Barbara de la Torre
Barbara de la Torre is a physician, thought leader, and podcaster who speaks and writes about health strategy with an integrative lens. She lectures on reframing healthcare through systemic changes around self-care, prevention, and collaboration. Dr. de la Torre founded her company, Third Opinion MD, as a way to spark a wave of change in the practice of medicine and how people can best navigate existing healthcare systems. She lectures on topics that infuse the fundamental principles of Chinese medicine into conventional medicine. She educates patients and healthcare practitioners on topics that include qigong, health strategy, and systems solutions to growing healthcare challenges.
Dr. de la Torre has over 30 years of experience in Western and Chinese medicine and holds dual Board certification in Family Medicine and Medical Acupuncture. She has additional training in psychiatry and years of working experience in primary care, obstetrics, gynecology, and urgent care. Dr. de la Torre is also Master Certified in Medical Qigong from the Ling Gui lineage, which she considers her most valuable medical education.
Dr de la Torre currently serves on the board of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA), a medical organization dedicated to the integration of the practice of medicine and acupuncture. She also serves on the AAMA committee to review lectures and workshops for continuing medical education accreditation. She served for six years on the Acupuncture Advisory Committee for the Medical Board in her home state of Oregon. This year, she will formally join as faculty with the Helms Medical Institute, which is an organization that educates physicians in Medical Acupuncture.
Barbara de la Torre brings extensive knowledge of medical qigong to the morning sessions. She will offer short forms, routines, and/or meditations to help participants feel more alert, calm and centered. Barbara is one of the few students to graduate with Master Level certification in Medical Qigong from the Ling Gui International Healing Qigong School. This qigong method comes from a Daoist family lineage dedicated to awaken one’s innate healing capacity, and it has been handed down and sustained for several generations.
Alaine Duncan is an acupuncturist, educator and researcher who integrates the neurobiology of traumatic stress with the wisdom of Chinese medicine. She holds a particular fascination for the place that restoring balance and regulation in trauma survivors has at the interface of individual healing and social transformation.
Alaine was a founding member of the Integrative Health & Wellness program at the DC Veterans Administration Medical Center where she served as a clinician and researcher from 2007-2017. She currently serves as Chair of the National Capital Area Acupuncturists Without Borders chapter, providing free acupuncture treatment to young people transitioning to adulthood in Prince George’s County, Maryland in association with Joe’s Movement Emporium.
Over the years, the boundary between me and military families, immigrants, refugees, and survivors of natural and human-made disasters has grown more and more thin – and that is a gift of spirit. I love our medicine. I love what it can explain about life and how it can reach people whose life and health resides at the margins.
Her book, The Tao of Trauma: A Practitioner’s Guide for Integrating Five Element Theory and Trauma Treatment, is the foundation of workshops and classes she offers for acupuncturists and other somatic healers.
Five Elements, Five Steps for Self-Protection, Five Capacities For Living in Community
We will follow the 5 Elements of Chinese medicine through their expression in the self-protective responses found in animal predator-prey relationships and described in western neuroscience and PolyVagal Theory.
As healers, we have two tasks in working with trauma survivors. First, to attend to their acute and essential balance and regulation that has been so disturbed by traumatic stress. It is wreaking havoc in multiple body systems and functions! We use interaction, observation, touch and needles to attend to the resonant tissues, functions and spirit of the Element that is mirrored in the missing step of their self-protective response. Our medicine is powerful in its capacity to restore the smooth flow of Qi.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, we help our patients build capacity to more successfully respond to life as it presents itself in the future. There will always be danger. We can’t eliminate that, but we can soften the triggers that cause us to replay old and ineffective patterns. We can make a difference in the imprint trauma has left in our social discourse, replacing concepts of “other” with a capacity to experience an embodied sense of kinship with humanity.
The greater capacity we have to respond to life’s challenges, the more curiosity, effective protection, encouragement, equanimity, and life-enhancing lessons we can harvest.
Our world needs its healers!
Toxic Stress, Allostasis and Complex Multi-Symptom Illness
Stress is part of life, but not all stress is the same. Positive stress is short term – like walking quickly to work after oversleeping. Tolerable stress – such as a major illness, or even a significant loss can have varying impact. With support, it doesn’t overwhelm us in the long term. Positive and tolerable stressors promote resilience, teach us coping skills and can expand our consciousness and sense of confidence.
An exploration of the concept of allostasis, or the distribution of the impact of stress across body-systems illuminates why and how toxic stress gives rise to chronic, multi-symptom illness – and increased rates of morbidity and mortality in long-term trauma survivors.
When we experience an injury, multiple body systems respond and work together to support learning and healing. Adrenalin helps us remember and harvest lessons from injuries; immune cells, fluids, blood and Qi all flood the area to restore tissues and support our recovery. This multi-system response distributes the burden of our injury broadly, helping us cope.
