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What makes Emperor’s Emperor’s to you?

Tell us how Emperor’s College inspires you or share your favorite memory.


Emperor’s College Alumni

Our alumni are some of the most successful and highly regarded practitioners of Oriental medicine in the country. They continue to push integrative medicine to new heights while remaining deeply rooted in history and tradition. Get inspired by their stories and share your favorites.

Kathy Wanderer, LAc, RN MTOM 2000

“Since I have returned home to Texas from California, I’ve helped educate my local community about traditional Oriental medicine. It’s amazing to witness the growing awareness and utilization of this medicine. It’s remarkable to be able to offer my patients a medical system that nurtures physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.” Kathy Wanderer, MTOM, LAc, RN … Read More

Maureen Santucci, LAc MTOM 2004

“Oriental medicine is only going to become more and more popular. I think it’s vital that students and practitioners of Eastern medicine embrace Western care and learn more about diagnostic exams. If we are going to help our patients to the greatest extent possible, Eastern and Western practitioners should be working together so that patients … Read More

Mentoring under founder, Dr. Bong Dal Kim, OMD, LAC

Emperor’s College is so incredibly lucky to have such an insightful founder, Dr Kim, who had the foresight 30 years ago to found a college based on mindfulness and meditation. We are blessed that he is still here 30 years later, mentoring students, managing the herbal medicinary and continuing to inspire “brilliant healers“. Some of my fondest memories were the countless hours that I was able to study under his mentorship during the master’s program.

– Dr. Gretchen Badami, DAOM, LAc

Gretchen and Dr Kim







Everyday in Clinic

Each day that I intern in Emperor’s College Acupuncture Clinic is an inspiring day for me. Listening to my patients and helping them improve their lives constantly reminds me of why I love this medicine and confirms that I am on the right path in this life.

– Sharleen Flansaas

Sharleen Flansaas








Qi Blog joins Emperor’s College!

My favorite moment during my time in the marketing team at Emperor’s College was when we launched the Qi Blog! There was so much excitement in the air on launch day – students, faculty and staff alike were all thrilled to be one of the first acupuncture school’s in the nation with a valuable and practical resource of topics related to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, as well as an insight into acupuncture school. A true milestone with regards to elevating the Emperor’s College brand to new heights!

– Nina Grenningloh

Qi-Blog (2)

Having fun with Dr. Gu!

Nothing says “Emperor’s” to me more than Dr. Gu’s childlike demeanor.

-Chris Kaufman

Dr Gu on hula

Sri Lanka with OWHP

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer with One World Health Project (OWHP) on its medical mission trip to Sri Lanka in Fall 2012. Lending my skills and compassion to a community in need with my classmates and an inspiring faculty mentor was not only a powerful experience but I know it paved the way for a lifetime of camaraderie and professional support.

– Jetta Harris









Dr Gu’s accordian solo!

I’ll never forget Dr. Gu’s accordion solo at graduation. The surprise performance went off without a hitch! As soon as he got on stage proudly wearing the instrument eyes popped, mouths dropped, and cameras starting clicking. All the grads loved it (but I think Dr. Gu loved it the most!)

-Lisa Rocchetti


Joseph K. Kim, LAc, OMD, PhD

Joseph K. Kim, LAc, OMD, PhD is a third generation Eastern medical practitioner. He has served as the Chairman of the Department of Oriental Medicine at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles and is a former acupuncture researcher at UC Irvine. He has written and translated five books, including Compass of Health … Read More

30th Anniversary Weekend Festivities

Emperor's College turns 30

30th Anniversary Festivities Weekend | Friday, November 1 – Sunday, November 3, 2013


We are so grateful to all of our supporters who joined us in celebrating 30 years of inspiring the future of medicine. If you missed it, or if you just want to re-live it, please find the recap videos below.


Anniversary Reception and Reunion Dinner

Alumni, students, faculty and the local community kicked off the 30th Anniversary Festivities Weekend at Tiato in Santa Monica, California  with a reception and reunion dinner to celebrate the growth of Emperor’s College as an internationally recognized school of Oriental medicine and the future of medicine for generations to come.


Having trouble loading the video? Click here or get the extended version here.


