Faculty (A-L)

With over 11 years of experience in the clinic focusing on injury treatment and structural integration, Sharon brings a wealth of practical information to the classroom. Her passion for optimizing the human form and function combines well with her adoration of academia. Endeavoring to provide guidance to her students as they study TCM, she relies on her own schooling, both in the Masters and Doctorate program at Five Branches University and her origins at the Brian Utting School of Massage in Seattle, Washington.

Sharon Adena teaches in the Departments of Western Medicine and Review and Assessment.

Marilyn Allen is a practice management consultant for the acupuncture profession. Her expertise includes office management, marketing, professional ethics and jurisprudence. With an M.S. in Management and Administration from Pepperdine University, she has honed her skills in several large complementary medical clinics. She is a consultant to the California State Board of Acupuncture for questions regarding health insurance coverage and malpractice insurance. Professor Allen is also the editor of Acupuncture Today, and is a co-author of the book Points for Profit: The Essential Guide to Practice Success for Acupuncturists. Marilyn Allen teaches in the Department of Complementary Studies.

Tim Archer teaches in the Department of Western Medicine.

Since graduating from Five Branches in 2001, Robert has been pursuing his passion for helping people with acupuncture and Chinese medicine at his Acupuncture and Massage Therapy Clinic in Hollister, California. Specializing in the treatment of pain and women’s health, Robert began his TCM studies at the Boston School of Shiatsu in 1992. Since then he has taught numerous courses at several schools including: Clinical Medicine, TCM Theory, Anatomy, Physiology, Shiatsu, Qi Gong, Taoism, Massage, and Business. In 2010, he completed a residency at the Liaoning University Hospital in Shenyang, China with Dr. Hao Xuejen. Robert\'s background includes a B.A. in Music Composition/Theory and extensive performing throughout the U.S. and Canada as a professional musician. Robert Barry teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

Marilyn “Mariposa” Bernstein is an alumnus of Five Branches University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and has also studied theater and women’s studies. Mariposa has lectured at Dominican Hospital, Cabrillo College, The Way of Life, and at many health fairs. Her specialties include women’s health, weight loss, immune support, western herbs, and nutritional counseling.

Mariposa’s hobbies include dancing, outdoor activities, comedy improvisation, and travel. She has a private practice in downtown Santa Cruz. Mariposa Bernstein teaches in the Departments of TCM Clinical Training and Western Medicine.

Marketa Bilkova studied Western Medicine in the First Medical School in the Czech Republic. She received her Master’s degree in TCM from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. She had a private practice in Bellingham, Washington for eight years. In her clinical practice Marketa has deepened her study of pain treatment with Tan-style acupuncture, Five Element acupuncture and meditation. In her free time, she loves to kayak, knit and play with her two-year old son. She maintains a part-time clinical practice in Santa Cruz. Marketa Bilkova teaches in the Department of Western Medicine.

Narrye Caldwell has a B.A. in Journalism from Wesleyan University and is a graduate of Five Branches University. She has been in private practice in Santa Cruz and San Jose since 1990. She has completed advanced training with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and has a certificate in spiritual psychology from the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology. Narrye has 25 years of martial arts training and is a lineage holder in a number of styles including Tai Chi (Yang Chen Fu, 4th generation), Tai Chi Sword (Wu Tu Yeh, 3rd generation) Qigong (Ted Mancuso, 1st generation), and Bagua Zhang (Dong Hai Chuan 6th generation). She specializes in women’s health, internal medicine, emotional balance, spiritual healing, and nutritional consulting. Her website is www.narryecaldwell.com . Narrye Caldwell teaches in the Departments of TCM Clinical Training and Western Medicine.

Lynne Caryl L. Ac., owner and practitioner of Harbor Acupuncture, has over 25 years experience as a primary healthcare physician in Oriental Medicine. Introduced to acupuncture while writing her thesis in Japan, she became intrigued with traditional Asian medicine and began her life-long love and practice of this ancient science. Lynne received her Master’s degree from Five Branches University and was licensed in 1987. She has studied Chinese medicine at the Shanghai Hospital with Director, Dr. Huang focusing on diabetes, internal medicine and herbs; Beijing Hospital in endocrinology and renal clinics; Hang Zhou University in the children’s clinic, internal medicine and trauma and injury recuperation; Chengdu University in dietary medicine. Lynne has also done doctoral studies in Los Angeles and New York and is currently co-authoring a book with Dr. Jeffery Yuen. Lynne specializes in chronic degenerative conditions and endocrine conditions, focusing on diabetes. Her background teaching yoga and dance, provides an awareness of physiology and body movement that improves pain management, and trauma recovery. Lynne offers Face Reading as a diagnostic tool revealing one’s genetic gifts and challenges, differentiating habits from acute conditioning. Lynne has taught Argentine Tango for over 15 years, both here and in Argentina (and once in Fiji for fun.) She loves the elegance and grace of the dance. . She also enjoys snorkeling in warm waters, learning, and laughter. Lynne Caryl teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training

