Birdsong Traditional Medicine

acupuncture and wellness clinic

148 Waterman St
Ground Level
Providence RI

(401) 743-9533

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About our clinic

Birdsong Traditional Medicine offers Acupuncture, Zen Shiatsu, and group and private Yoga. Birdsong was established by Sakiko Mori in July 2020, inspired by her years working for acupuncturist Dr Sanford Lee at Traditional Eastern Medicine, and by her own experiences as a Zen Shiatsu practitioner.

Each practitioner works with patients/clients individually, but we share our mission and work towards it collectively-- to help people recover from illness and injuries, and find true peace, clarity and harmony in themselves.

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We are located at 148 Waterman Street on the east side of Providence.

We are currently a participating provider with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and UnitedHealthcare for acupuncture services. UHC coverage includes Brown University's Student Resources.

For all other insurance carriers, we will be able to take the insurance only if Out-Of-Network coverage for acupuncture is verified under your policy before your appointment. Please call your insurance to verify the coverage, and feel free to call us (401-743-9533) with any questions.


Client testimonials

"Very comfortable and professional visit, will book again in 2 weeks. James is very gentle and thorough and explains in detail what is going on. James listened carefully and answered all my questions in a calm and reassuring manner. Highly recommend this office." - Suzanne M.

"I had been really stressed out the last month and after my first visit with Dr Shelton, I feel much better. More relaxed and in a better mood." - Adriana Ferns

"I feel like a new person with 1 visit & looking forward to my next appt already. Feeling peace & relief from life for 1st time in over a year... Thank you from my heart James & Sakiko" - Dawn Sherman

"I always feel better when I leave. For someone like myself who lives with excruciating pain daily, you’ve given me hope that I might be myself again. Thank you Dr James" - Diane Somma

"This was my first time with James. He was awesome. Very attentive and asks the right questions. You can tell that he cares about his patients a lot! Thank you." - Frank Rubino

About our practitioners


Dr James Shelton, DAOM

Board Certified Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of Rhode Island, DAOM. James is a Diplomate of Acupuncture with the NCCAOM, formerly the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is a member of POCA, the Peoples Organization for Community Acupuncture and a proud graduate of POCA Tech, Portland, Oregon, where he is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors.

image Trained in a variety of acupuncture styles, including TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Japanese Meridian Therapy, James is most resonated with the balance and mirroring techniques in the lineage of Master Tung, including Dr Richard Tan and Dr Miriam Lee. These styles closely parallel further study into Vietnamese acupuncture techniques taught by Dr Tyler Phan. James has a gentle technique, often needling along the affected meridian, far from any local pain. James also utilizes modalities including moxibustion, cupping and Gua Sha (scraping).

James was born in the traditional land of the Narragansett Nation, Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1994, while studying Anthropology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, James began practicing Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gung and Yoga with Inpu Ka Mut. Inpu taught the Yang style, in the tradition brought to the United States by Grand Master Da Liu. This relationship was continued through the years with visits to Los Angeles and post-Covid on-line classes of the Khemetic Aha and Sema Association.

James continued practicing Tai Chi and Shaolin Kung Fu at the Way of the Dragon school in East Providence. This is where James first met acupuncturist Sanford Lee, who treated thousands of patients over 20 years in the space that is now Birdsong Traditional Medicine. That meeting planted a seed of inspiration for James.

Years later, after feeling the profound effects of acupuncture firsthand and seeing remarkable results in the lives of loved ones, James decided to make acupuncture his vocation.

In addition to acupuncture, James is also an artist, actor, dancer and filmmaker.

James co-created a series of images portraying the philosophical and practical forerunners called the Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture. [link]

A 2019 interview about a showing of his acupuncture related art can be seen here. [link]


Annathena Kim

Annathena Kim has been a certified Usui Reiki Master since February 2017. Pausing to raise a family, she now brings her intuitive style to Birdsong. Annathena had a curiosity for healing and wellness at a young age growing up in northern RI. Years later, while living in Los Angeles, Annathena renewed her interest in practicing yoga, chanting and meditation. After moving back to RI in 2008, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. Learning the benefits of reiki first hand in her own life, she began training with Myra Partyka in Wakefield, RI. She is now honored to bring that gift to you!

To schedule a Reiki appointment or for any questions about her session, please contact Annathena at :

Stephanie La Peruta

Stephanie La Peruta

Registered Yoga Instructor and Mindfulness Meditation Instructor. With 20 years of experience as a student, Stephanie has studied with various different teachers in Costa Rica, Rhode Island, and Kripalu Center for Yoga in Massachusetts. Stephanie teaches with gentleness and compassion, to all ages and levels. Her main goal as a teacher is to empower others and inspire growth, on and off the yoga mat.

Sakiko Mori

Sakiko Mori

Zen Shiatsu practitioner. Sakiko is a member of the American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA). She studied closely for over 4 years with respected shiatsu practitioner Shunji Morimoto in Wendell, Massachusetts. She is actively involved in Shunji’s shiatsu group, Moshi Moshi Shiatsu Club, and together they study and spread their love and passion for shiatsu by participating in various festivals, health fairs and peace demonstrations. Sakiko was the office manager of Dr Sanford Lee's Traditional Eastern Medicine for many years, and brings her experience and sensitivity to this new practice in Dr Lee's former location. Sakiko is also a musician and a piano technician. She is originally from Japan.