My Story

In general, one’s private life would remain separate from their professional life. Aptly named ‘private,’ it should be indifferent, possibly inconsequential to one’s conduct professionally. However, the truth is usually the opposite of this, and we are ever interested in the story and history of our professionals. Especially in the Healing Arts the background should inform us as to the attitude, views, and many other qualitative aspects, as well as experience of our Health Practitioner. For these reasons the following is a bit of a ‘snapshot’ of my experience in the Health and Healing world, to better inform you, the reader, of something more qualitative than what you’ll find in the curriculum vitae. My own personal journey here is perhaps unique, so it may be of some service to share it with you.

My initial ‘impulse’ for the healing arts arose during my university years when at the ripe age of around 19 I discovered that I was unhealthy, at least ‘felt’ unhealthy. Gratefully it was not a serious illness of any sort, but mostly a byproduct of an abysmal diet of fast foods devoid of any vegetables. Being in the biological sciences and chemistry departments in school, I used my emerging scientific mind to investigate fasting. I studied Dr. Herbert Shelton’s American Hygiene movement materials and books on ‘Orthotrophy,’ and Arnold Ehret’s Rational Fasting system,  and switched from a 2-3 times per day carnivorous diet to water fasting!

I lasted 14 days. When I was unable to pedal my 10-speed home (on flat ground), or climb a flight of stairs without a rest break, I began eating again – now as a vegetarian. This didn’t work out too well since my knowledge at the time concluded that I should just replace meat with cheese and all else much the same as it was before the fast. Soon enough I began a more earnest study of diet and nutrition, saw Paavo Airola speak and read the latest health authors circa 1972-73.

About the same time, the ‘cut-throat’ pre-med students – having caused me to spend countless hours re-performing chemistry labs with skewed results due to them sabotaging the reagents for the experiments (they get the higher grades, you get the C or D grade) – helped me move into more Botany classes where the living was good. It was there I began to research and experiment with Native American uses of wild plants and herbs for food and healing.

With this world opening step into Native American herbalism and the Natural Health food dietary changes, I was well on my way – at least as lifestyle more than vocation. At the time, spiritual pursuits expressed themselves as forays into the world of Occult Science and Eastern meditation and chanting. It was the early 70’s and the West was just getting into a more formidable relationship with Eastern Mysticism after our radical inauguration in the late ’60’s. There was in me at the time a growing cognitive dis-connect between the fragmented methodology of science (was now a Biosci, Physical Geography double major with a minor in Chemistry) and my emerging nascent spiritual intuitions and interests. I had been an avid reader from a young age and was not unfamiliar with the works of Avatar Meher Baba, Paramahansa Yogananda, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (a name every 13 year old should learn to pronounce), and others.

So by the time I had finished college, and having been well exposed to the new (and emerging) world of natural healing and herbs and meditation, I was ripe for the picking when I took a Polarity Therapy workshop in Santa Barbara in February of 1976. At that time I knew I was going to learn this, so strong was my experience in the workshop. In the Fall of that year I went to the Polarity Health Institute situated 50 miles east of Mt. Shasta, California, and stayed there over 3 years, eventually becoming one of the primary teachers there. I left there for a private practice in Polarity in 1979 in Los Angeles. However, it should be noted that there was, at a certain point in time, a most extraordinary experience at the Polarity school. We were the first residential Natural Healing school in the 1970’s, and people came from far and wide: Australia, Sweden, Canada, South America, etc. It also brought individuals with various and amazing backgrounds and experience in the Healing Arts.

rbn - orcas

Teaching at The Polarity
Health Institute
Orcas Island 1978

I and a couple other teachers would meet late at night with students with ‘knowledge’ and ‘experience’ and learn and exchange and discover things. It was a most exquisite forum for learning – our only interest was “what works?” “How do you do this or that technique?” I had always been interested in the various methods of learning in the ancient Greek schools, like the Aesclepians, Pythygoreans, Aristotle’s school and felt this was the closest I was ever going to get to such a learning environment. We were close to a kind of hands-on, somatic dialectic and were all the while, cleansing and purifying, opening energy channels through the Polarity work, and clearing emotional blockages and baggage while living in remote areas of extraordinary nature.

These foundations carried with me into a private practice from 1979 – 1981 in Los Angeles, yet the learning never ceased. During the Polarity years I was introduced to many modes of healers, one of them being faith healing from the Philippines – more commonly known as psychic surgery. Now it should be said that I have always considered myself, even to this day, a kind of investigator of all methods and all phenomena of Health and Healing as to ‘what works’ and why? And being the kind of scientist raised in the 60’s, self-experimentation always trumps academic learning alone, so I would involve myself whenever and wherever possible. In the years at the Polarity school, we tried every diet, every nature cure, fast, cleanse, hydrotherapy, rejuvenation technique that was known or available to us.

