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AIMC DIDACTIC FACULTY

Our highly qualified faculty members are recruited for their depth of knowledge, the diversity of their skills, and their unique personal qualities. Our instructors are skilled practitioners who maintain successful practices and believe in the importance of disseminating their knowledge and sustaining the rich tradition of our medicine. Our didactic faculty members are committed to guiding students through the exciting and challenging world of East Asian medicine and teaching them to transform theoretical education into practical application.

CORE FACULTY

Dr. Hideko Pelzer, DAIM, LAc

Dr. Hideko Pelzer, DAIM, LAc

A Second Degree Black Belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido, Professor Pelzer graduated from Tsukuba University in Japan and later earned her Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from Meiji College of Oriental Medicine (now AIMC Berkeley). Dr. Pelzer was in the first graduating class of Doctorate students at AIMC Berkeley. She is a didactic instructor & clinic supervisor at AIMC Berkeley, and she teaches acupuncture to Medical Doctors at the Academy of Pain Research. An expert in Japanese needling technique, she practices privately in Suisun City and at LifeLong West Berkeley.

Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSC, L.AC.

Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSC, L.AC.

Professor Nishanga Bliss believes that personal and planetary health are interdependent. A core faculty member at AIMC for over a decade, Nishanga also practices in AIMC’s community clinic, offering nutrition consults, herbal medicine and acupuncture. She holds doctoral degrees in both nutrition and Chinese medicine.

A former chef, Nishanga loves kitchen medicine and practicing the ancient healing art of fermentation. Her book, Real Food All Year dives deeply into the practice of eating with the seasons, weaving the ancient wisdom of Chinese medical nutrition together with nutrition science and real world culinary know-how.

Dr. Lana Farson,DACM, LAc.

Dr. Lana Farson,DACM, LAc.

Dr. Lana Farson, DACM, LAc., has taught Chinese medicine throughout the Bay Area since 1997 and has been a professor at AIMC since 2004. She’s the director of an integrative healing clinic in Lafayette, CA, where she specializes in women’s health, pediatrics, men’s health, and psychological, autoimmune, digestive, geriatric, allergic, respiratory, neurological, and viral diseases. She holds a B.A. from UC San Diego, an M.S. degree (1999) and doctoral degree (2018) from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Professor Farson teaches classes on all things herbal: workshops on medicine making, internal and external herbal healing, “food as medicine”, and ancient herbal texts according to the famous lineage of Dr. Zhang Zhong Jing from the 2nd Century Han Dynasty in China. Lana has been growing Chinese herbs since the early 1990’s, including roughly 70 different organic Chinese herbs on her own land. She has helped start various community gardens, including our AIMC herbal garden in front and back of the school which began in 2007.

Zhi-Bin “Benny” Zhang, MS (China), LAc

Zhi-Bin “Benny” Zhang, MS (China), LAc

Professor Zhang has been practicing acupuncture for over 45 years and has published numerous books and articles on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in his native China. He earned his master’s degree from Guang Zhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and went on to teach, practice, and conduct research in TCM at the Traditional Chinese Medicine University and Chinese Medical Hospital of Guang Dong Province for 18 years before coming to the US. Professor Zhang has been teaching at AIMC since 1997 and currently maintains a private practice in San Francisco.

Dr. David Caruso-Radin, DAIM, LAc.

Dr. David Caruso-Radin, DAIM, LAc.

Professor Caruso-Radin received his DAIM and his MSOM from AIMC Berkeley and his Master of Science in Organizational Psychology from Baruch College in New York, New York. He studied Shiatsu and Integrated Nutrition with Paul Pitchford at the Heartwood Institute in Garberville, California, and was a nationally certified diplomate of Asian Bodywork Therapy. David earned his Medical Qigong Practitioner certification under Suzanne Friedman at AIMC Berkeley, and earned Wild Goose Qigong teacher certification from Master Hui Liu at the Wen Wu School of Martial Arts in El Cerrito, California. David maintains a private practice in Richmond, and he is an avid kayaker and photographer.

Dr. Glenn Oberman, OMD, LAc, QME

Dr. Glenn Oberman, OMD, LAc, QME

Professor Oberman is board-certified in Acupuncture Orthopedics and appointed as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by California’s Industrial Medical Council. He earned his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and his MA in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He later studied Oriental Medicine at the California Acupuncture College and earned his Oriental Medicine Doctorate from Samra University of Oriental Medicine. Professor Oberman has served as a Director of the California State Oriental Medical Association, and currently practices privately in Berkeley. In addition to his many roles at AIMC Berkeley, Dr. Oberman oversees a specialty externship, providing acupuncture to athletes at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Joyce Kwok, DAIM, LAc., PT.

Dr. Joyce Kwok, DAIM, LAc., PT.

AIMC Berkeley Supervisor Joyce Kwok worked as a hospital inpatient and outpatient physical therapist before studying Acupuncture and earning her Master’s degree from Meiji College, Berkeley in 2001. She started her private practice in Lafayette, CA, where she integrated the two disciplines. Joyce’s practice included some major influences of practice such as: Jeffrey Yuen, Dr. Richard Tan and Craniosacral Therapy.

