My desire to help others in the pursuit of health and happiness as well as the personal satisfaction that comes from learning and sharing knowledge about the body has led me to practice medicine. My fascination with the complexity and challenges of the human body inspire me to continually study and apply myself to medicine. Bridging the worlds of Chinese Medicine, with its emphasis on functional systems biology, and Western biomedicine, with its detailed biochemical focus, provides me a worthy challenge and fulfilling philosophical and clinical experience.
I began my journey into medicine in high school, apprenticing my high school's athletic trainer and performing palliative care and preventive treatment on the student athletes of Bellarmine College Preparatory. Through treating athletes, absorbing sports medical knowledge from my mentor, and in taking an elective anatomy course my senior year, I began to appreciate the profound intelligence of the body.
I eventually discovered acupuncture and the Chinese medical tradition in college when I sought treatment with student acupuncturists who were practicing at my university student health clinic, at UCLA. I had suffered from chronic sinus infections and amidst a particularly bad infection, I thought I would try acupuncture to alleviate my headache, sinus congestion, and general discomfort, which the antibiotics were not directly treating.
I was immediately amazed and curious as the acupuncture provided relief from my symptoms and helped me feel more comfortable. I began reading and studying on my own, learning to make changes in my diet and lifestyle to help prevent the recurring infections and other health issues I was experiencing. I continued to receive acupuncture, to better understand how it worked, how it could be utilized to treat and prevent disease, and to better know my own body. I soon became enamored with the more holistic, subtle, systems-oriented, and tradition-rich ways in which Chinese medicine viewed medicine and the human body. I liked the way Eastern and Western medicines provided unique and complimentary approaches to medicine.
Eventually, I found myself wanting to pursue medicine as a career and felt that becoming a licensed acupuncturist was the most appropriate licensing and specialty for me. I began my studies at AIMC in Berkeley for two years, then finished my master's degree at Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, where Jessica and I first met.
As a board certified acupuncturist and doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I primarily help my patients using acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, cupping, medical massage, and Chinese herbal medicine/supplementation. I also provide guidance and education based on my never-ending research. I am driven by a passion to understand and know how the body works, and as such, I regularly review a broad range of medical research, digging for new information, deeper understandings of medicine, and out of my love of helping others.
As a healthcare professional, I do my best to integrate the specialized tools of acupuncture and herbal medicine with Western medical science and sports medicine to provide my patients with workable and effective treatment plans. Our approach aims to provide our patients with integrated support to improve the outcomes of their primary treatment plans, or to provide treatment for patients who otherwise have been unsuccessfully treated by other means.
The global pandemic has given me the opportunity to appreciate the value and dynamism of acupuncture and Chinese medicine. It has also shown me its limitations, especially when working in a private, isolated clinical setting. Over the past two years, I have spent more of my time reading and thinking about public health, integrative healthcare, and the directions healthcare might go that would better serve our communities here in the United States. I am deeply committed to seeing acupuncture fully utilized, at the highest levels in our healthcare systems, but also seeing it become a part of the core tool-set in American preventive and chronic care.
I am currently seeking new opportunities in the hopes of fulfilling these dreams of helping define and refine all that acupuncture has to offer within the larger patient-centered healthcare systems. I want to work with a team of diversely knowledgeable and skilled professionals that are collaborating to fully support our patients as a model for optimal healthcare, that can one day be the standard of care. I believe an integrative hospital setting or large clinical setting is the ideal place for me to contribute to these goals. I believe I would bring not only my enthusiasm for collaborative, caring work, but also my rich scientific understanding of the neuroscience research, and my unique cultural perspectives as a Native American with rich and complex American ancestry. I would love to work with a medical team as an exceptional doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
My hope is that the medical treatment we provide guides our patients towards living healthier, happier, and more consciously embodied lives.
click the images below to learn about michael's upcoming workshops
Licentiate of Acupuncture (UK); Bachelor of Acupuncture (UK); Master of Acupuncture (UK); Classical Acupuncture Certified Teacher (Advanced); Licensed Acupuncturist (CA); Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM)
Neil's first exposure to Classical Five-Element Acupuncture was during a seminar he attended in the summer of 1978. The experience enabled him to see his life and the lives of others from an entirely new perspective: clear expressions of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. It offered clear insight into both how alike and unique we all are. Within five days, he had changed career plans and applied to Professor J.R. Worsley's College of Traditional Acupuncture in Royal Leamington Spa, England. It was the only place in the western world offering training in this system of medicine at the time. This ancient system of medicine was brought to the West by Professor J.R. Worsley - practitioner, teacher, and author, who traveled the world teaching and consulting for over 58 years.
Neil's commitment to study Classical Five-Element Acupuncture with Professor Worsley spanned 2 continents and over 27 years. After graduating, Neil traveled to England several times per year for intensive continued study. Regarding Professor Worsley's instruction, Neil has stated: "His teaching was a seamless tapestry of laughter, compassion, inspiration, confidence, uncompromising standards, and a challenge to grow... The pure fun we had in learning seemed to be exceeded only by J.R.'s obvious joy in teaching. From the start, I knew I had to learn to practice this medicine, and I knew I eventually had to teach it." Neil holds three degrees and an advanced teaching certification from the College of Traditional Acupuncture, UK awarded by Professor Worsley.
As Founder and Director of the The Institute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture Inc. in Southern California, Neil is committed to ensuring that the legacy of this profound, but little-known system of body/mind/spirit medicine continues in its pure form. He has created a program where students can learn both the theory and hands-on clinical practice of this system in an intensive, part-time educational format.
After nearly 40 years of full-time practice, Neil is still thrilled by the power of this system to heal and transform lives. Since teaching his first series of introductory courses at Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in 1988, he has continually seen the minds and spirits of his students touched and nourished by the experience and knowledge of this beautiful system of medicine. His many online presentations can be found at www.NetofKnowledge.com.
Neil has served as a Professor at Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, SAMRA University of Oriental Medicine, and YoSan University. His other teaching credits include; The USC School of Medicine, The UCLA School of Medicine, The Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture, The Traditional Acupuncture Institute, California Acupuncture College, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine, Five Element Trainings, The School of T'ai Chi Chuan. Inc., California State Oriental Medical Association Expo, The Pacific Symposium, The Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance Expo
Neil is an approved acupuncture Continuing Education Provider in California. He is also the author of the taped series Practitioner/Patient Rapport and co-author of The Art of Practice Management for Acupuncture Healthcare Providers (published by From Tao to Earth). He is founder and editor of Back to the Roots (a publication of the Institute of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture) and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Meridians Magazine (a publication of the Traditional Acupuncture Institute), The T'ai Chi Press, Oriental Medicine (a publication of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine), The California Journal of Oriental Medicine, and is a distinguished columnist for Acupuncture Today.
Meet ram dev dale borglum phdRead Now
Dale Borglum is the founder and Executive Director of the Living/Dying Project in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a pioneer in the conscious dying movement and has worked directly with thousands of people with life-threatening illnesses and their families for over 30 years. In 1981, Dale founded the first residential facility in the United States, The Dying Center, for people who wished to die consciously.
He has taught and lectured extensively on the topics of spiritual support for those with life- threatening illness, on caregiving as a spiritual practice, and on healing at the edge — the edge of illness, of death, of loss, of crisis. Dale has a BS from UC Berkeley and a PhD from Stanford University. He is the co-author of Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook, Bantam Books, and has taught meditation for the past 35 years.
He has intensively immersed himself in the practices of devotion, meditation, and contemplative prayer for over forty years, studying with many of the greatest masters of the last century including Neem Karoli Baba, Suzuki Roshi, Ananda Mayee Ma, Kalu Rinpoche, the 16th Karmapa, Dilgo Khyentse, Mahasi Sayadaw, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche, Goenka, Dudjom Rinpoche and HH the Dalai Lama. Dale has taught with Ram Dass, Stephen Levine, Joan Halifax, Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Rev. Wayne Muller, and many others. His life’s work and passion has been and continues to be the healing of our individual and collective relationship with death and using our mortality as an inspiration for spiritual awakening.
Meet CLarissa GunawanRead Now
My ancestors are from Southern China. My grandparents travelled down south and eventually settled on the Indonesian island of Java, where I was born. My blood is Chinese and Javanese. I now live and sleep on unceded Boonwurrung country, so-called Melbourne, Australia.
What I offer is the ability to describe what it means to hold the Asian View. A lot of people in the West are interested in Asian wisdom traditions, such as Buddhism, Daoism, or in Asian practices like yoga, qigong, martial arts. But without understanding the foundational View, which is very different to the pervasive Western-modern worldview, there will be no fruition. View, Method and Fruition go together naturally, and most important is View. And since I was raised in the Western-modern cosmology, and have begun unravelling in myself the trappings of using it for understanding Asian wisdom traditions, my humble perspective is what I offer.
Education wise I have a double degree in Commerce (hello, Asian ancestors) and Arts from Melbourne University, and hold down a corporate job where I provide risk management for organisations. Ming says there are two things humans occupy ourselves with; healing or divination. Risk management for me is practicing divination in a modern setting. My life is a prayer for modern do-it-yourself practitioners to see that we can start from just right here, wherever you are today, and use dream as a spiritual path. This block of unused potential we seemingly pass over each night, contains all the answers you need. No gurus needed, no complex requirements. Just having a human body is all that’s needed to participate.
