Dr. Peter Borten, LAc, DAOM

Articles and Resources on All Facets of Health and Healing

Work With Me

If you resonate with my writings and resources on health, consider scheduling a consultation or face-to-face appointment with me, and please check out my and Briana’s businesses below. We make high quality products for health and body care, we create resources for learning and evolving, and we own spas where all of these things come together.


Health Care

First, there’s my own private medical practice in Boulder, Colorado. I utilize herbal medicine, acupuncture, nutrition, lifestyle modification, body work, energy work, and other modalities to help people achieve optimal health. To schedule an appointment, please call the reception desk at 303-219-1444. I also do consultations over the phone, Skype, or email. If you’re interested, please leave your contact information with the receptionist and I’ll call or email you to set it up.

I first met Dr. Borten in 2000. He was just getting started in a small office in SW Portland. One wall was shelved with large glass jars full of all the standard Chinese herbs. Even in the early days of his practice, Peter had a calm and confident persona along with an amazing healing ability.

Over the years I called on Peter for some intensive nutritional counseling. I also referred a couple people to him who had remarkable success with his healing guidance. I have trusted Peter for years with my health and well being. He is the type of person that is honest, direct, efficient and compassionate.

– Jason B.

Dr. Borten’s breadth of knowledge around health and healing is, quite simply, stunning. I’ve never met anyone else with Peter’s depth of understanding about how the mind, body and spirit work to create health or disease in a person.

On top of that, he’s one of the most caring and compassionate healers I’ve ever met. He has my complete trust and tremendous admiration as a gifted healer.

– Alice G.

Under Dr. Borten’s care I flourished and found a sense of control, vitality and self-love that I could never access before. Peter helped me to simplify and get back to the basics of health, strength and appropriate nutrition all the while encouraging me to be a kinder person to myself.

I feel, to this day, truly fortunate to have worked with him.

– Kimberly O.

How to Eat

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After years of trying to teach my patients everything I thought they should know about nutrition in the small period of time we have together, I decided to make a more comprehensive online course. Whether your goal is to be healthy, to lose weight, to maintain your weight without eating in a way that feels unnatural, or just to feel good in your body, you don’t need a diet, you need a way of eating – and a way of thinking – that’s logical, sustainable, and enjoyable. That’s what this course teaches. Click the picture or heading above for more info.

Dragontree Apothecary Health and Body Products

DragonTree Apothecary

This line of products is a dream long in the making for me and my wife. I have been studying herbal medicine since I was a teenager, frequenting the “witchcraft” stores of Salem, Massachusetts, most of which were actually just herb stores. I refined my understanding of herbs while earning my bachelor’s degree in botany at UMass Amherst and then at Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, where I earned my master’s and doctorate. My wife Briana did her studies in body work and the traditional Indian system of medicine. She is a Certified Ayurvedic Specialist. Together, we developed a suite of all natural body care products with the highest quality ingredients, and I developed several products for pain and a line of tinctures to address many common health conditions. We have put SO much time, energy, and care into these products. I hope you check them out and enjoy them. Click on the picture to check them out.


Imbue Pain Relief Patch

Imbue Logo 2

The Imbue Pain Relief Patch is an all natural patch I developed after working with patients with stubborn pain for years. It contains a sophisticated blend of Chinese herbs and it’s super effective. If you have pain or know someone else who does, try it out!


The Dragontree Holistic Day Spa

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We opened The Dragontree Holistic Day Spa in 2003 in Portland. We now have two locations in Portland (one in the Portland Airport) and one in Boulder, Colorado. Click here to check them out.

Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote at our eight year anniversary:

Shortly after Briana’s 23rd birthday, we opened our doors for business. Things moved slowly at first, with Briana and her partner doing everything from making appointments to checking clients in and out, laundering the sheets and towels, mopping the floors, and performing all of the massage. It was a big, exciting step forward when we hired our first therapist and receptionist.

