We work with small groups of participants to facilitate processes of transformation and foster a deeper understanding of human potential.

If we define trauma as any stimuli which robs the individual of agency over their own neurology, we can see that there are both acute and chronic forms of trauma. Everything from “social conditioning” to Adverse Childhood Events(ACE) could be seen under this rubric. While the mechanisms along this spectrum can vary greatly, the common outcome is a rigidifying of the individual’s neural responses based on behaviors deemed most suitable for surviving the conditioning stimuli. This well intentioned adaptation of our nervous systems can, over time, limit our full potential, even as it strives to “guarantee” our survival. The Taoist canon, which at the outset informed classical Chinese medical practices, is extremely rich in practices for removing the limitations of both social conditioning and ACE-level coping mechanisms by reestablishing an individual’s agency over their own neurology. Tools for Transformation is different from other body based techniques in that it deploys the praxis of Taoist cultivation in order to provide a comprehensive map for function recovery, allowing individuals to guide the process across multiple modalities (qi gong exercises, reflective conversation, manual manipulation, guided systemic inquiry…) and eventually at multiple scales (individual, organizational, communal).


This model was developed through a series of month-long intensive trainings, and is currently offered in the following formats:

· HCO (Health Collaboration Organization) : an ongoing, dynamic, interactive alternative to an HMO. This subscription healthcare and vitality group offers multiple sessions weekly for participants to deepen their working knowledge of their own vitality, and to find support for specific healthcare concerns in real time as they arise.

· One-on-one treatment/training sessions: private forum for individuals who want to address specific concerns.

· Introductory workshops : daylong or weekend introductions to the working methodologies of the project.

Organizational consultations: customized programs for implementing Tools For Transformation at the organizational scale.

At the heart of the intervention is a classical Taoist model for understanding how vital energies move and transform the natural world.

In nature FORMS are never static nor permanent. As the underlying ENERGY shifts the resulting formal manifestations give way and transFORM. In the fall, if you live some distance from the equator, there are fewer hours of sunlight energy. The deciduous trees respond by turning golden and bronze. They drop their leaves and begin to consolidate their energy into their trunks and roots. This process deepens through winter, and come spring, as the light energy shifts again, the tree has the stored resources to engage a new cycle of growth. As humans however we have learned to resist such energetic shifts in an attempt to keep our cultures and economies in endless outward expansion mode. But this “progress” comes at a cost. No system can expand forever. Are our systems reaching their limits? And what effect is this having on the individuals within those systems?

Tools for Transformation provides intensive education/training experiences to help identify how our vitality can get compromised by the patterns we adopt in order to survive various life circumstances, and then teaches specific practical techniques for uncompromising that vitality.


Revitalizing systems at multiple scales

· individual health
· organizational health
· community health

By giving people back some of the “missing pages of the owner’s manual” for life in a human body, we can create a collaborative model for healthcare and a dynamically engaged citizenry which understands how processes of transformation occur.

Who We Are

Gregory has spent decades exploring systems of transformation. He excels at helping individuals to embody healing practices in concrete, usable ways by incorporating the insights of both classical non-western healing modalities and western scientific observation. His formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Semiotics from Brown University, a Master of Fine Arts in directing film from UCLA, and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine. Gregory is a licensed acupuncturist and has more than 20 years of experience facilitating dynamic group educational experiences at such respected institutions as UCLA, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, the Helfgott Research Institute, and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. Gregory has trained and taught in classical lineages of internal cultivation for more than 25 years. He trained for 15 years with Shadow Yoga founder Shandor Remete, and is one of only five non-Chinese nationals to be accepted as a formal disciple of Qi Gong and Taoist healing master Wang Qingyu. Gregory is a faculty member at the National University of Natural Medicine , runs an ongoing Health Collaboration Organization, and lectures internationally on Chinese medicine as a tool for transformation.

Advisory Board

Margaret Chesney, PhDADVISORY BOARD
Margaret A. Chesney served as the Director of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine from 2010-2015, where she continues as Professor of Medicine. From 2014-2016 she served as Chair for the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. Dr. Chesney’s distinguished career in integrative medicine includes serving for five years as the deputy director of the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH, formerly NCCAM). During her time at NCCIH, she also served as the director of the Division of Extramural Research and Training and was the senior advisor to the director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at National Institutes of Health. Her recent work also includes serving as professor of medicine and associate director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, and an ongoing role as Immediate Past Chair for the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Health. For decades Dr. Chesney has fostered and helped to develop programs which emphasize the integration of modern medicine with complementary approaches and established healing practices to promote health, wellness and healing.
Oren is the Chief Strategies Officer at Commonweal, a visionary non-profit organization started in 1975 with three core focuses: health & healing, art & education, and environment & justice. Prior to Commonweal, Oren was the national executive director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) from 2006-2013. Oren is an experienced youth development program developer and practitioner with over 15 years working with young people in the Bay Area and abroad. He was a field researcher for the Community Network for Youth Development, studying the correlation between youth development organizational practices and youth development outcomes. Currently, as the program director of the Center for Creative Community at Commonweal, Oren is exploring the developing of group intelligence through engagement with the arts.
Charlene Zidell, a native Oregonian, was a public sector labor lawyer in Portland for over 25 years. She earned her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School and her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University. Ms. Zidell has been a volunteer at Transitions, An Appearance Center at Providence St. Vincent Breast Center for the past 9 years. She currently sits on the boards of Komen of Oregon & SW Washington, the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation, Bnai Brith Camp, United Way of the Columbia Willamette and the Advisory Committee of Compassion & Choices and Tools for Transformation. She is the co-chair of this year’s Oregon Bioscience Conference. Ms. Zidell joined Zidell Corporation in 2012 as Director of Corporate Relations and Communications and also currently serves as Health Innovation Liaison.
Heather Zwickey, PhDADVISORY BOARD
Heather Zwickey, PhD, is the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), director of Helfgott Research Institute, and Professor of Immunology. Dr. Zwickey trained at the world renowned National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. She received a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Dr. Zwickey went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship and teach medical school at Yale University. In 2003, Dr. Zwickey launched the Helfgott Research Institute at NUNM. She also used her expertise in program development to establish the School of Research and Graduate Studies at NUNM, and serves as its leader. She oversees Masters programs in Mental Health, Integrative Medicine Research, Nutrition, and Global Health. At Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Zwickey applies her immunology expertise to natural medicine. She studies the immunological and neurological mechanisms involved in nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and mind-body therapies.
Dr. Murphy is a chiropractor, body psychotherapist, craniopath and teacher. Over her 36 year career the main focus of her work has been the interplay between the physical body and the person’s emotional/psychological trauma. Her major influences have been yoga, pilates, Buddhism, chiropractic, Hakomi, Psychosynethsis, Wholistic Education, Bodynamics and many manual therapies, including an in depth study and practice of cranial manipulation. Dr. Murphy spent many years dedicating her skills and knowledge to new born babies and their families, helping to resolve traumatic and injurious birth issues. She believes if one is able to resolve early issues as they are informing the beginning patterning of the nervous system, an individual has the potential to walk through future developmental stages more resourced and less defended. Dr. Murphy also spent 8 years on the faculty at the School of Classical Chinese Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), teaching in depth palpation and functional anatomy skills as well as practitioner cultivation classes. She currently lives in north central Oregon with her husband, John Black, and their tribe of many animals.

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