Florence Chen received her Masters’ degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in California, and a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Five Branches University. She is a licensed acupuncturist in both California and New York, specializing in women\\\'s health, neuromuscular medicine and pain management, and dermatology/external medicine. When not practicing or teaching, Florence enjoys skiing, snorkeling, and backyard barbeques.

Samson Cheung has been studying the I-Ching since 1986. From years of studying the Chinese Classics, he gained a profound understanding of Chinese metaphysics, Feng Shui, and Confucianism. In 2007, he helped established a nonprofit organization called the School of Yimutology. where he teaches the I-Ching and related subjects. Dr. Cheung promotes I-Ching culture, Chinese philosophy and Confucianism by incorporating these Chinese theories and teachings into modern city life.  Samson graduated from the University of California, Davis with a Ph.D in Applied Mathematics. He received a Master of Arts in Applied Mathematics, Mathematical Physics, and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics-Physics from the University of Maryland. After his employment at Boeing and Intel as a computer engineer, he joined the Application Performance & Productivity (APP) Group in the NAS Division at the NASA Ames Research Center to develop Earth Science Modeling Framework (ESMF) and create parallel computational code for tropical cyclones study.

Carissa Cheung is a California-licensed, and NCCAOM-certified acupuncturist.  She has a private practice in Fremont, CA. She specializes in Womens Health, Pain Management, post stroke/surgery recovery, and gastrointestinal disorders.  In her leisure time, Carissa enjoys hiking, cooking, and gardening.  She is capable of communicating in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Fujianese, and some Japanese.

Hsinmin Chi earned a Master\\\'s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) from South Baylo University, California. His prior education included a Master of Science degree in TCM from the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, California, a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University, California, and a M.S. degree in Physics from the University of Texas, Dallas. Hsinmin is in private practice at Unison Care Corporation in Mountain View, California. He specializes in pain management, anti-aging, Alzheimer\\\'s prevention, and Parkinson\\\'s disease. When he is not in the office or teaching, he enjoys gardening, hiking and Bio-healing (tree vs. human). For more information about his work go to: www.unisoncares.com.

Ching Ching Chi is a DAOM, PhD Graduate of Zhejiang TCM University and licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in the state of California. She is a student of Professor's Fan Yongsheng, Fang Benzheng, and Wang Juyi, the most distinguished acupuncture physicians and herbalists in China.

Ching specializes in pain management, diabetes and its complication, stroke rehabilitation, cancer care and autoimmune disease. Ching is currently teaching in the Departments of TCM Theory and TCM Acupuncture.

Tracy Cone earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California San Diego in 1992. She spent ten years fundraising for progressive political causes before finding a passion for holistic medicine.

Tracy studied Western and Eastern herbalism with Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac. in 1998, and clinical nutrition at Bauman College (formerly IET) in 2001. She earned a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in 2005 with a specialty in Five Element acupuncture, and at the same time completed a four year apprenticeship with Raven Lang. Tracy maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz, California. For more information go to www.tracycone.com. She is a mom to two boys and a competitive outrigger canoe racer.

Tracy Cone teaches in the Departments of TCM Theory and TCM Clinical Training.

Marie Corwin earned a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. She also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Systems Science & Policy from California State University, Monterey Bay, California. 

Marie Corwin teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

Thomas Dicklin is a licensed acupuncturist with a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. He received Medical Qigong training with Dr. Jerry Alan Johnson at the International Institute of Medical Qigong, California. Thomas is a partner and acupuncturist at Communi-Qi Acupuncture in Santa Cruz, California, and has been a faculty member of the Five Branches Extension program since 2012.

 

Thomas Dicklin teaches in the Departments of TCM Acupuncture, Western Medicine and Complementary Studies.

