Like the white aspen tree, we must adapt to our environment for survival, especially in the harshest of winters…

A Message From Our Founder…


Thank you for visiting the White Aspen Research Foundation! This non-profit foundation was created to assist those in need whom have exhausted their treatment options with Western medicine for phantom limb pain. I originally began my research as a result of the opioid crisis happening right at our front door. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency in 2017. Secretary Thomas E. Price, M.D. outlined a 5-point plan to combat this crisis, and one of those points was to advance better practices for pain management. As a doctor, I have also seen firsthand some of the catastrophic effects of long-term opiate use.

Acupuncture is an energy-based medicine that uses thin needles to move qí throughout the body to facilitate healing. This ancient medicine takes a holistic point of view and treats the body as an organic whole. It allows for the regeneration of neural pathways to alleviate the painful symptoms of losing a limb. Acupuncture is not only accessible, but also cost-effective. The devastating effects of opiates have driven my research into phantom limb pain to develop a first-line treatment protocol for amputee patients with the use of neuro-acupuncture.

Please help make this dream come true by supporting the White Aspen Foundation Research team to further this remarkable research!!

Warm wishes,

Dr. Danielle Burke, DAOM, Dipl. OM, LAc.


This foundation was created to support acupuncture medical research for conditions not well understood by Western medicine. Our mission is to expand the reach of acupuncture and other Eastern modalities while exploring the use of acupuncture as a first-line treatment protocol for idiopathic conditions. White Aspen Research will take on phantom limb pain as its first clinical case series with the intention of supporting our brave soldiers as they embark on a new journey. We appreciate the sacrifices they have made for our freedom every day, at home and abroad.

Current Focus

With the approval of the Los Angeles County Institutional Review Board, recruiting for our phantom limb pain case series will begin in early 2022. Phantom limb pain is a disease not well understood by Western medicine. We hope to shed some light on this debilitating condition that affects almost every amputee worldwide.

What is Phantom Limb Pain??

Globally, more than one million limb amputations take place every year, with more than 80% of amputees experiencing phantom limb pain. Phantom limb pain (PLP) is the pain perceived by a region of the body that is no longer physically present. This pain has been described by sufferers as shooting, stabbing, boring, squeezing, throbbing, burning, twisting, or can feel like the phantom limb is being forced into an uncomfortable position. The pain is unique to each patient, can be intermittent or continuous, and can be triggered by external factors or bodily functions such as urination. The causal mechanisms of PLP have been theorized as psychogenic pertaining to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after amputation, peripheral in relating to the stump and neuroma hyperactivity, and central neural with mechanisms involving desensitization and cortical reorganization, which may lead to maladaptive plasticity, the latter being the most cited theory to date.

Patients with both planned and traumatic amputations have reported instances of PLP along with those having congenitally missing limbs. About 2 million people are living with limb loss in the United States, and it is projected that this number will more than double by the year 2050 if the leading causes of amputation, dysvascular conditions such as diabetes mellitus, are not properly addressed.2

Currently, there is no pharmacological drug treatment protocol for phantom limb pain, so a process of trial and error dictates the course of treatment. A review of 38 therapies concluded no decisions could be made for the first-line management of PLP.3

The mechanism of phantom limb pain has yet to be agreed upon in definite terms, which is perhaps why traditional treatment methods have not shown success in consistency among patients. PLP treatment failure rates have been recorded as high as 92% among amputees for up to 15 years after amputation.4 In a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, amputees with post-amputation pain reported a decrease in the intensity of post-amputation pain with the use of oral morphine, but was associated with a higher rate of side effects and relief only while on the medication.5 In addition, no improvements in self reported levels of overall functional activity and pain-related interference in daily activities were reported.

What is neuro-acupuncture??

Neuro-acupuncture is a modern acupuncture technique integrating traditional needling with Western medicine neuroscience, neurology, and neuroanatomy.

