Personal statement, experience and training
I began to explore eastern modalities of healing in 1984 as a natural inclusion into meditative practice. I began meditating as part of an interest in tai qi, yoga, martial arts, and qi gong. I just seemed to have an inherent interest in these kinds of activities, out of curiosity for cultures that seemed so different and had their own systems of intelligence, cosmology. I began to become more interested in the healing potential of meditation, and deep relaxation. I have tried a lot of different types of meditation approaches over the years, and I continue to go to various talks and retreats in different subjects; Sufi, Vippassana, Zen, Shamanistic, Shavite, Tantric, American Indian, Tibetan Buddhist, Tibetan pre-Buddhist and Christian systems all intrigue inform me spiritually and psychologically. I have spent the most time with Vippassana Theravadan Buddhist teachings and would qualify my meditation mostly as such. I went to the Naropa Institute to study Buddhist meditation, literature, eastern and western psychology, and dance in 1986. I was deeply involved in meditation, tai ji, dance, music and creative writing. I continue to pursue all these as an exploration of spirit and healing.
In my travels I met several teachers in various disciplines that exposed me to acupuncture. One of my early meditation/qi gong teachers was an acupuncturist and I received several acupuncture treatments from him, for general well being, energy balancing. I left formal college studies around a year later to pursue an education in acupuncture and other healing arts. I attended the International Institute for Chinese Medicine in Santa Fe from 1988 to 1991. I then went to China to do an intensive internship. I returned still yearning for more education.
I attended numerous workshops and began studying more western medicine at that time. I discovered many great teachers and sources of inspired research and treatment. I completed a two year post graduate course with Bob Flaws of Blue Poppy institute. Bob is one of the most prolific translators of Chinese medical material in the United States, and the world actually. Bob emphasizes knowledge of the classics as well as contemporary studies. I began to read more thoroughly about all the different styles of Chinese medicine throughout history and the preeminent scholars and major developments in Chinese medical theory.
The current common types of TCM are eight principles, five phases, viscera and bowel, jing luo (meridian theory), qi and blood mechanisms, fluids and humors, six aspects, four aspects, three burners, disease cause discrimination (western pathology). I also use the older I Ching medical theories to diagnose and treat. I was feeling very strong in my eastern studies and began to study western metabolic processes. I completed a number of intensives through Apex seminars that cover a vast scope of mainstream allopathic as well as alternative western types of disease models and treatment modalities. Some of these areas included identifying toxic loads and how to detoxify organs, assessing metabolic insufficiencies in different organs and how to treat them naturally, and endocrinology.
I continue to explore all these avenues of healing today, and bring the inquiring, exploring nature of my journey into the treatment room, inviting people to engage in discovering their own healing process. I do this by helping people to identify their areas of discomfort, of dysfunction. I use a lot of palpation, (pressing on areas to identify tightness or weakness, swelling or lack of circulation,) range of motion testing, strength testing, postural analysis, then guiding people in relating to those areas, integrating them, making them more conscious, bringing healing to them. My approaches are always gentle and non intrusive. I have developed ways of inserting needles that are almost always pain free. There are occasionally some very sensitive regions that may be beneficial to needle and I can even make these regions very easy to treat.
In 1994 I began studying with a Taiwanese doctor named Richard Tan. I had read a Taiwanese acupuncture text and found the strategies very effective and was looking into other systems of acupuncture. I also came across a Japanese acupuncturist name Kiiko Matsumodo. I found these two systems to be the most innovative, and effective. I think they are most effective because they are some of the most modern treatment modalities. Offering modern strategies and techniques for modern people. They have developed amazingly effective treatments for adrenal fatigue, and all the related endocrine problems that arise therewith, systemic toxicity, cardiac problems, digestive problems, structural problems and much more in the current framework of modern society.
I integrate these different modalities by exploring them with clients and finding which one works best for that person. The treatments can also vary by the number of needles, time of retention of needles, and size of needles.