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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Acupuncture Holistic Center of New Jersey

Dr. Angela Gao DACM, L.Ac

Acupuncture Holistic Center of New Jersey

By Joe Dunne

From the Great Wall of China to the schoolyard in Queens, New York, Angela Gao arrived in the U.S. speaking zero English. She was eleven years old. Five years later, she graduated at the top of her high school class and received a scholarship to the prestigious Parsons School of Design, where again she graduated with honors. Her award-winning designs led to an introduction to several influential people who opened doors for her fashion designs to enter the international market. It was now time to take her vision on the road and into the world—with a few side trips along the way.

Gifted with tenacity and discipline gained through her father, a master in martial arts, Gao pursued a black belt in kung fu and won national competitions. An opportunity to be in a movie prompted a move to Denmark for six months. On her return, she opened a retail shop in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. Success was sweet as she shared tea in the Hamptons with celebrities of the fashion world. For most, this would have been enough, yet Gao knew she was not yet in harmony with her life’s work.

As the bright lights and recognition fell short of satisfaction, Gao’s past began to design her future. Born into a martial arts family in China, she grew up embracing the fundamental elements of a holistic approach to life, health and wellness. The quintessential idea of “essence, qi and spirit” from Chinese martial arts traces back to the same root as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This connection inspired her to discover the vast mystery behind this 5,000-year-old medicinal approach, and led to her becoming nationally certified by NCCAOM, with masters and doctorate degrees in acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She also went beyond the classroom to gather wisdom, interacting with the elders in Chinatown and weaving her grandmother’s teachings into her understanding.

Today, through combining diet, exercise, Chinese medicinal herbs and acupuncture, Gao offers a personalized, healing experience to her patients at Acupuncture Holistic Center of New Jersey. Her unique experiences of working with the human body through martial arts, fashion and Chinese medicine make her an intuitive practitioner in the art of palpation, needling and understanding the human physique. “I began to realize that my designs were all about body flow, and that kung fu was really a study in muscle movement,” explains Gao. “It all ties together with the truths revealed in TCM and acupuncture.”

Noting the threads in her full circle journey highlights how all has worked together to bring her back to her roots. The model of learning, tenacity, vision, drive and old-soul knowledge received from family, elders and education has served her well. Now, her commitment is to bring the gift of health to her patients and community.

Dr. Angela Gao is director of Acupuncture Holistic Center of New Jersey, located at 300 Old York Road, Flemington. For information, please call 908-788-8806 or visit


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