Mindful Medicine Volunteers – volunteers completing or who have completed their first term abroad with MMW
MMW Volunteers 2012
“It has been a dream to travel to developing regions bringing medicine that will benefit various populations, while providing an opportunity to expand my cultural and global perspective. In 2008, I moved from Bethlehem, PA to Portland, OR on a journey of personal growth, cultivation, and exploration. In January 2011, I began classical Chinese medicine school at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), which has opened up windows of opportunity to continue to understand the human experience from a holistic- energetic, physical, emotional and spiritual- perspective.”
“I have been studying classical Chinese medicine philosophy, acupuncture, Chinese herbalism, Shiatsu massage, diet and nutrition, qi gong, tai jie, chanting, and meditation practices. The ancient wisdom that I have had the privilege of being taught and exposed to through the lineage of my teachers has shifted my world-view a few times over, and continues to illuminate the importance of giving gratitude.”
“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to set aside time to further my education, as well as having a strong focus on cultivating myself as a practitioner and compassionate being of light. Dreaming, motivation, dedication and networking has opened up an opportunity with Mindful Medicine Worldwide, volunteering time offering Shiatsu massage, Sotai, and acupressure to the Nepali people in Boudhanath. Integrating prayer, spiritual practice, meditation, and mindful presence with medicine is an integral aspect of healing. When we are able to bring awareness to the core of our own being, we are able to open space for others to do the same.” – Ryan McLaughlin
Harvmit Huang has been studying Chinese and Japanese Style Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for three years at the New England School of Acupuncture located in Newton, Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Science from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst. After undergraduate studies Harvmit traveled to Honduras as a volunteer in a conservation management organization. During his time there, he met a traveler that influenced him to attend acupuncture school. He has been enjoying learning and applying oriental medicine into everyday life for three years now. In his free time Harvmit enjoys working with children coaching and teaching swimming.
Mindful Medicine Volunteers 2011
Kelsey Coy, L.Ac.
After graduating from the University of Southern California with honors in Neuroscience and Philosophy, Kelsey moved to New York to attend The New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and work at The Rockefeller University. Upon completion of her studies in New York, she moved to Pinehurst, NC, where she currently practices.
At NYCTCM, Kelsey had the privilege of studying acupuncture both in the classroom and the clinic under a number of accomplished Chinese doctors. Since then, she has been blessed to meet and receive instruction from such wonderful healers as Paul Pitchford, Tieraona Low Dog, Jillian Stansbury, Tori Hudson, Mary Bove and Amanda McQuade Crawford. It is with gratitude to her wonderful teachers and respect for those coming before them that she bring what she has learned to her patients.
Kelsey’s experience as an endurance athlete, a coach of runners from beginners to marathoners, and as a grateful beneficiary of a regular yoga practice has given her a unique appreciation for the active mind and body. Kelsey is committed to the belief that people are at their best overall when their physical bodies are at their best, and vice versa. From this belief stems a passion for helping people from all walks of life achieve relief from the aches, pains and imbalances hindering their ability to enjoy their most active, healthy and happy life.
[To read more about Kelsey's views on acupuncture as a modality complementary to traditional western treatments, click here...] http://www.nyctcm.edu/acupuncture-tcm-blog/acupuncturetcm/articles/future-of-chinese-medicine.html
Georgia Carr, L.Ac.
“After many years of studying Asian philosophies, I strive to support the tradition of Chinese Medicine while educating others about natural health care. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work the people of Nepal and Tibet. I believe that working in such an environment inspiring compassion will greatly enhance the healing process. I look forward to the wisdom and lessons to be learned from the community in Boudhanath.” – Georgia Carr
Ben Hoff, M.S.T.O.M., L.Ac. NCCAOM Certified
“I was first exposed to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) while taking classes on the healing arts of energy work and was immediately fascinated by its simplicity of categorizing disease and illness through the elements around us. I truly enjoy the beauty and magic of Chinese medicine and it was actually one of the first things that really resonated and made sense to me given how often I felt lost in the chaotic western world in which I grew up. So, I jumped right in, decided to make it my living and have never looked back!
I have nearly ten years of healing experience in the wellness field. I received my Masters of Traditional Oriental Medicine from one of the leading schools in the industry, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM); studying and building my clinical skills at both their Chicago and New York campuses.
While I love everything TCM, my passions and interests lay in herbal medicine and community acupuncture. I really came to appreciate the healing power of this communal modality while volunteering for Mindful Medicine Worldwide, working in a health clinic in rural Nepal. Making this ancient and powerful medicine available and affordable to everyone is my top priority.
It is my goal in life to help everyone realize his or her maximum potential, reach this potential and to smile along the way. I am a huge advocate of spreading positivity and empowering people to be accountable and in control of their own good health.
I now practice this wonderful medicine at Well Balanced acupuncture clinic in Eugene, Oregon.
