Meet Our Practitioners ... continued from main page (scroll down to see all)
John Wadude Laird, M.D.
Dr. Laird graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969, Dartmouth Medical School in 1976 and completed his Family Practice Internship in 1977. Immediately thereafter, he started to serve indigent patients in the mountains of western North Carolina. In 1980 Dr. Laird founded the Great Smokies Medical Center in Asheville, N.C. Under his direction, the center served nearly 10,000 families and became a leading innovative and influential force in the early integrative medicine movement.
As a specialist in integrative medicine, John Wadude Laird, M.D. has dedicated forty years of his professional life to empowering his patients by consistently providing them with a wide range of therapeutic options, expert counsel and deep personal caring. For Dr. Laird, the practice of medicine is, above all, a service profession, a calling to facilitate real healing of the body, mind, heart and spirit. He believes that healing begins by listening deeply with care and compassion. In a relaxed atmosphere, conducive to discovery and insight, Dr. Laird works with his patients to discern the deeper causes of illness and to identify the therapies most likely to bring lasting benefits.
Dr. Laird knows that every human being has a unique and profound ability to heal.
Of course, in our world full of biological, social, financial and environmental stresses, there are many steps needed to clear these stressors so that complete healing can take place, especially when treating cancer. Nonetheless, every recommendation Dr. Laird makes is intended to optimize the innate gifts of self-healing each person possesses.
Dr. Laird has a life-long commitment to integrating scientific and spiritual perspectives of healing. Early in his career he organized and chaired several international conferences, attended by more than 5,000 people, that presented world-recognized experts who described breakthrough discoveries on how to facilitate real healing. Dr. Laird has provided specialized continuing medical education training to over one hundred health professionals seeking advanced training in heart-based clinical therapies that promote deep healing of emotions and the spirit. In addition, he has taught these self-care perspectives to several thousand people and is widely recognized as an insightful, loving and inspired teacher.
Dr. Laird led a ten-year battle against “organized” medicine’s efforts to revoke the medical licenses of all “alternative” medical practitioners in the State of North Carolina. In 1994, he and his patients successfully lobbied the State legislature to allow for the responsible practice of alternative medicine, a successful campaign that ultimately led to patients throughout the country having access to greater choice in determining their healthcare.
Dr. Laird co-founded the Great Smokies Medical Laboratory (now Genova Diagnostics) that was one of the first functional medicine labs in the country. This pioneering lab set the standard for delivering scientifically-based, objective information of the body’s essential functions to both providers and patients.
For cancer patients and their families at the Shafiyy Institute, Dr. Laird plays a central role in coordinating the work of all our practitioners to make sure that initial evaluations and treatment plans are comprehensive, empowering and effective. He brings unique expertise in designing nutritional and counseling programs that increase vitality, discourage the growth of cancers and promote healing from within.
Dr. Laird also has administered over 50,000 intravenous treatments to treat a wide variety of disease states. Emerging evidence indicates that IV therapies can improve cancer patient outcomes in a variety of clinically significant ways.
In 2016, Dr. Laird entered a unique Fellowship program in the specialty of Medical Advocacy, directed by Dr. Mark Renneker, a founder of the field. As an advocate, Dr. Laird provides scientifically based advice using advanced research to empower cancer patients and their families in navigating the healthcare system successfully, making informed choices and optimizing treatment outcomes.
To request your free call with Dr. Laird:
Call: 707 965-0456
Nura Laird, M.Ed.
Nura Laird, M.Ed, graduated from Smith College in 1969 and earned her master’s degree in education soon thereafter at the University of Massachusetts. She has over forty years of healing and counseling experience, facilitating deep emotional and spiritual healing with individuals, couples, and families. And she has personally faced the challenges of healing from cancer.
After receiving a diagnosis of cancer in 2014, Nura and her husband, Dr. John Laird, designed a uniquely comprehensive program that included conventional, integrative and deep personal healing therapies. She experienced optimal results. Her recovery and current condition have been inspiring to all who know her. She continues to use many of the Shafiyy Institute therapies that helped her achieve remission.
Professionally, Nura was a true pioneer in the alternative school movement in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. She co-founded two alternative schools, one of which is internationally recognized for innovation and excellence in pre- through middle school education.