About a year and a half after opening, it became clear that Briana and her business partner were no longer seeing eye to eye on the overarching vision of the business, so Briana raised the money to buy her partner out. Whereas her creative expression had been somewhat stifled by this partnership, it was a learning experience, and becoming the sole owner was a liberating event. We decided it was a good time to clarify what exactly our purpose was.

We had each been involved for several years in intensive “integrity work,” which entailed things like being scrupulously clear in our communications, keeping all of our agreements, honoring the power of our words, and looking for opportunities to enhance our environment. As the spa grew, we realized it was becoming a vehicle for doing this work on a larger scale. When we aligned our intentions with the business’s mission, everything began to flow differently. We started to attract staff members and clients who really impressed us, who shared our ideals and walked their talk. The space itself has also grown, adding treatment rooms, saunas, and new services, as well as “maturing” in a less tangible, yet unmistakable way.

As for my early apprehension about having a serious medical practice in a spa, this dissolved within the first few years. I grew to appreciate the great skill my wife has at creating environments that have a natural flow, and feel good and tranquil. Also, I began to recognize the healing potential of spaces. The space we’ve cultivated is more than the sum of its warm paint colors, peaceful music, and gurgling fountains. I believe it’s also a product of everyone’s healing intentions – both the staff and the visitors – and the family-like atmosphere among all of us who work here. The UPS delivery guy will tell you, it’s why he wants to stay and hang out after dropping off a package.

This leads me to the thing I am most proud of about The Dragontree. Whenever business is lagging or we encounter some other hardship, my wife and I remind ourselves of the role this place has played in bringing good people together. As we enter our ninth year, I want to acknowledge everyone we have had the honor of knowing through this spa. Our involvement with organizations such as Nob Hill Business Association, Women Entrepreneurs of Oregon, Think Local First, innumerable schools and charities, and all of our clientele, both in town and at the airport, has helped us meet tons of wonderful business owners and community members. Many of our dearest friends started out as employees or patrons of the spa. And many other good friends have met each other through The Dragontree. We feel truly blessed.

Briana Borten – Life & Business Optimization

Briana Borten

This is my lovely wife, Briana Borten, who is a kick-ass entrepreneur, business consultant, and coach. She has the midas touch. She can look at someone’s store/house/business/accounting/whatever and immediately see how it could be tremendously enhanced.


  1. Hello Dr. Borten,
    I organize some of the seminars for Maryland Acupuncture Society (MAS).
    I am wondering if I can reprint your wonderful Dr. Tan chart and description in our newsletter? If you want, I can send you a copy. giving you full credit, adding your website and contact info at the end?
    Let em know if it’s a possibility.

  2. Hi there,
    really appreciate all your work shared!
    wondering if you can help me with this patient, as I have had zero response from Dr. Tan’s Advanced Forum on FB?


    My patient has had Cerebellum Degeneration for the past 20 years making her legs and arms uncoordinated. She moves about with crutches, a walker and a wheelchair. She would love for me to help her esp with her Bladder Problem, which is another symptom of lack of Brain function. I did the Brain protocol on her today, along with the 4 magical, and other points for her Sacral and Neck Pain. Ultimately, she wants me to help her with the lack of bladder control.

    Would it be prudent to do both the entire brain protocol with the magical 4 overlapping? It’s a lot of needles. Or just do the 4 Magical, and 123 on pain, OR the 4 Magical, 123 and just the Brain Points on the bottom of the foot?
    I’m uncertain how to combine properly.
    And I am Not an Herbalist, unfortunately. Anyone have herbal and/or food suggestions to aid in Bladder Function?

    Thank you so much!!!

    what do you think I should do?

