdom (all the way to cons and fan fiction).

  • Meet Laura's animals

    Magic and Mystique

    Laura's cats, Magic and Mystique, are sisters who could not be more different. Magic loves to stay inside and cuddle while Mystique loves going for walks, climbing trees, and hunting.

    Laura’s first horse is named Montego, and he’s a Spanish Mustang from the wilds of Wyoming. He loves learning new skills, playing with his herd members, and spending quiet, reflective time with people he trusts.



    While Des the Arabian actually belongs to a friend, he’s still part of the family, and enjoys grass, affection, and secretly loves being told what to do (but he’ll deny it if you ask).

    Lady Rose joined the herd as a foster mare from a local rescue. Lady Rose is spicy on the surface, sweet underneath, and doesn’t let the guys forget that there’s a woman around, now.

    Lady Rose


    Athena is a sweet husky/akita who loves to play and wants to be in the middle of everything (especially hugs). She’s very expressive and we frequently “die of cute” when she tilts her head that certain way.

Education, Certification, and Training

  • Licensed Practitioner of Oriental Medicine by the state of Pennsylvania, 2015
  • Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSAOM), Southwest Acupuncture College, 2015
  • NCCAOM Certified Diplomate, 2015
  • Trauma-Informed Care Certified, Acupuncturists Without Borders, 2024
  • B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations with honors and Phi Beta Kappa, Earlham College, 2010
  • Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture, Dr. Martha Lucas, 2017
  • Reiki Master/Teacher, 2010

Tyler Shimko

Tyler Shimko

Acupuncturist, Practioner of Oriental Medicine

Tyler is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. He began his healthcare career as a nurse and quickly realized he wanted to be part of a more holistic and natural approach to wellness. A major spinal injury gave him the opportunity to experience acupuncture and its ability to help the body heal. In May of 2021, Tyler completed his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical arts in Asheville, NC. There, he spent over 4,000 clinical hours refining his classical acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, and herbal medicine skills.

With his background in Western medicine Tyler takes an integrative approach to his diagnosis and treatments by considering pharmaceuticals/supplements, bloodwork, lab results, and Classical Chinese medical diagnostic techniques to identify health patterns specific to the individual. Each treatment is custom-tailored to the individual, and through careful diagnosis. Acupuncture not only helps relieve your current symptoms; it can help treat the root cause of your condition. He has a specialty for treating pain and orthopedic conditions but also treats a wide variety of problems including GI issues, stress/anxiety/depression, sleep disturbances, headaches, gynecological conditions, allergies, respiratory conditions, and chronic illness. It is his goal to help each client develop and understand their own personal definition of wellness.

  • More on Tyler's interests

    Tyler loves outdoor adventures and activities. He is often spending his free time hiking, fishing, and camping in the warmer months, and snowboarding in the winter. Tyler is a life-long musician and plays a variety of percussion instruments. He frequently attends local concerts and comedy shows. Tyler loves all things horror/mystery, and when he is not outdoors or at an event, he is often nose deep in a Stephen King novel or watching classic horror films.

    Tyler reading Stephen King

    Tyler’s life partner, Corinne, is also an acupuncturist. They met in Asheville, NC at Daoist Traditions and share a strong affinity for caring for others through the modalities of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Their cuddly cat, Sika, is inseparable from them anytime they are home; she cannot get enough attention.

Education, Certification, and Training

  • Licensed Practitioner of Oriental Medicine by the state of Pennsylvania, 2021
  • Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts, 2021
  • Master's of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM), Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts, 2021
  • B.S in Nursing from West Virginia University, 2015
  • Reiki Master, 2016

Christopher Stevens

Christopher Stevens


Christopher made his way into the field of medicine by taking his knowledge of exercise science and applying it beyond fitness. Intrigued by the outstanding results that could be obtained through correcting muscular imbalances and spinal misalignments, he chose to further his education and opted for holistic care.

After earning a master's in acupuncture, his eyes were opened to a world where everyone wasn't seen as a sum of parts but as an individual part of a much bigger universe where everything functions at an optimum level when in a proper balance.