Toxic stress results from pervasive, overwhelming life-threatening experiences in the absence of supportive relationships. It creates a devastating burden on body-mind-spirit – and affects many of our body systems. It overwhelms our allostatic capacity.
If we are a long-term trauma survivor, we are likely carrying a pre-existing high allostatic load. What may be tolerable stress for someone else is experienced by us as toxic stress.
Sustained high allostatic loads cause system-wide changes in our physiology that impact both our morbidity and mortality. This “straw that broke the camel’s back” framework may be one explanation for the disproportionate experience and impact of CoVid 19, both acute and long-haul, in marginalized communities, people with complex multi-symptom illness and in trauma survivors.
Anthony Von der Muhll
Anthony Von der Muhll, L.Ac, DAOM, DNBAO, FAIPM is a highly-experienced clinician and an enthusiastic and skilled instructor in acupuncture orthopedics and sports medicine who genuinely enjoys providing long-term mentorship and support for acupuncturists to achieve their professional goals. He is one of the only US acupuncturists who teaches joint stabilization/mobilization needling, is certified in myofascial trigger point needling, and integrates these modern acupuncture methods with classical treatment of the jing-jin (“sinew meridians” or myofascial tracts).
Anthony Von der Muhll is the founder of AOM Professional, and has taught Certification in Acupuncture Orthopedics since 2015, and served as a clinical supervisor at the Master’s level since 2005 and the Doctorate level since 2017. He has also taught acupuncture orthopedics and pain management in doctorate programs of the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences (Oakland CA), the American College of TCM (San Francisco, CA), the Five Branches University of TCM (Santa Cruz, CA), and the Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (Fairfax, VA). He has been a featured instructor in acupuncture orthopedics at conferences of the Sports Acupuncture Alliance, the PSOAS Symposium, and State acupuncture associations of California, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Anthony Von der Muhll is one of the only acupuncturists in the US with extensive experience serving as an expert witness for the California Acupuncture Board and in civil malpractice litigation. He emphasizes the highest standards of safety, ethics and sustainability in his classes.
Anthony Von der Muhll started his journey as an injured soccer player who found relief from taiji/qigong, massage, and acupuncture. He worked as a massage therapist, physical therapy and athletic training assistant until he graduated from the Five Branches University of TCM in 2002, and founded the Santa Cruz Acupuncture Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic in 2003. In 2022, Anthony relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he now practices at the Sports Acupuncture Clinic/Berkeley Bamboo Clinic with his wife, Tamara Brown, L.Ac., DACM.
Needling Joints & Myofascial Trigger Points to Restore Orthopedic Yin/Yang Balance
Needling of ah shi, motor and myofascial trigger points has gained in popularity in the West as methods of treating neuromuscular pain and disability. From the classical perspective of yin-yang balance, focus on yang muscles is incomplete until complemented by needling the yin ligamentous and capsular tissues that form the underlying joints. This class provides an introduction to joint needling indications, safety, techniques, and therapeutic mechanisms to restore musculoskeletal yin-yang balance, emphasizing modern applications of classical acupuncture techniques.
Needling the Ligaments and Meniscii of the Knee Joint
The knee is the largest and most complex joint of the body, and weakness or instability in the knee’s shock-absorbing function can propagate pain and disability down to the foot and up to the spine. Learn techniques for restoring knee stability and function and reducing leg pain by needling into the cruciate and collateral ligaments, the patello-femoral joint and ligaments, the meniscii, and the often-overlooked superior tibiofibular joint. Demonstration of physical exam, safety, needling techniques, and immediate re-evaluation of outcomes provide essential guidance for the application of classical acupuncture to treat knee pain and disability.
Dr. Deb Davies, DACM, L.Ac., teaches based on her personal and professional experience in perinatal care. After passionately following her calling by supporting thousands of families naturally for over 20 years throughout their fertility, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journeys, Deb now focuses on her online mentorship program, teaching acupuncturists worldwide how to specialize in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. She is also a childbirth educator, a professor, a mentor, a Best-selling author, a birth doula, and a mother.
Acupuncture Excellence in Pregnancy Care. Tips, Tricks and Treatment Plans.
Dr. Deb Davies, DACM, L.Ac,. provides an overview of what you need to know as an acupuncturist when supporting pregnant patients. Overcome gaps in your understanding and fear of treating this population by joining Dr. Davies, for a 1-hour class on the crucial role acupuncturists play in supporting during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Perinatal Pearls of Wisdom: Balanced TCM Care from Conception through Postpartum
Dr. Deb Davies, DACM, L.Ac. dives into perinatal acupuncture, including fertility planning and the importance of continuous care throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, offering practical wisdom and treatment strategies. Join this focused three-hour exploration and practical application in providing comprehensive perinatal TCM care.