About Doug Crawford, L.Ac.

"I sensed a connectedness within each of us that bio-medicine just didn't seem capable of recognizing."

I've dreamed of practicing medicine since I was a boy. The ability to help people heal, overcome suffering, and live better lives is what heroes are made of. But by the time I was ready to make a decision about what kind of medicine to study, or where, I had come to the realization that the medicine I grew up with did little more than suppress symptoms, and put money in the coffers of the drug companies. The idea that there might be some greater issue underlying the symptoms people were experiencing was given little thought.

Yes, bio-medicine excelled at dealing with trauma and acute pathology, but the concepts of integration and holism seemed of little value. The specialties that seemed to make the most effort to get at underlying causes were in the areas of psychology and mental health. But even those, it seemed to me at least, were only addressing part of any given patient's problems. Intuitively, and rather unconsciously, I came to believe that Western medicine's reductionist, mechanical approach was flawed. I sensed a connected-ness within, and between, each of us that bio-medicine just didn't seem capable of recognizing.

Then I was introduced to Chinese medicine. I immediately resonated with its view that all aspects of being - body, mind, and spirit - are interconnected and interdependent, as well as the premise that a primary driver of physical suffering could be found in our emotions. At its core, Chinese medicine is about the rediscovery of our authentic self. This medicine spoke to my heart. It has become my passion. Do I feel like a hero? No, not really. But I do feel as if I found myself on a hero's journey.

Education

I received my Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine (M.T.O.M.) degree, graduating summa cum laude, from Emperor's College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Located in Santa Monica, California. Emperor's College is one of the oldest and top-ranked Chinese medicine schools in the U.S., and is home to a fully accredited, four-year Master’s degree program in Chinese medicine. I completed my degree in the spring of 2005, passed the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam six months later, and have been in practice ever since.

I received my undergrad degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film & Television, in 1995.

I've been interested in exercise and nutrition, from a Western perspective, since my late-teens, and I have extensive knowledge of both. I've been studying psychology, on an informal basis, for nearly 20 years. Finally, I am also a classically-trained chef.

Inspiration

Though my core training is rooted in TCM, I found myself attracted to the older, Daoist-based teachings known as Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM). Many of the instructors I was drawn to during my training were students of Jeffrey Yuen, an 88th generation master of Daoist healing arts, and a leading proponent of CCM worldwide. Yuen's work continues to strongly influence my practice.

My work is also inspired by Leon Hammer, M.D. Dr. Hammer, a psychiatrist-turned-acupuncturist, has written extensively about the treatment of psycho-emotional issues with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. He is also known as a preeminent expert in Chinese pulse diagnosis, and has written a massive tome on the subject. I received training in Shen/Hammer-style pulse diagnosis from Will Morris, D.A.O.M, a student of Hammer's and well-known author and teacher in his own right.

Chinese Medicine Training in America

As of mid-2015, there are over 60 accredited acupuncture and Chinese medicine training institutions in the United States. In California, as with most of the U.S., the study of Chinese medicine begins at the Master's degree level. Programs are set-up as four-year curricula, with most requiring a minimum of 2050 hours of classroom study, and around 1000 hours of supervised clinical training – a total of 3000 hours. As is the case with all of the schools in California, the Emperor's College program is modeled on the elite schools in mainland China. As a result, its curriculum is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

California regulations requires students to learn all aspects of Chinese medicine. These include the fundamental principles and theory underpinning the practice of Chinese medicine, Chinese medicine diagnosis, acupuncture studies, Chinese herbal medicine studies, Asian bodywork techniques, Chinese nutrition and exercise, and self-cultivation practices. Approximately one-third of the classes must be dedicated to the study of Western medicine topics such as anatomy and physiology, patho-physiology, clinical medicine studies, nutrition, and pharmacology among others. In order to graduate, students must also complete at least 950 hours of direct clinical training, which includes treatment of a specific number of patients.

To set up a free phone consultation, ask questions, or schedule your first appointment, please contact me via email. I respond to inquiries within 24 hours.