So it was only a matter of course that I was able to be around a number of these Faith Healers from the Philippines and learn what they call ‘magnetic healing.’ This is a cousin to the kind of magnetic healing developed in the United States via Mesmer and others. D.D. Palmer, the founder / father of Chiropractic was a practicing Magnetic Healer through the 1880’s when he discovered Chiropracty in 1895.

Thus in my Polarity Therapy practice in the late 1970’s, I practiced Magnetic Healing along with Polarity Therapy and nutrition. In the late 1970’s  the field of “ortho-molecular therapy,” or ‘right-molecules,’ emerged as a nutritional approach. Large dosages and many different nutrients were used, all determined on scientifically based analysis of individual needs and the concepts of ‘metabolic typing. I was studied in these areas and the works of William Donald Kelly,D.D.S., the one who developed Metabolic Typing and cured many many people, self and wife included, of cancer. It was his protocols that cured Steve McQueen of 17 tumors from Asbestosis (he died of surgery complications – a blood clot – while removing the last ‘dead’ tumor from his abdomen ).

At that time I began studying (always learning…) the works of Rudolph Steiner : Anthroposophy. And in particular, Anthroposophic Medicine. I read, went to conferences, and through a precious connection, was able to be introduced to a couple physicians who were authentic initiates in spiritual science within this system. I had long been swimming in Western Mysticism, Theosophy, Rosicrucians, Builders of the Adytum, White Brotherhood and Ascended Masters, so being taken under the wing, so-to-speak, by these mystic-wisdom elder physicians was a privilege I felt to honor as best I could.

Based on their recommendations, I applied to Medical School in Innsbruck, Austria in 1980. It was a choice to engage in 9 more years of school and then apprentice with some of these great doctors. I was young, idealistic, and full of ‘will.’ It so happened the University of Innsbruck wasn’t accepting foreign students that year, and I received the ‘rejection’ with an unexpected sigh of relief and joy. It was at that moment that I knew I would be going to Chiropractic College and not Medical School. Chiropracty was more akin to what I had been doing for years as a hands-on profession, and, I really didn’t want to be an MD, I just wanted the knowledge of Anthroposophical Medicine.

Four years in Portland, Oregon: Western States Chiropractic College. The first two I worked like a maniac with the basic and medical sciences. The last two I traveled and studied in seminars all over the country, exposing myself to every technique I could, particularly with the ‘old-timers;’ the doctors from the early years of Chiropractic who were infused with what they called the ‘above down, inside out’ power of Life, the Innate. Present day chiropractic college curriculum is all but void of these ‘philosophical’ aspects, but it was the modus operandi in the old days. I’ve always felt we should respect and honor our elders, perhaps more from growing up on Blues music and wanting to see the ‘originals’ before they passed on, than from a sense of politeness or a cultivated cultural habit. There is nothing like experience: the 33-year practicing dentist removed two of my wisdom teeth by letting them ”fall” into his hands before I knew it, while the U of Washington young decorated dental-star gouged away for 3 to 4 hours later on the other two teeth…

Chiropractic college was as much learning outside of the campus walls as there was inside it. In 1976 at the Polarity school I was introduced to Craniopathy and craniosacral therapy. I was like an addict seeking as much as I could about this. In those days it was next to impossible to learn if you weren’t an Osteopath, a Chiropractor, or a Dentist. Those dreams came true while in chiropractic college and was able to study with many of those three professions and in no time ‘the light went on’: I was clearly holding an understanding of the art of craniosacral. Having been teaching Polarity Therapy in the years before Chiropractic college, I had some skills and began teaching craniosacral for my fellow students during the last year there. I specialized in it while an intern, and took it with me to Europe after I graduated.

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Graduation Western States
Chiropractic College
Portland, Oregon 1985

Winter of 1985 I introduced the first Craniosacral courses in the country of Holland, later in 1988 I did the same in Norway. These courses were initially a continuation of the curriculum I had learned in regards to craniosacral education, but soon developed into my own clinical and eclectic approach. These courses continued annually or bi-annually until 1993 when I took a rest from them for approximately 6 years. They resumed again in 2000 with the countries now being Germany and Switzerland, through to the present.

After Chiropractic College I moved to The Netherlands and Taught courses and workshops in Craniosacral Therapy. A consultation practice ensued and because of this rather ‘special’ circumstance, me being a foreign doctor, specializing in treatment of the cranium, and being there only briefly, I saw many cases I would never – and have never – seen in my clinical practice in the states. Congenital deformations, serious closed head-traumas, spinal cord traumas, even coma. Over the years this has afforded many opportunities to qualitatively measure the effectiveness of cranial work as in many cases, my treatments were the only direct therapy to the injured or affected head and craniosacral system. It has led to the publication of a pilot study measuring the effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy alone, or in conjunction with Physical Therapy for head injured patients at a residential treatment facility in Austria. A copy of the study is found in the ‘Extras’ section.

