COMS 2017 promises an inspiring year of workshops and lectures. With an unprecedented lineup of amazing speakers, you’ll experience thought-provoking lectures, and leave with new skills and tools to use immediately in your clinic! Click on a speaker’s name below or scroll down to learn more.
- Stephen Birch
- Lillian Bridges
- Christine Chang
- Jake Fratkin
- Michael Greenwood
- Holly Guzman
- David Lloyd
- Steve Marsden
- Whitfield Reaves
- Janice Walton-Hadlock
Stephen Birch has practiced Japanese acupuncture for thirty-five years and is a well-known teacher around Europe, Australasia, North and South America. His initial studies in Boston were with Tin Yau So, Ted Kaptchuk and Kiiko Matsumoto, his in depth studies in Japan were with Yoshio Manaka and senior teachers from the Toyohari Association (Kodo Fukushima, Toshio Yanagishita, Akihiro Takai, Shuho Taniuchi, Yutaka Shinoda and so on).
He has (co)authored eight books on acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine including ‘Extraordinary Vessels’ (1986), ‘Hara Diagnosis’ (1988), ‘Chasing the Dragon’s Tail’ (1995), ‘Japanese Acupuncture’ (1998), ‘Understanding Acupuncture’ (1999), ‘Shonishin – Japanese Pediatric Acupuncture’ published in 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers (second edition 2016) and more recently ‘Restoring Order in Health and Chinese Medicine’ (2014) which describes the history and development of the concepts of qi and jingmai (meridians). He is the most senior teacher outside of Japan of Toyohari, probably the most advanced Meridian Therapy system. He organizes and teaches Toyohari programs in Amsterdam, Holland. He has practiced in Amsterdam, Holland since 1998.
Additionally Stephen has been involved in research on acupuncture since the late 1980s. His doctoral research at the University of Exeter (1997) focused on clinical trial methodology and placebo controls. He worked on clinical trials at Harvard and Yale medical schools and has advised to numerous studies in the US, Europe and Australia. He is author of dozens of scientific papers on acupuncture and is the past founding president of the Society for Acupuncture Research. Since 2009 he is Associate Professor at the Kristiania University College, Institute of Health Sciences, Oslo, Norway, where he teaches about research and participates in various research projects and activities. He is currently working with researchers in Europe Asia and Australia on pattern identification research (is a founding member of the international Pattern Identification Network Group) and on reviewing the evidence for systematic reviews and Clinical Practice Guidelines.
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Renowned author and lecturer, Lillian Bridges is best known as the foremost authority on Face Reading and Diagnosis, introducing both it and Five Element Feng Shui to the West and bringing them back into the field of Chinese Medicine.
For the past 20 years, she has taught Facial Diagnosis to both health practitioners and business people alike. She is the founder of The Lotus Institute, training students in her apprenticeship program and at continuing education courses at universities and colleges.
Lillian is a featured speaker at conferences, conventions, and symposiums around the world, and has been on numerous television and radio shows, and has written for many publications. A contributor to several books on Chinese Medicine, her own book, Face Reading in Chinese Medicine, was first published by Churchill Livingstone in 2003 and has been translated into German and Italian; a second edition was published in 2010.
Her latest work involves a reinterpretation of ancient Taoist alchemy, inspiring in her students insights into achieving rejuvenation and longevity and the ability to create supportive lifestyles. Lillian spoke at COMS 2009 in Vancouver to rave reviews.
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Dr. Christine Chang is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a Licensed Acupuncturist in California. She is certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Dr. Chang currently serves as a faculty member at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine, where for the past decade she is teaching classes on Herbal Formulas, Chinese Nutrition, Chinese Medical Language, Chinese Patent Medicines, and is a clinical supervisor in the student clinic and local Venice Free Clinic. She had held the position of pharmacy director at Emperor’s College, supervising the herbal pharmacy while concurrently training students on herbal dispensary practices. Since 2003 she has located her private practice in Santa Monica, CA.
Since 2004, Dr. Chang has been the interpreter for the lectures of Dr. Wei Chieh Young, the last living direct disciple of Master Tung Ching-Chang, one of the foremost authorities on the Shang Hun Lun and I-Ching and one of legendary TCM doctors.
Dr. Chang completed her doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at Emperor’s College in 2005. Her clinical studies focused on pain management and advanced applications of Oriental Medicine in the modern health care system. She was a member of the team that pioneered acupuncture in the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, in addition to practicing in-patient hospital care.
Dr. Chang’s medical training began informally when she was growing up in Taiwan, where she received special training in facial diagnosis, herbal medicine, Tui Na, Zen Meditation, and Feng Shui. Her godfather was the last in the prestigious line of direct students to Dr. Sun Si Miao of the Tang Dynasty.
Dr. Chang has lectured extensively nationwide for the past 10 years on pain management, geriatric health care, woman health, internal medicine and general health care, Chinese nutrition, herbal formulas, and patent medicines. She teaches continuing education classes to practitioners and gives public education classes in addition to lecturing at TCM colleges.
Dr. Chang’s education, experience, and the legacy she brings with her positions her as a formidable bridge between ancient Eastern medical practices and the modern Western medical field in the United States.
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Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD, L.Ac. trained in Korean and Japanese acupuncture since 1975, and Chinese herbal medicine since 1982. He is the author of Essential Chinese Formulas (2014), and Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines, The Clinical Desk Reference (2001) and has recently completed TCM Case Studies in Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Zeng Sheng-ping. He is the recipient of Acupuncturist of the Year, 1999, by the AAAOM and Teacher of the Year, 2006, American Association of Teachers of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AATAOM). Jake lives and practices in Boulder, Colorado, where he specializes in internal disorders (respiratory, digestive) infections, gynecology, and pediatrics.
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Michael Greenwood trained at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and St. Mary’s Hospital, London, and practiced Family Medicine in Victoria B.C. Canada, for many years. His interest in deep healing arose out of his own experience of chronic pain, which began with a motorcycle accident while he was a medical student. The pain, unresponsive to all that conventional medicine could offer, forced him to face the limits of his own medical training. His search for an answer led him on a fascinating journey to a new understanding of health and illness, stress and deep inner tensions, and how they affect our lives. Many of those insights were recorded in Michael’s first book, Paradox and Healing, co-authored with Dr. Peter Nunn and first published in 1992.
Michael’s explorations into alternative approaches led him to study Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and meditation before they became generally fashionable. He was one of the founding staff-members of the Canadian College of Chinese Studies, where in addition to teaching, he initiated a research study into the use of acupuncture for post motor-vehicle accident pain. That research gradually evolved into the highly successful residential program at the Victoria Pain Clinic. His second book, Braving the Void, arose out of his experiences at the Pain Clinic, where he developed many of the interactive techniques discussed more fully in his third book, The Unbroken Field.
Michael is on the editorial board of Medical Acupuncture and is regular contributor of articles to the Journal. He is a Certificant of the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada (AFCI), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA). Currently he teaches interactive acupuncture (DIA) at Pacific Rim College in Victoria.
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Holly Guzman, of Santa Cruz, California, is a passionate practitioner and educator of Chinese Medicine since 1979. Her first acupuncture studies in China were in 1976. A popular speaker at the Pacific Symposium throughout its 25 years, she also has served as faculty at Five Branches University since its founding in 1983, and regularly in their Doctorate Program. Holly was privileged to have early apprenticeships with the giants of the profession Miriam Lee, Ted Kaptchuk, and Yat Ki Lai. She has studied with Kiiko Matsumoto and Jeffery Yuen for decades. Holly graduated in the first class of the 2 year acupuncture program of NESA (Boston), and again in the first class at ACTCM (San Francisco). She received her doctorate in 1988 after extensive acupuncture studies in Japan and China. Her lectures draw on diverse wisdom, yet are focused on clinical practicality.
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David Lloyd, R.Ac R.TCMP, graduated from the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2006. Shortly after that, he began working as a Peer Reviewer at the Oxford University Medical Journal eCAM (Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine). David was heavily involved in the regulation of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in his home province of Ontario. He has been practicing and teaching Qi Gong for over 20 years. David has also written four books including Never Give Up Conquer Stress & Depression (2014) & Cholesterol Conspiracy (2013). He also maintains a very busy private practice in London Ontario.
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Dr. Steve Marsden is one of the chief educators of veterinarians worldwide in the use of complementary and alternative therapies. He regularly lectures for the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He has been a guest speaker for veterinary courses, colleges, and associations spanning five continents, and is co-founder of the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies, an Australia-based institution offering distance learning programs in integrative medicine. He is an emeritus director of the National College of Natural Medicine, a fully accredited and leading medical school offering comprehensive training in a diversity of alternative therapies for physicians. His first textbook, Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine, published by Elsevier in 2003, has been translated into multiple languages, and is a leading resource worldwide. He is a contributing author to several other textbooks, including:
- Textbook of Veterinary Herbal Medicine published by Elsevier
- Veterinary Clinics of North America
- Pain Management in Veterinary Practice published by Wiley-Blackwell
This year marks the release of his brand new textbook, Essential Guide to Chinese Herbal Formulas, published by CIVT.
Dr. Marsden is extensively trained in alternative medicine, receiving one of the first Master’s of Science degrees in Oriental Medicine ever to be awarded in North America, as well as human medical board certifications in Chinese herbology, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. When not teaching, he divides his time equally between veterinary and naturopathic medical practice in Edmonton, Alberta. In 2009, Dr. Marsden was selected by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association as the Small Animal Clinician of the Year. In 2010, Dr. Marsden was named Teacher of the Year by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association.
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Whitfield Reaves, OMD, L.Ac. has been working in the field of sports medicine since he first began practice in 1981. He earned a Doctor of Oriental Medicine degree in 1983 that included a thesis entitled Acupuncture and the Treatment of Common Running Injuries.
Whitfield’s experience in sports medicine includes the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, as well as numerous track and field, ski racing, and cycling events nationally over the last 30 years. He has been in the forefront of the acupuncture sports medicine field, emphasizing the integration of traditional acupuncture with orthopedics and anatomy. Whitfield lives in Hawaii, and currently teaches on Maui, as well as North America and Europe. He is the author of The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain. His flagship teaching program is the mentorship-style Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program.
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Dr. Janice (“J.J.”) Walton-Hadlock, DAOM, LAc. is a professor at Five Branches University, in Santa Cruz, California, where she teaches Advanced Channel Theory, Yin Tui Na, Psychology and Counselling, and clinical instruction and supervision. She is the founder of the Parkinson’s Recovery Project, a non-profit devoted to dissemination of information about treating Parkinson’s disease using theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (www.pdrecovery.org).
Her books include Tracking the Dragon, an acupuncture text on advanced channel theory which includes lessons in how to detect, by hand, Channel Qi; Medications of Parkinson’s disease: Once Upon a Pill; and Recovery from Parkinson’s.
She’s had articles about her Parkinson’s disease research published in major English language journals of Chinese medicine including the Journal of Chinese Medicine and The American Journal of Acupuncture, and her “commentary” on Parkinson’s medications research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
She lectures internationally and maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz, California, but beats a retreat to the Vancouver, BC area as often as possible.