My Personal Story/Professional Biography

My mission is to create a blog with the clearest and most useful information on the traditional, natural, holistic medicines of India and China.
As a licensed Practitioner of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, I am dedicated to using my professional skills to empower you to take charge of your health and be the most positive force for change in your own life.
Natural Medicine is concerned with treating the causes of disease as well as the symptoms. Healing is a process. Ultimately, it seeks to unblock the life force. This unleashes your Body-Mind's intrinsic healing powers, restoring balance and harmony. Balance is the foundation of radiant health.

I began my journey into healing in 1971, when at the age of 16, I developed a very bad case of psoraiasis. Western medical treatment consisted of steroid injections into the psoriatic lesions. The lesion would go away, and a new one would appear next door. I put olive oil in my bath and lathered with coal tar soap. Nothing worked. The doctor wanted to give me oral cortisone and I had the brains to refuse. He said to spend 8 hours in the sun all summer. When I asked him, what about the risks for skin cancer, he yelled at me, "we'll worry about that when we get to it." I stopped seeing this doctor.
I knew there had to be another way. I became a vegetarian and began to study the relationship between the kinds of food one eats, the mentality one has while eating, and health. I began to read Natural Living magazine, and eating unsweetened Yogurt, and brewer's yeast. These were the days of Macrobiotics, and I began eating at the macrobiotic restaurants in New York's East Village called the Cauldron, and the Paradox, where a balanced plate consisted of a grain, a legume, a land vegetable, a sea vegetable, and tahini. Paradox was famous for its bread, Paradox bread, made of a magical combination of grains, with an incredible fresh smell. I also discovered the old Jewish vegetarian restaurant near the Filmore East called Ratner's, where I had Buckwheat groats (Kasha) and mushrooms in a wonderful tomato broth, for probably $2.25, served by a gruff old waiter, as old as the restaurant itself.

I began to take Yoga classes at the Integral Yoga Institute of Swami Satchidananda, on the Upper West Side, where they, too, sold fresh baked whole grain bread. A new door opened. For the first time in my life, outside of experiences in the solitude of nature, I had the experience of deep relaxation in my body, and of a kind of inner peace.

I went down to the Kriya Yoga Ashram at 112 East Seventh St., between First and A. My first visit, I felt a wave of peacefulness pour though my body. This was it.

I attended "initiation" into Kriya Yoga, consisting of "secret" techniques of breathing and meditation and mantras. I started to do "sadhana" (yogic practices) every day, intensively. I began taking Ayurvedic oil baths (I will discuss this in another post) once per week, and began to cook a Yogic diet, which meant Indian style cooking, but without chillies, cayenne, or tamarind. The first two aggravate rajas, and the latter generates tamas, both undesireables . I started to do a mono-diet (see my Kitcharee post) fast once per week. I began the once weekly observance of Mownam, complete silence. Complete rest.

This was very early spring, around the end of February. Within 3 months, by the end of May, my psoriasis, which had covered my entire body, was all but gone!

The primary variable was that I had begun regular meditation practice.
I was quieting my mind, cooling the mental pitta and calming the mental vatta. Secondarily, I was nourishing my skin with medicated sesame oil.
Thirdly I was stimulating blood circulation with judicious use of spices like turmeric, coriander, cumin, asofoetida, fennel, and cardamom.

In June of 1972 I began 12 years of intensive study of Kriya Yoga with Yogi S.A. Ramaiah of Kanadukathan, South India. During this time, including 3 years in India and Sri Lanka, I practiced an Ashram way of life, combining 8 hours per day of Yoga and Meditation practice, with teaching Yoga, earning a modest living in the world, and further study in the fields of Nutrition and Ayurveda.

In 1980 I started using Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture to treat recurrent hay fever allergy. I was living in Chicago, which is full of ragweed in August and September. I went on a dairy and wheat free diet. The allergies disappeared about 90%.

In 1983 I began my study of Chinese Medicine with Dr. Anton Jayasuria, M.D., at Colombo South General Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. After returning to the United States in 1984 I continued my formal education at University of California, San Diego, graduating Magna Cum Laude, in 1988, with a major in Literature, and minors in Biology and Psychology.

In 1992 I completed four years of study at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, San Diego, and began the practice of Body-Mind Medicine, specializing in Nutrition, Dietary Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, and Ayurveda. I have continued advanced studies in Chinese and Ayurvedic Dietary Therapy and Nutrition, in the Chinese Classical texts, and in Chinese Herbal Medicine and Ayurveda.

I have been an Herbal Medicine consultant and Subject Matter Expert for the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam, and was a professor and clinical supervisor at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine for 5 years teaching Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Nutrition, and Medical History. 

I have also taught Oriental Medicine classes as a guest lecturer at San Diego's Mesa College, and at the California College of Holistic Studies.
Publications have included a quarterly column called The Tao of Health in The Jade Dragon, which is now available on line ( Living with the Seasons, in the Mission Hills News, and The Natural Medicine Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia in the national journal Oriental Medicine. From 1992-94 I was a volunteer acupuncture/herbalist at the Holistic Aids Response Program.

I am dedicated to healing from the inside out. In my private practice here in San Diego, I use acupuncture, herbology, Ayurveda, and nutritional/dietary therapies to get long lasting relief from disease and pain, while at the same time treating the underlying root causes. My goal is to empower my patients to take control of their health with diet, therapeutic exercise, stress management, breathing and meditation practice.

I am expert in the Body-Mind Natural Medicine treatment of Skin Disorders like Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rosacea, and Hives, of Digestive Disorders like Gastritis, IBS, Ulcerative Colitis, and Chronic Constipation, of Respiratory disorders like Asthma and Allergies, of Gynecological disorders like Menstrual Pain and Pre Menstrual Symptoms, and of course all chronic and acute pain conditions.

I have a special interest in the use of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine for psychological/emotional disorders and have been successful treating ADDH, Anxiety, Mania, Depression, Anorexia, and Bulimia, complementary to conventional psychological and psychiatric therapies. I would like to try to help people with Autism, with Chinese Med

In Chinese and Indian medicine the body, mind, and soul are all aspects of one being. Acupuncture, Ayurveda and Herbal Therapy are, therefore, excellent adjuncts to personal growth work; releasing emotional blocks or stagnation is at the root of Chinese medicine. It is a form of bio-energetics that is compatible with and facilitates other psychotherapeutic experiences.

I am committed to assisting you in your quest for Radiant Health. A practitioner of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine sees each human being as a world in miniature, as a garden in which the doctor and patient strive together to cultivate health. 

Each person has a unique terrain, and like a horticulturist using water and compost to grow healthy plants, the Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine doctor uses food, meditation, acupuncture, herbs, and exercise to sustain health and recover from illness.

For those in San Diego, I offer a free, 10 minute consultation to determine if you and I think you can benefit from Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine treatment. For out-of-towners, I am available for on-line and telephone consultations.