Neuro-acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal oneself. Needle locations are coupled with the motor and sensory lines that correlate with anatomical structures of the body, i.e. missing limbs. One neuron is like an entire brain, and one neuron has the ability to be stimulated in such a way that it can regulate itself and create new neural pathways throughout the body system. One neuron also has the capability to regulate an entire little village of neurons in the same manner; some excite, some inhibit. Acupuncture has the ability to excite places that are dormant and to sedate places that are overactive, which leads to relaxation of the nervous system. This relaxation allows for the nervous system to reinterpret a lossed function, such as the pain processing pathways of the brain due to limb loss. This reinterpretation, or neuroplasticity, awakens neurons and enables them to reconnect in an alternate pattern. These neurons have a harmonious relationship, or homeostasis, when all systems are balanced and running smoothly.

For more information about neuro-acupuncture, the documentary film, Return to Life, demonstrates its remarkable outcomes for patients with traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, muscular sclerosis, stroke, autism, and many other challenging neurological conditions. My research can also be found at

Giving Back

Thank you to Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California, my alma mater. This clinical case series will be held at Emperor’s College TOM that graciously donated its facilities to conduct this study. Series participants will receive all treatments at this location.

This foundation will also be providing a mentorship for students enrolled in Emperor’s Clinical Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) program at the college. Mentorships provide opportunities to gain a depth of knowledge or experience in areas of particular interest and can include clinical practice, research or teaching. Students will earn preceptorship hours towards their doctoral degrees while assisting with this series.

I would also like to dedicate this research to one, Ann L. Meyers. She is an extraordinary soul with a fierce fire that drives her to make the best of any situation. She’s not only with me now, she will be with me forever.

Get Involved

Please, feel free to share this information bulletin with others or post in your facility. Thank you for your continued support!!

-The White Aspen Research Team

Who We Are

Dr. Danielle Burke, DAOM, Dipl. OM, LAc.

DAOM – Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
MTOM – Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine
Dipl. of OM – Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
LAc. – Licensed Acupuncturist (California & Colorado)
Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business & Trade

Dr. Burke has received her Master’s Degree and Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California. During that time, she volunteered at the Venice Family Clinic as a licensed acupuncturist to underserved patients while working with allopathic doctors to customize patient treatment plans. This experience inspired her to become a patient advocate and to bring Eastern medicine to the forefront of Western medical care.

Currently, Dr. Burke is using her doctoral research to head a clinical case series with the use of neuro-acupuncture in the relief of phantom limb pain in disabled Veterans. With the help of her non-profit, White Aspen Research, Dr. Burke is motivated to develop a first-line treatment protocol for phantom limb pain to replace the use of opioids for this condition. Her expertise in the integration of Eastern needling techniques with Western neuroscience bridges the gap for idiopathic conditions such as phantom limb pain.

Dr. Burke’s private practice includes personalized treatments that combine Chinese medicine theory, energy healing, and sound therapy. Her sessions may include acupuncture, cupping, herbal formulas, and moxibustion. She believes food is medicine, so nutrition plays an important role in her treatment recommendations.

Dr. Burke also practices Esoteric Acupuncture, which is an acupuncture of the spirit. It balances the chakra system and focuses on facilitating one’s spiritual awakening, the beginning of a merging with one’s heart spirit path.

Dr. Burke is originally from the east coast, but has spent the last 13 years enjoying California sunsets. When she’s not doing acupuncture, she enjoys paddle boarding, tennis, skiing, hiking, cooking organic meals, and playing chess.

Join us on Chris Anthony’s Streams of Light podcast, with Special
Guest, Dr. Danielle Burke, Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental
Medicine, to discuss her kundalini awakening & energy

Vice President, Director of Women’s Health
Dr. Jessica Sharratt Peters

DAOM – Doctor of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine
MTOM – Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine
Dipl. OM – Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
LAc. – Licensed Acupuncturist (California)
Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, Nutritional Sciences concentration

Based out of Manhattan Beach, California, Dr. Sharratt Peters is also an alum of Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, where she received her Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and her Masters in Traditional Oriental Medicine.