In the Autumn of 1986 I left Holland for a rigorous overland journey from Pakistan to outer Mongolia, across the Taklimakan desert to enter Tibet from the northern border. We visited with the Hunzakut people in Pakistani Kashmir, meeting with a local doctor, examining and treating patients in remote villages in these high altitudes (getting paid in ripe apricots…). These are the people reported to live actively into ages more than 100 years. We did meet the oldest man in the village (106) but I can’t say he was in an ‘active’ state. It was a continuation of looking at the local and indigenous medicines of some of these ancient cultures.

In Tibet the ‘medicine tour’ went deeper. I visited Tibetan hospitals, manufacturing facilities for the medicines, teaching institutions and medicine classes, etc. etc. My line of interest was comparing how Tibetan Medical education had changed under Chinese occupation vs. prior to the invasion in 1959. The project led me to many interesting places and experiences in this amazing system of traditional medicine.

Tibet to Nepal to India and eventually to The Philippines before returning to America in 1987. Many amazing experiences with the Faith Healers of the Philippines – the ‘psychic surgeons’ – completed my investigation of indigenous and traditional medicine at that time. One of the things I learned was that these systems, wherever they are practiced, occur within a traditional cultural context and do not necessarily transport easily into other cultures and hands. They do, but one cannot separate the local conditions from the practice and methods of the various systems without influencing the outcome. This ‘fact’ is important in understanding how healing affects us, and how it is co-emergent with the paradigm and belief systems of the place, culture, and ‘mindset’ we belong to.

In a certain way, we each are inseparable from the experiences we have been shaped by and lived through. These experiences with indigenous traditional healing systems, investigating their basis and cosmologies, methods and pharmacopeia, have fermented into and influenced the viewpoint and outlook I hold with regards to Health, Healing, and Wellness. These and many other traditions, shamanic based systems and ethno-botanical practices are all valid and important elements in my personal ‘continuum’ education in the Healing Arts.


In 1994 I took sabbatical from practice and worked on film productions caring for the actors, producers, crew, and staff. This brought a kind of ‘first aid’  experience chiropractically that was not readily available in the clinic setting at home. Pulled hamstrings, dislocated jaws, horse accidents, etc. etc. Attending to a fallen stunt-man or injured actor informed my clinical experience about immediate results in the sense that a film set could be like a football match. A player is injured, and you want to ‘fix’ them and get them back in the game; the camera keeps rolling and the actor needs to be in the scene – the game must go on.

During those 4 years there was ample time between films and I traveled extensively and deepened exposure to healing practices of indigenous and traditional methods of medicine in different parts of the world. It also allowed me the time to write and reflect in a way that our general occupational lifestyle rarely permits. Many of these writings and ‘investigations’ will remain private as these, like meditation, I find important for a personal deepening and marinating our own insight and wisdom to ripen and manifest in the rest of our life and views and activities.

This idea, that our experiences and essential ‘content’ of our lives, and the context in which it all occurs, is inseparable from our Health, is a central theme in my view of Healing and Wellness.  An essential condition of our being “un-well” is that we separate from the processes of our body’s Health and Well-being. We may very well separate from our emotional, spiritual, and mental Health and Well-being. When something goes wrong and we become ill or suffer from various dysfunctions or afflictions, it  is almost impulsive to externalize the issue and approach it as if it was happening to someone else. This is a natural response from our habituated and ‘learned’ way of looking at the world of our body. It is easy to expect someone else to heal or cure us, to take something that makes the ‘unwelcome’ affliction ‘go away.’

It can be difficult to overcome this externalizing and ‘blaming’ impulse for the things that happen to us and that we experience. True Healing happens when we begin to open to new possibilities and embrace new ways of being that are more forgiving, listening, kinder, less reactive, and less judgemental.  Acceptance of what is is the natural order of things, the natural plan. We get well or we may even die from a disease, that is the process, but we personally can Heal our way into it through our way of being. Healing is not necessarily curing.

Complementary to becoming accountable in our healing process is actually reconnecting to the ‘natural order of things,’ linking to the biosphere, which is the natural home of our bodies. That is the part up to you – and how you live!  All  principles and techniques and modalities applied in my practice are with these fundamental views in mind. We take more time in our clinic appointments to better honor the process that is involved in healing, even at a bio-mechanical or structural level.

Although these times are bourgeoning with beautiful and fantastic innovations in the worlds of healing and medicine, and as a practitioner it is imperative to continually learn, expand and be open to what is emerging, what I feel I bring to the table (so to speak), is more personal. It is from slowly exhausting the restless whims and desires of the Mind and settling into beginning to understand its nature, and our nature of Being, that the biggest contribution to my work is made. At least, that is my most honest opinion at this time… Peace.