James David Adams, Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus, Healer
My PhD is in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UC San Francisco. After I became an Associate Professor in a School of Pharmacy, I became a student of Traditional California Indian healing. My teacher for 14 years was a Chumash woman who had been taught by her grandparents. After her death, I continue her work today.
Jacinta Arthur-de la Maza
Jacinta Arthur-de la Maza (Chile) is Associate Adjunct Professor at Universidad Católica de Chile and Associate Researcher at the UC Center for Cultural Heritage. Her research focuses on the repatriation movement, which she examines as a cultural mode of social justice, revitalization, and reparation. Specifically, her work explores the moral economy of the appropriation, circulation, and display of Indigenous material culture, while engaging repatriation as a global Indigenous movement that effectively confronts the dehumanizing legacy of colonialism. Interrogating research as both a colonial and decolonial apparatus, she has developed a collaborative action research agenda concerned with consistently questioning the social inequalities that are structured by academic practices. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Laken Brooks (she/her) is a PhD English student at the University of Florida and a freelance writer. She writes about rural life, folklore, digital technology, and healthcare topics. Readers may find her writing in outlets like CNN, the Washington Post, Forbes, Verywell Health, and more.
Laken Brooks Website, Laken's Linkedin
Degenhart Brown is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Degenhart received a BA in Anthropology from UCLA in 2016 and an MA in Culture and Performance from UCLA in 2019. Degenhart’s MA thesis, which spanned five years of ethnographic research in the United States, Mexico, and Nigeria, focused on the ways in which members of the Los Angeles-based Holy Superet Light Church conceptualized the human body and healed themselves through quotidian interactions with the religion’s sacred materials. Degenhart’s present doctoral research focuses on the roles that sacred arts and syncretized religious practices play in medical pluralism across southern Togo and the Republic of Bénin.
UCLA Graduate Students
Carole H. Browner
Research Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Gender Studies, and Center for Culture and Health, UCLA Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
Carole Browner's research interests have principally been at the intersection of gender, reproduction, and health. She has done field research in urban Colombia, rural Mexico, and with diverse ethnic groups in the U. S. In Cali, Colombia she investigated the circumstances that led pregnant women with unintended conceptions to seek illegal abortion. In rural Mexico, she sought to understand how local political relations shaped gender-based reproductive strategies. Since 1989, she worked mainly in the U. S. on issues surrounding the medicalization of pregnancy and prenatal care, particularly the ways that prenatal genetic information may alter reproductive experience. Her current work focuses on the growing role of genetic testing in the field of neurology.
UCLA Faculty Description
I graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine and completed my psychiatry training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.
My interests include all aspects of traditional healing, but especially ethnobotany, humoral theory and astrological medicine from Classical Antiquity through the Renaissance.
In addition my focus is on olfaction: sensory studies, cultural and anthropological aspects of smell as well as the histories of alchemy, distillation and perfumery as used for creating aromatic medicines.
Ana Flecha is a PhD candidate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is researching the epistemological values and subjectivities of the Santo Daime bailado, a dance central to this ayahuasca religion from Brazil’s southern Amazon region. Since 2010 she has been offering her eco-corporeal practice ReinCORPOra synthesizing practices of somatic sensibility with environmental awareness as part of educational programs in and around two eco-cultural spaces in the Northeast of Brazil, the Eco Aldeia Flecha da Mata and Espaço Flecha do Mar. Through her research Ana is developing the interdisciplinary concept of corpo/realization, acknowledging self-movement as the source of all knowledge and bringing the field of postmodern dance studies to psychedelic science.
The Humanities Institute: Grad Profile
Edgar Fabián Frías, MA, MFA (candidate), LMFT
Edgar Fabián Frías is a nonbinary, queer, indigenous (Wixárika), Latinx, and Brown, multidisciplinary artist, curator, educator, and psychotherapist. Born in East Los Angeles in 1983, Frías received dual BA degrees in Psychology and Studio Art from the University of California, Riverside. In 2013, they received an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, with an emphasis on Interpersonal Neurobiology and Somatic Psychotherapy. Frías is also a 2022 candidate for an MFA in Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.
