Governance & Faculty




  • Linda Ballantine
  • Elsa Del Toro
  • Matt Van Dyke



  • Linda Ballantine, B.A.
  • Brad Claypool, B.A.
  • Elsa Del Toro, L. Ac.
  • Beverly Faxon, M.A.
  • Galie Jean-Louis, B.F.A., L. Ac.
  • Joe Ruiz, B.A.
  • Griffin Trotter, M.D.
  • Student Representative


  • Linda Ballantine, B.A., Director of Administration and Finance
  • Hallie Beaver B.A., Clinic Manager
  • Jessica Biles, B.S., Registrar, Director of Student Services
  • Elsa Del Toro, L. Ac., Director of Acupuncture & Student Clinic
  • Matt Van Dyke, M.T.C.M., L. Ac., Executive Director, Director of Herbal Certificate Program, Librarian


Sara J. Bayer, D.A.O.M., M.A., L. Ac., L.M.P., Certified Advanced Rolfer™

Sara Bayer is an acupuncturist, licensed in California (1987) and Washington (1991), and a Certified Advanced Rolfer® as well as a Washington State licensed massage therapist. Certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine by the National Commission for Certification in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Sara has taught continuously in schools of acupuncture since 1987 and at MWAI since 2008.

Before studying acupuncture she completed massage coursework while obtaining her Master’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, graduating in 1982. A Certified Rolfer™ since 2004, in 2010 she completed the Advanced Training in Rolfing® Structural Integration. Over the last decade her year-long course in musculoskeletal pain became recognized by students as a vital component of basic acupuncture training. In August 2014 she graduated from the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. For her capstone project she translated the Expanded Treatise on Warm Epidemics written by Dai Tian-zhang circa 1695.

She became the Director of Clinical Education and Associate Professor at Bastyr University, Kenmore Washington campus, in July 2018. In the DAOM program at Bastyr she teaches an acupuncture course on fascia and pain, and supervises doctoral students treating patients as part of the Anesthesia and Pain Medicine group at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.


Elsa Del Toro, L.Ac.

Elsa Del Toro studied homebirth midwifery in Portland, OR, before switching tracks in 2007 and embarking on her other passion, the study of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. She graduated in 2010 from MWAI and opened Essential Points Acupuncture in 2011, and now practices in Mount Vernon. Elsa divides her time between her acupuncture practice and working at Middle Way Acupuncture Institute, where in addition to teaching communication and counseling classes, she serves as Director of Clinical Studies and assists with conflict resolution. She’s been studying and teaching Karate, Tai Chi and Qigong since 1997. She is one term away from completing a D.Ac. at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.


Catherine Follis D.C.

Catherine Follis received her Doctor of Chiropractic, cum laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) from the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Augustana College in Rock Island, Iowa. Dr. Follis is a College Accreditation Evaluator for the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), an Anatomy & Physiology instructor and team lead for Everest College, a First Aid/CPR instructor for the Red Cross, and provides Anatomy & Physiology tutoring.

Ash Goddard, D.A.C.M., L. Ac.

Ash Goddard, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), East Asian Medicine Practitioner (Licensed Acupuncturist), has been practicing in Bellingham, WA, since the year 2000. She is a nationally certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology (NCCAOM).

As past president and current consultant of the Washington State East Asian Medicine Association (WEAMA) from 2016-2017, she has worked extensively on legislative matters and membership affairs. Ash previously assisted her mentor Whitfield Reaves in his Acupuncture Sports Medicine Program—a proven course for acupuncturists who want to excel in treating sports and orthopedic injuries. She now teaches Acupuncture Orthopedics at Middle Way.

In her free time, she will be found camping and backpacking in the summer, snowboarding in the winter, and mountain biking all year round.

Jeffrey Grossman, L.Ac.

Jeffrey Grossman, EAMP, started his acupuncture career in 1997. A graduate of New England School of Acupuncture (NESA), he moved from New Jersey, to Washington State and opened up multiple clinics in the Seattle metro area. In 2002 he started a company called Acupuncture Media Works in order to help his and other struggling practices find an easier way to attract, retain and reactivate patients. His business, Acupuncture Media Works/Acuperfect Websites, now incorporates one to one coaching, group coaching, website development, and patient-attraction product development. He has also created an online summit geared toward marketing and business development for the acupuncture profession

Jeffrey has taught business development and marketing classes at Bastyr, Yo San University, New England School of Acupuncture, and the Florida State Oriental Medicine conference. He also worked as a board member with the Acupuncture Association of Washington (now called Washington East Asian Medicine Association or WEAMA), for over 4 years.

