IMG_5038Hello Fellow Students… Welcome to my class website.  Since 2004 I’ve been a professor at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) in Berkeley, CA, a master’s degree program for acupuncture, herbology and integrative medicine. Here you’ll find information about handouts, activities and resources that are part of the classes and workshops that I teach. 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 land that was an apple and cherry orchard. There was a water well, a large garden and we kept honeybees. Nearby there was a fish-filled stream, and my grandparents lived on the other side of “the woods”, so there were many acres to discover nature. My connection to plants was just beginning.

After a move to California in my teens, I discovered Western herbal medicine, made herbal body products from scratch, became a 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.

In 1993, I began Tai Chi and Qi Gong, which felt like magic in the palm of my hands. After completing pre-med classes, I began a four-year master’s degree at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which I completed in 1999.



My Practice

I am now in my seventeenth 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 my ancestors, including my Great-Great-Great Grandfather (many ‘Greats’ in fact), Chief Taptico, 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!