Julie Gaynes is a PhD candidate at UCLA researching healing relationships between human and non-human persons in the Solor Archipelago of East Indonesia. Her training in religious studies, creative writing, dance acrobatics, and visual art prompts her to explore co-authored mixed-media storytelling as a means for transitioning local/geographically-situated knowledge systems across time and space.
Dr. David Gere, Professor, UCLA
Professor, UCLA Department of World Arts & Cultures/Dance, Founder and Director, UCLA Art & Global Health Center.
David Gere, Ph.D., serves as director of the UCLA Art & Global Health Center and is a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures. His book "How to Make Dances in an Epidemic: Tracking Choreography in the Age of AIDS" received the award for outstanding book publication from the Congress on Research in Dance. He has co-curated a trilogy of AIDS exhibitions—"MAKE ART/STOP AIDS" (2008), "The A.R.T. Show" (2011), and "Through Positive Eyes" (2016)—the latter of which is touring the US starting in September 2019 and is also the title of his just-released photo-storytelling book.
Act Global Health
Anne J. Gilliland
Anne Gilliland is Associate Dean for Information Studies, School of Education & Information Studies, and Professor and Director of the Archival Studies specialization in the Department of Information Studies, as well as Director of the Center for Information as Evidence at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a faculty affiliate of UCLA's Centers for Digital Humanities, European and Russian Studies, and for the Study of International Migration, as well as of the Promise Institute for Human Rights of the UCLA Law School. Her research focuses on archives and memory in transnational and community contexts.
UCLA Faculty Description
Rachel V. González-Martin, Ph.D.
Rachel is a folklorist specializing in diasporic Latinx commnities in the United States. She teaches courses on Latinx spiritual beliefs and practices at the University of Texas. She is currently working on a project on voice, magic, and the making of female monsters in Latinx folklore.
UT Austin Faculty Description
Brian Kukan started practicing Reiki in 2007, and he has since obtained Reiki Master certifications under several teachers and is a Shihan-Kaku with the Jikiden Reiki Kenyukai. Brian was a high school math teacher for 13 years before leaving the profession to pursue his career in the healing arts.
Tamsin Lee, DA[o]M, AEMP
Tamsin Lee, DA[o]M, AEMP is a social impact entrepreneur who fuses her multifaceted background in medicine, research, and creative arts to build spaces where people can navigate their everyday trauma with radical compassion and unapologetic fierceness. She is the co-founder of Influential Point, a social venture organization that leverages physical and digital engagement to create space for individual and collective healing. Dr. Lee completed her postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Institute of Health at the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington) where her research focused on the use of digital media as a tool to create meaningful virtual communities for marginalized populations. She is the recipient of the Emerging Leadership award from the American Public Health Association, and was named one of 2021 Well + Good Health and Wellness Changemakers.
Dr. Tamsin Lee Website
Candy Martínez is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department at UCLA and will be an Assistant Professor in the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program at Vassar College. She holds a Ph.D. in Latin American and Latinx Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Amherst College. Her research analyzes the emotional injuries and epistemologies of Zapotec and Mixtec communities as they relate to migration, gender violence, and social changes. As someone with Zapotec roots, her research stems from a commitment to expanding the language of emotional wellness beyond pathologies and incorporating the value of Indigenous knowledge to rethink healing and emotional distress. Dr. Martínez’ research has been supported by the Fulbright García Robles program, the American Philosophical Society, UC Berkeley’s Research Program on Migration and Health, UCSC’s Research Center for the Americas, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the UC Office of the President.