 

Harry Zuohong Ding is a licensed acupuncturist in both Florida and California. He is the fifth generation of Menghe Medicine lineage- a traditional school of thought that originated from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, uniting diverse traditions of medical learning theories into one integrated medicine system based on ancient principles of practice. Harry received a Master of Oriental Medicine degree from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine in Florida, and is currently a DAOM Fellow at Five Branches University. He worked in the Department of Rheumatism in Longhua Hospital in 2010, specializing in the treatment of rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and other related diseases. Harry Zuohong Ding teaches in the Department of Review and Assessment.

A California Licensed and Nationally Certified acupuncturist since April 2002, Chris has since been deeply involved in bringing forth his skills with a successful private practice in Santa Cruz, CA. His professional involvement expands into the arena of international specialization through his work in proliferating the findings of the Parkinson’s Recovery Project, both in Santa Cruz, and in Amsterdam. Chris maintains an office in the Netherlands, and lectures throughout Western Europe and the U.S. on Yin Tuina and the treatment for Parkinson’s. A member of the first graduating class of the Doctoral Program at Five Branches University, he is a full-time faculty member since January of 2008, teaching both clinical and academic courses. He is currently writing a book on the subject of Yin Tuina, one of his favorite Asian medicine treatment methods, expected to be released in 2012. Chris Ells teaches in the Department of Complementary Studies and TCM Clinical Training.

In private practice since 2000, Rachel Farber has been passionate about helping people live comfortably in their bodies and supporting them to make vital lifestyle choices. Her specialties include women’s health and mental-emotional health, including disordered eating, depression, addiction and hormonal imbalances.

Rachel Farber received her BA from Wellesley College in 1988 and MS from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1999. She studied independently with Efrem Korngold, co-author of Between Heaven and Earth, during and after her formal studies and considers him her mentor. She has also studied acupuncture in Japan. Rachel is also a bodyworker since 1992 and has taught massage and Asian bodywork in several massage programs. She is also a mother of two, a dedicated practitioner and teacher of yoga, and a passionate seasonal food cook.

After living abroad as the son of a diplomat, Galen Fisher majored in psychological anthropology at Swarthmore College, and then moved in 1969 to a homestead in Vermont where he raised goats, produced maple syrup, and became a professional builder. In 1975 Galen went to study Oriental Medicine at the Meiji Toyo Igakuin in Osaka, Japan, and then on to the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in England. Since receiving California certification in 1980, he has also pursued extensive studies in yoga, Ayurveda, homeopathy, and Zero Balancing. Professor Fisher lives and works at Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, where he practices acupuncture and pursues his fascination with cross-cultural medicine. He also maintains a maple sugar bush in Vermont. He loves travel, backpacking, and cross-country skiing. Galen Fisher teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

Cary Friedman received his Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University in 2002. Before attending Five Branches, Cary earned a Master of Science in Pharmacology, Toxicology from the University of California, Davis, and an Master of Science in Chemistry, where he looked for medicinal compounds in a plant used by first nation peoples. Cary is a certified Hepatitis C practitioner, and a Bioenergy Balancing practitioner and teacher. He has taught with the BBT for three years and is currently being trained in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Cary's clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California focuses on working with individuals with HIV, HCV, stress and pain issues. He fuses Five Elements theory, Bioenergy Balancing and a biodynamic approach to Craniosacral therapy to address clients physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. When not in the clinic teaching, or studying, Cary can be found biking around the county, gardening, or enjoying hikes in local parks. Cary Friedman teaches in the Departments of Western Medicine and TCM Clinical Training.

Anna Goldfarb received a Master's in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University . She earned a M.D., and a M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Anna Goldfarb teaches in the Department of Western Medicine.

