Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
After four years of full-time study, Samantha received a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture) from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco.
This Master's of Science program included over 3000 hours of intensive study and practice in Chinese Medicine theory, diagnosis and treatment methods, acupuncture, herbal medicine, physiology, and pathophysiology, as well as 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Samantha continues to study Korean and Japanese acupuncture with senior acupuncturists through apprenticeship and continuing education seminars.
The Korean and Japanese acupuncture that Samantha practices is a classical style of acupuncture that is part of an exciting movement to bring back ancient ways of healing that had been largely lost or forgotten in both Asia and the West. These powerful techniques were resurrected and kept alive by a small number of Japanese and Korean acupuncture masters, and Samantha continues to study and train with masters in these acupuncture lineages.
Samantha's understanding of the body/mind and how the life-force is expressed and its patterns of movement in the body/mind, has grown deeper and wider from years of study and practice of Asian medicine.
Samantha has over 10 years of experience in using yoga therapy to help people recover from chronic low back and neck pain. Through healing her own injuries with yoga and helping many people through yoga therapy, Samantha has gained experience and training to help others with their injuries and chronic pain.
Samantha's training in yoga therapy includes 3 years of assisting master-level teacher Anne Saliou in therapeutic yoga classes for back and neck care, and a year-long apprenticeship with master-level teacher Patricia Sullivan. Samantha completed the 500-hour Advanced Studies program at the Iyengar Institute of San Francisco in 2004.
Samantha has also trained with many other teachers including Aadil Palkivala, Judith Hanson Lasater (restorative yoga teacher and physical therapist), and Gary Kraftsow.
Samantha believes that the real purpose of yoga is to bring harmony to our relationship with ourselves and those around us, and to cultivate awareness which is the key to all healing.
Samantha teaches private yoga sessions and private group classes in San Francisco. She has been teaching yoga since 2002 and has been a student of yoga since 1991.
Together with her husband, Zen teacher Robert Thomas, Samantha has been co-leading Zen and Yoga Retreats since 2007.
Robert and Samantha have led retreats in Nepal, Thailand, and New Mexico, as well as at the three practice centers of the San Francisco Zen Center: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in the mountains near Big Sur, CA, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Sausalito, CA, and the Zen Center in Hayes Valley in San Francisco.
Zen Buddhist Training
Samantha lived at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Zen Buddhist monastery in the California mountains, for over three years of intensive training in Zen Buddhist meditation and daily-life Zen practice.
After leaving the monastery, Samantha spent a year in Asia studying Tibetan Buddhism and Yoga in India, Nepal and Thailand.
Samantha's experiences with these teachings taught her about the nature of the mind and the universe, how to to quiet the mind, and how to connect with the life-force that supports and moves through all things.