BIOGRAPHY

Undergraduate Medical Education

Dr. Wardwellʼs path to Integrative Medicine began as an undergraduate at University of Colorado. He began to study Eastern philosophy in search of a cross cultural notion of Virtue Ethics.

Upon graduating from CU, he spent the semester before medical school broadening his perspective in graduate courses at Naropa University. Here he took classes in Yoga Meditation, Transpersonal Psychology, Jungian Dream Therapy, and the Buddhist Middle Way philosophy from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. After a semester of eye-opening course work, Dr. Wardwell began his medical studies at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In Osteopathic Medicine, he found the perfect blend of holistic and scientific medicine. As an Osteopath, he was trained in
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapies like Muscle Energy Technique, Myofascial Release, High Velocity Low Amplitude, Counterstrain, Balanced Ligamentous, Still Technique, Cranio-Sacraland Neuro-Fascial Release. Dr. Wardwell volunteered for the first 3 years of medical school in the schoolʼs free OMM clinic to further refine his skills.

While at MSU COM, Dr. Wardwell founded the Musical Wellness Club, a club devoted to enhancing wellness through music. He also acted as the Wellness Coordinator for the MSUCOM chapter of the American Holistic Medical Association, which involved teaching weekly Yoga-meditation classes to medical students, giving lectures to MSU undergraduate and medical classes on Traditional Medicine in India and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as bringing in guest lectures to talk on integrative medicine topics.

Dr. Wardwell did his first year of medical training in an Osteopathic program that was taught alongside the MSU College of Human Medicine, an M.D. program. Thereafter, the Osteopathic students were trained in a systems based approach to Biomedical Pathology and had extra training in the Neuromusculoskeletal system.

Concurrently while in medical school, Dr. Wardwell did a Masters program in Bioethics, Humanities and Society through the College of Human Medicine. This allowed him to continue to explore the intersections between Eastern and Western philosophy as it was expressed in Eastern and Western Medicine. He did this by taking electives in Anthropology, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Bioethics, and Psychology as well as pursuing study abroad programs in India and China. He wrote his Masters thesis on “The Varieties of Medical Experience” utilizing the theories of Western scholars, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Mikhail Bakhtin and Buddhist Philosopher, Nagarjuna, to found a philosophical basis for integrative medicine. He then went on to juxtapose Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Native American Medicine, Ayurveda and conventional Western Biomedicine as different pictures of medicine based on the fundamental assumptions underlying the cultures from which they were born.

During the summer of 2007, Dr. Wardwell made his first trip over to India to study Traditional Indian Medicine.  Here, he learned
about Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Acupuncture and Reiki. At this time he began to appreciate that, if he was going to become skilled at any one of these modalities, he would have to concentrate his efforts on one at a time.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dr. Wardwell found the teaching of the Buddhist Middle Way embodied in a system of medicine. During first semester of medical school he took an elective in Medical Acupuncture. Subsequently, he went on to become a research assistant for the schools Acupuncture stress relief study and did an independent study to delve deeper into TCM.
During the summer of 2008, Dr. Wardwell studied Acupuncture in a two month intensive training program at Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Here he began to appreciate the depth of Chinese medicine as well as the philosophy and culture that gave birth to it. For the next year, Dr. Wardwell spent time volunteering in a free clinic doing acupuncture under the supervision of a medical acupuncturist and Physiatrist, Dr. Lawrence Prokop. When it came time to move onto clinical rotations, Dr. Wardwell scheduled electives working with Medical Acupuncturist and Neurologist Dr. Mitchell Elkiss, D.O. , neuromusculoskeletal specialist and Medical Acupuncturist, Dr. Jay Sandweiss, D.O., and TCM practitioners affiliated with the Integrative Medicine programs at University of Arizona and University of Wisconsin. At the tail end of his medical training he went back to Shanghai for another two month intensive to take advanced courses in Acupuncture.

During these same electives, Dr. Wardwell was exposed to functional medicine and began learning more about the science behind nutraceuticals, food sensitivities, GI health, Heavy Metal testing, IV therapy,  detoxification protocols and Prolotherapy. These themes kept coming up during each of the integrative medicine rotations with Dr. David Rakel, M.D. and his colleagues at University of Wisconsin and Dr. Andrew Weil and his colleagues at University of Arizona.

While working with Dr. Sandweiss, Dr. Wardwell took an advanced Cranio-Sacral course taught by Dr. Fred Mitchell Jr and Dr. Jay Sandweiss. This was in addition to the 40 hour basic Cranio-Sacral course taught at MSU COM by Dr. Lisa DeStefano. Dr. Wardwell also did a rotation working with Dr. Stephen Davidson, inventor of the osteopathic manipulative technique Neurofascial Release. Here, he was able to experience osteopathy at its deepest level and hone his palpatory skills to be able to feel strain patterns in Cranio-Sacral rhythm of the body and unwind them.

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