In 1972, age 13, Holly studied acupuncture with help from the Chinese Embassy in Afghanistan where she lived. There, she was given a booklet on curing deaf mutes. A few years later, Holly traveled to the Guang Zhou School for the Deaf Mute in China to see the successful acupuncture protocol in action. She also witnessed acupuncture anesthesia in major surgery, and national health care programs utilizing Chinese herbs. In 1979, Holly attended the New England School of Acupuncture, and a year later assisted Ted Kaptchuk to open an acupuncture program at a state hospital, a first in 1980. Ted Kaptchuk, head of a medical dept. at Harvard, explores the hardest questions on healing. In 1983, Holly joined the first graduating class of ACTCM. Concurrently, she assisted Miriam Lee, (who treated 10 patients an hour, 8 hours a day) and studied with Yat Ki Lai, expert on herbal safety, from Lai’s lineage treating royalty. Lois Johnson M.D., an oncologist, is Holly’s mentor for advanced western herb studies, and Daoist Jeffrey Yuen inspires her applications of Chinese spiritual aspects in health. She has been greatly influenced by Kiiko Matsumoto, known for unsurpassed acupuncture results, with whom Holly continues to study with today. www.KiikoMatsumoto.com. In 1985, Holly became one of the first faculty members of Five Branches University. She returned to the Orient for seven months in 1987, to continue her training in Chinese medicine including doctorate studies at the Hefei TCM Hospital #1, Beijing TCM Hospital, and, with Kiiko, at Manaka Hospital in Japan. Holly regularly lectures at major Chinese Medicine symposiums, one of the very few unpublished speakers with this honor. She is a contributing author in Acupuncture in Practice, The Natural Health First Aid Guide, and Breast Cancer/Breast Health. Holly has practiced in Santa Cruz, California since 1983, specializing in women’s health, pediatrics, immune issues, cancer, and epilepsy. She currently teaches for the Masters, Doctorate, and Extension programs at Five Branches and offers students clinical training externships at her private practice. Her hobbies include growing Chinese and Western herbs, surfing and beekeeping. Holly Guzman teaches in the Department of TCM Acupuncture. 

Kristina Hanley is a California-licensed, and NCCAOM-certified acupuncturist. She received her Master’s in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, OR in 1998 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Kristina is an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist, certified by the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. She has worked as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco jails. and as an acupuncturist at the Portland Alternative Health Clinic, which is an integrative health clinic that serves homeless people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Kristina has also worked as an acupuncturist at mental health centers and HIV clinics. Since 2003, she has been working as an acupuncturist in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine program at the Santa Cruz Women's Health Center, and is in private practice in Santa Cruz, California. Kristina Hanley teaches in the Department of Complementary Studies.

Frank He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees’ in Medicine from the Department of Acupuncture at Liaoning University of TCM, in the People’s Republic of China. He won every scholarship available at his medical school and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He currently is a DAOM Fellow at Five Branches University.

Frank was raised in a remote village in northern China. He spent two years in family practice with his grandfather in the early 1980s, then began practicing there as a barefoot doctor in 1986. In the village, Frank treated various conditions not commonly seen in the city. The village offered a family practice setting where he worked as a general practitioner for children and adults.

Frank knows sports and how to treat sports injuries. He was a champion decathlete while in medical school and was an amateur boxer for five years. He has helped thousands of patients return to the sports field, including weekend warriors and Olympic gold medalists. Active in athletic activities in the greater Bay Area, Frank has won medals in track and field, and won the Nankai Cup volleyball tournament.

Frank is a Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) appointed by the State of California, one of the few actively practicing Acupuncturist-QMEs among over 10,000 acupuncturists. Frank has earned a reputation for his extensive knowledge, skills and passion. Radiologists often refer to him as “Frank He, MD” because of his superior clinical judgment. Well published and respected in the field, he is an international lecturer traveling around the world to promote acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Frank has appeared in numerous local and national publications – particularly in the areas of sports medicine, anti-aging, stress management, seniors’ health, and women’s health.

Frank has a patent pending approval for a specially engineered acupuncture needle and has developed a unique acupuncture technique called Muscle Channel Technique (MCT)™ which has clinically proven to be effective in pain management and injury healing. Professor He teaches in the Department of TCM Acupuncture and is a faculty member of the DAOM program.

Stephanie He graduated with honors in 1985 from Tianjin University of TCM and earned certification to teach TCM in China at the university level. After graduation, she worked for thirteen years as a physician and instructor at the First Teaching Hospital at the Tianjin University of TCM, which is one of China’s major TCM institutions for treatment, instruction and research. In Tianjin, Stephanie’s supervisor was Professor Shi Xuemin, a famous expert in the acupuncture department in China and abroad.

Stephanie specializes in the treatment of stroke, gastrointestinal disorders, geriatrics, neuropathies and internal medicine disorders. She has published numerous research articles in nationally recognized journals of TCM in China on subjects including high cholesterol, depression, and gout. In her free time she enjoys cooking, hiking and working out at the gym. Professor He teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training. For more information about Dr. He, go to www.stephaniehe.com

Kea Hedberg received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s studies from Brown University. She then went on to obtain her Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches University. During her TCM training, she discovered her chosen specialty in Classical Five Element Acupuncture. She continued with post-graduate and advanced clinical training in Classical Five Element Acupuncture with Khosrow Khalighi. In 2004, Kea studied in one year of silence with Cheri Huber at the Zen Monastery Peace Center. Kea has a passion for learning and growing that emanates as a teacher and practitioner. She brings her whole self to her work and supports her clients to heal on the deepest level.

Kea maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz, California where she lives with her husband Darren and two children. Kea loves to dance, practice yoga and spend quality time with friends & family.

Darren Huckle holds a B.A. in environmental studies from UCSC, and received his Master’s degree in TCM from Five Branches University. It was while studying with Christopher Hobbs that he became interested in TCM. TCM resonated with his background in ecology and natural history. He believes TCM is a system that empowers people to heal along with natural systems such as Golden Shield Qigong.

Darren has more than 10 years of study and practice in holistic health modalities, including Chinese and Western herbology, nutrition, and organic gardening. He is a practitioner and teacher of Golden Shield Qigong, and has a private practice in Santa Cruz. In addition to teaching at Five Branches, Darren has taught at UCSC’s Holistic Health Department. Darren stewards and teaches at the Living Pharmacy, a medicinal garden visited by Five Branches students. Darren’s areas of specialty include: digestive health, fertility, adrenal fatigue and gynecology. In his free time he enjoys Chien Lung Kungfu, bicycling, hiking, wildcrafting, meditation, and spending time with his family. You can contact him at www.rootsofwellness.net or www.goldenshieldqigong.com. Darren Huckle teaches in the Department of Complementary Studies.

LeTa Jussila, is a graduate of Five Branches University and has also studied at the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University in Hangzhou, China. She has a diverse background and holistic approach to medicine. LeTa owns Optimal Health and Fitness, a Santa Cruz based company focusing on integrating breath and connection to nature through physical movement and has a private practice, The Santa Cruz Center for Traditional Medicine in Santa Cruz, California, where she practices integrative medicine. She specializes in sports injury, metabolic syndrome, weight loss and food as medicine. LeTa has had a very high success rate with helping men and women lose weight, eliminate food allergies and learn how to exercise properly. In her free time, LeTa is a documentary filmmaker, classical violinist and world traveler. LeTa teaches Career Development in the Department of Complementary Studies.

Dr. Fengli Lan received her PhD in Chinese Medicine (CM) after 11 years of full-time education and training at prestigious universities and hospitals of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Hebei province and Shanghai, China. She has over 20 years of professional experience in Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, including teaching, research, practice, and extensive publications. She did her postdoctoral research project at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, sponsored by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation. Dr. Lan is currently a CA & NCCAOM Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, and a faculty member at Five Branches University. Until January 2015 she was a Professor and Graduate Advisor at the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. During the Winter Semester of 2010/2011 she was a Guest Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Vienna. From February 2014 to August 2016, she was Visiting Faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of California, San Diego. She studied with leading academics in the field of Chinese medicine in Hebei Province and Shanghai in China, in the areas of classical acupuncture, acupuncture research and practice, internal medicine, and gynecology. She has published 36 internationally peer-reviewed journal papers (12 indexed in PubMed, 4 indexed in CSSCI), 38 book chapters, 27 conference papers, and 24 books on TCM foundations, classics, acupuncture, gynecology, mental and emotional disorders, and the philosophy of Chinese Medicine. Examples of her publications include Shen, Psychotherapy, and Acupuncture (PeterLang, 2011); Culture, Philosophy, and Chinese Medicine: Viennese Lectures (Peter Lang, 2012); Metaphor: The Weaver of Chinese Medicine (Bautz, 2015); The Concepts of Health and Disease (Bautz, 2015); Lifestyle and Health (Bautz, 2017); The Evaluation of Acupuncture (Peter Lang, 2018); Prasenztheapie (Thiemer, 2018), and Constructive Realism in Chinese Medicine (Bautz, 2020). Dr. Lan has provided excellent patient care for over 20 years. She specializes in restoring balance and harmony to individuals of different conditions with acupuncture, herbs, cupping, Gua-sha, dietetics, and lifestyle suggestions. She treats a wide range of illnesses and diseases, such as migraine, headache, high blood pressure, insomnia, cancer, infertility, dysmenorrhea, perimenopausal syndrome, gastrointestinal disorders, cosmetic acupuncture, pain management, skin diseases, allergies, anxiety/stress, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Jessica Jing Lao has been a TCM skin rejuvenation specialist since 1995. She was a lecturer and Director for the Teaching Management Department at Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Since 2010, she has taught TCM skin rejuvenation, basic theory of TCM, TCM diagnosis, herbs, food therapy, and Tai Chi to both local and foreign students at  Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. Jessica’s specialties include TCM facials, facial massage, facial acupoints massage, acne treatment with acupuncture and herbs, Chloasma treatment with acupuncture and herbs, weight loss treatment with acupuncture and herbs, beauty herbs, and beauty foods. Jessica completed her Masters degree in TCM at Five Branches University in 2012. She graduated from Zhejiang Chinese Medical University with a specialty in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in 2004, and completed her Master Course of skin care at Huadou Beauty College of Hong Kong in 1994. She is a member of the TCM Beauty Committee, a branch of the National Traditional Chinese Medicine Association in China.

