To Top

Meet Justin Flores of Restore Body

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Flores.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started training in ballet at age 15. It was a small local studio where I grew up in Texas. I was the only boy in classes and, in fact, the only boy in any studio in town. I continued my training at the Houston Ballet Academy and earned a BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma.

After graduation, I went on to dance with roughly 15 different companies on both coasts. Much of my career was spent in San Francisco where I danced for 12 years. I then moved to New York where I eventually became a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera. I had the honor of performing at Lincoln Center for 4 years. It was always a dream for a kid from a small south Texas town to be on the stage at Lincoln Center. I never thought I would be able to achieve it, but patience and perseverance paid off.

My career was not without challenges. Dance is a very physically demanding art form. So much so that I found myself in surgery three times. It was the third surgery on my left ankle that put me on the path where I am today. My recovery was not going well, and I was having a lot of pain in areas that seemed unrelated to the surgical site. I was not getting better despite seeing physical therapists, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, and a rolfer (who did great work and got me some results). I was considering retiring at age 31. I was still living in San Francisco at the time. I had not yet made the move to New York. My plan was to stop dancing at the end of the season because I could not do good work with so much pain. I was going to focus on making music which is my other passion. Then I met an acupuncturist named Steve Coleman in San Francisco.

Steve is not your typical acupuncturist. He uses a lot of other modalities in his practice to diagnose and treat. He was able to figure out what was going on and correct the issue in a few treatments. I credit him with saving my career, adding 12 years to my performance career, and making it possible for me to fulfill my lifelong dream of dancing at Lincoln Center. It was because of this that I decided to become an acupuncturist and body worker after retiring from dance.

As an artist, I need something in my life that will present challenges, allow me to explore and grow, and benefit others. A dance career has a very limited shelf life. The career is short for most and the curtain eventually comes down for all. The healing arts offered a path to continue exploring the body and movement beyond the stage. I will most likely be a terrible dancer in my 70’s but I can be a great acupuncturist at that age. Though I am a medical professional I am an artist first.

I attended Pacific College of Health and Science in NYC for 2 years and then transferred to the main branch in San Diego to complete my master’s in science. I am licensed in all 50 states and my practice is focused on orthopedic medicine. I treat pain with acupuncture and movement therapy. In the medical world, it is called Neuromuscular Reeducation. Teaching the body how to move correctly or without dysfunctional recruitment, refining movement.

I treat a long list of conditions including Sciatica, Plantar Fasciitis, Frozen Shoulder, and pain from Scoliosis. My clientele consists mostly of San Diego’s dance community but my services are available to anyone suffering with pain.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
To practice Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a westerner takes some adjusting. While many of us in the field integrate scientific data to make decisions on patient care the practice of acupuncture and the theory behind this medicine predate science by something like 3500 years. So the way in which the ancients looked at disease, how they characterized it, how they diagnosed it, how they treat it, is not at all like what is done in western medicine. Yet they are parallel in so many ways.

This shift in thinking took time and continues to evolve for our entire career if we nourish it. That is what excites me about it. The journey ahead. So that shift and becoming proficient with the herbal medicine branch of TCM were very big challenges.

The herbs are a beast (said laughingly).

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Restore Body?
My business is acupuncture and movement therapy. I specialize in dance injuries and neuromuscular reeducation.

My website is

I am also a ballet teacher with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet as well as their outreach coordinator. In this capacity, I work with San Diego Unified School District to develop strategies for implementing visual and performing arts programs in public schools.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Calculated risk is preferred. Always have a backup ready to go. Never take risks with other peoples’ lives or feelings and do your best to do no harm. But professionally, to succeed, you’re going to have to take some risks. Understand the landscape.


  • $120 first appointment
  • $100 follow-up appointments
  • Ballet Master Class $200 (2hr. class)

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Israel Palacio
Val Dostalek
Andrea Basile
Brad Matthews
RJ Muna

Suggest a Story: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories