My first exposure to Asian culture occurred in 1974. At 17 years old, I traveled extensively, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Japan. It was an eye, mind and spirit opening journey that left a deep impression, planting a seed that would germinate later. In college, I explored Taoist philosophy and martial arts.
I became very curious about Chinese medicine in 1982 when a Japanese friend gave me an Oriental bodywork treatment. I had been quite ill for many weeks and was unable to recover. Katsu kindly gave me a short acupressure session. At the time, it did not seem like much happened. After he left, I fell asleep for five minutes and had a brief, one image dream/vision, instantly resolving a nagging emotional situation. When I woke, I felt significantly better and intuitively knew I was healing. This experience got my attention.
Katsu and I studied together for a year. Eventually, I studied with his teacher and ultimately with the founder of the Jin Shin Do acupressure system, Iona Teegarden. During these years, I felt strongly drawn to Chinese medicine as a career. In the early 1980's there were not many schools of Chinese medicine like there are now. Most of my training was through tutorials, mentors and apprenticeships in Asia and the US.
I studied Chinese language and kung fu in Portland, and moved to Taiwan to begin several years of travel and study in Asia. In Taipei, I connected with my first Chinese herbal teacher, Dr. Zhang. Later, I studied with Bob Flaws and Honora Wolfe in Boulder, Colorado. From there I went to Shanghai for tui na training with Dr. Ting Ji Feng and his staff at the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. On another trip to Shanghai, I studied pediatric tui na (Chinese Pediatric Massage) with Dr. Zang and Dr. Shen at the Shanghai Number 2 Medical University.
Returning to Portland, I opened a private practice with Edie Vickers at An Hao Clinic, continuing my training with clinical experience. Here, I connected with Subhuti Dharmananda and the Institute of Traditional Medicine regarding Chinese herbs.
I've studied tai chi and chi kung with various teachers, including Charles Blodgett and Ken Cohen in the US, and various Chinese teachers in Asia. In 1987, I met Mantak Chia and found a Taoist chi kung and meditation system that resonated deeply, reinforcing everything learned in my studies of Chinese medicine. I eventually became a certified instructor and have been teaching since 1990. Since that time, I have traveled to Chia's retreat center, Tao Garden, outside Chang Mai, Thailand in an ongoing development of chi kung and meditation.
I taught Oriental Bodywork classes at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine from 1987 – 1991. I've taught various workshops at massage, acupuncture and naturopathic schools in addition to my own classes.
I designed my own education as I traveled throughout Asia and the U.S. I studied the three major modalities: bodywork, herbs and acupuncture. Like classically trained Chinese physicians, these studies included: diet, meditation (chi king), feng shui (energy of place), philosophy, martial arts, poetry,
As my professional training has not been a standard route, I have had the great fortune to study with some truly remarkable teachers in many disciplines related to Chinese medicine. With deepest appreciation and gratitude, I honor all these teachers, and their teachers, and their teachers before them...all the way back. Any skill or ability I bring to this practice is due to them all.
The general theme that flows through professional training and my personal life is learning about the natural way, Tao, of all things. To me, this means a genuine curiosity and wonder to explore any and every thing, using whatever arises in the moment as a gateway to what is natural in healing and everyday life.
This manifests within my professional practice of Chinese medicine. In 2013, this process led to moving to a small Eastern Oregon community, John Day. Here I bring what I've learned in Asia and four decades of clinical experience to this beautiful community, following in the clear footsteps of Ing 'Doc' Hay, the China Doctor of John Day.
After much world traveling, I've, unexpectedly, found home here. Small town, rural life suits me well. Connecting with nature enlivens my healing practice and my life: kayaking, cross country skiing, bicycling, hiking mountain trails and wandering vast, remote high deserts. Along the way, I've been learning photography. There is a link to these photographs below.
I feel very fortunate to have learned all these skills and be able to share them in this community, watching it all unfold in a very natural way.