Thomas has great passion for the inner alchemy practices found in Daoism and other eastern traditions, both as a vehicle for self transformation as well as a means to promote healing ranging from the physical to the spiritual. After completing massage certification, Thomas found energetic medicine to be his passion, and by 1999 he was deeply moved to the study and practice of medical qigong. By 2006, he completed the highest level of training and certification available from the International Institute of Medical Qigong and Henan University of TCM. While studying in China on five separate occasions, Thomas received lineage into the Dragon Gate sect of Daoism at Qingchengshan (青城山) in Sichuan. Through these experiences, and his deep commitment to the practices, Thomas has absorbed and embodied the essence of energy medicine and transformation. In addition to Thomas' study and practice of Daoist medicine and healing, he also has a very close association with the great Indian saint Mata Amritanandamayi, better known as Amma, or the hugging saint. He serves on staff for her tours in North America and abroad, absorbing her deep wisdom and compassion for the human condition. Thomas currently teaches medical qigong, energetic medicine, and core mysticism, while offering energetic healing sessions to his students and clients. For more information about Thomas go to: www.inneralchemycenter.com
Nancy Lowe was in Five Branches’ first graduating class in 1987, and now is a member of Five Branches' first DAOM graduating class. Prior to studying TCM, she was a massage therapist. Nancy loves the challenge and satisfaction that comes from working with patients and teaching at the University. She is a general practitioner with experience in treating a broad spectrum of maladies, specializing in the treatment of pain. Nancy has been in private practice since 1987 and has been teaching in the Five Branches clinic since 1993. She enjoys knitting, reading, gardening, being in nature and the pursuit of happiness. Nancy Lowe teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

George Lu began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in San Francisco in 1989, with the respected Angela C. Wu, L.Ac., learning to treat patients with HIV/AIDS and gynecological disorders. George graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, and received a Master of Science degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences. He received his California state licensure and NCCAOM certification in 1995.  George interned at Shu Guan Hospital in Shanghai, China. He trained in Dr. Shi style Orthopedic Tuina along with other specialties including: internal medicine, advanced acupuncture techniques, and gynecology. George opened his first clinic in Cupertino in 1995 and has practiced in Canada and Southern California. He specializes in sports injury, Tuina, and fertility.  While in Southern California, George taught at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica. He moved back to the Bay Area in December, 2008 to join well-established clinics in both San Jose and San Ramon.

Mary received her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and her Law degree from Capital University in New York. After receiving her Master’s degree from Five Branches University she moved to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where she worked in an integrated medical practice. Since returning to Santa Cruz, she established an externship at the Santa Cruz Veterans Hall to teach students how to treat veterans with acupuncture. Her passion is Five Element Acupuncture. Her current interest is Shamanic Studies through the Harner Foundation. Mary F. Lyell teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

Raqib Lynn-Katz is a graduate of Five Branches University and has been in private practice since 1992. In 1994, she began teaching classes and seminars for Kan Herbs, a local Chinese Herb company. Her areas of specialty include women\'s health, pain management, emotional imbalances, children and teens. Raqib Lynn-Katz teaches in the Department of TCM Clinical Training.

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