Whitfield Reaves first began the study of acupuncture in 1976. After being treated with acupuncture for the first time, he knew that this would be his profession and lifelong work. Dr. Grace Liu, both an acupuncturist and a medical doctor from China, would become Whitfield’s first teacher. A formal apprenticeship with Dr. Liu began in 1977, spending a year and a half together in a traditional teaching relationship. When the first acupuncture college was approved by the medical board in the State of California, a move to Los Angeles was in order.
After graduation in 1981, he continued his studies in Beijing, China. During this internship, his group rotated in three hospital clinics that were part of Beijing Medical College, treating and observing hundreds of patients a week. On his return to the US, Whitfield worked on a doctorate program, resulting in his thesis titled “Acupuncture and the treatment of common running injuries“. It was one of the first articles in English that integrated traditional Chinese theory of acupuncture with western orthopedic and sports medicine. In 1983, Whitfield received his Doctorate of Oriental Medicine (OMD) degree.
Whitfield is the author of Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain, and offers an apprenticeship program for those looking to deepen their skills in this area of study and practice.