Marla Mervis-Hartmann is the creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself where she supports people to find peace with their bodies and freedom with food. Along side being a Living Light Reiki Master & Teacher Marla has followed her passion for women’s health down many paths of study including women’s sexual wellness; postpartum care; Restore Your Core educator training; Tantra teacher certification; Yoga teacher training, and massage therapy.
As a full time Coach and Speaker who has been featured on TedX, Marla is devoted to empowering people to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire.
Love Your Body Love Your Self, Marla's Tedx Talk
Rebecca Niday is a writer, editor, entrepreneur and seeker of wisdom. She spends much of her time with her 4yo Chocolate Lab Emma Brown D'Vinci, exploring the forests of the PNW.
Saewon Oh, healing artist
Saewon is an essence maker, energy worker, plant lover, inter-disciplinary healing artist and founder of Sun Song, an embodied research lab for plant collaboration, earth based healing and vibrational essence therapy.
Sun Song, Saewon's Instagram
David Shorter, Professor (UCLA)/Director of Archive of Healing
Dr. David Delgado Shorter is Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at the University of California Los Angeles. The author of an award-winning book and the recipient of the University's top teaching award, Dr. Shorter has created three digital publications, produced and directed an ethnographic film, and curated art exhibits both on-line and in Los Angeles. In 2016, Shorter became the Director of the Archive of Healing, a database of medicinal folklore from around the world. The database is drawn from six university archives, over 3,200 books, and over thirty years of first hand and second hand anthropological data, spanning seven continents. His scholarly articles focus on the search for ET intelligence, sexuality, performing geography, research methodologies particularly ethnography, and settler science. Dr. Shorter has been certified as having been attuned to Gokui Kaiden, the highest level of Gendai Reiki Ho, by Hiroshi Doi Sensei (Ashiya, Japan).
Eyal Shpringer, MSc Dipl. CM. Cl. Hb.
Eyal is a practitioner of Classical Chinese Medicine, specialising in Chinese nutrition and traditional nutritional approaches. Shpringer was trained in Acupuncture, Chinese and Western medicinal herbs and Tuina, Macrobiotics, Ayurvedic and Chinese nutrition. He is the former director of The Center of Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Oncology Division, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Israel. Eyal is the innovator of the TEF Method, which involves the integration of nutritional tools of various healing traditions from across the world. Teaches a training course for therapists in the method. He is the co-author
of the book "Cooking for Life: Traditional Cooking for Oncological Patients" (published in Hebrew).
Traditional Energetics of Food
Dr. Sharon Stills, NMD
Dr. Sharon Stills is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who helps perimenopausal and menopausal women to pause and evaluate life so they can live the second act of their story stronger, healthier, and sexier while aging backwards. Using her 20+ years of experience and extensive training and background in European Biological Medicine, anti-aging therapies, and Bio-identical Hormone Replacement, she has successfully helped thousands of women transition gently through the different stages of their lives with all natural methods. Dr. Stills is passionate about spreading the word about her signature RED Hot Sexy Meno(pause) Program – the philosophy she developed for you to Reinvent your Health, Explore your Spirit and Discover YOUR Sexy so that you, too, can create and live the life you desire and deserve!
Dr. Stills Website
Enrique Villaseñor is a multi-ethnic, Healer, Naturalist, retired teacher, cyclist, and author with indigenous ancestry. He was an educator for 35 years. He taught elementary, middle, and Adult School. He was a Training, Mentor, and Lead Teacher for over twenty years.
Enrique is learning Traditional Indian Healing from Dr. James Adams, Professor Emeritus. As part of this process, Enrique has researched and taught traditional healing, participated in field studies, has co-authored several papers with Dr. James Adams, and is a co-author of the fourth edition of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West. Enrique also teaches survival skills and ethnobotany with noted survival expert and author, Christopher Nyerges, at the School of Self-Reliance.
