Research Summary

I am interested in interoceptive awareness (IA), defined as how we perceive our body. I study IA in two contexts: 1) the role of IA in symptom perception and evaluation and 2) as a mechanism of action of acupuncture. As a feminist clinician-scientist, I focus these two lines of inquiry in the context of midlife women who take prescribed opioids for chronic pain. I evaluate acupuncture as an alternative to opioid medications because of my longstanding practice of traditional East Asian medicine.


  • PhD, Nursing Science, University of Washington. Project: Self-awareness and symptom evaluation : Observations from the Seattle midlife women's health study
  • Master's Degree, Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine
  • Honors BS, cum laude, Psychology major & Women's Studies minor, University of Utah. Project: A narrative study of frame transitions between physical and pretend mother-infant play


Dr. Lisa Taylor-Swanson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at University of Utah. Her research focuses on the improvement of chronic pain with an emphasis on midlife women’s health, gender disparities of the opioid epidemic, and the evaluation of traditional East Asian medicine interventions (including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and moxibustion). She is particularly interested in the role of interoceptive awareness (IA) and emotion regulation (ER) in pain cognition. Dr. Taylor-Swanson is developing and testing a refined acupuncture intervention to improve IA and ER and thereby improve pain cognition, resulting in decreased pain severity and interference.

Dr. Taylor-Swanson previously provided acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in private practice for over 17 years with an emphasis on women’s health and the treatment of male- and female-factor infertility.

Dr. Taylor-Swanson is an avid flamenco dancer and enjoys world music, yoga, hiking, swimming, and skiing.