Meet dennis von elgg, lacRead Now
Dennis W. von Elgg is a California State Licensed Acupuncturist. He is also a Diplomate of Acupuncture recognized by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Dennis earned his Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. He has traveled to Sichuan Province in China, working and studying at the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital. Practicing in the inpatient and outpatient departments of the hospital, Dennis worked in a wide variety of areas including pain management, respiratory, GI and liver disorders, diabetes, stroke rehabilitation, age related illnesses and reproductive health.
Since 2002 Dennis has been a professor at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley where he has taught topics on herbology, herbal formulas, diagnosis, acupuncture therapy, modern disease, tongue and pulse diagnosis, and more. Dennis also periodically presents lectures to students and fellow acupuncturists.
He is a frequent guest lecturer at UC Berkeley in the Integrative Biology Department. He brings together a large volume of Chinese Medicine and health topics to students which he thoroughly enjoys, echoed by the testimonials from his students.
I am Samantha, your acupuncturist. In 2013, I received a Masters of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM). While completing my masters, I studied a variety of massage modalities and became certified in tui na. In the picture to the left, I am with Dr. Li, my translator, and another international student from Singapore at the Second Affiliated Hospital at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Guangzhou China. I completed the last clinical hours of my doctorate here in December 2019. As of 2020, I have completed the requirements of Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM).
I compete in trail runs, triathlons, and equestrian sports. In graduate school, while competing, I suffered some common sports injuries and was treated at the student clinic. It blew me away at how drastically the pain was reduced and how the healing time was nearly cut in half with acupuncture. This was one of many moments I had in school where I fell deeply in love with the medicine. I witnessed phenomenal results while interning at CPMC Stroke Clinic. Acupuncture helped those recovering from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other debilitating injuries.
A beloved friend/mentor of mine always told me, “Prevention is cheaper than the cure.” I take this to heart in educating and treating my patients. I helped them work thru injury and avoiding invasive cortisone shots, pain medications, and surgery. Lifestyle modifications play a huge role in overcoming dis-ease.
I use an integrative approach. I practice functional medicine and order a variety of tests such as complete blood panels, female hormones, heavy metals, leaky gut, and whatever test I feel will best help us make a treatment plan. I keep up to date with recent peer-reviewed studies and will be a student forever. I realize there is no “one size fits all” treatment plan. I take my time with my patients and do my best to treat their dis-ease and prevent it from returning.
I look forward to meeting you!
In good health,
Meet coach ryan rigoliRead Now
Ryan Rigoli is an Executive & Life Coach, Brand Consultant, Meditation Teacher, and Spiritual Counselor for people of all walks of life. He has spent over 25 years bridging spirituality and business and helping people to create greater harmony within their companies, their communities, and within themselves. Ryan has guided hundreds of entrepreneurs in the healing professions as well as thought-leaders in the fields of healthcare, technology, education, media, & human development. Many of his clients have grown successful businesses and/or shaped their industries with new products, services, influential books, and industry-wide talks.
Ryan is also a Professed Monk in the Spirit of Peace Monastic Community of Celebrating Life Ministries; a Meditation Teacher at the Foundation for Spiritual Development in San Rafael, CA; and an Improvisational Classical Pianist. Prior to his work as a Coach and Meditation Teacher, Ryan held leadership roles in a number of technology companies in the Bay Area and served as Sr. Director of Marketing at Yahoo! where his group was tasked with launching new innovations into the marketplace. He received a B.S. in Earth Systems at Stanford University and was certified as an Integral Coach ® at New Ventures West and as a True Purpose ® Coach at the True Purpose Institute.
Ryan has spoken in a wide variety of settings on the topics of mindfulness, meditation, and purpose. Some venues include: Sutter Health’s Institute for Health & Healing, Stanford Business School, Wisdom 2.0 Conference, New Ventures West Coaching School, numerous meditation & healing retreats in the Bay Area, and online events devoted to health and healing.
Across all of his work, Ryan helps people to access their innate wisdom & gifts and uses his business, spiritual, and creative backgrounds to support people in living with greater purpose, presence, and peace.
Meet Erin Langley, LAcRead Now
"My people are Anglo-Saxon, Celt, Ashkenazi, Frank, Germanic, Nuragic, Ozeiri, and the indigenous tribes of the Kuban River, Caucasus range, and Eurasian steppe. I grew up on Timacua and Seminole land (Middleburg, FL), lived on Chochenyo land for nearly 20 years (Oakland, CA), and recently moved to Cheroenhaka land (Blackstone, VA).
I first knew that I wanted to be a "healer" when I was 11 years old.
