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The Zen Den Practitioners

Ruthann Russo, PhD, DAc, MPH, DiplACLM, DiplAc

Ruthann is board certified in acupuncture, lifestyle medicine, and health and wellness coaching. She has previously practiced at NYU Langone Medical Center and Mount Sinai Health. She earned doctorate degrees in acupuncture (Pacific College of Health Sciences) and Mind-Body Medicine (Saybrook University). In addition to practicing acupuncture, coaching, and teaching, she loves yoga, learning& watching the sun rise. She is the mother of 2 adult children and lives in Asbury Park with her husband

Melissa Skelly, L.Ac.

Melissa pursued her passion for alternative medicine and completed a three year Acupuncture program at the Eastern School of Acupuncture in Montclair, NJ in 2008. Melissa is a Diplomate of Acupuncture from the National Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is the owner and director of The Zen Den and holds a license to practice acupuncture in the State of New Jersey. She is also trained in Sound Healing, Aroma Point Therapy and offers therapeutic cupping services.

Shay Costello, L.Ac.

Shay is a Nationally Board-Certified Acupuncturist with the NCCAOM, as well as Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in NJ. She earned her Double Master’s Degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, NY, which includes a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture and a Master of Science Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from The University of Delaware in 2012.


Brielle is a nationally board-certified acupuncturist living in Belmar NJ. She graduated with her master’s degree from the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2012 from the University of Central Florida. Brielle integrates her knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine with her background in psychology to help guide the body to its most natural state of healing.

William Hunt L.Ac.

Bill is originally from Bradley Beach, and currently resides in Middletown with his wife, Stephanie and two sons. His background is in art and music. He owns and operates Five Elements Studio, a school of Chinese martial arts. Bill has been training since 2002, was made a Shifu in 2010, and is currently a sixth degree black sash in this Kung Fu. It was this path that led to his becoming an Acupuncturist. Bill has proudly graduated with the first class of the Masters program at ESATM

Dr. Robert A. Balko, DAc

Dr. Balko is an inspired clinician of Acupuncture and East Asian medicine. He graduated top of his class from Eastern School of Acupuncture in 2005 and has been honing his skills ever since. Rob completed additional training in China as well as volunteer medical missions to Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. Rob has been focusing on advanced training in acupuncture for stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr. Balko's practice, is located inside the Zen Den. He works alongside our team.

Michelle Leonard Hypnosis

Michelle is an Advanced Certified Clinical Hypnotist who helps clients accomplish their goals, live life positively, and manifest their dreams. Hypnosis is a powerful tool which helps people achieve a state of deep relaxation. It combines techniques of meditation, affirmation, and guided imagery, allowing individuals to access their subconscious mind and replace the unwanted with new, positive, and lasting life changes through the power of positive suggestion.

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