Dr. Gary Wedemayer, Ph.D

Dr. Gary Wedemayer, Ph.D

Professor Wedemayer has a diverse range of scientific interests, having published papers in astronomy, botany, biochemistry, structural biology, statistics, genomics, DNA sequencing technology, and human physiology. His teaching experience includes General Botany, General Biology with Anatomy and Physiology, Genomics and DNA Sequencing, and Cell Biology, and other highly specialized topics. Dr. Wedemayer received a BS and an MS in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and earned his PhD in Botany at the University of California, Berkeley. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award from UC Berkeley in 1987 for his instruction of Biology, and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He continues to teach Biology at UC Berkeley to the present day.

FACULTY

Dr. Emmie Zhu, DMed (China), DTCM (China) LAc.

Dr. Emmie Zhu, DMed (China), DTCM (China) LAc.

Professor Zhu earned her Doctor of Medicine from Shanghai First Medical University in 1953 and went on to graduate in 1961 from Inner Mongolia Medical College in TCM and Acupuncture. She served as an associate professor and Director of the Internal Medicine Department in the Inner Mongolia Chinese Medical Institute before coming to the US in 1985, when she became a visiting professor at the University of California, San Francisco. With over 40 years experience practicing internal medicine with both Chinese and Western medical backgrounds, Dr. Zhu has contributed to scholarly publications for nearly 30 years. She has been honored by the Ministry of Health in China her for her achievement in Chinese Medicine.

Dennis Von Elgg, MSTCM, LAc

Dennis Von Elgg, MSTCM, LAc

Recipient of the Best Acupuncturist award from the East Bay Express newspaper, Professor Von Elgg has been practicing and teaching Oriental Medicine since 1999. He received his Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from ACTCM, and completed his post-graduate work in the International TCM program at the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Professor Von Elgg practices privately in Berkeley, California. In addition to teaching at AIMC Berkeley, Dennis also teaches Chinese Medicine classes at UC Berkeley and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Dr. Christine Taradelles, DAIM, LAc., DiplAc

Dr. Christine Taradelles, DAIM, LAc., DiplAc

Professor Newell received her Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Academy of Chinese Culture & Health Sciences (ACCHS), and has numerous certifications and experience in holistic bodywork, health care, and nutrition from both Eastern and Western approaches. She teaches Dai Yen Qigong as a certified instructor of the Wen Wu School of Martial Arts and practices privately in Albany, California.

Dr. Jason Servatius, ND.

Dr. Jason Servatius, ND.

Dr. Servatius is a is a clinical professor of integrative medicine at AIMC Berkeley. He is a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine with a natural medicine practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Servatius empowers individuals with the tools for achieving optimal health and well being, harnessing the healing power of nature. He treats individuals having a variety of acute and chronic health condition, including allergies, asthma, anxiety/ depression, autoimmune, decreased immunity, diabetes, digestive issues, fatigue, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hormonal imbalance, skin complaints, urinary difficulty, and obesity.

Dr. Kalli Phillips, ND

Dr. Kalli Phillips, ND

Kalli Phillips, ND is a primary care physician licensed and board certified by the state of Oregon. This means that she is licensed to perform whatever examinations and procedures are considered in-office primary care from cardiovascular examinations to providing therapeutic injections, as well as prescribe drugs. There is an ordered, self-healing process that is naturally and innately in all of us. This time-honored philosophy is the main guidepost behind Dr. Phillips’ practice. Dr. Phillips came to naturopathic medicine indirectly. She is grounded in the philosophy that medicine can be practiced in cooperation with nature and maintain strict scientific integrity. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in general science and an emphasis in molecular biology. While at the U of O, she discovered naturopathic medicine and trained at the oldest of the country’s seven accredited naturopathic medical schools, National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She teaches Integrative Medicine classes at AIMC Berkeley.

Dr. Barbara Martello, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Barbara Martello, DACM, L.Ac.

Instructor Martello graduated from PCOM in San Diego. Prior to beginning her studies at PCOM, she acquired a Holistic Health Practitioner degree in Massage Therapy and more specifically Zen Shiatsu. In school, Barbara’s education emphasized the Japanese expression of the art of Acupuncture. Quickly she began studying under master teachers such as Ikeda Masakazu Sensei of Japan. Her therapeutic interests include women’s health, musculoskeletal complaints, allergy management, respiratory health, smoking cessation, stress management, chemo support, and digestive health. She practices in North Berkeley.

Eric Brand, LAc.

Eric Brand, LAc.

Eric Brand graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) and has extensive experience studying in mainland China and Taiwan. Fluent in Chinese, he completed a prolonged internship at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan and has participated in numerous projects related to Chinese medicine translation, herbal research, and TCM politics. He is author of “A Clinician’s Guide to the Use of Granule Extracts”, co-author of the “Concise Chinese Materia Medica”, and has edited a variety of modern and classical texts. Eric travels extensively to study with experts in the field of herbal authentication and quality discernment. He is a TCM advisor to the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and the Co-chair of International Affairs for the AAAOM.

