Welcome

IMG_5038Hello Fellow Students…  Here you’ll find information about handouts, activities and resources that are part of the classes and workshops that I teach in the Bay Area. I can’t wait to hear your story and how you came to this beautiful medicine. Here’s a bit about my own path…

Planting the Seeds…

I grew up in a large family about an hour from Chicago, on expansive land, a former apple and cherry orchard with a water well, a garden and honeybees. There were many acres to discover nature and my connection to plants was just beginning, though of course I had know idea where that would lead.

After a move to the far-out state of California in my teens, I discovered Western herbal medicine, made herbal body products from scratch, became an eager student of Iyengar yoga, energy work and massage. I discovered the field of Oriental medicine in 1991, while completing my undergraduate work at UCSD, where I was fascinated by world cultures, foreign languages and biology. Japanese and Chinese language classes were exciting and fun. Eastern philosophy made perfect sense. I was in awe that my favorite topics could be combined into one, the life-sustaining field of Eastern healing.

Fresh Bay Area Goji Berries

Fresh Bay Area Goji Berries

The Jump into School

I returned to the Bay Area, and got my feet wet through working in various acupuncture clinics in the early 90’s. During this time, I also worked at a large drug company called Genentech, which gave me experience with drug manufacturing via fermentation and the FDA drug approval process. This very western medical experience actually gave me the final nudge to delve into the field of Alternative Medicine.

Like many of you, I was in love with the medicine and was pulled further into its depths. I completed a master’s degree in 1999 from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM).

Current Day

I’ve been teaching Chinese herbal medicine in the Bay Area since the late 1990’s, as a professor at both the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in Berkeley and at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco.  I decided to go back for a deeper look and completed a doctoral program in Chinese medicine at my alma mater in August of 2018. The topic of my dissertation was the treatment of chronic infection with Chinese herbs and acupuncture.

My Practice

I am now in my eighteenth year of private medical practice, with an office in Lafayette, CA. We maintain a large apothecary of raw and dried herbs, tinctures, glycerites and powders, which you are welcome to visit and learn from.

I currently grow many organic herbal medicines in my backyard, both Western and Asian species – last count was 60 different remedies. Some favorites are…

  • Astragalus, Licorice, Angelica, Codonopsis
  • Selfheal Spike, Buddha’s Citron, Nettles, Peonies
  • Sorrel, Mugwort, Burdock, Lemon Verbena
  • Goji Berries, Honeysuckle, Mulberries

I often bring fresh herbs to class and my clinic for their vibrant, healing powers. I also grow many plants in my yard that are indigenous to the Americas (and related to their Chinese cousins). Pretty cool to discover these potent native plants were used by our ancestors, including my Great-Great-Great Grandfather (many ‘Greats’ in fact), Chief Taptico II, who was the last tribal leader of the Wicocomico Indian Nation in Virginia in the 1700s. Yep, got a little native ancestry on my maternal side to balance out my rather northern Norwegian, Dutch and Irish heritage.

I feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to discover this diverse field of healing, and will forever be a student of its depths. I hope you become as captivated with this medicine as I am. It’s an amazing path with many rich rewards!