Passionate about supporting the underserved, Dr. Sharratt Peters has interned at Venice Family Clinic, donated her time to organizations supporting Veterans and provides need-based acupuncture to physical and emotional trauma survivors.

The success of her private practice is driven by her passion to work alongside other practitioners to provide relief for idiopathic conditions.

As a Doctor of Acupuncture, herbalist and nutritionist, she utilizes a large variety of ancient (acupuncture, neuro-acupuncture, cupping, gua sha, herbal medicine) and modern modalities (myofascial manipulation, functional medicine, nutritional counseling) to support her patients’ best health while providing truly holistic primary and adjunct specialty care. Her primary area of focus is women’s health, with an emphasis on preconception planning, fertility, hormonal health and chronic pelvic pain disorders. Her additional specialties include digestive health, pain syndromes and trauma resolution. Dr. Jessica’s passion for community and truly holistic healthcare burns bright and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring that passion to White Aspen.


Emperor’s College,
Santa Monica Community Acupuncture Clinic
1807 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, California, 90403
t: 310.453.8383


Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine is the alma mater of Dr. Danielle Burke, DAOM, and Dr. Jessica Sharratt Peters, DAOM. Emperor’s has graciously donated its facilities to conduct the phantom limb pain case series in its community clinic. The White Aspen Research team will also be mentoring students enrolled in the Doctoral program for preceptorship hours. Emperor’s College offers free and discounted treatments to active military personnel and vets. Please see their website for more information.

Acupuncturists Without Borders

Acupuncturists Without Borders provides disaster relief, recovery and support for building resiliency to communities affected by disasters, human conflict, environmental devastation, poverty and social injustice. For more information on supporting this humanitarian cause, please visit the AWB website or contact us.

Heal EastWest Healing Studio
120 S Sepulveda Blvd. Suite A
Manhattan Beach, CA

Dr. Jessica Sharratt Peters, DAOM, Dipl. OM, LAc. donates her time organizations supporting Veterans and provides need-based acupuncture to physical and emotional trauma survivors. Please visit her website or contact us for more information.

The Veterans Project

This organization helps Veterans and their families find low-cost or free acupuncture treatments across the nation. Ran by Dr. Dorian Kramer, DAC, L.Ac. whom specializes in the treatment of psychiatric disorders with a focus on PTSD, CPTSD, DTD, associated somatoform disorders, addiction and chronic pain. Dr. Kramer, DAC has furthered his education through research, and has completed the Foundations of Trauma, Neuroscience and the Frontier of Trauma, and Neuro-Feedback coursework through Bessel Van Der Kolk, the leading name in the study of Developmental Trauma Disorder.

Danielle Burke Healing, LLC
192 Cherokee Topanga, CA 90290

Dr. Danielle Burke, DAOM, Dipl. OM, LAc. has shared her research with the White Aspen Research team to forge ahead in finding a first-line treatment protocol for phantom limb pain in disabled Veterans and non-veteran amputees. Danielle Burke Healing offers free and discounted treatment to first responders and Veterans. Contact us for more information.

The Inn Spot Community Acupuncture
3505 Camino Del Rio South
Suite 100
San Diego, CA. 92108
t: 619.550.5200

Started by a USAF veteran, The Inn Spot, a community acupuncture clinic in San Diego, gives free treatments to disabled Veterans and first responders. See website for more information.


Mailing Addresses:


192 Cherokee
Topanga, CA 90290


627 N. Weber St., Suite 8
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

If you or someone you know would like to participate in this clinical study, please contact us.

Phone: +1.424.291.2188
Email: Send Email

Like the white aspen tree, we must adapt to our environment for survival, especially in the harshest of winters…