Marc Westergard, DOM
Doctor of Oriental Medicine
During undergraduate college, I worked as a group leader with children and teens for 3 years in a residential treatment setting. In this role I was part of a clinical treatment team including a psychiatrist, psychologist, family therapist and case manager working with children who were dealing with a wide range of psychological and emotional difficulties.
Massage Therapy (1992-1999)
I graduated from the Humanities Center School of Massage in 1992 and was in professional practice for 8 years. I treated patients experiencing a wide range of musculoskeletal problems including repetitive use injuries, postural imbalances, sports injuries, work injuries, car accidents and over-use injuries of all kinds. During this time, I was also an instructor at the Humanities Center teaching courses in body mechanics, relaxation massage, postural analysis and myofascial release.
Early in my career as a massage therapist I noticed that people responded in different ways to treatment. Some people recovered from injuries very quickly while others did not. Some people responded to very light touch but others only to deeper techniques. There were also people who seemed to hold on to injuries or tension no matter what type of treatment I used. It became clear to me there was much more going on with people than what anatomy and physiology could explain and I became very interested in finding some way to help me understand this. This is when I first met Craig Frisbie.
Ancient Taoist Medicine (1993-present)
I met Craig Frisbie, DOM in 1993. Craig came to the Humanities Center to present a Ta’i Ji demonstration for the students and I knew immediately he was the person I was looking for. Craig and I talked for a long while that very first day and I began receiving acupuncture treatments and attending ta’i ji classes that same week. I was full of questions and Craig was very patient with me and generous with his time. I didn’t know it then, but I was searching for a way to better understand myself and the world around me and I had just met the man who would help me do exactly that. As I spent more time with Craig I became increasingly interested in Ancient Taoist Medicine and I began to help out in his herbal pharmacy. After a couple years, Craig offered to teach me and I was very grateful to accept.
Learning Ancient Taoist Medicine is an ongoing process that requires a teacher, personal development and clinical training. To this end, Craig has spent thousands of hours with me over the years. My personal development with Craig has included acupuncture and medical qi gong treatments, lifestyle counseling, ta’i ji, personal qi gong and meditation. My clinical training with Craig has included five phase energetics, energetic physiology, energetic pathology, clinical patient management, medical herbology, custom formula writing, acupuncture theory and application, medical qi gong theory and application as well as hundreds of clinical case studies and clinical consultations.
In ta’i ji, the term Sifu means beloved master, respected father and trusted friend. Craig is all of these things to me and more and I am eternally grateful for his presence in my life. With Craig’s help and through his example I have gradually become a more gentle, aware and capable person. It is an honor for me to participate in the developmental process of Ancient Taoist Medicine and it is my sincere privilege to help others in whatever way I am able.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (1997-present)
In 2000 I completed a four year graduate program in Traditional Chinese Medicine at East West College of Natural Medicine. This program included biomedical anatomy, physiology and pathology in addition to TCM fundamental theory, diagnostic methods, acupuncture theory and application, TCM herbology theory and application and 700 hours of student clinic. I then passed national board examinations to become licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine by the Florida Department of Health and Board Certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.