Dr Lev’s biography as a Tai Chi teacher
Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor. At the age of ten, this meant I was going to take care of all the animals as a veterinarian. Later, in high school, my interest changed from healing animals to helping people. By the time I got to college, I decided that I wanted to learn how to be a "doctor of the mind, heart, and spirit” and that lead me to psychology graduate school where I became interested in how to help people solve their problems in the present moment rather than dig through years and years of past history. In fact, I found that the past can often be healed through the actions we take in the present. Over many years I received training in various research-based skills that were designed to help people overcome many difficulties (i.e., couples conflict, overeating, trauma, chronic pain, depression). I became very interested in one of these methods, Meditation, a very powerful health practice. While researching it for my doctoral dissertation project. I learned about Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn’s work with people who suffered from chronic pain. When he trained people in Mindfulness Meditation he found that this enabled them to change their relationship to the pain. This eventually inspired me to focus a chunk of my career on helping “people-in-pain” (I avoid using the label, “pain patient” because it is very limiting).
From the age of 16-years old, I was intrigued by the practice of Hypnosis. Despite all of the myths about it, I learned that it is a very useful tool that can change a number of conditions. During and after my graduate education I took on a large number of Hypnosis trainings which lead to my certification as a Consultant in clinical Hypnosis (from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis).
In 1997, I became a licensed clinical psychologist and developed sub-specialties in Behavioral Medicine, chronic pain, Clinical Hypnosis, Positive Psychology, and in Cognitive-Behavioral and Couples/Family Therapy.
In 2002, I joined Kaiser-Permanente because I was looking for a health-care organization that was person-focused and provided something close to community medicine. In the 12-years I served in its Chronic Pain Program, I created a “Comfort Workshop,” based on neuroscience and pain research, to train people-in-pain and other clients in a comprehensive and user friendly approach to increasing their comfort, well-being, and daily activity. I felt moved by these courageous folks and how they changed their lives by supporting one another, using their own strengths, and practicng the skills they learned in the Workshop. Because Kaiser is one of the few places where people-in-pain can learn skills to find relief, I decided leave Kaiser and establish the “Kailua Comfort Clinic” in order to share what I learned with people outside of that healthcare system. Another way I’m doing this is by writing a book that includes the Comfort Workshop training program. It’s entitled “You are Bigger than the Pain” and will be published in the 2014-2015 Winter. As a “general practitioner” psychologist, I’m also aware that many of the problems felt by people in chronic pain are also experienced by all people. This is why I have successfully worked with people who face other difficulties in life – anxiety, depression, relationship conflicts, and other common problems. Depending on the person’s needs, I may use a combination of one or more treatment options. My main goal is to join with you in learning what approach will work to resolve your problems, and then support you in making the changes you desire. I’ve engaged in a number of other vocations in my life in addition to psychology, including 30 years serving communities as their spiritual leader (ordained rabbi), and providing spiritual and religious counseling to interested folks. I also work as a storyteller and singer/song leader. I look forward to continuing the life I’m living in Kailua with my sweet wife and doing what I can to serve the community here on Oahu and on the other Islands.
Chinese Internal & Martial Arts Biography
1972-1974 (Los Angeles, CA) : The Taoist Sanctuary. Studied Kung-Fu, Tai Chi, Chi Taoist meditation, and Nui Gung healing arts under Sifu Share K Lew. 1985-1987 (Berkeley, CA) : Yi Chuan School. Learned the Buddhist, Yi Chuan style ofTai Chi and Chi Gung from Sifu Chang. 1988 : Taoist Institute. Ordained as a Taoist Minister by Sifu Carl Totton. 1995-1998 (Berkeley, CA) : Chen Tai Chi. Studied this form of Tai Chi from Sifu Han. 2003-2011 (San Francisco, Bay Area) : Sifu Share K and Juanita Lew. Studied Tao Tan Pai Nui. Gung internal arts and Taoist principles. 2006-2014 (Kensingtion, CA) : White Magnolia Tai Chi School. Studied Yang Style Tai. Chi and Chi Gung from Sifu Miriam Marsolais and Core Training, Chi Gung, push hands and Tai Chi sword from Sifu Yadollah Moghaddam