After 20 years of marketing experience, graphic design and working with advertising agencies, Jeffrey knows well the challenges that new and seasoned practitioners face and is happy to be providing effective protocols with succinct marketing and education materials for acupuncture students.

Tai Lahans Ph.D., M.Ed., M.T.C.M., L.Ac.

Tai Lahans began her studies in medicine by earning a PhD from UC Berkeley in medical anthropology. Her dissertation was on the Ayurveda Shastras. She lived in Mumbai for six years serving the poor of Dharavi Slum as part of a team of medical providers who utilized Ayurvedic, Western medicine, homeopathy, and Chinese medicine. The clinic she co-founded served the very rich of Bollywood in order to subsidize the medical care for the outcaste poor of Dharavi which at that time was the largest slum in the world with over one million people living in it. She began studying Chinese medicine in the 1970s and has practiced Chinese medicine for the past 30 years serving mainly patients with chronic viral diseases and cancers. Teaching has also been a primary love and Tai has taught at several schools including Bastyr University and Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine. She has also taught in several clinical settings including integrated hospital oncology units. She lived in the PRC for four years studying and working on oncology units. She holds a PhD in integrated oncology from China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. Tai Lahans is the author of Integrating Conventional and Chinese Medicine in Cancer Care: A Clinical Guide (Elsevier – Churchill Livingstone 2007) and The Geology of the Modern Cancer Epidemic: Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine (World Scientific Publishing 2013).

Linda Munson, Ph.D. (ABD), M.T.C.M., L.Ac.

Linda Munson is a licensed acupuncturist (2002) and massage practitioner (1997). Board-certified in acupuncture by the NCCAOM, she has taught at Middle Way Acupuncture institute since 2008. Prior to studying Chinese Medicine and massage, Linda worked in Arctic Alaska for 16 years as a Native teacher trainer with the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and as an elementary school teacher with the North Slope Borough School District. Before that she spent 5 years in highland Guatemala with the Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin writing a grammar and teaching literacy in Mam, a Mayan language. She also has extensive experience working with Southwest Native tribes developing bilingual curricula through the University of California, San Diego. Linda holds a B.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles (1970), and an M.A. and ABD in Linguistics from the University of California, San Diego (1983). Linda maintains a small private practice and also practices part-time in a physician’s office.

Joseph Rothstein, E.A.M.P., L. Ac., Dipl.O.M.

Joseph is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Healer, Facilitator and Teacher. He attended Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts in Asheville, NC for his Masters and now is completing the Professional Doctorate there. He has also attended the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, as well as The Psychoenergetics Training program and the Hero’s Journey Apprenticeship.

He is married, has 3 homeschooled children, and lives on beautiful Camano Island, right here in Western Washington.

Matt Van Dyke, M.T.C.M., Dipl.OM., L.Ac.

Matt Van Dyke, EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Herbalist, and Qi Gong practitioner clinically focused on maximizing quality of life and longevity. Areas of expertise include EENT pathology and pain management. Matt is especially interested in helping to train patients and students tap into their own innate potential and to facilitate new landscapes of healing.

Matt graduated from Five Branches University in 2006. Advanced studies took him to Shenyang, China to study with respected acupuncturist and physician, Dr. Ma Laoshi at Liaoning University Hospital.

Many things in life bring Matt joy. These include his family with 2 young children, qi gong, which he has been practicing for almost 2 decades, and being in nature which feeds his soul.

He has been on faculty at Middle Way since 2009.

Carolyn Watson, M.S., L.Ac.,

Carolyn Watson is a human movement specialist and acupuncturist. A 2013 graduate of Middle Way Acupuncture Institute, she also holds a Master’s degree in Human Movement and Performance from Western Washington University (2006). She operates a large movement education center, Core Kinetics Movement & Pilates, in Bellingham. She has been teaching anatomy, human movement, and business classes for over 16 years, and greatly enjoys being a student as well as a teacher. She has taught at Middle Way since 2012.


Rebecca Wilhelm, N.D., L.Ac.

Rebecca Wilhelm is a licensed acupuncturist and naturopathic physician. She graduated from both programs at Bastyr University in 2004 and currently practices in Mt Vernon. She has a family medicine practice with an emphasis in natural health care, and specializes in women’s health issues and digestive illnesses.




Daniel Altschuler, PH.D. (CHINA), L.Ac.