My maternal grandmother and I were watching a show about a little girl who could heal people while she was asleep. The girl's mother brushed her long, black hair as people gathered around the bed to experience miracles. Something came alive in me instantly, and I knew I wanted to do that. I have since realized that “healing” emerges from a salvational worldview, so I prefer the terms harmonize, recalibrate, and balance.
I come from the rural South. My father's side is all teachers and preachers--circuit riders steeped in strong ideas and faith healing. My paternal grandmother tells amazing stories of her dreams of my late grandfather, who helped her raise her three sons after he passed.
When I was 14, my retina detached, and I learned I'm a mystic. I started having dreams, visions, and out-of-body experiences, which terrified me. Frequenting these liminal places inspired me to record and track thousands of dreams over decades. My scientific approach to dreaming helped me become literate in symbolism.
I conceived Lucid Dreaming for the Earth, which brought lucid dreamers together to help mitigate environmental damage from the dream world. Clinically, I read dreams for portent and diagnosis. I love helping people work with nightmares and recurring dreams. My Master's thesis, Reinstating the Role of Community Dreaming Using Traditional Protocol and Open-Source Technology, explores dreaming as a way of life and a measure of communal health. I cataloged dreams by theme against an astronomical ephemeris to detect patterns and develop a dictionary of portent.
After graduating from the University of North Florida with an English degree, I enrolled in the Indigenous Mind program of Naropa University. I studied with elders while exploring my own ancestral traditions. My teachers—storytellers and medicine people from all over the globe—showed me that everything is natural, and nothing is supernatural. Continuity with my native lands and traditions helped me develop a sense of belonging.
In 2004, I began studying Mantic Arts and Path Dreaming with Liu Ming, founder of Da Yuan Circle and Five Branches University. Shortly after, I enrolled in Acupuncture and Integrative College, Berkeley to finally engage the medical aspects of this ancient holistic system.
I am a mother, writer, fine artist, acupuncturist, and late bloomer living on Cheroenhaka land in Blackstone, VA."
Learn more about Erin at: ancestralacupuncture.com
Dr. Kim Peirano, DACM, Dipl. O.M. (NCCAOM), LAc, CNC has been a licensed, practicing Acupuncturist since 2010, a published author, speaker and intuitive healer; her treatments aim to access the deep inner workings of the mind-body-spirit connection to help her patients unlock the root cause of disharmony. Dr. Kim is the Founder and President of the Integrative Healing Institute which she created to help extend integrative and transformational healing techniques and processes to other healers and Acupuncturists through continuing education courses. Dr. Kim is also a pioneer and teacher of Integrative Cosmetic Acupuncture, with over a decade of experience with Facial Acupuncture, her unique and innovative style aims to demystify the science behind why this treatment is effective, teach students an effective protocol and open the doorway to the greater healing potential of the treatment by addressing the Shen and Spirit of the patient. . She also treats patients for pain management and sports medicine, trauma, paralysis, pediatric and teenagers, major life changes, spiritual growth and more. Her healing approach is to unblock misalignment in the body-mind-spirit through accessing the highest level of truth for the patient so that they can experience a deeper layer of their most authentic self - free of pain, stress, tension and full of confidence and vitality.
Dr. Kim and her practice Lion’s Heart have been featured in ‘O’ Oprah Magazine, In Style, KPIX’s Bay Area Focus TV, Bustle and multiple health and wellness blogs as a feature and as an expert contributor, she was also named Marin County’s Best Holistic Health Practitioner in 2018 and 2019. Dr. Kim is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, one of the industry’s leading scientific peer-reviewed journals and is columnist for the industry publication Acupuncture Today. She holds a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, a Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine from the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Studio Arts from California State University Long Beach. Dr. Kim is a National Board Certified Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, California State Licensed Acupuncturist and member of the California State Oriental Medicine Association. Dr. Kim is also a Certified Nutrition Consultant through the National Academy of Metabolic Science. In addition to her private practice Dr. Kim is a Clinic Supervisor at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley CA and is a volunteer with the Living / Dying Project providing end-of-life spiritual support.
Through daily committed meditation, prayer time and weekly intensive healing and growth work as an advanced level student at the Foundation of Spiritual Development, Dr. Kim’s depth of knowledge, practice and healing ability continues to grow and strengthen as she commits to her own healing and growth more and more. Working in the quantum field, astral realms, with non-conditional spirit guides and healing entities, Dr. Kim’s practice expands out of Traditional Chinese Medicine into a much deeper and more expansive experience of healing. By accessing the subtle nature of Qi (energy) in the body, intuitively reading a patient’s energy and blockages she is able to provide unique, individual treatments and insights to every session.
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