July 17th, 1994 is a dividing line in my life. It’s my sober date. By that point I had been studying Chinese medical and martial arts for 6 years, had just gotten my 1st license in Oriental Bodywork and was in the 2nd year of a 4 year’s masters program at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. I was looking forward to a new future and one that was driven by the question, “How does holistic medicine get & keep people sober?”
That was a complete U-turn from what had driven my previous incarnation. I was a relocated New Yorker in Hollywood, California, where I lived hand-to-mouth in the world of big hair, loud guitar, rock ’n roll. This provided the perfect setting for me to perform the last half of my 17 years worth of “personal field research” in the arena of addictions. It also gave me invaluable “hands on experience” that I couldn’t imagine getting any other way.
The last two decades on this sober side of that dividing line have been spent searching for direct answers to that original question. And because no one has been able to do that for me, I’ve been forced to find it on my own by exploring what I love. My search has given me the privilege of studying with some of the most revered leaders in the fields of Traditional Chinese & East Asian Medicine, shamanism, martial arts, cranio-sacral therapy, movement therapy, psychology, mythology, poetry and writing. From this, I have synthesized a clear, concise model of holistic treatment for addiction that I call Alchemist Recovery.
As part of this work I have:
- Treated tens of thousands of people from all walks of life and in all stages of addiction
- Served on staff at hospitals, medical centers and addiction treatment centers
- Created a successful private practice
- Written books & articles in national publications
- Taught my material to thousands all across North America and beyond
I greatly look forward to seeing what’s next along this path, as I share it with my wife, partner and brilliant colleague in the Medicine, Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons, and leave notes from the experiences along the way answering, “What exactly does dad do?” for my son Tyler.
Whichever side of that dividing line of sobriety I have found myself on, I have lived by and found solace in the choice offered by this declaration:
“There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.”
— Albert Einstein