Featured Speakers - Great River Symposium 2013
Listed in alphabetical order.
Griselda (Grace) Alvarez Sesma, Curandera
Griselda (Grace) Alvarez Sesma is a curandera (traditional healer) and cultural educator of Mexican/Yaqui/Kumiai heritage, born in Baja California, Mexico. Her calling to walk the path of the heart began in childhood through her family's curanderismo practices. Her aunt was a curandera and an uncle a well known traditional huesero (bonesetter). Her formal training since 1997 has been with noted elder, Tezkalci Matorral Kachora, Yaqui/Lacandon Maya, of Mexico.
A humorous and inspiring speaker, she has lectured on curanderismo at the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine; Children's Hospital-Denver, CO; the University of Southern California-San Diego Medical Anthropology Department; and other institutions. She is adjunct professor at Arizona Western College in Yuma, AZ.
Grace has a consulting and private healing practice that draws from Aztec and Mayan spiritual and healing traditions and collaborates with physicians to integrate allopathic medicine with traditional Mesoamerican healing. A leader in the Latina community, in 1993 she was the recipient of the prestigious leadership fellowship award by the National Hispana Leadership Institute in collaboration with Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She recently contributed to the book, Meditations for InterSpiritual Wisdom, writing on Mesoamerican spirituality and meditation. Grace lives in Colorado, travels extensively and offers workshops and presentations on Mexico's ancestral wisdom traditions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Lillian Pearl Bridges, BA
Lillian Pearl Bridges is considered the world’s leading authority on Face Reading for business and health. Face Reading is a powerful tool that enhances all interpersonal communication. Lillian’s warmth, humor and wisdom have made her a captivating and immensely popular speaker for audiences of all sizes. She has taught CEOs and their management teams from multinational corporations, organizations and associations at universities and colleges, and at conferences and symposiums around the world.
She motivates her audiences to understand themselves and others better, teaches them to communicate more effectively and inspires them to live more productive and personally fulfilling lives.
Bridges also teaches business leaders how to find their own management styles and to understand the personalities and work habits of their associates through the prism of the five elements. She does this through her deep understanding of ancient Daoist philosophy. This Daoist approach to business has helped numerous companies increase sales, interview and hire more effectively, and enhance their executives’ management abilities.
She has hosted her own radio show and has been a frequent guest on television, including NBC, ABC and Lifetime, and has been featured in publications such as Newsweek, Natural Health Magazine, The LA Times and The Irish Times. Churchill Livingstone released the second edition of her book, Face Reading in Chinese Medicine, 2nd Edition in August 2012. The original book was published in 2003 and was translated into German and Italian.
Jacqueline Gran has been passionate about energy and art for as long as she can remember. She has been practicing Spring Forest Qigong since 1999. She was certified as a master healer in 2009, a level two instructor in 2009, a level one instructor in 2008 and became certified as a Qi-ssage instructor in 2012.
Robert Hayden, AP, MSOM
Robert Hayden has specialized in practicing and teaching Japanese Meridian Therapy since 1996. After 15 years in private practice, he transitioned into a community acupuncture model and founded Presence Community Acupuncture in Hollywood, FL.
He has also been teaching at various acupuncture colleges since 1999, most recently serving as the Oriental Medicine program director at Acupuncture and Massage College in Miami, FL.
Chunyi Lin, MA
Chunyi Lin is a certified international Qigong master with a master’s degree in holistic healing. His fluency in numerous Chinese dialects afforded him the rare opportunity to study with many of the most respected Qigong masters in his native China. He is the founder of Spring Forest Qigong and coauthor of the #1 Amazon.com bestseller, Born A Healer. He is also coauthor with Dr. Nisha Manek of the Mayo Clinic of a chapter on Qigong in a medical school textbook, The Textbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Second Edition.
Master Lin is director of the Spring Forest Center in Eden Prairie, MN, where he works with people from all over the world - helping them and empowering them to overcome serious health challenges and return to optimal wellness. In addition, he has created a series of home learning materials to share his healing and wellness techniques with everyone through videos, guided audio meditations and reference manuals. He has taught his techniques to more than 250,000 people through classes or home learning courses.