Continuing Education Seminars

Our esteemed faculty offered discounted* continuing education seminars.

Longevity Strategies of Ge Hong and the Jin Dynasty – with Dr. David Chan, OMD, LAc

Having trouble loading the video? Click here.


David Chan

David Chan, OMD, LAc is one of the most illustrious and senior faculty members at Emperor’s College, having been teaching and in practice since 1985. His clinical approach focuses extensively on the mind-body connection and seeks to address the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of health and illness. He is a longtime student of the Daoist Master Jeffrey Yuen and brings a deep understanding of the philosophical and spiritual roots of classical Chinese medicine to Emperor’s College.



Also offered:

ObamaCare and Insurance Billing - Marilyn Allen dove deep into ObamaCare and explained why you need to make insurance billing a regular part of your practice.  Starting in 2014, all CA health insurance plans are required to offer acupuncture coverage.  Allen is one of the few people in the world who can help current and future acupuncturists prepare for success.

Marilyn AllenMarilyn Allen is a nationally-known expert in the fields of Oriental medicine legislation, medical ethics and malpractice, practice management and health care marketing. In addition to holding positions of Editor at Acupuncture Today and Director of Marketing at the American Acupuncture Council,  Marilyn has also worked with the World Health Organization for the standardization of acupuncture point location and terminology. Marilyn is currently a US delegate to the International Organization for Standards (ISO) to advance the integration of Oriental medicine into mainstream health care systems.



Korean Constitutional Medicine – Dr. Joseph K. Kim, OMD, PhD, LAc made and exclusive continuing education appearance to discuss the diagnostic patterns and treatment principles of Korean Constitutional Medicine.  Also known as Sasang Constitutional Medicine (SCM), this system blends Taoist and Confucianist theories to pinpoint an individual’s constitutional nature rather than their syndrome differentiation.

Joseph KimJoseph K. Kim, OMD, PhD, is a third generation Eastern medical practitioner. He has served as the Chairman of the Department of Oriental Medicine at Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine in Los Angeles and is a former acupuncture researcher at UC Irvine. He has written and translated five books, including Compass of Health and Yin and Yang of Life. He currently maintains a private practice in Encino, California.



*All CEU ticket sales for our 30th Anniversary Festivities Weekend were donated to the WHO Fund to support the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), 11th Revision*

You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive latest news regarding our 30th Anniversary Festivities Weekend.



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Tyler VanGemert, LAc MTOM 2007

“Over the next 30 years, I believe Oriental medicine will offer many valuable solutions to the ecological, evolutionary and cultural shifts we are undergoing. Most importantly, though, is its ability to restore balance in the individual and bring our technology-reliant medical system into a nature-based realm.” Tyler VanGemert is the medical director and founder of … Read More

Taylor Winn, DAOM, LAc MTOM 2010; DAOM 2013

“One thing that has always inspired me to be a practitioner of TCM is that it provides me with tools to serve my community and fulfill my life’s purpose of healing others. What better way to do that than through the use of acupuncture and natural medicine. Our bodies have an amazing innate ability to … Read More

Steven Patrick Stone, LAc, DNBAO MTOM 2007

“The integration of acupuncture into the existing medical system is what inspires me. Acupuncture improves outcomes when used with surgery and other conventional treatments; and it does so without negative side effects. The future I envision is a department of acupuncture in every hospital in the country.” Steven Patrick Stone, MTOM, DNBAO, LAc, owns a … Read More

Sarah Nargiso, LAc MTOM 2012

“What really inspires me about being a professional in integrative Eastern medicine is the amount of growth that exists – not only in terms of its popularity but also in terms of discovery and research. Demand is increasing, and along with that comes a thirst for new discoveries in an ancient medicine…now that’s exciting!” Sarah … Read More

Patricia Fitzgerald, DAOM, LAc MTOM 1991; DAOM 2011

“I love the opportunity to assist people in realizing that there is a better way — that of optimal health. Some people just think you have to accept the “aches and pains” of life, but Oriental medicine provides a wonderful roadmap to guide them on a path of living with abundance, vitality, and grace.” Patricia … Read More

Neil Maki, DAOM, LAc MTOM 2010; DAOM 2013

“My vision for the future is to see acupuncture firmly rooted into the sports medicine community. I envision all sports, both teams and individuals, at the professional and college levels, to incorporate acupuncture into their programs.” Neil Maki, DAOM, LAc, MS, has worked with Olympic athletes, the USA national and local rugby teams, international track … Read More

Nathan Anderson, LAc MTOM 2003

“I foresee continued greater acceptance of AOM within the healthcare marketplace and expanded education and research at mainstream institutions. Acupuncture is included as an Essential Health Benefit in several US states under the new Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act. I see this access to acupuncture extending to other states in the future, and eventually … Read More

Melissa Snyder, DAOM, LAc MTOM 2011; DAOM 2013 expected

“My vision for the future is to build a place where collaboration happens on a daily basis. My ideal situation would have acupuncturists working directly alongside medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and other healthcare practitioners.” Melissa Snyder, DAOM, LAc, is determined to help bridge the gap between Eastern and Western medical treatments and passionate about … Read More

Megan Joyce, LAc, FABORM MTOM 2010

“It’s exciting to see the field of medicine grow and change. While some aspects of medicine continue to become more specialized and technological, there is also a growing interest in general wellness. I believe over the next 30 years, primary care will continue to become more holistic with Oriental medicine as a foundation.” Megan Joyce, … Read More

Martha Densmore, RN, LAc MTOM 1991

“My vision for the future of Oriental medicine is optimistic for those who stay true to the natural principles of our practice. My goal is to help each medical discipline, East and West, stay true to their principles as they continue to integrate.” Martha Densmore, RN, LAc, has over 25 years experience as a clinician … Read More

Kathy Wanderer, RN, LAc MTOM 2000

“Since I have returned home to Texas from California, I’ve helped educate my local community about traditional Oriental medicine. It’s amazing to witness the growing awareness and utilization of this medicine. It’s remarkable to be able to offer my patients a medical system that nurtures physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.” Kathy Wanderer, MTOM, RN, LAc, … Read More

Jordan Hoffman, LAc MTOM 2006

“My vision for the next 30 years is for Eastern and Western medicine to meet in the middle. Eastern medicine offers unique insights into the holistic view of a patient’s condition, which can benefit Western medical doctors. While the tremendous advances in modern medicine and pathology offer Eastern medicine practitioners an opportunity to update their … Read More

Ida Mat Aris, LAc MTOM 2005

“My vision for the future is that acupuncture and Oriental medicine will be part of the curriculum for every medical student.” Ida Mat Aris, LAc, is founder of Healing Circle Community Acupuncture, a successful clinic based in Chino, California. She opened the sliding-scale clinic in April 2011, with the vision of making this 3000-year-old medicine … Read More

Heather Lounsbury, LAc MTOM 2001

“What inspires me most is hearing patients tell me they’re feeling better – especially when they were suffering from a chronic illness or a condition that was considered untreatable.” Heather Lounsbury, LAc, has been in private practice in Santa Monica, California, for over a decade focusing on an innovative approach to holistic healthcare. She has … Read More

Dr. Linda Morse, PhD, LAc MTOM 1999

“My students inspire me, for in them lies the future of our profession. I feel very fortunate to be a teacher in the field of acupuncture for the last thirteen years. It’s a thrill to instruct all these soon-to-be acupuncturists and practitioners who are compassionate, intelligent, and respectful.” In addition to her acupuncture practice in … Read More

Dr. Anita Lanier, OMD, LAc MTOM 2012

“It’s inspiring to see the determination in many of my patients to be proactive with their health by using as few pharmaceutical interventions as possible and embracing options with acupuncture and herbal medicine.” Dr. Anita Lanier, MTOM, OMD, Dipl. OM, ABT, LAc, runs her acupuncture and massage practice, Anita Lanier Wellness, in Boulder City, Nevada. … Read More

Cathy Margolin, LAc MTOM 2007

“Over the next 30 years I envision Oriental medicine to be included in every insurance program, providing people a comprehensive choice in their wellness care. I use the word “wellness” because my vision is for maintenance of health rather than management of disease. I believe we are not far from this becoming a reality.” Cathy … Read More


For the past 30 years, we have been committed to giving Americans access to the best therapies Oriental medicine has to offer. In the next 30 years, our vision is to create a new culture of health and wellbeing by making integrative health care the norm.

  • Emperors Traditional Oriential Medicine

    Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine is proud to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2013.

    As one of the oldest institutions of Oriental medicine in the United States, we have achieved many important milestones in the last thirty years with the support and dedication of our board of directors, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.  Emperor’s College has been a leader in advancing the field of Oriental medicine since 1983, and we look forward to building an even brighter future as Americans increasingly seek more effective ways to achieve health and wellness.

    A Mission of Spreading Oriental Medicine Throughout the United States

    Despite a 2,500 year history of effective healing, it was not until the 1970s that Americans were introduced to Oriental medicine. When Dr. Bong Dal Kim, OMD, established Emperor’s College in Santa Monica, California, in 1983, he could not have imagined the growth that would occur over the next thirty years. Before 1975, there were no laws governing the field of acupuncture in California, and acupuncturists could face prosecution for practicing this age-old medicine.  On July 12, 1975, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law which authorized the practice of acupuncture in response to calls from practitioners and patients.  Dr. Kim, who received his education and served his apprenticeship in Korea, was among the first generation of acupuncturists in the United States who worked to regulate the practice of Oriental medicine and to ensure its future in California and beyond.

    With a mission of spreading Oriental medicine throughout the US, Dr. Kim established Emperor’s College in 1983.  His intent was to educate the succeeding generations of acupuncturists who would make a difference in the health and well-being of others.  As a visionary, he recognized the need for Americans to achieve optimal health based on the natural principles of life. For the last 30 years, he has inspired over a thousand graduates to become superior doctors who strive first and foremost to prevent diseases.  The fact that nurses, physicians, dentists, chiropractors, and other health care professionals have studied at Emperor’s College is a testament to changes that have occurred in the understanding of health and the increasing recognition of Oriental medicine as a complement to Western medicine.

  • Emperors Traditional Oriential Medicine

    Emperor’s College and the Heart: What the Name Stands For

    In The Yellow Emperor’s Classics, one of the most important classical texts of Chinese medicine, it is written that the heart is the ‘emperor’ or the ‘sovereign’ of all organs and the brightness of one’s spirit is derived from it. This symbolism has guided Emperor’s College since its founding and continues to pervade our community today. Dr. Kim, in his message to students, has written:

    “The effectiveness of an Oriental medical practitioner depends upon his or her ability to be a clear conduit through which energy can flow. Beyond wisdom and intellect, this requires an open heart. Students at Emperor’s College are encouraged to learn with their open heart.”

    For thirty years, Dr. Kim has encouraged students to cultivate their intellect, their intention, and to open their hearts, in order to become brilliant healers.

  • A Commitment to Integrative Medicine: Then and Now

    Since 1983, Emperor’s College has worked to shape the future of medicine through efforts to integrate the best of Eastern and Western approaches. In 1997, Emperor’s College was the first Oriental medical school in the US to provide acupuncture treatments in a hospital setting at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, California. In 2000, we began providing acupuncture services at Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Michele Pearson, an administrator at the Ashe Center at the time and current Chair of the Board of Directors at Emperor’s College, was a firm believer in acupuncture and through her efforts UCLA became one of the first universities in the US to offer acupuncture to its student body.

    This spirit of integration continues to flourish today. Clinical interns currently provide acupuncture services at Venice Family Clinic, the largest free medical clinic in the US, as well as treat oncology patients at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California. Lisa Schwartz, MD, the medical director of the center’s Integrative Medicine Program and distinguished alumnus of Emperor’s College (MTOM, 2003), had a vision of creating a center for complementary medicine, providing compassionate care to those going through life-changing effects of cancer.

  • Outstanding Alumni: Leaders and Visionaries

    Emperor’s College alumni have made significant contributions to the field of Oriental medicine as practitioners, researchers, academicians, and leaders. Jung Min Kim (MTOM, 1986) and Steve Tan, MD, (MTOM, 2002) served as the chair of the California Acupuncture Board, working to promote the growth of the acupuncture profession in California. Will Morris (DAOM, 2006) and Martin Herbkersman (MTOM, 2003) have served as the president of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the national organization for acupuncturists. Joseph Kihyon Kim (MTOM,1986), Z’ev Rosenberg (MTOM, 1989), and David Twicken (MTOM, 1996) have contributed to the field as scholars, publishing numerous books on Oriental medicine.

    In 2001, Evan Ross (MTOM, 2000) became a staff acupuncturist at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, treating oncology patients suffering from the effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Having had cancer himself, he was able to offer his patients hope and healing. Jeannette Painovich (DAOM, 2006) founded an in-patient acupuncture fellowship program for doctoral students at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. In 2006, she was awarded a grant to conduct a two-year research program at this same hospital which examined the effectiveness of acupuncture in the in-patient setting. Ray Rubio (DAOM, 2006) is the executive director of the

    American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine, which is devoted to teaching, research, and the practice of Oriental medicine as it relates to the treatment of reproductive disorders. Takeshi Komatsu (DAOM, 2007) has served as the acupuncturist for the US national track and field team and has treated numerous Olympic athletes. Patricia Fitzgerald (DAOM, 2011) is the wellness editor of the Huffington Post, educating the public about the power and effectiveness of acupuncture. Brad Whisnant (DAOM, 2011) has organized medical missions in Asia providing acupuncture to the underserved. Our alumni are leaders and visionaries, inspiring the future of medicine through their passion and commitment.

  • Dedicated Faculty: Inspiring Students to Become Exceptional Healers

    The success of alumni is not possible without the dedication of exceptional faculty. In the 1980s and 1990s, Marilyn Allen, San Hong Hwang, Jian Fu Jiang, Paul Karsten, Jacques MoraMarco, Michael Redmond, Jin Lin Wang, and Linda Zhang were instrumental in establishing Emperor’s College as a premier institution of Oriental medicine in the US. David Chan, who has been on faculty for 29 years, continues to inspire students by asking them to internalize the wisdom of Oriental medicine and to become a better vessel for expressing it. Nai Qiang Gu, Thom Nguyen, Zhuoyi Qiu, Tiande Yang, and Ji Zhang are current pillars in our master’s program; their dedication to teaching and patient care is unparalleled. Three current and former faculty, Yi Qiao, Joseph Yang, and Steve Givens, have served as commissioners on the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the national accreditation board for acupuncture and Oriental medicine learning. Four former faculty members have become founders and presidents of Oriental medical institutions in the US.

  • A Bright Future: Integrating Oriental Medicine into the Modern Health Care System

    As we look toward the next 30 years, the future looks bright for Emperor’s College and the field of Oriental medicine. On September 30, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law designating acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit. The law will require California health insurance plans to cover acupuncture treatments for individuals and small businesses starting in 2014. A recent successful petition to the White House requesting to have acupuncture covered by Medicare is proof of a growing national movement to recognized acupuncturists for what they are – effective and valued health care providers.

    Emperor’s College is committed to the future growth of Oriental medicine. We will continue to forge innovative partnerships to provide masters’ and doctoral students opportunities for clinical training in Western medical settings. We will be a driving force in promoting integrative medicine and help create acupuncture staff positions in hospitals. We will conduct research into the comparative effectiveness of acupuncture versus other medical modalities. We will continue to train Oriental medicine practitioners to work alongside other health care professionals so as to provide the highest care possible to patients. We envision an America with integrative, in-patient hospitals that offer conventional medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine in complement to each other.

    Since 1983, Emperor’s College has played a pivotal role in educating acupuncturists who have changed the landscape of medicine through empowering their patients toward health. There are countless board members, staff, faculty, alumni, and students who have contributed to the growth of Emperor’s College as an internationally recognized school of Oriental Medicine. Our special gratitude goes out to the founding administrators, Dr. Bong Dal Kim, Monica Jung Kim and M. Mosleh, who set the foundation for the success of Emperor’s College. Through dedication and commitment to our mission, Emperor’s College will continue to flourish and inspire the future of medicine for generations to come.


    Yun Kim, MA
    Chief Executive Officer

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