Dennis Harrison

Massage License Numbers:

  • LMBT #1455
  • Acupuncture license #623
  • Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
  • NPI #1760761456 (National Provider Identifier Registry)

My life long fascination in the human body and the connections that exist between our mental, emotional and physical aspects stems from the wonderfully varied experiences of my own life’s course. As an infant and on through my elementary school years I was plagued by severe asthma and upper respiratory challenges. My condition was so severe that my father, who was in the army, had to request being stationed in the deserts of Texas and New Mexico. While these dry climates were helpful to my lungs, these environments also were conducive to my developing an interest in sports and outdoor activities – an interest which persists to this day. My high school and college years were filled with lacrosse, track, and football. Later in my life came a pursuit of cross country and telemark skiing, bicycle touring, hiking, and paddling. Leading an active life allowed me the opportunity to experience the body”s amazing capacity to push it’s limits and it’s equally amazing capacity for healing when those limits were exceeded.

Throughout my life I have maintained a deep respect for and interst in the body – its healing, its recovery from physically working hard, its possibilities. During high school I was in the Future Physicans Club and was the only male “Candy Striper”  in our local hospital. I started off pre-med at Hobart College in Upstate New York, but after 2 years changed my interest to psychology and sociology.

After college I went to NYC where I worked in the field of mental retardation as a counselor, as well as headed the Leadership Department for American Youth Hostels.  For AYH I hired and trained leaders who led trips of teens all over the world.

After NYC, I went to Vermont where I pursued my love of the out doors and my interest in the human body in yet another way!I was an EMT on the local volunteer ambulance squad in a small ski town for several years as well as a manager of a cross-country ski center.  Receiving my first massage in this small town piqued an interest in further studying this way of working with the body.  This eventually led me to attend the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville where I studied therapeutic and sports massage.

After several journeys to study canoeing at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and after my massage training was completed, my love for the out of doors drew me to western North Carolina. While living and working at the NOC,  I became the manager of the Rentals Department, and later Vice President of the Rafting Operation for all of the rivers NOC rafted.

At the same time that I was working on the river, I also co-managed a therapeutic massage business in the Nantahala Gorge. As the area is a popular one for training Olympic athletes as well as the “weekend warrior”, I have worked with many types of injuries as well as the various strains and pains that working out entails. In fact my wife Karen and I were for many years long distance canoe racing enthusiasts ourselves and had to avail of each others therapeutic talents for our overextended aching bodies!

A debilitating illness brought me to use acupuncture in Asheville, in order to have an alternative to the Western medical options which were suggested to me.  It was very successful for me, and after using acupuncture as my primary health care for many years, I decided to attend Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, North Carolina.

A degree and licensure in acupuncture has allowed me to combine many of my interests and ground them in the practice of a medicine where I continue to work with athletes and others in their self-care. I have broadened my acupuncture and herbal practice to include fertility,  stress and its effects emotionally and physically, aging concerns, pediatrics, and overall wellness issues.  I currently work for the Chinese Acupuncture Clinic in Asheville as well as our office Mountain Therapeutic in Bryson City, practicing Oriental Medicine and Herbology as well as doing Massage. I enjoy working with a wide variety of patients. It was here in the beautiful mountains of the Smokies, with its gathering of people that work and play hard, that I strengthened my interest in exploring how the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of each person’s life influences their ability to maintain health or to heal.


  • B.S. in Psychology from Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y.
  • E.M.T. from Waitsfield, Vermont
  • Therapeutic Massage and Structural Integration (rolfing studies) from Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, Fla.
  • Daoist Traditions School of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, N.C.


  • Residential Counselor at a live-in community facility for Mentally Handicapped adults in NYC
  • Director of Leadership Training and Trips with American Youth Hostels in N.Y.C.
  • Vice President of Rafting Operations at the Nantahala Outdoor Center
  • Co-owner and therapist at Mountain Therapeutic Massage and Acupuncture Clinic.
  • Acupuncturist with the Chinese Medicine and Herbology Clinic in Asheville, N.C.

Professional interests

  • Athletic injuries
  • Pain management
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Stress and its impact on one’s emotional/physical health
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatrics

Other interests

  • Walking in the woods with my dog, canoeing, carpentry, biking.
  • Country dancing with my wife
  • Plant arrangement, meditation.
  • Gardening