He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council founded by Jack Canfield. In 2010, he was named International Qigong Master of the Year by the executive committee of the World Qigong Congress. Also in 2010, two independent research studies, one by doctors from the University of Minnesota and one of the leading medical research centers in the United States, found that Master Lin’s Spring Forest Qigong techniques are helpful in relieving chronic pain.
Master Lin's vision is “a healer in every family and a world without pain.” Visit him on the web at www.springforestqigong.com.
John E. Pirog, MSOM, DiplAc/CH, LAc
John Pirog has been practicing acupuncture and Oriental medicine for nearly 30 years. In addition to his clinical practice at the Bloomington Natural Care Center, he serves as a professor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine at Northwestern Health Sciences University.
Pirog graduated from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, IL in 1983 and interned at Lincoln Hospital, New York, where he trained in the use of acupuncture for substance withdrawal. He later completed a clinical residency at Chengdu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Chengdu, China.
Pirog has taught acupuncture throughout his career, has lectured throughout the United States, and is the author of the widely-used textbook Practical Applications of Meridian Style Acupuncture.
Paul Ratté, ND
Paul Ratté is an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington and a naturopathic doctor at Rhythm of Health, Inc. in Woodbury. MN. He creates personalized wellness plans for his patients that prioritize their health concerns and reflect their commitment to change. Ratté believes it is not enough to "treat" disease with natural medicine - as optimal health is the integration of thinking, eating and moving.
Whitfield Reaves, OMD, LAc
Whitfield Reaves is one of the leading practitioners in the field of acupuncture sports medicine. He began clinical practice in 1981 and has specialized for 30 years in the field of orthopedics and sports acupuncture. His first appearance at Pacific Symposium in 1992 was one of the early events contributing to the development of specialization in this field of treating injury, pain and athletic performance.
Licensed in California in 1981, he earned a doctor of Oriental medicine degree in 1983. His thesis, Acupuncture and the Treatment of Common Running Injuries, demonstrated that Traditional Chinese Medicine could address many clinical issues in sports medicine. His experience includes the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, as well as numerous track and field, cycling and other events nationally over the last 25 years. Whitfield is the author of The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain, one of the few texts integrating traditional acupuncture with orthopedic and sports medicine.
Reaves is also the director of The Acupuncture Sports Medicine Apprenticeship Program. He lives in Boulder, CO and currently teaches at Southwest Acupuncture College. He continues to teach seminars and apprenticeship style workshops in North America and Europe. Reaves can be reached at his website www.whitfieldreaves.com.
Suzanne Robidoux, PhD (China), DiplOM, LAc
Dr. Suzanne Robidoux has been living in China and Taiwan for the last 12 years studying with various masters with a focus on classics and clinical practice. She spent three years in the south of Taiwan mastering mandarin while learning with masters. She moved to Nanjing and completed her Ph.D. in acupuncture at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2007. During her doctoral work, she focused her studies and research on treating neurological disorders and psychological disorders as well as severe depression.
One of the masters was Dr. Lu Qian at the neurological hospital (direct lineage of doctor Jiao Shu Fa). During her apprenticeship with Dr. Lu, Dr. Robidoux learned the most effective ways to treat severe cases of post-stroke coma, paralysis, hemiplegia, multiple sclerosis, Meniere’s diseases and other disorders. Over 90% of the patients received cranial acupuncture with body acupuncture. The second master, Dr. Tao Kun, is famous for his needling technique and his moxibustion techniques and efficacy on post-stroke paralysis and various musculoskeletal diseases.
Dr. Robidoux went to Beijing in 2007 and worked with several masters all over China to bring their life’s work to the printing press and make the knowledge available to the West. She translated and edited over 20 professional Chinese medical textbooks related to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. She worked with Dr. Shi Xuemin, a specialist in neurological disorders and famous for getting the best results with his needling technique. In the West, he is known to be the treating doctor from Tianjin in the documentary, 9000 Needles.
She is now the chief acupuncturist of the Neurological and Post-Stroke Department at the Yanda Health City in Beijing. She also works at the Suicide Prevention Center in Beijing, providing acupuncture treatment in severe cases of depression and suicidal tendencies. In her free time, she continues to research classical texts such as the Zhou yi, the Zhenjiu Dacheng, the Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue.