Vitalism and the Connection to Spirit Speakers

Jeffrey Rediger, MD, MDiv, is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, the Medical Director of McLean SE and Community Affairs at McLean Hospital, and the Chief of Behavioral Medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. A licensed physician and board-certified psychiatrist, he also has a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. His research with remarkable individuals who have recovered from illnesses considered incurable has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz Shows, among others. He has been nominated for the National Bravewell Leadership Award, and has received numerous awards related to leadership and patient care.


Elaine Drysdale, BA (Psychology), MD, FRCPC  (Psychiatry),  is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia.  She has worked as a psychiatrist for over 30 years in various medical settings,  including over 25 years as Psychiatrist  to the Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of B.C., to the BC Cancer Agency,  and to palliative care programs.    She has clinically lectured and supervised thousands of hours to physician groups,  and has spoken nationally and internationally regarding topics of psychiatric issues in cancer care, bone marrow transplantation, and “Near Death Experiences.”  In a  multi-center clinical research study later published in the New England Journal of Medicine,  she co-led  a weekly group for 6 years for metastatic patients, helping women live fully while coping with dying.   She was asked to give eulogies at many of the 35 funerals of the group members, which was truly an honor.  She has promoted spirituality and clinical hypnosis in medical practice.  She has had an interest for over 30 years in “Near Death Experiences,” and has taught about NDEs to patients, grieving families,  physicians, and other health care providers.  She believes that awareness of NDEs provides a hope-filled new paradigm for many patients in coping with the anxiety of a life-threatening illness.


David G. Mercier, MS, LAc, is an acupuncturist, seminar leader, and adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where his award-winning book, A Beautiful Medicine, is the textbook for two courses he teaches. He earned his M.S. in positive organization development at Case Western Reserve University, his master’s degree in acupuncture at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and a certificate in transpersonal psychology under psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, M.D. During the 1970’s, he was a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka for two years.


Louise N. Edwards, ND, LAc, is a graduate the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, 1988 and the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine,1989. She had a private practice in Durango, CO, is a member of the adjunct faculty at Bastyr University in Seattle and at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. She frequently presents at various conferences. Dr. Edwards is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians “Founders Club”, served on the AANP Board and in 2011 was presented the AANP’s “Vis Medicatrix Naturae” award. She has had a life long interest in spirituality and the capacities of human consciousness, has studied many spiritual traditions and integrated that interest into her medical practice and classes.


Lowell Chodosh, ND, LAC, is a naturopathic physician (NUNM ’92) and acupuncturist (OCOM ’96) practicing in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Chodosh has realized that the practice of natural medicine is about monitoring and utilizing the energy or Qi in the body for any effective treatment . We can be taught to feel that energy, as he does using it in his practice to help choose the correct treatment. He calls this new paradigm, resonance-based medicine.


Raymond Diaz, ND, has training in the psychospiritual area starting in his last year of college working with the homeless in the San Francisco, California. As a counselor at McGloughlin Youth Center he trained in Behavioral Psychology and Transactional Analysis in Anchorage, Alaska. He created the Student Services and Counseling Center at Tanana Valley Community College in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was trained in Gestalt Practice by Dick Price, co-founder of Esalen Institute, and also received training in Touch for Health Bodywork and Massage. In 1983 he graduated from John Bastyr University with a degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. He completed two years of residency at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine with a focus on Psychological Naturopathic Medicine. He completed a 5 year teacher training with Corelight as a Psychospiritual minister. In 2014 he completed a Nondual training for teachers and therapists with Peter Fenner Ph.D. He has been in private practice as a licensed Naturopath for 32 years, he is the co- founder of Opening To Life, a Holistic Healing Psychospiritual Center in Portland, Oregon, and currently, the President of the Naturopathic Psychospiritual Collaborative.


Rev. Dr. Terri Daniel, DMin, CT, CCTP, recently completed a doctorate (DMin) at the San Francisco Theological Seminary with a focus in pastoral care and counseling, and her intention is to teach courses and support individuals in death, dying and bereavement. She is the author of four books on death and grief, and have extensive experience as an educator and in supporting the dying and the bereaved in both group and one-on-one settings.



Angela Senders, ND, MCR, is the Chair of the Master of Science in Integrative Mental Health. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from NUNM in 2005 and maintained a private practice for six years with a focus on mind-body medicine. During this time she trained extensively with M.E.T.A. (Mindful Experiential Therapeutic Approaches), one of the premier educational institutes for applied mindfulness, in Portland, OR. Her work with clients utilized mindfulness and somatic psychotherapy to address the relationship between life experience and physical disease. In 2011 she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship with the Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Diseases at Oregon Health & Science University to study mind-body medicine in a larger health care context. She completed a master of clinical research in 2014 and currently investigates the impact of psychological stress and mindfulness in multiple sclerosis.

Ryan Bradley, ND, MPH, has conducted a wide-variety of clinical and observational research, including: cardiovascular epidemiology in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort; observational research and clinical trials on practice outcomes from integrating naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease; clinical trials of natural products (including vitamin D, mixed-carotenoids, and quercetin) and mind-body interventions including qigong for type 2 diabetes. He has published in leading peer-reviewed medical journals including: Atherosclerosis (PMID: 24530768), the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) (PMID: 23630244), the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) (PMID: 24684456), Diabetes Care (PMID: 20040671), and Biomarkers in Medicine (PMID: 24044563). In addition to academic research, Dr. Bradley maintains a clinical telemedicine practice along the Pacific seaboard focused on integrative treatments for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease; and sees patients at Guarneri Integrative Health in La Jolla, CA.


Savita Rajurkar, MD, PhD, ND (India), is an accomplished professional in the fields of Ayurveda, naturopathy and yoga. She holds a doctoral degree in Ayurveda, a master degree in alternative medicines, a post-graduate diploma in naturopathy, and a bachelor degree in Ayurvedic medicine and surgery. She has 25 years of experience in patient care, teaching and mentoring students. Dr. Rajurkar frequently conducts workshops on occupational stress and health management for professionals such as police officers, teachers and corporate executives. She is a renowned teacher on Sanskrit Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita. She has received awards for her contributions in drug and alcohol rehabilitation and cancer prevention awareness. Dr. Rajurkar teaches elective courses in Ayurveda in the Master of Science in Nutrition program at NUNM. Holistic health, meditation and Vedic literature are Dr. Rajurkar’s passions. She has authored two books on child health, lifestyle and nutrition. In her spare time, she enjoys culinary arts, singing Indian classical music and painting.