Daniel Altschuler, Ph.D. (China), L.Ac. studied and taught Chinese medicine in Taiwan for nearly 15 years, apprenticing under Dr. Lee Chen-Yu. He has an MA (1992) in Asian religions from UCLA and a Ph.D. (2005) in Chinese medicine from Guangzhou Chinese Medical College. His specialties include neuropathy and chronically stubborn diseases. He has authored the translation entitled Neuropathy: Traditional Chinese Herbal Treatment in a Modern Medical Environment

Stephen Brown, L. Ac.

Stephen Brown, L.Ac., graduated from the Japan Central Acupuncture College in 1983. He is licensed in Japan in acupuncture, moxibustion and acupressure. Stephen has written several articles and translated several texts into English from Japanese including Introduction to Meridian Therapy and Finding Effective Acupuncture Points by Denmei Shudo. He has taught students at Middle Way since 2009.


Deborah Callender, N.D.

Dr. Deborah Callender, ND is a Licensed Naturopath in Bellingham, WA. She graduated from Bastyr University and specializes in naturopathy and dietetics.


Serena Emerson, M.A., L. Ac., L.M.T.

Serena Emerson is an acupuncturist and massage therapist, licensed in Washington State since 2016 and 2013, respectively. She has taught tuina at MWAI since 2015. Her background includes over a decade of study and apprenticeship in Jin Shou Tuina, as well as internal martial arts, through the North American Tang Shou Tao Association. She currently practices in Vancouver and Bellingham and is enrolled in the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program at Bastyr University.

Alethea Fleming, N.D.

Dr. Alethea Fleming, ND is a passionate advocate for naturopathic geriatric medicine. She is a Bastyr University graduate and earned a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington. Dr. Fleming is the owner and lead physician of the Vital Aging Clinic in Anacortes, Washington where she provides primary care to all adults as well as specific geriatric care. Dr. Fleming is adjunct faculty at Bastyr University and is an engaging public speaker who strives to make naturopathic geriatric care accessible to all providers. In her off hours, Dr. Fleming can be found hiking the beautiful trails of Fidalgo Island, spending time with her wonderful husband and son, or with her nose firmly in a good book.


Greg Heffron, MFA

Greg Heffron has been teaching Mindful Communication workshops since 2009, and has been a mindfulness meditation teacher since 2005 in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition — the largest Tibetan Buddhist tradition popular among westerners, with meditation centers in 36 countries. In 2005, he apprenticed with senior Mudra Space Awareness teacher Craig Smith, and became authorized to teach this unique mind-body meditation technique. In 2007, Smith and Heffron taught this practice in a workshop for fourth year students in the Dance Division at The Juilliard School in New York City. His approach to this practice is to utilize the freedom inherent in our senses to unlock fixed or habitual patterns of reacting.


Brenda Loew, M.Ac., L. Ac.

Brenda Loew, M.Ac., L.Ac., specializes in Japanese acupuncture techniques, primarily Toyohari Meridian Therapy, Shonishin (Japanese Pediatric Acupuncture) and Manaka Yin-yang Channel Balancing Therapy. Practicing in Seattle since 1991, she was on the faculty at the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NIAOM) from 1994 to 2002. She also teaches japanese acupuncture continuing education seminars around the U.S. and Canada. She has studied Toyohari Meridian Therapy since 1994 with advanced studies in the U.S., Europe and Japan, and is an approved U.S. Instructor for the Toyohari Association. She was President of the Toyohari Association of North America (2001-2012) and is co-founder and instructor at the Japanese Acupuncture Institute, LLC.


Gillian Richards, L.Ac.

A graduate of Middle Way Acupuncture Institute in 2013, Jill has a special love for 5 Element Acupuncture and the Spirit of the Points. She is currently working towards her Doctorate at PCOM.


Jason Robertson, L. Ac.

Jason Robertson, M.S., L.Ac., is a graduate of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (2000). He is involved in ongoing post-graduate studies in Beijing with acupuncture specialist, Dr. Wang. In collaboration, they wrote and published Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine (Eastland Press, 2008). Jason maintains a private practice in Seattle. He has taught at Middle Way since 2011.

Jared Suddaby R.Ac.

Jared Suddaby is a joyful practitioner of Chinese Medicine and a knowledgable Food Enthusiast. He practices at Peaceful Porcupine Acupuncture in Coquitlam, British Columbia.


Carl Griffin Trotter, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Trotter is an author and Professor Emeritus at Saint Louis University, Center for Health Care Ethics. His latest book is The Ethics of Coercion in Mass Casualty Medicine. He has taught at Middle Way since 2016.