The AcuDetox Team
Avani G. Dilger, MEd, LPC, BC-DMT, CAS, ADS-RT
Avani is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Addiction Specialist, a Somatic Psychotherapist, an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, a registered AcuDetox Trainer, and a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). She has specialized in substance abuse treatment with adults, teens-at-risk, and their families. She holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Cologne in Germany (1995) and a Master’s in Somatic Counseling Psychology from Naropa University (2001). She has done extensive research and training in traditional and alternative approaches to substance abuse treatment. She is passionate about the creative potential of craving and addiction issues. She is the founder and director of the “Natural Highs – Healthy Alternatives to Drugs and Alcohol” Program that integrates traditional and alternative approaches to substance abuse and addiction issues and teaches teens and adults how to work in intelligent ways with their own brain chemistry through body/mind practices, dance, ritual, meditation, and the creative arts. Avani is a Motivational Interviewing Trainer (MINT) and is training professionals in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, social work, justice system and health care. She is serving teens and adults with the most severe experiences around substance use, addiction and trauma in her private practice in Boulder using cutting edge techniques such as Brainspotting, Somatic Psychotherapy and Systemic Constellation work.
Allison Sims Gruidel, MEd, Level III Reiki Practitioner,
Parent Coach, ADS
My name is Allison Sims Gruidel. My first experience with AcuDetox/
AcuWellness was in 2016 while on my own journey of healing. The peacefulness that this treatment of just 5 small needles gave me is indescribable. It was in the Spring of 2019, that I became an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist. Over the last few years, I have added various wonderful “tools” to my multi-colored tool belt - Bach Flower Essences (Level I), Brainspotting (Phase I), and Motivational Interviewing, but my passion is absolutely AcuDetox/AcuWellness. I am currently giving weekly treatments to the staff at Boulder Community Hospital, as well as to the teachers and staff at Monarch High School in Louisville. It is my hope and goal that this incredible treatment will be made available in all schools for staff and students. For me, giving AcuDetox/AcuWellness to others is just as much a gift as receiving them. It is truly an honor for me to be a part of this AcuDetox/AcuWellness community.
Nick Fruth, ADS
I am a peer mentor for Natural Highs. I struggled throughout my life starting from an early age. This led me to gravitate to tv and videogames early on, and eventually drugs and alcohol. My drug use progressed from marijuana and alcohol to cocaine, benzos, heroin, ecstasy, and various other drugs, often used in combination with one another. I was addicted to heroin for a year needing it all day every day, was able to quit, and then eventually painkillers again for a year needing them all day every day, until once again I forced myself to quit. I passed out on the highway twice while driving, and had multiple overdoses and situations where I almost died. Underlying all of the drug use were the issues I was facing as a child which would have easily been labeled as mental health conditions. At the end of my time using drugs I came to a point where the reality of my situation hit me with undeniable truth and clarity, and I saw no other solution but to take my life by overdosing. Luckily I was unsuccessful. That led to a near death experience where I broke through the identities and issues and beliefs I had about myself and life. I experienced my self free from any issues I was dealing with. For the first time in my life I felt like myself. I was totally complete, full of love, and felt so amazing, better then I had ever imagined I could feel. It was in that moment that I realized what I was always searching for through drugs, and also what I was always seeking throughout my entire life. It was in that moment and the weeks that followed that I remembered on a conscious level what life was supposed to be like. Since that experience I have set out to understand the experiences I was having, and to come into that version of myself and that state of completeness. Now I see addiction and mental illness from an entirely new perspective. I realize that what was causing the challenges that existed in my life long before I discovered drugs is that I was burdened by the patterns, belief systems, and trauma I inherited through my family lineage and humanity in general. I have spent the last 6 or 7 years seeking to understand the tools, vocabulary, and knowledge to come into my natural state.
I see so many young people (and adults) these days struggling with the same things that I went through, but now there are greater dangers like fentanyl laced drugs and a rise in suicide. I know that I can help people to overcome their challenges so that they can come into the natural state we crave to live in on all levels of our being. I am looking to use my experiences and the tools and knowledge I have gained to support others so that they don’t have to go through everything I went through or worse in search of the peace that can only come from aligning with our natural state. I am hoping to support young people and the community, both individually and in groups. I will teach people how to be human, the most important aspect of life that we never learn about. I do so through lectures, coaching, and meditation practices. We need to reawaken the wisdom of life that exists in everything, including our cells. Once we learn to come back into our body and align with the natural laws governing all life we come into that completeness and peace that is our natural state. Then we are able to engage with life and use it to become the best possible version of ourselves as nature has intended.