    • Peter Borten

      November 20, 2015 at 7:14 PM

      Hi Jewels,
      Sorry, I’m not familiar with the brain protocol and 4 overlapping. I would probably do scalp points in Zhu’s lower jiao zone (just anterior to GV-20) – three parallel needles; Zhu’s apex/perineum/foot zone (running over GV-20) – another 2 or 3 needles; Zhu’s sacrum zone (just above the EOP); and the Yi Niao acupoints of the abdomen with low frequency continuous electrostimulation. I’d also consider Ba Liao points or other ashi points directly behind the bladder. Finally, I would probably check out the ear brain points and local points near the cerebellum (GV-16, 17, etc). You just said, “bladder problem,” so I don’t actually know the nature of this problem, which would make it impossible to recommend herbs (also we’d need a TCM diagnosis for that), but I’d give the acupuncture a try first, and don’t be limited to distal points.
      Good luck,

  3. Thanks Barbra, yes. Hope the newsletter turned out well.

  4. Hello, Dr. Borten. I’m writing this because I have a terrible phobia of leaving the house, and I hardly ever have to. So this is scary for me.
    About two weeks ago, I was playing a computer game, sitting Indian style in my chair. When I noticed a dull pain begin settling itself into my left side of my body. The pain enhanced throughout the weeks and was quite noticeable in my beck, side, and left buttock.
    The pain subsided in everything except my buttock. (A bit lower. Like the very top of my thigh)
    I continued to sit and play video games for hours a day even when the pain got worse in the leg. The only position it felt any relief was Indian Style. Sitting with my legs straight out felt horrible.
    Well, to get the the point. Four days ago, I had to help my partner move. I carried three beds. A tv. Table and chairs. And all sorts of things. Sat in a uhaul five trips.
    The pain in my hip was dreadful. I felt a numbing sensation all around the hip. I was bent at the waist. Well, almost a week later. I’ve been bed ridden. The pain is singled out to the back of my thigh. Lower buttock, putter hamstring and now a piercing pain right above my inner knee cap.
    It’s unbearable to sleep and stand. I’ve been resting it, icing it and taking pain pain pills and muscle relaxers but I can’t stomach the meds anymore. Do you have any clue what this may be? Did I just mess up a muscle? Possible strain or pull? I cannot feel with my hands a certain area that hurts. It feels almost like an internal thing. Underneath the muscle. If there is any way I can self heal and not leave I would be so grateful to the world.
    Thank you.

    • Peter Borten

      December 1, 2016 at 10:15 PM

      Hi. Sorry to hear about this. I can’t diagnose it over the internet, but it sounds likely that you have a strain in one of the muscles in the area (gluteus, piriformis, quadratus lumborum, hamstring). Stop icing it. It won’t help. Instead, get a lacrosse ball (or baseball) and lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor and place the ball under your butt where it hurts. Then breathe through the pain and relax into it. When it loosens some (usually takes 30-90 seconds), move the ball slightly to the next sore place. Cover the whole area, every sore spot. You can also try crossing your ankle (of the leg of the affected side) over the opposite knee. This may help you get the ball in there better. Do this daily for a week. If you aren’t seeing a significant improvement, see if you can find a massage therapist who will do a house call.
      good luck & be well,

  5. Dear Doctor Borten, January 14th I woke with extreme pain in left groin as well as pain traveling down the left inner thigh. Numbness of the inner thigh flesh as well. Surface wise it feels like a severe burn. My lower back often bothers me. I plow snow frequently. Lots of shoveling. Pain in my leg hasn’t changed since January. It’s now mid February. Have had hip x-ray. Nothing unusual. Chiropractic adjustments helped lumbar. Hip manipulation only worsened pain. Could this be a blog clot symptom? I know you can’t offer much more than a brief description of blood clot symptoms. I live in Maine you in Colorado. Wish I could wave a magic wand to visit you for a true assessment. Thank you for reading this. Paula

  6. Hi Peter,
    I was referred to your website for the blood pressure information chart, which is the last one. Unfortunately, I cannot read it. I am hoping it will be fixed soon. I love and appreciate all your wonderful information. You are truly a blessing…


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