A global pandemic full of undeniable upheaval also produced undeniable silver linings. According to Shoshanna Katzman and Kelly Van Sickell, their reconnection was a true silver lining with a touch of “meant to be.” Conversations between the two acupuncturists during the COVID-19 shutdown led to the decision to work together once again at Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness Center (RBAC) after 25 years. Kelly felt like she was coming full circle back to her roots and Shoshanna was thrilled about what she describes as Kelly coming home. To have Kelly’s support was exactly what was needed for the successful reopening of the center, which Shoshanna wasn’t even sure would ever happen again. Fortunately, they now have each other, merging their strength and vision as they provide their healing work to the community once again.
Though their stories are their own, Shoshanna and Kelly share an inner drive fueled by compassion that developed in childhood. Kelly reflects how growing up with a dad who was chronically ill shaped her and set her on the quest to alleviate suffering. Shoshanna’s desire to care for others sprung forth from helping her grandmother with Parkinson’s and her little sister Wendy who stopped walking at the age of two from her smallpox vaccination.
Kelly started with a degree in Health Sciences/Biology from Rutgers University. A mentor recognized her hands-on ability prompting Kelly to study massage, which led her to acupuncture. Kelly’s dad was her #1 fan and instilled confidence in her as a professional. And she is so thankful that he was able to benefit from her care. Fresh out of school and eager to treat patients, Kelly searched for an Associates position at an established practice. A quick train ride from Hoboken to Red Bank to meet with Shoshanna led to a new job and eventual move to the Jersey Shore.
Shoshanna started out with a love of movement that led her to the intensive study of Taiji in the panhandle of San Francisco. She continued with her studies to receive a master’s degree in Sports Medicine to better train students from both Western and Eastern perspectives. It was then that her professor showed a documentary about acupuncture getting people walking again. It wasn’t long before her sister Wendy came to San Francisco and received acupuncture every day for a month after which she too began walking again after ten years. Shoshanna then followed the natural progression to acupuncture school, eventually moving back East and founding Red Bank Acupuncture in 1988.
As the 27th and 60th licensed acupuncturists in the state of New Jersey, Shoshanna and Kelly continue to be pioneers in Monmouth County. Despite rare insurance coverage for their services and little to no public information about acupuncture, they began their careers. These two women were committed to educating the community about the benefits of acupuncture and administering the best treatments to all who came through their door. For the next three years, the pair worked side by side, facilitating one patient success story after another. Building relationships with providers in every medical and holistic discipline became a priority to better serve the health needs of their patients. Word of mouth has always been and continues to be their number one referral source.
Though apart for many years – Kelly at her own practice, Lotus Village for 20 years, followed by five years at multi-disciplinary practices, and Shoshanna at the helm of RBAC – they kept growing as acupuncturists and businesswomen. Shoshanna continued her studies with an emphasis on reestablishing the connection between the physical and energetic aspects of being, helping others deal with high levels of stress and trauma. Kelly specialized in pain management and the treatment of athletes. As the first holistic modality they were both trained to provide, therapeutic massage has always been an integral part of their centers. Kelly and Shoshanna believe whole heartedly that “The body heals itself when provided with the right environment and the right catalyst for it to occur. No one should take anyone’s hope away.”
A typical day at RBAC finds Shoshanna and Kelly moving from room to room treating patients of all ages for a multitude of acute and chronic conditions, along with preventative care. They fondly describe patients as “cooking” while building flow of qi (vital life force) during their treatments. A steady stream of new patients is the norm, with returning patients seen on and off for 25 plus years. The client base and sheer number of treatments performed by these two petite powerhouses is remarkable. And they show no signs of stopping! This would not be possible without the support of their caring and devoted staff throughout the years who continue to keep the office running smoothly.
Shoshanna and Kelly are inspired every day through sharing the wonders of acupuncture as they connect the dots to discover the energetic source of their patient’s suffering, then guiding them toward discovering the power to transform their lives. In addition to treating patients, Kelly is currently continuing her education with an Advanced Concussion Series and a course on the effects of infectious disease. Shoshanna can be found teaching Taiji, leading National Qigong Association Advisory Council meetings, reciting Classical Chinese medicine texts in Mandarin, or recording videos for her new Taiji tutorial.
Shoshanna and Kelly feel privileged and humbled that so many of you have sought their care throughout the years. The entire Red Bank Acupuncture & Wellness staff wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. We remain deeply committed to serving your health and wellness needs throughout 2022 and beyond. As we move through these challenging times, Shoshanna and Kelly hope for all of us to look for the silver linings to discover and bring deeper meaning and positivity into our lives.
Click Here to learn more about kelly
Click Here to learn more about heather
Click Here to learn more about shoshanna
Proudly serving Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Middletown, Holmdel, Ocean, Rumson, Fair Haven, Little Silver