Joseph Adams, MSOM, LAc.

Joseph Adams, MSOM, LAc.

Joseph brings lifelong learning into his service as an Instructor and Clinical Supervisor at AIMC. A second-generation acupuncturist, he began learning about Chinese herbs and the meridians as a young boy and pursued formal training at Emperor’s College. Joseph studied orthopedic and pulse diagnostics with masters, and was entrusted with teaching specialized pulse-taking methods rooted in the Nei Jing, Nan Jing, and Mai Jing. Joseph’s orthopedic interest led him to join Kaiser’s Chronic Pain Department in San Francisco. Joseph has served on the California State Oriental Medicine’s Board of Directors, and volunteers as a field editor for both CJOM and The American Acupuncturist. He has also published articles relating to health, pulse diagnosis, and Chinese philosophy.

Dr. Jody James, DAIM, LAc.

Dr. Jody James, DAIM, LAc.

Jody discovered the healing powers of acupuncture and energetic medicine during her recovery from a life-altering injury in 2001. Her doctorate and masters studies were both completed at AIMC-Berkeley and she has practiced in Sonoma County since 2007. A majority of Jody’s work has been in orthopedics/pain management, drug and alcohol recovery, chronic diseases, women’s (reproductive) health; and, to a lesser degree, facial rejuvenation acupuncture, transgender/gay/lesbian health, and immigrant health. Jody strives to empower people in their healing process through education, intuition and compassion. Besides really appreciating acupuncture, she has had fun as a vocalist, dancer, designer/builder and writer.

Athene Eisenhardt, LAc., CMP

Athene Eisenhardt, LAc., CMP

Acupuncturist-Herbalist-Sound Healer
Athene found her path in medicine by way of the plant world. Working professionally as a field botanist for Yosemite National Park led her to begin wildcrafting and using native California plants as medicine, and to study the Taoist 5 elements in nature. Athene maintains a private practice in Oakland, CA where she offers 5 Element Acupuncture, Sound Healing, and Integrative Herbal Medicine. She recently released her full length solo sound healing album: Attunements.

Larry Spears

Larry Spears

Larry has been teaching our Western Science Program at AIMC for over 15 years
Larry’s background includes Qi Gong / Tai Ji, and he looks forward to offering his Public Drop-in Beginners Class on Campus again!

Kathleen Davis, B.A., C.M.T., Dipl.ABT

Kathleen Davis, B.A., C.M.T., Dipl.ABT

Kathleen Davis has been teaching acupressure and qi gong since 1997. She has studied Jin Shin Jyutsu as taught by Mary Burmeister, Tai Ji, and Qigong with qigong master Zi Sheng Wang and Simu Min Ou Yang, and tai chi, tui na, and acupressure with Brian O’Dea. She maintains a private practice in which she integrates Chinese Tui Na massage, Jin Shin Jyustu, reflexology, and acupressure.

Dr. Susan Schwendner, PhD

Dr. Susan Schwendner, PhD

Dr. Schwendner possesses an extensive background in teaching a wide variety of students, from junior high school to medical school. Dr. Schwendner received her PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in Pharmacology. She has also participated in a variety of pharmaceutical research and writing projects, which includes the receipt of 14 issued patents and the completion of 40 research articles.

Dr. Beverly Yates, ND

Dr. Beverly Yates, ND

Dr. Yates is a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine with a private practice and online health business in Corte Madera, CA, and offers telemedicine. She has over 25 years of clinical experience, including IV nutritional therapy. Dr. Yates’ practice focus is on chronic conditions, including heart disease (e.g. CHF, A- Fib), diabetes, sleep problems, stress issues, hormonal imbalances and gut issues and food sensitivities. She founded and led the first-ever fully accredited Naturopathic and Integrative medicine residency program in the state of California. Dr. Yates earned her BS in electrical engineering from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and her ND from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR.

Dr. John Nieters, DAOM, LAc.

Dr. John Nieters, DAOM, LAc.

While John is known for treating chronic and degenerative health conditions known as “knotty” diseases in Chinese Medicine, he also trained in orthopedic injuries and fertility. As a teacher of herbal medicine, he has developed mastery in creating custom herbal formulas. John is the only acupuncturist, board certified in Oriental Reproductive Medicine practicing in Alameda. He teaches Integrative Gynecology courses and Integrative Endocrinology in a Chinese Medicine Doctoral program. John pursued extensive post-graduate training. He is a Diplomate National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics. Additionally, he completed certifications in Gynecology and Internal Medicine at Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, in China. John also was with the first group of American acupuncturists to be certified in Integrated Diabetes Prevention and Treatment at the Xin Hua Hospital, China. John teaches at the Doctorate-only course level at AIMC.

Testimonials

"One of my favorite things about AIMC is the sense of community. We come together to support each other through challenges. Instead of a sense of competitiveness between students, there is a caring community that lifts everybody up. The faculty and staff are approachable and provide wonderful support during your graduate journey."

- Master’s Student
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