A Circle of Elders: A Series for 5E Practitioners with 20+ years of Experience

Have you been looking for continuing education relevant to your stage of practice? Do you want to spend some meaningful time with colleagues at your level of age, knowledge and expertise? Do you yearn for reasonably-priced live PDAs given locally and done with friends who understand your experience and values?

Spend a cycle of seasons reviewing your professional life with peers who share your life work, your maturity, and the salient issues that are coming up around your practice. We share the lens and language of the Five Elements, and we can discuss these issues from the Heartspace of shared perspectives: from our birth as practitioners to the transformation of our practices through aging and retirement. Discussions will focus on the later stages of our careers leading up to and including letting go of our practices.

For continuity, each participant must sign up for all six sessions. Open to class of 1996 and before.


Six Mondays 9:30 am to 12:30pm: 18 PDAs
September 26, 2016 Earth: Harvesting the Riches (3 hours)
October 24, 2016 Metal: Evaluating Yourself and your Practice (3 hours)
November 21, 2016 Water: Deepening Your Reserves (3 hours)
April 17, 2017 Wood: Encountering Growth and Challenge (3 hours)
May 22, 2017 Fire: Being in Fullness and Expansion (3 hours)
June 19, 2017 Reviewing A Career: Treatment over a Lifetime (3 hours)
More details about each meeting below…


Six sessions $250 if you register before Sept 12
Six sessions $290 if you register after Sept 12
NCCAOM approval pending for 15 PDAs in Professional Enhancement CW-PE and
3 PDAs in Core Competency AOM-BIO


Four Gates Wellness Center
5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 308, Columbia, MD 21044
Four Gates Wellness asks that you bring a can or two of food for the local food bank.


Clayton Spivey LAc and Edna M. Brandt LAc
Please call Clayton at 410-799-5883 to reserve space.
Bring payment to first class. (10 participants minimum)


Circle of Elders #1: Harvesting the Riches (September)

This class focuses on the Earth Phase: Fruitfulness and Harvest. We will share and discuss the harvest of our work lives: personal and professional. Are we reaping what we have sown?

1. Participants will discuss the riches that have accrued to them after 20+ years of practice.
2. Participants will discuss what abundance means to them and identify how their practices have (or have not) given them enough sustenance to enable a full life and provide for their “retirement.” What do they need to do to further reap what they have planted?
3. Participants will identify how they intend to share their wisdom and help foster the next generation including possibly mentoring, teaching or writing.

Circle of Elders #2: Evaluating Yourself and Your Practice (October)

This class focuses on the Autumnal Phase: Evaluation and Acknowledgement. Participants will be asked to reflect on and assess their life’s work: what has worked and where do you find yourself “stuck” or incomplete? What have I accomplished and where do I have regrets? What gifts has your practice brought to you? How will you (practically) value your practice when you retire? What IS retirement, anyway?

1. Participants will identify the skills and parts of their practices that they are proud of and value.
2. Participants will be asked to identify where they feel “stuck” or incomplete.
3. Participants will be asked to define, for themselves, what does it mean to “retire?” How will their practices change?
4. Participants will be introduced to ways of valuing a practice for eventual retirement, and ways of transitioning out of their current mode of practice to another phase of professional life.

Circle of Elders #3: Deepening Your Reserves (November)

This class focuses on the Winter Phase: Your Reserves and Power: How do you nurture your yin as you age? How do you nurture the yin of your practice as you mature in skills/experience? How do you sustain your yang in both personal and professional arenas? What does it mean to transition into NOT working (using resources rather than creating them/spending vs. saving)?

1.Participants will identify methods they have used to nurture their yin, both personally and professionally.
2. Participants will identify methods of sustaining yang in personal and professional areas.
3. Participants will identify what suggestions can be employed for making it more comfortable to spend rather than save (use resources rather than creating them).
4. Participants will identify how to amass power (resources/strength) and how to keep from losing it?
5. Participants will examine the following topic: “Practical Matters In Retirement: how have you managed to amass your reserves (savings/investments) in order to sustain yourself over a period of dormancy (illness/retirement)? Examination of what we have accrued and how to wisely plan for its use.

Circle of Elders #4: Encountering Growth and Challenge (April)

This class focuses on the Spring Phase: Growth/Challenge. What are we still learning? New techniques, ways of thinking or patterns of behavior? New ways of being with our patients? What ways do you continue to expand and grow professionally (and personally)? What is the trajectory of your career and where are you on that path now? This segment is about the overall vision/perspective or mapping of your career.

1. Participants will identify a new skill or practice enhancement(s) that could be shared by one of their colleagues. Each participant will be asked to create a list of what he/she wants to learn and what he/she wants to teach.
2. Participants will identify and clarify their plans for the next few years of their practice.
3. Participants will identify how to maintain their current vision/career path or identify how they plan to change it.

Circle of Elders #5 Fullness and Expansion (May)

This class focuses on the Fire Phase: Fullness and Expansion. How do you sustain your interest in your patients and your passion in your practice? How do you have fun? Do you have a support system of colleagues? How do you participate in the larger acupuncture community, sharing your fullness and maturity with others?

1. Participants will identify how they deepen their heart-to-heart connections, continue to experience joy, and how they maintain their passion for their work.
2. Participants will identify their needs for support and community, and how these are (or aren’t) being addressed.
3. Participants will identify ways we could share our experience/maturity/expertise with the larger community
4. Participants will share how they keep their relationships with long-term patients new and interesting.

Circle of Elders #6: Reviewing a Career: Treatment over a Lifetime (June)

This segment is an overall exploration of how we have changed and matured with regard to our practices. We will explore basic theoretical concepts and share how we currently hold each part: Basic Blocks (AE/Possession/etc.); CF; TCM patterns; use of moxa; et al.
1. Participants will examine the fabric of basic theory from a generation of practice, and how it compares to early learning.
2. Participants will theoretically advise the “next generation” about what is most useful in practice.
3. Participants will be asked to list their 10 most-used points, (or most useful types of points or sets of points) giving a rationale for their use. Sharing will engender thought about enlarging the thinking of participants.
4. Participants will be asked to identify ways they continue to need to think into the process of professional maturation.
5. Participants will identify what, if any, continuing education they may need to fill out their knowledge/skill sets before they hang up their needles.

Samantha Kadrmas M.Ac, L.Ac

Samantha Kadrmas M.Ac, L.AcI began my journey in acupuncture as a patient in 2003. It seemed that everywhere I went I heard people praising the value of acupuncture and how it was positively benefiting their lives. I was curious to see how acupuncture could change my life too. I quickly found myself walking through the world with more ease and experiencing more stable emotions than ever before. My senses were opened, my immune system incredibly strong, and my wellness came from within. More About Samantha

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