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Meet Natalie Meehan and Judy Ann Gadler of Acupuncture Express in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Meehan and Judy Ann Gadler.

It all started with a case of pneumonia. One of the three owners had pneumonia and was lying on the table getting her acupuncture treatment for obvious reasons. As a woman who is constantly on the go and a type A personality, she couldn’t stand that she was lying on this table for an hour. She asked Judy (our amazing acupuncturist and co-owner) if she really needed to be there for an hour. Judy said no and in fact in treatments in China are 20-30 minutes. It’s become an hour in the U.S. is because it has transformed into more of a “spa-like” experience.

After doing some research and asking how long people actually wanted to lie on the table for their treatment, the answer was overwhelmingly 20-30 minutes. This then created our mission to make acupuncture more accessible and turning acupuncture into people’s first choice instead of their last resort. Patients are coming in for as many reasons as lack of sleep, back pain, neck pain, digestive problems, arthritis, weight loss and much more. Due to our effective one-sided treatment, we can fit people in during their lunch break or right before work.

One of the biggest dilemmas acupuncturists have to deal with is the lack of coverage from insurance companies. The solution was to make it more affordable through a membership-based system.

The membership works by charging an affordable monthly price that includes two treatments per month and any additional treatments are provided at a discount rate. Having access to two treatments a month is very important to maintain your health and prevent further illnesses.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Luckily, we already had a lot of our resources since one of the co-owners, Alexandria Limon, is a Chiropractor and she had rooms and space for us to work out of. We also created this company on a lean model, which is an entrepreneurial approach that, Natalie Meehan (co-owner) learned while studying Business Management at SDSU. Overall, it hasn’t been a smooth road but we also haven’t had any incremental struggles (knock on wood)

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Acupuncture Express – what should we know?
As mentioned earlier, what sets us apart is the accessibility to acupuncture that we provide for our patients. What we mean by accessibility is in both time and money. We are affordable and we provide effective one-sided treatments to target your pain, dysfunction, or disease. Not to mention we are fairly central in San Diego so we are accessible to many San Diegans. In terms of Acupuncture specifically, we are known for pain relief. Our Acupuncturists are really good at relieving most pains especially back, neck, joint pain, headaches and overall stress.

As a company, we are most proud of our patient education program. When a new patient arrives, we give a brief education session to teach our patients how acupuncture works and how it will specifically benefit them personally. We feel like we are helping and benefiting the Acupuncture industry as a whole when we educate our patients. It’s a disservice to the industry if they walk out from a first treatment and the patient has no clue how or why Acupuncture was helpful for them. The more knowledgeable our patients become, the more dedicated they are to their health. We hear time and time again, how appreciative people are of our brief education session.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Our patients are our biggest advocates. Most of our new patients come from their referrals and it’s rewarding to hear how happy they are with their treatments. It feels good to hear that they’re so excited about the experience that they take the time to tell friends and family.


  • $69 Monthly Membership – includes two treatments/month. Additional treatments cost $29.99

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