Using the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, he went on to treat conditions beyond physical discomfort. He has since found his footing in alternative care and continues to study patterns of shifting health irregularities to become a greater opposing force in the fight against disease.

Activities that can typically be found on Christopher's personal itinerary include running, hiking, snowboarding, jamming out to music, trying out new cuisine, and binge-watching exhilarating television shows and movies during his much-needed downtime.

Education, Certification, and Training

  • Licensed Acupuncturist by the state of Pennsylvania, 2022
  • NCCAOM Certified Diplomate, 2022
  • Master of Acupuncture (MAc) with Magna Cum Laude honors, American Institute of Alternative Medicine, 2021
  • B.A. in Exercise Science from Capital University, 2017

Laura Lewis

Laura Lewis

Medical Massage Therapist

Laura started her career in health care over 30 years ago as a Registered Nurse. She segued into holistic care after taking a more natural approach to raising her children, which allowed her to witness the power of many alternative therapies. She believes that there are multiple modalities that tap into the body’s innate capacity for healing, and that the practitioner facilitates this process. She enjoys working with clients of all ages, and enjoys teaching clients about their conditions and how they can prevent future issues. She studied neurokinetic therapy early on in her massage career, which allows her to analyze movement and compensation patterns which can lead to chronic pain or dysfunction. She is certified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage, and has taken Active Release Technique (ART), advanced Zone Technique, and Bowen Technique.

  • Laura's interests

    Laura enjoys spending time cooking (and eating!) with her family, and hiking with her dog Scout. Living on the Slippery Rock Creek allows her to practice fly fishing and marvel at nature, especially the fishing skills of bald eagles! Laura also loves all things Italian, and studying metaphysics.

Education, Certification, and Training

  • Licensed Massage Therapist by the state of Pennsylvania, 2012
  • Mahoning County School of Massotherapy, 2012
  • Studied neurokinetic therapy, certified in Manual Lymphatic Drainage, studied Active Release Technique (ART), advanced Zone Technique, and Bowen Technique
  • B.S. in Nursing, Kent State University, 1991

Emily Sizer

Emily Sizer

Front Desk Coordinator

Emily is most likely the first person you will encounter when calling or coming in to Bridges Acupuncture. She loves to help and encourage others along their healing journey. Being the bridge between our patients and our practitioners has fulfilled her passion; being of service and help to individuals within a community.

  • More on Emily's path to Bridges

    When Emily started her college career in 2015, she knew she wanted to help others but was unsure about what path to take to accomplish that goal. She started out by studying social work and psychology but the spark just wasn't there. She did some deep reflection, and asked herself, “what do you do to help you?” and the answer was simple; being outside surrounded by the natural world. At that point, she realized that she could help others by educating about the positive effects outdoor recreational activities have on the physical, mental and spiritual health. Parks and Recreation Management was the major change Emily needed in her life and she successfully received her degree in 2022.

    She has worked in and outside of her field of study with consistent patterns of management roles. She also has a desire for practicing natural and holistic wellness in her own life so naturally, she strives to walk along that healing path with others. In 2021, Emily became certified in Reiki level 1 with goals to become a reiki master. A love for nature, helping others, learning reiki, and being a natural born leader has led Emily to the Front Desk Coordinator position at Bridges where she is able to fulfill her many passions.

  • More on Emily's hobbies and values

    Emily has a long list of hobbies that she loves to share with others. Flow arts like yoga, belly dance and hula hooping are weekly practices that she has in place for movement and de-stressing. Belly dance performances happen yearly at a local festival in Slippery Rock with her dance group, the Oasis Dancers. She has taught several groups of children hula hooping games and activities. She also loves to hike, camp, and bake on a regular basis.

    Emily’s values include trust, empathy, and family. The most important people to her are her partner, Nick, and daughter, Dorina. She also has a black cat named Cooper, thanks to Laura who bridged him to Emily, shortly after starting her position here.

Education, Certification, and Training

  • B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and Leadership, Northern Arizona University, 2022
  • Reiki Level 1, 2021
  • Project WILD certified, 2019
  • Project Learning Tree certified, 2017
Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightenment. – Dao De Jing