Chi-Akra Center founder Mary Elizabeth Wakefield is one of the leading proponents of facial renewal techniques in the world today, and has been awarded with the title of Educator of the Year by the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) for her contributions to the field of Oriental medicine as a teacher, creator of innovative treatment protocols, writer for acupuncture periodicals, and advocate of acupuncture in the national media.
The author of the long-awaited book on her much sought after and transformative facial acupuncture treatment protocols, Constitutional Facial Acupuncture, published by Elsevier Churchill Livingstone (UK) in January 2014 (pictured to the right and below), she is the acknowledged international forerunner in facial acupuncture education, innovation and treatment.
She has personally trained close to 4,500 acupuncturists, bodyworkers and estheticians from 5 continents - North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia - in her protocols, and maintains a private practice on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in New York City.
Ms. Wakefield, with her partner, MichelAngelo, recently completed the teaching of a 2-year International GOLD STANDARD FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE® Certification Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minneapolis, MN, USA. 20 practictioners from 3 different continents successfully fulfilled the requirements of this graduate-level training in facial acupuncture, unprecedented in its scope, consisting of 4 levels and 8 individual training modules, and are the first GOLD STANDARD FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE® certified acupuncturists in the world. A second GOLD STANDARD FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE® Program is currently scheduled for the same venue in 2015-2016.
Mary Elizabeth has 30+ years of clinical professional experience as a healing practitioner, and is a licensed acupuncturist, certified by the NCCAOM, a Zen Shiatsu practitioner, massage therapist, a cranio-sacral therapist, Acutonics® practitioner, opera singer, herbalist and Interfaith minister.
Ms. Wakefield appeared on national television on the FOX network as a spokesperson for facial acupuncture on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet; click here to watch: MEW on The Morning Show.
During the summer months of 2007, Ms. Wakefield pioneered the installation of a 10-week elective (and an associated facial acupuncture clinic) featuring her treatment protocols in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™ at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York.
- Please note: this elective in facial acupuncture ran successfully through 2011, but, while the program has been maintained by PCOM-NY, Ms. Wakefield is no longer involved with the teaching and her treatment protocols are not the basis of the course material. Please direct any inquiries regarding study with Ms. Wakefield to Chi-Akra Center.
Mary Elizabeth is a graduate of Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City, and has studied with such notable acupuncturists as Carolyn Bengston, Kiiko Matsumoto, Dr. Mark Seem, Arya Nielson, Jeffrey Yuen, Dr. Richard Tan, Fabien Maman, Yitian Ni and Donna Carey.
Her system of facial acupuncture is based in part on the work of Jacques Lavier, the "Father of French Acupuncture" She has also studied extensively with her teacher Carolyn Bengston, who is a master of interdermal needling for the face.
Ms. Wakefield has synergized the knowledge gleaned from her formal and personal studies into an expanded 3-tiered program in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture®; each level of certification includes two distinct modules, both of which are required to complete the certification requirements (for more information, see the Practitioner Certification page); she has given her innovative seminars at AZ Acupuncture School and the Desert Healing Center in Tucson, AZ, NESA in Watertown, MA, NWHSU in Minneapolis, MN, SBCOM in Santa Barbara, ACTCM in San Francisco, AIMC in Berkeley, and in Orange, Laguna Hills and Oakland, CA, Mercy College, PCOM and Swedish Institute in New York, NY, in Hawaii, Orlando, FL, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM, Bastyr University in Seattle, WA, Michener Institute in Toronto and in Vancouver, CANADA and elsewhere.
2014; The Year of the Wood Horse
With the publication, in late January, of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture, Mary Elizabeth embarks upon a very intense year of teaching and book signings. She will be participating in 5 major acupuncture symposiums -- Pacific Symposium, Southwest Symposium, the TCM-Kongress in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and, for the first time, Great River Symposium at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, MN, and the Scandinavian TCM-Kongres in Slettestrand, DENMARK. Seminars and certification series offerings presenting material and the new protocols from the book are scheduled in the following locations: NWHSU (Bloomngton, MN), for Academie voor Chinese Geneeswijze Qing-Bai, Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS, Uni Healthcare, London, UNITED KINGDOM, Creating Space, Zurich, SWITZERLAND, Yo San University, Los Angeles, CA, Eastern Currents Distributing, Ltd., Vancouver, BC, CANADA, China Books Sydney, Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA, and in Auckland, NEW ZEALAND.
Mary Elizabeth and MichelAngelo will also teach the very first group of international teacher-designates for the protocols in Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal in an exclusive event in Wellington, NEW ZEALAND, in October.
Please see the Seminars page for more information on current and future events.
