Our Approach
our approach

Our work is to actively promote and foster wellness in the body– and we do it with a unique blend of Western, Chinese, and Functional Medicine (which bridges Chinese and Western approaches.) Our three acupuncturists are also registered nurses. We draw on extensive training and experience and on a passion for seeing the whole picture of health to provide customized, holistic plans for our patients.our approach

Our Story

Western Medicine

The founder of Conception Wellness, Lisa Pugliese had been working as a registered nurse for a few years when she was took a job in a hospital pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). There, unlike other units, Lisa had only one patient to look after. She loved being “in charge of every aspect of that patient’s nursing care, and being thoroughly involved with one patient at a time. She relished the opportunity to truly connect with each patient, as opposed to spreading care among several patients.

Conception Wellness was founded with that same “complete connection with each patient” in mind. It is important for us to:

  • Fully understand a patient’s current and past medical history (We want to know everything!)
  • Review all of the body systems that contribute to wellness
  • Create a custom treatment plan based on what we see.

We like to connect with the rest of the “team,” such as doctors and other health professionals with whom our patients are working. With everyone collaborating, our patients can experience what they deserve – the best of both worlds.

Indeed, that’s the beauty of having three practitioners who also are registered nurses. We . . .

  • Are comfortable within the Western medical system and help our patients get the maximum benefit from it,
  • Are connected to some of the best doctors in San Diego and know when, and to whom, to refer our patients for care when needed,
  • Use our nursing experience each day in our practice, providing support, guidance, counsel, and care to our patients. “Once a nurse, always a nurse,” the saying goes.

Chinese Medicine

In 1994, Lisa Pugliese sought treatment from an acupuncturist — another former ICU nurse! — for chronic sinusitis. Lisa had dealt with it for years and had exhausted Western medical treatment without success. The acupuncturist helped Lisa understand that her symptoms were caused by an imbalance in my body to which she was contributing with her dietary choices. This was another “aha” moment as she began to view her symptoms and her health very differently — and in a way that made innate sense to her.

Lisa began a treatment program to correct the imbalance, not just alleviate the symptoms, and it worked! For the first time in her adult life, she had no sinus symptoms and never got another infection. She was hooked and wanted to know more — to help others find health and healing through this ancient medicine.

In 1997, Lisa enrolled in a master’s program studying traditional Chinese medicine — which doesn’t isolate and treat a single symptom in the body as is common in Western medicine. Instead, it views the body as a whole, with interrelated and interconnecting parts (Learn more about all our backgrounds here).

In particular, working alongside Loisanne Keller, OMD, the acupuncturist who had first treated her, Lisa saw the healing power of Chinese medicine in women’s health and fertility. This was a specialty of Dr. Keller’s. Lisa learned a great deal from her and studied with other of the leading women’s health specialists.

Functional Medicine

In functional medicine, modern medical tools such as lab testing are used to gather information about a patient — but results are analyzed with a wellness-oriented model rather than the disease model used by standard Western doctors.

Dr. Keller was a naturopath who incorporated functional medicine into her practice and offered an even wider spectrum of treatment options to her patients — which Lisa adopted. Lisa went on to study this approach extensively, including a class with Dr. Jeffrey Bland, considered by many to be the father of functional medicine.

This is how Conception Wellness developed its unique three-pronged approach, which is so important to the care we provide. Indeed, Lisa brings nearly 20 years of experience with functional medicine to the practice, much of it focused on blood chemistry analysis and endocrinology. All the team members draw upon this expertise.


Putting it All together… Conception Wellness

Lisa took over the Keller Clinic after Dr. Keller retired. After a few years, she approached Dr. Keller with the idea of changing the name of the clinic to reflect her evolution as a practitioner. In 2013, the Keller Clinic became Conception Wellness.

Conception Wellness is a very special place. I am very careful about who can work in this space. I want practitioners who love and value the work as I do and who understand the unique history and evolution of Conception Wellness. I have been so fortunate to find amazing healers and staff to work with me. When you come to Conception Wellness, you will see and feel the love. I am beyond grateful.

–Lisa Pugliese