Namaste.” – Ben Hoff
Misty Kammarada, L.Ac.
Misty is an acupuncturist from New York City and a graduate from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. She also describes herself as a ‘travel-adventure junkie’. She always knew that she would travel more extensively after grad school. The perfect opportunity to combine her skills as a practitioner and an adventure junkie coincided when she heard about Mindful Medicine Worldwide. Immediately after graduating, Misty went to practice in Katmandu, Nepal with MMW and believes it was the best decision she ever made. Says Misty, “It taught me more than I could have ever hoped for, about myself as a person and as a practitioner. It opened me up in so many ways. I have returned back home with an immense feeling of gratitude for all that I was able to learn while abroad, from both my patients and the teachers that I had the good fortune to meet over there. All that I learned continues to inspire me everyday with my patients here in NYC. I definitely plan on continuing to volunteer in the future, and continue to aid the important work that MMW provides to those people in the world who need it.”
Amy Thornton, L.Ac.
Amy Thornton, a 31 year old from San Diego, has been a practicing therapeutic body worker since December 2004. She brings passion, knowledge and technique together for dynamic massage sessions. Her experience and deep wish to make a difference in the world brought her to volunteer to teach massage in Nepal. She spent 6 weeks teaching the clinic staff in Chapagaon the basics of massage so they could continue to help people after she left. She is currently working on a masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and hopes to return to Nepal as an acupuncturist and herbalist in the future.
Ariella Meinhard, D.Ac. (Canada)
Ariella worked for many years in the field of community health and environmental education. She was drawn to study acupuncture and Chinese Medicine because of a deep interest in helping people achieve health through a better understanding of themselves and the influence of their environments. After graduating from an acupuncture and herbal medicine program, she continued her studies in Japanese acupuncture (Kiiko Matsumoto Style) and 5 Spirit Acupuncture with Lorie Eve Dechar. She currently lives and practices in Toronto as part of a multi-disciplined integrative health clinic. “Practicing in Nepal through MMW and working with the local staff was one of the most valuable experiences of my professional and personal life, and I am extremely grateful to have had such an incredible opportunity”.
Mindful Medicine Ambassadors – Volunteers who have completed their service of 2-5 months as well as a minimum of 10 hours of Domestic Outreach service such as Public presentations, fundraisers, and other activated to further the goals of MMW. Ambassadors are eligible to apply as MMW Project Leaders.
Current Project Leaders - returning Ambassadors who have been asked to serve a second term in their host country with extended responsibilities such as scouting new clinic sites, supervising the training of local interpreters, and new Volunteer support.
Current Teaching VIPs
Bob Flaws, L.Ac.
Bob Flaws along with his wife, Honora Wolfe are the founders of Blue Poppy Enterprises –a successful venture with three subdivisions –Blue Poppy Press, Blue Poppy Institute, and Blue Poppy Herbs. He has long been interested in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan traditional medicine. In fact, it was a sojourn to India and Nepal to become a Tibetan Buddhist in the Nyingmapa lineage, that convinced him to follow a path of study that would eventually lead him to Chinese medicine. Among his many accomplishments in the field of Chinese medicine, Bob has become proficient in medical Chinese terminology, giving him invaluable access to the vast amount of research done in China that he has translated and made available to his Chinese Medicine colleagues on his Blue Poppy website: www.bluepoppy.com. This knowledge has not only revolutionized his own personal clinical practice but also the quality of Blue Poppy Press’ publications. Bob is currently editor-in-chief of Blue Poppy Press as well as head of research and development at Blue Poppy Herbs. He has authored and published several texts on Chinese Medicine under Blue Poppy Press and has lectured and taught at many Chinese medicine schools all over the US and Europe as well as Australia, New Aealand, and Israel. His specialty in gynecology and pediatrics stem from his experience both as a husband and father, as well as addressing the most commonly held concerns of his patients, many of whom tend to be women seeking treatment for themselves and their children. His non-Chinese medicine interests and activities include: motorcycling (both building and riding them, viz. www.drbobsbikeworld.blogspot.com), reading historical fiction, travel, walking/hiking, jewelry-making, and skiing. He and his wife, Honora, live in Boulder, Colorado. For more information on Bob, please visit his author biography page on his Blue Poppy website: http://bluepoppy.com/cfwebstore/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_id=1547
Acupuncture in Nepal: Some Reflections by Bob Flaws (Excerpt from Dr. Flaws November 11th, 2010 Blog)*.
