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.
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.
Nishanga Bliss, DSc, DAIM, LAc, is a holistic doctor and educator who believes that personal and planetary health are interdependent. She teaches Chinese and integrative medicine at AIMC, where she practices in the community clinic, offering nutrition consults, herbal medicine and acupuncture. She is passionate about protecting the planet and is active in the climate movement. A former chef, Nishanga loves kitchen medicine and practicing the ancient healing art of fermentation. Her book, Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health and All-Day Energy (New Harbinger Press, 2012) 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. Visit her website at: https://nishangabliss.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recipient of the Best Acupuncturist award from the East Bay Express newspaper, Professor Von Elgg has been practicing and teaching East Asian 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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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. 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. Nicole Yezman is board certified and has been in practice since 2011. She is committed to assisting others on their journey to wellness. Dr. Nicole completed six years of medical training and graduated in 2010 with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Master’s in Acupuncture and Classical Chinese Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Nicole helps people identify the root causes of their health issues, and always wants to figure out WHY a person’s current health picture is the way it is. She uses resources such as homeopathy, botanical medicine, vitamins and minerals, hydrotherapy, nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupuncture; and works in multiple realms including physical, mental-emotional and energetic. Her specialties include gastrointestinal health, autoimmune illness, mold and mycotoxin exposure and allergies.
Her goal is always to trace the symptom back to its original source, so that the environment or factor can be navigated and true change and healing can occur. Dr. Nicole’s mission is to provide science based, wellness skills to every day living.
Dr. Joe Davis, DAOM, came to Chinese medicine via the traditional martial arts of Tai Chi Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he traveled and lived in Asia, studying meditation, martial arts, yoga, medical massage, and Chi Gong in Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and India. Here he also witnessed Traditional Chinese Medicine in public health settings, where it was being used to address the needs of large populations of people. He has co-directed Octagon Community Acupuncture in Oakland for over a decade, providing affordable TCM treatments. He also has extensive experience in top-tier integrative, on-site clinics, supporting employees of Fortune 500 companies. Working closely with MDs, therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists has helped him appreciate both the wisdom of Chinese medicine, and the expertise of other healthcare professions. Joe recently completed his Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DAOM), focusing on orthopedic acupuncture and classical Chinese herbology.
"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