Barbara de la Torre

Barbara de la TorreBarbara 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

Alaine Duncan

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 in response to traumatic stress and health disparities in our community.

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.

live streamingFive 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.

Jamie Hampton

Jamie Hampton

Dr. Jamie Hampton is a doctoral graduate of The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the oldest TCM school in the US. She has worked in leading San Francisco Bay Area hospitals for the last 18 years with an emphasis on true integration and collaboration within fast-paced clinical settings including the ICU. While she was an adjunct professor through University of California, San Francisco she also had the privilege of teaching grand rounds to medical students. This experience blossomed into a faculty position at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medical College in Berkeley, CA where she taught advanced needling technique, gynecology and advanced formula writing. This solidified her love of teaching and connecting with her students, conveying the power of TCM and all its abilities. She was also co-founder of Golden Leaf Acupuncture in Berkeley, CA which was the University of California Berkeley’s leading provider for students as well as faculty and staff. Having discovered a total lack of treatment options for pelvic floor pain (including acupuncture) Dr. Hampton made it her mission to specialize in helping these patients. She has specialized in treating pelvic floor patients since 2009.

Currently, Dr. Hampton practices in Berkley, CA  specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction and complex orthopedic cases.

live streamingThe Practice of Pelvic Floor Acupuncture Overview

In this talk, I review why and how I specialized in treating pelvic floor disorders, what type of conditions are treated, and typical standards of care and modalities of treatment Acupuncturists can use. We will also discuss deficiencies with the current system of care for diagnosing and treating pelvic floor patients and why it is important to network with other specialists for a multi-faceted treatment approach.

live streamingOverview of Lumbo-Pelvic Dry Needling & Pelvic Floor Acupuncture

In this section, we will review the anatomy of the pelvis and pelvic floor, as well as the function of the pelvic floor for correct form and function. We will then go into causes of pelvic pain from sources outside the pelvic floor, including trigger points and pain referrals, with a look at the anatomy of trigger points and peripheral and central sensitization, as well as the specific trigger points that can refer pain to the pelvic region. With regards to the pelvic floor, we will review the levator ani and some causes of bladder pain, with some examples of treatment approaches.  Finally, treatment considerations such as informed consent, draping, and communication will also be discussed.

John Howard

John Howard

John Howard completed his degree in acupuncture from the Maryland Institute of Traditional Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. John holds two professorships; one in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the other in Western Medicine from George Washington University (GWU). Professor (Prof) Howard lectured on suturing and minor trauma management. Upon completion of his degree Prof Howard entered into a five-year fellowship with the US military under the direction of Dr. Richard Niemtzow, MD, PHD. Prof Howard is both a clinician and an Academician. As an academician, he provides international lectures in acupuncture and auriculotherapy. He has authored five books and 21 articles on these two fields. He is also dedicated to the promotion of knowledge and has been awarded the dissemination of seminal works of Dr. Raphael Nogier (The RAFT (Radial Artery Food Test) and of Dr. René Bourdiol (Elements of Auriculotherapy). In 2014 Prof Howard served as the vice president of the 8 International Symposium of Auriculotherapy in the United States. In 2016 Prof Howard became a consultant for ZeroMed (a holistic medical goods company) to design auriculotherapy protocols.

John is currently conducting studies on the use of Auriculotherapy in distance runners to enhance performance. Some of men on team USA who won the world 100k gold medal in the Nederland’s in 2011 used his protocol.

live streamingBattlefield Acupuncture (BFA): Clinical Research and Applications

I will discuss clinical research trials dating back to 2005 through 2024. Discussion on how different medical specialties practitioners incorporate BFA in their clinical practices. This includes practitioners in the civilian sector and government agencies.

Clinical Hands-on Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) Course

How to successfully incorporate battlefield acupuncture into your clinical practice. This abbreviated course in BFA includes both didactic and clinical hands-on demonstrations.

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