About Elaine Retholtz

I am an acupuncturist and meditation teacher in New York City. I have been practicing acupuncture since 1992 and meditating since the 60's. The more I worked with acupuncture clients, the more I began to see the value of sharing what I knew about mindfulness and the ways I myself had benefitted from practice. Because of this, I undertook training to become a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Teacher as well as a Dharma Teacher. A bit more about each is below. I hope you'll take the time to read more about what I have to offer.



I trained at the Tri-State College of Acupuncture when it was still in Stamford CT and called the "Tri-State College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture". Early on I was exposed to Mark Seem's French-Vietnamese inspired approaches and his emphasis on the "bodily felt sense" - something I resonated with deeply as I engaged in meditation practice.

As the years went on and my studies continued, I found my own way - often palpation based with a blend of what I learned from Kiiko Matsumoto and most recently, Five Spirit Acupuncture. I studied with Lorie Dechar and Benjamin Fox through three "seasons" of the Alchemical Healing Mentorship. This approach created a bridge between my deep grounding in meditation, mindfulness and intuitive approaches and my background in traditional acupuncture and western medicine (I have a MS degree in Nutritional Sciences). I have also studied essential oils with Peter Holmes and Tiffany Pollard and incorporate this in my work as well, along with Bach and other flower remedies.

Of course, I treat what ails you. I have a general practice and treat pain conditions, digestive, gynecological, and mental emotional complaints. However, whatever the challenge, my belief is that it is possible to change the way we relate to these challenges and to gain the wisdom and insight that can accompany us on our journey. 

Unlike many other practitioners, I prefer to treat one patient at a time. This gives me the time to really be present with each client and open to whatever is needed from moment to moment.

If you are interested in learning more or experiencing an acupuncture treatment, contact me!

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

I became interested in MBSR in 2004 after over a decade of practicing acupuncture and 16 years of dedicated meditation retreat and daily practice. What a powerful way to share the benefits of practice with clients and others! I was the first teacher in NYC certified by the Center for Mindfulness when I was certified in 2012. In 2009 I co-founded the NYC MBSR Teacher Collaborative, and I'm currently in training with the Center for Mindfulness in preparation to train others to become teachers of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Upcoming course listings here.

I am also one of only a few MBSR teachers in the NYC metropolitan area trained to offer the Interpersonal Mindfulness Course, and am certified to offer the Fundamentals in MBSR 8-week Teacher Training in NYC.


Meditation / Dharma Teacher Training

I started meditating in the 60s under the deluded belief that by just concentrating on my breath I could somehow avoid dealing with the emotional turmoil of my teenage years. This is a common reason why many begin practice, and is commonly known as "Spiritual Bypass" - a term coined by John Wellwood. Luckily I encountered more skillful approaches to practice, and attended my first retreat in 1988. Since then, I have been dedicated to the practice and study of meditation, mindfulness, and Dharma. Over the decades I've learned that the power of mindfulness is that happiness and insight actually arise from turning towards rather than away from life experiences. It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that I have a deep interest in and commitment to helping students integrate mindfulness practice into daily life.

I am a graduate of the third Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leaders Program,  on the Teachers Council of New York Insight Meditation Center and a member of the newly configured Guiding Teachers Council. I usually teach on Monday mornings at the center, and I am in the leadership rotation of several sitting groups, including Living Urban Dharma,  Dharma² and Insight OUT Refuge: LGBTQI Sangha.


I am  committed to deepening my own understanding of issues of diversity and the way racial conditioning in the United States affects all of us — both as individuals and in relationship to the institutions we are a part of. I've been involved in New York Insight’s diversity efforts for many years, serving on the diversity committee, and working with others to create spaces – for diverse groups of practitioners as well as for white practitioners meeting separately – to explore these issues within a Dharma frame.