For 40 years Nura has been a student of spiritual healing and Sufism, a 1,500 year-old tradition of divine love, wisdom, and unity, that is known for developing compassion, love, and peace within the heart. She is a graduate and faculty member of the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism (USHS). She has undergone a process of deep spiritual development and years of extensive training in order to become a Shafiyy Healer. As such, her goal is to be a vessel through which Divine light and love freely flow, and to provide compassion, safety, protection and guidance.
For decades Nura has worked with hospice patients, providing support, counsel and spiritual nourishment as they journey through their final months in this life. One of her gifts is to be deeply present with people facing profound life challenges.
Nura is also a mediator with extensive training and experience in community and family mediation. In this way, she has facilitated healing and transformation in the areas of relationships, parenting, and family systems.
She is widely recognized as an insightful, loving and committed spiritual counselor and healer, with unique ability to help clients and their families face difficult life situations such as cancer. When someone receives a diagnosis of cancer, Nura’s personal experience convinces her that supporting the entire family, along with the cancer patient, is essential for achieving optimal results.
In fact, Nura, her husband, and their two daughters all joined together to support her healing, and they too received counseling and support individually. Her journey through cancer brought more love, authentic communication, and transformation to the whole family. As she says, “Before cancer we loved each other. Now we cherish each other.”
Nura has a heartfelt desire to share with other cancer patients and families the Shafiyy integrative and spiritual therapies. This is partly what led to the creation of the Institute’s cancer programs. For Nura and her husband, these programs are a way of giving back to others in gratitude for the benefits of deep healing that they received. This is Nura’s passion and commitment.
To contact Nura Laird:
Mark Bricca, N.D., M.Ac.
Dr. Mark Bricca chose integrative cancer medicine for his life’s work as much as it chose him. Born nearly three months premature with an inherited immune system deficiency, he was often quite sick throughout his childhood and early adolescent years. When Mark was almost six years old, he was a bone marrow donor for his oldest brother, Barry, who ultimately died of leukemia when he was fifteen. These experiences instilled deep appreciation in Mark for the gifts of conventional Western medicine, and they initiated him onto a path of seeking insight into the true nature of healing and ultimate return to wholeness.
Mark spent eight years studying naturopathic medicine, classical Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture at the National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, and he has dedicated two decades to his healthcare practice—working with thousands of people with cancer during that time. For three years, Mark was blessed to practice integrative cancer medicine as part of the Mederi Centre for Natural Healing with renowned herbalist, Donald Yance. For five years, he was also mentored in hematology and medical oncology by pioneering integrative oncologist, Dr. Dwight McKee. Passionate about deep healing potential available at the end-of-life, Mark was privileged to participate in the Metta Institute’s two year-long spiritually oriented end-of-life care training for healthcare professionals.
A lifelong learner, Mark attends several integrative cancer medicine conferences each year and, seeking the true heart of healing, he recently began the Master’s program in Sufi spiritual healing at the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism. A firm believer that all modalities have a role to play in healing, Mark applies diverse therapeutics in synergistic combinations tailored for each individual’s personal needs.
Patients and colleagues recognize Mark for his comprehensive knowledge of integrative cancer medicine modalities, as well as for the individual attention, care, and compassion he offers each person he serves. In addition to his patient care work, Mark is also frequently sought out as a mentor by other practitioners who appreciate him for his ability to impart complex medical and healing concepts in an easily understandable and clinically applicable manner.
Mark views his practice as being as much pastoral as medical. Convinced that world peace begins with inner peace, central to his healing mission is his desire to support people in their discovery of ease, safety, mercy, and love no matter what their circumstances may be. As a doctor and healer, Mark’s greatest joy in accompanying and advocating for his patients lies in bearing witness to deepening peace in their hearts as they navigate their personal healing labyrinths found through the doorway of living with cancer.
To learn more about Dr. Bricca can offer you, please visit his personal website at: http://www.bodhicittahealingarts.com.
Dr. Rahima Schmall, Ph.D., R.N.