Holly Melohn, ADS
My name is Holly Melohn and I am a Peer Mentor through Natural Highs, a Peer Recovery Coach, Motivational Interviewing trained and an ADS Specialist. I have been practicing Acudetox for almost a year now and have been a recipient of this medicine for 2 and a half years. I discovered Acudetox in the early stages of my recovery and it was one of the only things at the time that gave me the courage and strength to maintain my sobriety. It showed me that I was able to feel high from something that was not a substance and was actually good for my mental and physical health. The more I received the treatment, the more improvement I saw within myself. The effectiveness of the treatment inspired me to become certified so I could not only heal myself, but also provide this healing modality to the members of my community. The impact it has made is profound and it is such an enjoyable way to address the deep, intense emotions we feel inside. It empowers people from all backgrounds and walks of life to see that their body is more than capable of healing itself. It is on my greatest honors to be able to offer something so effective to people seeking support.
Laura Bressler, Brainspotting Trauma Therapist, Parent Coach, CAT, ADS
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I am a counselor/coach and trauma therapist specializing in working with the parents of teens and young adults struggling with substance misuse, and am in the final stage of my Master's degree to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor. I have been part of the Natural Highs team since 2019. My passion to support parents parents was born of my own experiences with my son who struggled with substance abuse, and is now a healthy adult in recovery. In addition to providing private coaching/counseling, I facilitate the evidence-based Community Resource and Family Training (CRAFT) program, which teaches families skills to impact their child’s substance use, motivate them to seek treatment, repair communication and relationships, and improve self-care. I became an Acudetox Specialist in 2019 to support individuals' healing, and continue to be in awe of the technique's profound impact.
Laurel Miller, L.Ac, ADS
I joined the Natural Highs team in 2009, offering Acu Wellness (also known as the NADA protocol) to the Natural Highs Community. When I am not sitting in a circle sipping Yerba Mate and healing herbs, I am working with people one-on-one as an acupuncturist or meditation instructor. I have a passion for teaching and have been a faculty member at the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture since 2010. I love spending time with my partner and our little dog in the mountains, practicing drawing, getting to know the plants in my garden or being in the company of friends. I am so grateful to be a part of the Natural Highs community, it provides my life with meaning, joy and a path to greater health and healing.
Julie Dolin, MA, LPC, BC-DMT, ADS
I have been a Licensed Professional Counselor and Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist for almost 30 years. The addition of AcuDetox/AcuWellness in the last few years provides a new dimension in my quest to understand the dynamic interplay of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness. I work with the healing potential in movement of breath and physical form; AcuDetox specifically addresses the movement of Qi (life force) within the body and is a potent tool for nervous system regulation and resilience. Blending practices such as 5RhythmsTM dance, Authentic Movement, Yoga, Jin Shin Jyutsu and Brainspotting, I focus on bearing witness so that clients may cultivate internal awareness, balance, a strengths-based narrative, and greater range in all aspects of life. My work is trauma-informed, community and equity oriented, intended to bring support where it is needed. In addition to providing private psychotherapy, supervision and consultation, I have served as the Director of Counseling & Wellness at GALS Denver, as Adjunct Faculty in Naropa University’s Somatic Counseling Psychology Department, and as Core Faculty in Golden Bridge’s Surfing the Creative International Youth Programs.
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Cindy Thiemann, ADS
Originally from Indiana, California, and Park City, I have now lived in Boulder County for 20 years. I began a career as a hairstylist 40 years ago. Twenty-four years ago, I gave birth to my son with the assistance of Acupuncture and have been fascinated by it ever since. I studied Acupuncture when I originally moved to Boulder, and then became fascinated with equine therapy. I was that little girl who always wished for a pony when I blew out my birthday candles. I was fascinated by horses and had enjoyed some horseback riding as young girl. I was intrigued by horses to heal the heart, emotions, and our perceptions of life, but I had never yet explored it in depth. Now I hold a degree in equine gestalt therapy and bring healing to others through horses: https://trust-the-path.com/ Becoming a Certified Acudetox Specialist has allowed me to add this remarkable healing modality to the work I do. I continue to work in both the fields of hairstyling and equine therapy and find that Acudetox can have profoundly relaxating and healing benefit, whether the client is sitting in my salon chair, or I’m working therapeutically with them and the horses.
Ellie Wilkins, M.S.C., ADS
Ellie works as an AcuDetox Specialist at Boulder Strong, a center and community response aimed at healing from gun violence after the shooting at King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado. Ellie has a wealth of experience and exposure in the somatic world of healing trauma. She also has a Master’s in Counseling with a Somatic emphasis and an interest in neuroscience. Her focus is delivering this wisdom through compassion, grounding, and always returning to the breath.