Honora and I are pretty seasoned world travellers, and this was not our first visit to the Indian subcontinent. However, I think it's safe to say that this was a trip of a lifetime for both of us. The chance to work with all these different people, to try, in whatever way possible, to make them feel more comfortable, if only for a few hours in some cases, to live in Boudha and to be part of the fabric of life there were all unforgettable experiences. Doing acupuncture in this kind of situation is not for the faint-hearted. However, I highly recommend this experience to anyone who thinks it might be right for them. Grainne is trying to open another 2-3 clinics in the Kathmandu valley in the next year or so. So she has plenty of need for volunteers. For recent graduates who want to see lots of patients and put in lots of needles, this is a great training experience. For older practitioners who feel it is time to share their experience with less fortunate patients, this is a truly great way to give something back. (Grainne plans on offering one-month stints for older, more experienced practitioners.) And for those who are not sure whether this is right for them personally but who would like to support Grainne's endeavors, there's always need for monetary donations as well as thousands and thousands of needles. So please, check out Mindful Medicine at www.mindfulmedicineworldwide.org and help in any way you can. You won't be sorry you do. I guarantee it.
*NB: Please visit the newsletter section of www.mindfulmedcineworldwide.org to read the full article.
Honora Lee Wolfe, L.Ac.
Honora Lee Wolfe was born and raised in the Midwest. She currently lives with her husband, Bob Flaws in Boulder Colorado. Among Honora’s many accomplishments, Honora has been a graphic artist, copywriter for a number of journals and magazines, as well as the director and founder of the Boulder School of Massage Therapy. In 1979, she met and married Bob Flaws and in 1981 they left BSMT in order to travel on a national teaching tour, during which time they became parents. For the next few years, Honora had the privilege of taking time to be a full time Mom. However, by the mid-80s, her son was grown enough that it was time for her to go back to work. It was during this time that Blue Poppy was born and Honora began helping Bob with the design and promotion of Blue Poppy Press books.
Some time around 1986, Bob and Honora opened a very small acupuncture-Chinese medicine school, the Dechen Yonten Dzo Institute of Buddhist Medicine. Honora taught tui-na at this school and attended classes and, with some apprenticeships with Charles Chase and Miriam Lee and studies with Dr. Eric Tao (Xi-yu) of Denver, I graduated as an acupuncturist in 1988 and was able to sit for the NCCAOM exam. From that time until 2000, Honora divided her professional life between practicing acupuncture and being the general manager of Blue Poppy Press, now a division of Blue Poppy Enterprises, Inc.
In her private practice, Honora combines acupuncture and moxibustion with tui na and specializes in musculoskeletal and nervous system pain and sports medicine. By 2001, Blue Poppy was a large enough company that Bob and Honora had to let go completely of their private practices and make it their full time work. Over the years, Honora has been the co-author of a number of books and articles on acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
During the last decade, Honora has had the opportunity to teach all kinds of classes at various acupuncture colleges around the US and at acupuncture conferences in Europe and the US…many every year. She also regularly publishes articles in a variety of acupuncture newsletters and journals, as well as maintaining a reasonably active blog-presence.
“When I’m not working here at Blue Poppy or traveling to teach classes, I spend time working on my “other career” as a watercolorist, attending regular Buddhist meditation retreats, walking my dog, attending yoga classes, and riding my bicycle. A quiet weekend at home with Bob is, at this point in my life, one of my favorite treasures.” - Honora Lee Wolfe.
For more information on Honora, please visit her Author Biography page on her Blue Poppy website:
Excerpt of interview from Interview with Honora Lee Wolfe with Fay Meling von Moltke Pao, DAc*
Q. What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with this organization?
Now that you have worked with MMW, how would you say it stands out in your mind as a volunteer
organization you would recommend?
A. As a volunteer experience this was really a good one, very organized and easy to fit oneself into, not frustrating or confusing. If someone asked me what it is like to work with them, I'd say they are likely to have a good experience, especially the work part of the experience is very satisfying.
Q. What would you like supporters, including volunteers and donors of MMW to know?
A. People who are interested in volunteering for MMW need to know they will work very hard, but they may come to love what they are doing in a way they never did before. They should not be afraid; just do the treatments with courage and faith in the medicine. For donors and supporters, know that the
acupuncture clinic at Sechen is one of the busiest sections of the entire clinic! The local people love having acupuncture be available; for many of them it's the only thing that helps them feel better. For others it may be the only time they are physically touched by anyone. This service is making a difference in their lives.
*NB: Please visit the newsletter section of www.mindfulmedcineworldwide.org to read the full article.
Stephen Brown, L.Ac
Stephen Brown was born and raised in Japan, and he graduated from the Japan Central Acupuncture College in Tokyo in 1983. After becoming licensed as an acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner he studied Zen Shiatsu at Shizuto Masunaga’s clinic in Tokyo. In 1984 he attended the Advanced International Acupuncture Training Course at the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing, China. He returned to Tokyo to continue his studies with renowned teachers including Manaka Yoshio MD and Serizawa Katsusuke. He moved to Seattle in 1986 and opened his practice and began teaching shiatsu and acupuncture at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Being a native speaker of Japanese, he has translated many texts on Oriental medicine and has served as an interpreter for international seminars. He is a regular faculty member at the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine is an associate editor of the NAJOM.