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About Dr. Kandel
Dr. Herb Kandel, L.Ac., O.M.D. is a California licensed acupuncturist and a doctor of Oriental Medicine with 34+ years of experience as private practice as owner of The Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria.

After graduating with a degree in Cultural Anthropology in 1979 from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Dr. Kandel studied at the California Acupuncture College of Santa Barbara and earned his licensure (LAC) in 1985. He then completed an intensive post-graduate program at the Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Subsequently, Dr. Kandel was the first American to study at the Xiyuan Hospital in Beijing, a foremost clinical and research center for Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. He helped establish a program for other doctors around the world to study with these prestigious doctors and remains humbled by the opportunity to study with them. Bringing his skills back to the US, Dr. Kandel pioneered acupuncture on the Central Coast with the opening of the Acupuncture Center of Santa Maria in 1986. The next year earned his Doctorate degree at the SAMRA University in Los Angeles focusing a thesis on the treatment of post-traumatic headaches with Traditional Chinese Medicine, pioneering work that translated new information for clinical use.


Dr. Kandel’s unique treatment is focused on commitment to his patients as individuals and to his community as a whole. Dr. Kandel makes a special effort to understand each patient in the context of their own world, life, family, work, and their individual passions. His expertise in Women’s health, PTSD, trauma, musculoskeletal disorders, pain, and stress derives from dedicated study and long-time experience serving and treating complex conditions.  Dr. Kandel is an expert in herbal therapyQi Gongfunctionally integrated medicine and massage. He is grateful to have trained with several masters in Japanese Shiatsu, Intuitive Massage & Trager, as well as, cupping and incorporates massage in acupuncture treatments.

Outside of his regular practice, he has taken his skills well beyond the confines of The Acupuncture Center to include serving with Acupuncturists Without Borders to address needs in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He has pioneered community programs in trauma care services and detox programs, including initiating the Substance Abuse Program for homeless at the Good Samaritan Homeless Shelter, Community Health Centers (CHC) in SLO, and Shelter for women during pregnancy in Santa Maria. Currently, Dr. Kandel dedicates his time to making acupuncture accessible for community college students as the Clinical Director of the Acupuncture and Massage Program at Allan Hancock Community College, in its third successful year.


Dr. Kandel regularly teaches workshops and classes on Chinese medicine, including the philosophy & practice of acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, and traditional Qi Gong exercises. He enjoys collaborative presentations with western medical colleagues and diverse fields, such as science and the arts. He is a frequent guest lecturer at the local university and community college as well as the national conferences such as the Acupuncture Detox Association. In addition, he advises community leaders and professional groups across the Central Coast, including the Santa Maria Police Department, Alzheimer’s association, Parkinson’s Association, and Marriage & Family Therapists.

Dr. Kandel cares deeply about his community, and influenced by his extensive travels around the world, he holds a deep respect for the wisdom and stories that cultures around the world can provide. Dr. Kandel is also an active community volunteer having served in leadership positions among numerous nonprofits that include the PCPA FoundationLand Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County and the Dana Adobe Amigos. He is theater enthusiast, surfer, equestrian, and outdoor adventurer, but most importantly, Dr. Kandel is joyously married to his wife of 34 years, Donna, and a proud father of two brilliant and talented daughters, Anya and Zosha.

Contact Dr. Herb Kandel by calling 805.922.4490