Mary Warner is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Bitter Southerner, Edible, and Paste Magazine, while her artwork has been featured in group exhibitions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She also teaches workshops on creativity and art-making and works with clients to find their voice through authentic visual and written storytelling. Today, she studies Traditional Chinese Medicine in Canada, completing a doctorate she began in Shanghai, China. Mary is passionate about exploring beauty and ritual through art, medicine, and how we live.
Mary Warner Website
Michelle Wong is a physician of Traditional Chinese Medicine, licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and is fascinated by all things related to skin. Michelle’s own journey in health began at age 4, when she was enlisted to massage her grandmother who had just arrived from the Philippines. The nightly ritual had relieved her of symptoms of emphysema, and she declared the young Michelle gifted with “Hilot” hands.
In her practice, Michelle combines cutting edge technology with ancient wisdom, and practical advice for modern day living. She utilizes gentle acupuncture techniques for pain relief, hormonal balance, emotional & facial rejuvenation. As a permaculture designer and ecovillager, she values local herbs and co-leads hikes in Southern California to teach how she uses Chumash medicine in her clinic.
Better Angels Acupuncture
Amanda Yates Garcia, Oracle of Los Angeles
Amanda Yates Garcia is a writer, witch, and the Oracle of Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The LA Times, The SF Chronicle, The London Times, The Millions, The Believer, O Magazine, CNN, Salon, Bust, Bravo, as well as a viral appearance on FOX. She has led rituals, classes and workshops on magic and witchcraft at UCLA, UC Irvine, MOCA Los Angeles, Cal Arts, The Hammer Museum, LACMA, The Getty, Human Resources, MOCA Tucson and many other venues. Amanda hosts the popular Between the Worlds podcast, and her first book, Initiated: Memoir of a Witch, came out in October 2019 through Grand Central / Hachette and has been translated into six languages.
Mystery Cult with Amanda Yates Garcia, Oracle of Los Angeles Instagram
Hanna Young, Assistant Director of the Archive of Healing
Hanna Young is the Assistant Director of the Archive of Healing and participated in preliminary reviews of the Archive’s data. In June of 2021, Hanna completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA. Hanna’s research at UCLA has focused on linguistic strategies for healing in the context of colonialism and self concept. Hanna has also explored the high degrees of empathy demonstrated by people living with psychiatric health conditions. Hanna’s largest research project to date, supervised by Dr. David Shorter, focuses on community marginalization, food insecurity, and manifestations of eating disorder pathologies. Through storytelling and ethnographic methods, her work highlights the racial, religious, and class-based factors that interfere with diagnosing eating disorders and personalizing healing interventions.
In May of 2023, Hanna completed her master’s of science degree in Clinical Psychiatric Social Work at Columbia University, where she focused on the racialization of substance use and the healing benefits of psychedelic substances. In her clinical fieldwork, Hanna provided psychotherapy to individuals and families with varied psychiatric diagnoses, at both outpatient and inpatient levels of psychiatric care.
Hanna is currently earning her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University of Biobehavioral Sciences. Her clinical and research work is focused on psychotic spectrum illnesses, furthering multicultural understandings of mental health and developing culturally sensitive care, and working to remove race and socioeconomic barriers to care.
Lonnie Zeltzer, MD
Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, is a UCLA Distinguished Research Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and prior Founder/Director of the UCLA Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program. She was an invited member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Pain Care, Research, and Education and co-author of the IOM report, Transforming Pain in America. She has received many awards related to her pain research (including research on yoga, acupuncture, and hypnotherapy), clinical pain programs, and her cancer research, as well as serving on invited committees for the NIH, CDC, FDA, and national pain societies. She has over 400 publications, including her most recent book, “Pain in Children and Young Adults: the Journey back to Normal” (Zeltzer and Zeltzer, Shilysca Press, Inc., 2016).
Her non-profit “Creative Healing for Youth in Pain” ( www.mychyp.org ) provides online education, peer support, and mind-body experiences for youth in pain and for their parents and has an active research program.
Creative Healing for Youth in Pain