Rahima Schmall, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, registered nurse and a master healer and teacher in the Sufi tradition.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Nursing and then received her master’s and doctorate in counseling psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies. Professionally, she has worked as a family therapist in addictions, a consultant in a locked psychiatric clinic, director of a student counseling center and a department chair for a graduate program in counseling.
Dr. Schmall also has over 30 years of private practice experience in which she blends psychology, medical knowledge and spirituality. Rahima specializes in working with people who have life-threatening or chronic medical conditions.
She started her own spiritual growth and emotional healing process with the Twelve Steps. Her involvement in Al-Anon started her on a life-long commitment to turn her will and life over to the care of God and be of service to others.
Her spiritual seeking brought her to Tibetan Buddhism. She studied, practiced and taught Buddhist meditation for almost 20 years. In the 1980’s she was a director for Shambala Training, a secular meditation program that emphasizes seeing the “basic goodness” in everyone.
In the late 1990’s after being diagnosed with a serious illness, she was introduced to the Sufi path and Sufi healing tradition. She learned first-hand from her own healing journey with chronic illness, the power of Shafiyy Healing and that illness can be a doorway for bringing more love and peace into one’s life.
Rahima lived at the Sufi Retreat Center in Pope Valley for many years where she immersed herself in Sufi healing and teachings. She is the former director of their retreat program and former director of their Healing Intensive Program. She is currently on faculty at the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, serving as the department chair for the Spiritual Healing and Counseling Master’s Program.
Rahima provides a gentle and nurturing space for people to move past their pain and despair to find peace, wholeness and harmony. She is known for her ability to guide clients into the depth of their own hearts to bring forth their own healing light, transforming the most difficult of circumstances. Her own healing journey with chronic illness allows her to understand the stresses that a serious diagnosis brings and the blessings of love that can emerge.
How to contact Dr. Schmall:
Call: 707 318-4470
Dr. Wolf, ND, LAc.
Dr. Wolf is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and a licensed acupuncturist. He has been a practitioner of natural medicine for over 25 years, during which time he has trained in Classical Chinese Medicine, Acutonics Sound Therapy, German biological medicine, Sufi spiritual healing, and Naturopathic clinical nutrition.
In the late 80’s, Dr. Wolf attended the California School of Herbal Studies where he received his background education in traditional Western herbalism. After completing a formal education in East Asian Medicine at the Oregon College of Oriental medicine, he then served as an associate practitioner and colleague with Dr. Heiner Fruehauf for 10 years. As an apprentice to Dr. Fruehauf, he became well-educated in Classical Chinese formula design with an emphasis on the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of advanced and complex diseases.
With a degree in Naturopathic Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine, he has developed a practice in which he combines elements of Western holistic therapy along with the diagnostic and treatment principles of Chinese medicine. His ability to accurately diagnose patients is enhanced by his skill as a practitioner of Bioenergetic analysis, a method of using sophisticated medical equipment to identify food allergies, pathogenic influences (parasites, pesticides, heavy metals, etc), and organ imbalances. This modality allows him to test foods, supplements, herbal medicines, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals to develop precise medical protocols for each patient.
Additionally, Dr. Wolf has been a practitioner and teacher of the Acutonics System of Sound Therapeutics since the late 1990’s. This advanced therapy involves the application of frequency therapeutics to the acupuncture-based system of points and meridians by way of specially designed tuning forks. He has developed his own unique method of sound healing by employing Tibetan bowls, symphonic gongs, and a custom designed acoustic sound healing table comprised of 55 resonant strings to offer deeply relaxing and effective treatment of the whole person.
His pursuit of the finest medical traditions has brought him to remote China where he has studied with living masters of the medical Qigong tradition. As an instructor of this ancient art of wellness, Dr. Wolf provides patients with self-improvement practices, teaching specific Qigong postures and routines developed to support balance and rejuvenation across the wide spectrum from challenging disease to vibrant wellness.
As an ongoing student and supporter of the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism, Dr. Wolf also brings a unique approach to his practice by synthesizing his training in the best of Eastern and Western medicine with the deeply healing principles of Sufi healing. Through a synergistic blend of these sophisticated holistic modalities, Dr. Wolf is dedicated to holding the heart of each of his patients on their path towards healing, vitality and peace.
We invite you to contact Dr. Wolf to learn what’s available to you.