The ACTCM experience is unparalleled. Our students gain the skills necessary to translate ancient healing into modern health while our alumni transform lives by helping others in the global community through the use of traditional Chinese medicine.

Karin Liedtke LAc, ’85, owned a private practice until 2000 when she started working with patients at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Rosa, CA helping them manage chronic pain.

Harald Dienes, MSCM ’87, has been in continuous private practice in the U.S., Austria and Canada since 1987.  He taught Chinese medicine at naturopathic and shiatsu schools for over 10 years and assisted in developing a professional course in Chinese medicine at a school affiliated with the University of Toronto. He also received a grant to develop a prototype of an expert system in Chinese medicine by the Canadian National Research Council.

Jill Stevens, MSTCM ’06, founded the Whole Family Wellness Center in Emeryville, CA in 2007 which specializes in holistic pediatrics, healthy pregnancy, and wellness for the entire family. She worked as the acupuncturist for clients of San Francisco’s Welfare to Work program and at a long-term residential care facility for people with mental and physical disabilities.

Jennifer Ashby, MSTCM ’96, DAOM ’10, has practiced at The Lotus Center, an acupuncture and wellness center in San Francisco, since 1996. She has worked at Stanford on a TCM study, presented at many TCM conferences, and has worked in SF county jails, and currently teaches TCM Gynecology and Obstetrics at ACTCM.

Ella Woods, MSTCM ’05, DAOM ‘08, founded Acupuncture Works in Pacifica, CA. She is an adjunct professor in ACTCM’s Doctoral Program, serves on ACTCM’s DAOM Council, and is a TCM consultant and guest clinician to several holistic veterinary practices in the Bay Area.

Toby Daly, MSTCM ’02, co-founded Traditional Healing Arts in Cloverdale, CA with his partner Laurie Martin MSTCM ’02. He is currently pursuing a PhD in classical Chinese medicine and developing a mobile app for practitioners of Chinese medicine. While Laurie She is busy growing Chinese herbs at her work garden, as well as continuing her studies in Classical Chinese Medicine.

Laurel Brody, MSTCM ’87, owns a practice specializing in women’s health in semi-rural Sebastopol where she lives and also teaches classes on fertility and women’s health.

Amy Sowecke Gordon, MSTCM ’10, founded Presidio Acupuncture in San Francisco’s Presidio Heights neighborhood; she works primarily with women’s health and will soon expand the practice to accommodate children and families.

Devin Wu, MSTCM ‘05, DAOM ‘10, is the owner of Wu’s Wellness Center which incorporates TCM with physical therapy. Devin provides acupuncture to dancers from the San Francisco Ballet as well as Smuin Ballet and serves as the Western Medicine Department Chair at ACTCM.

Paul Reller, MSTCM ’99, owns a private practice in the Mission District of San Francisco where he combines Tui na with Trigger Point needling and myofascial release in occupational medicine. Paul taught Integrative Musculoskeletal Medicine at ACTCM and has also created an extensive, informational website at

Urs Pretot, MSTCM ’91is the founder of the Swiss Professional Organization for Traditional Chinese Medicine (SBO-TCM). He has been a teacher and clinical instructor for the past 20 years and has authored 3 books and endless papers on diagnostic treatments with Chinese Medicine. He has maintained a private practice in Basel, Switzerland since 1992.

Portia Barnblatt, MSTCM ’96, DAOM ’11, founded the Portia Chan Acupuncture Clinic in downtown San Francisco in 1997.  From 2011-2012, she spent one year studying and working at shanghai TCM University. She finished translating two TCM textbooks from Chinese to English for the Shanghai TCM University which were published in 2013. She currently works at East West Integrated Health Center of the Chinese Hospital in SF as well as maintaining her private practice. She also volunteers at BAYVAC ear clinic.

Elyse Beffa, MSTCM, ’04, founded the Classical Acupuncture Clinic in Raleigh, NC after completing post graduate work in HangZhou, China and a 5.5 year apprenticeship with Cynthia Wallace in Virginia Beach, VA.  She volunteers free acupuncture at CAARE.

Joanna Claire LAc, ’80, practiced in her small clinic in Palo Alto until her calling to continue work and study Tibetan Buddhism took her to Nepal in 1984. She currently treats many high monastic Lamas, serves the poor and attends the late king of Nepal and his family in Boudhanath, Kathmandu, where she currently lives.

Higgy Lerner LAc, ‘83, has practiced in Chico, CA since 1992. She is currently in private practice, and runs a weekly low cost clinic at the Enloe Medical Center’s Cancer Center.

Carla Cassler LAc ’85, DAOM ’11, is the Director of Development and U.S. Programs forAcupuncturists Without Borders. In 2010 she co-founded the Bay Area Veteran’s Acupuncture Clinic (BAYVAC) which provides free weekly acupuncture treatment to veterans, military personnel and their families for pain and PTSD. She splits her time between AWB and a clinical private practice in Kensington, CA.

Amir Kalay, MSTCM ‘91, has been involved with private and government research regarding the applications of Chinese herbs in the Dermatology field for the last 15 years. Today he teaches international lectures on TCM Dermatology topics and owns a private practice in Tel Aviv, Israel that specializes in TCM Dermatology Diseases.

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