2013; The Year of the Water Snake
Mary Elizabeth and her life/business/teaching partner, MichelAngelo, concluded the teaching their first International GOLD STANDARD FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE® Certification Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University in October. 20 highly qualified international practitioners completed the comprehensive 2-year program, having received a level of training in facial acupuncture that is unprecedented. A second program is now planned for 2015-2016. Having delivered the bulk of the manuscript of her new book, Constitutional Facial Acupuncture, late in 2012, Mary Elizabeth finished the editing of her book in February 2013.
Other highlights included a second series of seminars for Creating Space in Zurich, SWITZERLAND, in which the participants completed a certification series in Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture. She taught a 6-day certification series in Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture to a highly qualified group of acupuncturists from the Ordre des Acupuncteurs du Quebec, in Montreal, QC, CANADA.
Mary Elizabeth and MichelAngelo also instituted a series of small group mentorship programs in facial acupuncture and Facial Soundscapes at Chi-Akra Center in New York, affording the participants the opportunity for intimate and personalized training.
2012; The Year of the Water Dragon
Ms. Wakefield is proud to announce the debut of her GOLD STANDARD FACIAL ACUPUNCTURE™ Certification Program at Northwestern Health Sciences University, beginning in April 2012. This unique multi-tiered professional training program in facial acupuncture will feature the gamut of her popular seminars, and comprises eight 3-day programs over the course of an 18-month period, with 3 levels of training -- Somatic, Alchemical and Vibrational. Those acupuncturists who complete the entirety of the program will be the first in the world to be designated as GOLD STANDARD practitioners. For more information, please see the GOLD STANDARD page of this site.
2011, The Year of the White Bunny
Mary Elizabeth appeared as a Featured Speaker in her first European acupuncture conference at the 2011 TCM-Kongress in the beautiful medieval city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, her 1-day bilingual English/German seminar, Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal: "Catching a Wrinkle in Time", on June 3, 2011 was received with great acclaim by the capacity audience. She also gave a very effective presentation at the plenary session of the Kongress, to an audience of approximately 1,200 practitioners from around the world. Her European and international students are very keen for her to return to the Kongress in 2012 for a full-length practical seminar.
Prior to her debut in Rothenburg, MEW presented her certification series in Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture for Golden Needle College of Amsterdam, in the lovely riverside village of Zaandijk; the Dutch practitioners were very enthusiastic, and the entire certification series was sold out.
She concluded her European jaunt with a full certification series in Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture for Uni Healthcare in the City of London, UNITED KINGDOM, in mid-June, and plans are now in place for a return in 2012, where she and her partner, MichelAngelo, will present the very first European seminar in Facial Soundscapes: Harmonic Renewal, 2-3 and 9-10, 2012.
In late March and early April, Mary Elizabeth returned to Australia for the 4th consecutive year to present her latest certification series offering, a new addition to the Somatic level seminars, Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Archetypes: "Discovering your Original Face," at Sydney Institute of TCM in Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA, and received a tremendously enthusiastic reception from the Australian and other international practitioners. Plans are now in place for 2 complete certification series offerings in the winter months of 2012.
The premiere of a completely new vibrational facial modality, Vibradiance, utilizing 5 Element planetary tuning forks, essential oils, gem essence, and vocal sound, took place in Bali, April 9-15, 2011. The 4-day seminar proved to be a magical, transformational experience, with a wonderful group of practitioners from around the world, and she and MichelAngelo are planning to return in 2012 for another event. Click here for more information on Vibradiance and Ganesha Bali.
The autumn months included 2 separate offerings of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Archetypes, the first in Vancouver, BC, in late September, and the second at ACTCM in San Francisco, CA in mid-October.
November found Mary Elizabeth and MichelAngelo teaching their 5th consecutive Soundscapes Intensive in Santa Fe, NM, with the debut of their new training module, The Fibonacci Face, which was an enormous success with the practitioners.
2010, Year of the Tiger
Ms. Wakefield returned to Australia for a 7 week sojourn from March to May and presented 2 complete certification series, Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture (in Melbourne) and the very first complete certification series in Alchemical Facial Acupuncture Renewal (in Brisbane). She also taught a single module of Facial Soundscapes training in Crows Nest, with her partner, MichelAngelo, Advisor, Astrological Medicine & Musical Studies, Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, LLC (Acutonics), and the co-creator of the Facial Soundscapes teaching and treatment protocols.
A single module of Constitututional Facial Acupuncture Renewal was taught to a very enthusiastic and capacity audience in London, UNITED KINGDOM, May 29-30, 2010.
Mary Elizabeth returned for the first time in several years to the Bay Area to offer a certification series in Advanced Constitutional Facial Acupuncture at ACTCM in San Francisco (sold out; wait listed); several other Advanced certification series were offered in the following locations: Bastyr University (September 16-19, Seattle, WA), Yo San University (August 20-23, Los Angeles), Southwest Acupuncture College, SWAC (August 6-9. Boulder, CO), and Calgary, AB, CANADA (September 24-28).
Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Archetypes: "Discovering your Original Face", debuted to great acclaim from the participants at PCOM-NY in mid-October, and MEW also presented a single module at the Pacific Symposium, November 8-9. This was her second consecutive appearance in San Diego, at which she also presented a new 3 1/2 hour lecture, Facial Acupuncture and Aromatherapy: "A Portrait in Oils".
Teaching Highlights: 2009
A busy 2009 teaching schedule included seminars at New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) in May, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York (PCOM), in May and June, Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU), Bloomington, MN, also in June, and Yo San University, Los Angeles, in August. She also taught successful private certification series seminars in Boulder, CO and Santa Barbara, CA, the latter under the auspices of Healing Opportunities, www.healingopportunities.org.
International teaching engagements in 2009 included 5 certification series offerings in AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland) in February and March, a return to Vancouver, BC, CANADA in September, and an expanded series of certification series seminars in Tokyo, JAPAN in November, including her first Japanese master class.
2008: The Year of Traveling Internationally
Ms. Wakefield was the only North American acupuncturist invited to appear in November 2008 in Shanghai, CHINA at an international TCM forum sponsored by Shanghai Shuguang Hospital, associated with the Shanghai University of TCM. Continuing to expand her educational reach beyond North America, she taught her first Japanese facial acupuncture seminar in Yoyogi-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN, at the Tokyo Therapeutic Institute, under the auspices of the Japanese facial acupuncture organization, JFACe, for which she functions in an advisory capacity. Prior to that she made her Australian teaching debut in Brisbane, QLD, and then appeared as an Invited Speaker at the 2008 AACMAC acupuncture conference in Sydney, NSW.
Conferences and other PR Highlights
Mary Elizabeth returned to the CSOMA 2009 Conference & Expo in San Francisco, September 26, 2009, where she presented a well-attended and enthusiastically received 3 hour presentation on Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal.
In November, she appeared as an invited speaker for the first time at the prestigious Pacific Symposium, sponsored by Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, in San Diego; her topic will be The Alchemy of Facial Renewal™: A Constitutional Integrative Approach. This topic is presented both in conjunction with her certification series in Alchemical Facial Acupuncture Renewal, and a 3-part series of articles that has been appearing in her column in Acupuncture Today (see links to the first two on this page). Ms. Wakefield also taught a sold-out post-conference seminar, Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™: "Catching a Wrinkle in Time."
Ms. Wakefield debuted as a presenter at the 2nd International Sound Healing Conference in November, 2007; the topic was her innovative tuning fork facial, Facial Soundscapes: Harmonic Renewal. She shared the stage with the co-creator of the Facial Soundscapes teaching and treatment protocols, MichelAngelo, Advisor, Astrological Medicine & Musical Studies, Kairos Institute of Sound Healing, LLC (Acutonics).
In 2005, she appeared at the AOMA Southwest Symposium in Austin, TX, shared top billing with Jeffrey Yuen and Miki Shima at the Conference of the AAOM in Chicago, IL, where she was named Educator of the Year, and also was a presenter at the 12th annual Symposium of the AOMAlliance in Newport, RI, in May, 2005. In March, she lectured at the Canadian Oriental Medical Symposium, sponsored by Eastern Currents, Ltd., in Vancouver, BC, CANADA. She has been a presenter at 4 consecutive CSOMA Expos, the most recent in April 2005.
Ms. Wakefield was highlighted in an article on facial acupuncture that appeared in the Style section of the December 13, 2007 issue of the New York Times. From 2000-2009, she contributed an ongoing column on facial acupuncture and related topics to Acupuncture Today magazine, and has also written articles for the California Journal of Oriental Medicine and Oriental Medicine Journal.
Ms. Wakefield was invited to custom design a Diamond Acupuncture Facial™ in conjunction with the 2005 Academy Awards, and traveled to Los Angeles to debut it at the Soho Mansion Diamond Aquifer Suite. In July 2005, she appeared nationally on Fit TV (Discovery Channel), demonstrating the facial on host Gina Lombardi, in a segment entitled "Buying Beauty."
Mary Elizabeth's system of Constitutional Facial Acupuncture Renewal™ has been featured during a segment on FOX News that aired nationally; in December 2004 she demonstrated her techniques in an interview on EyeWitness News, WABC-TV, in New York.
Her practice and treatment protocols have been highlighted or featured in interviews in a number of prominent magazines - Oriental Medicine Journal, Qi Magazine, Alternative Medicine, American Spa, Luxury Spa Finder, Les Nouvelles Esthetique, Spa Asia (Singapore) and Spa Arabia (Dubai).
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