Meet The Blue dragon team
Emma Donnelly co-owns Blue Dragon Apothecary with herbalist Mary Ryan. She has been learning about the power of plant and food medicine since her childhood growing up in her parent’s health food store. At Blue Dragon, Emma continues this path by making medicine and providing custom blends for community herbalists, kitchen-witches, etc. To Emma, every day is a thrill—balancing community outreach and education, along with marketing, gardening, organizing internships and workshops, and creating amazing recipes.
Emma earned her BS from The New School University in Urban and Education Studies. She completed the Shang Shun Institute’s training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Plant Spirit Medicine and Acupressure in 2004. In 2013, Emma completed 200 hours of herbal study in the Goldthread Farm to Pharmacy program. She is beginning an apprenticeship with Mary Ryan, Dip. TCM in Chinese and Tibetan Medicine this year.
Anthony Charles Leffler Jr, (Chuck)
In August of 2015, Chuck became a volunteer at the Blue Dragon Apothecary as a work and learn trade. Of joining the group, Chuck says, “After my first day I felt I had finally found a place where I could use my knowledge and natural healing, loving energy to help others.” Shortly thereafter, he became a full time Team member, preparing teas and tinctures, and even creating new tea blends (Sweet Heart Tea, for example).
From a young age, Chuck was fascinated with the connection of Native Americans to nature and its healing power using common plants, animals, stones, crystals and rituals to treat illness and injuries, and studied all he could on the subject. He shares that knowledge with us here and continues to learn and help us grow.
Chuck maintains the herbal inventory, a selection of over 250 Western and 130 Chinese herbs in addition to helping with marketing and social media.
Mary Friedman Ryan graduated from Oxford University with a Masters in Human Biology and a PhD in medical anthropology. She is board certified in Chinese herbal medicine and trained in acupuncture and Asian medicine.
During her PhD, Mary Ryan apprenticed in Chinese and Tibetan herbal medicine, with various doctors, throughout the Himalayas. She became licensed in Europe to practice acupuncture and Chinese medicine in 1994. Mary has collaborated with Dr. Dadhon Jamling, personal physician to the Dalai Lama, on several efficacy research projects, treatment protocols and also a book on healing anxiety with Tibetan medicine.
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She supplements her practice by collaborating with psychiatrists, medical doctors and psychologists. Her scientific background facilitates easy communication with clients' physicians. Through advanced seminars, Mary has specialized training in mental health, cancer care, death and dying, and pediatrics. She also loves to work with teens who need help with feelings of sadness, loss, depression and anxiety.
Anne Wagner is a doula and student of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) completing a two-and-a-half-year training with Michael Dunning, founder of the Sacred Yew Institute.
Anne approaches the work of BCST through her training as a doula and and hopes to work with pregnant and birthing folks and eventually babies as well as anyone who is called to her table. Anne is a kitchen herbalist, currently working at Blue Crow Botanicals wildcrafting, growing and tending medicinal plants
and making extracts.
A lover of wild things and a social justice minded single mama, she brings her experience in grassroots radical birth collectives in Canada as well as her experience working as a doula and childbirth educator with the Prison Birth Project to her practice as a Craniosacral Therapist. Anne encourages you to ask her how BCST is a subversive form of activism and inquire into the steps she is taking to further accessibility to its wonders for all
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Maria Biello has been with Blue Dragon since 2015 as a manager and herbalist. Maria’s expertise began with her studies at….. followed by several years working and learning with….
Maria works with Blue Dragon to develop an inventory of tinctures and bulk herbs that represent the highest quality of medicinal plants. Using her vast knowledge of medicinal plants, Maria can also be consulted to formulate medicines for walk-in clients. She is committed to making plant-based medicine accessible to the community.
When not at the Blue Dragon, Maria can often be found in gardens throughout the area where her knowledge extends to the cultivation and care of herbs and flowers.
Deb Tyler graduated from the Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia) with a Master’s Degree in Five Element Style Acupuncture in 2001. She specializes in the treatment of auto-immune diseases, trauma and chronic illness, as she has intimate personal experience living with these conditions and being helped by acupuncture to heal and thrive.
She has spent time serving the inmates at the local jails and community outreach clinics using a community acupuncture setting. She participated in programs to treat soldiers, war veterans and their doctors and nurses at Walter Reed Medical center, and staffed the community clinic for students and staff at MUIH. After graduation, she served as a supervisor in the University’s student training clinics for many years, and in 2006 became certified in animal acupuncture. Subsequently, she has also trained with Acupuncturists Without Borders to serve survivors of natural disaster, war and other trauma with auricular (ear) acupuncture.
Deb was in private acupuncture practice treating both humans and animals in Maryland for 13 years before relocating to MA. She currently staffs the Greenfield Community Acupuncture Clinic on Wednesday mornings.
She has had a lifelong passion for the resilience and beauty of the natural world and the fundamental ways that it informs and constitutes health in the human body and experience of life. She spent many years studying the Chinese arts of tai chi, chi qong and kung fu and her embodied knowledge of these practical tools inform and guide her treatments and understanding of the body and its relationship with energy and movement.
She welcomes you to ask questions and explore the possibilities for healing body, mind and spirit with acupuncture and exploration of the 5 elements.
Jade Alicandro Mace
Jade Alicandro Mace practices community and clinical herbalism in the rolling hills of western Massachusetts. Starting a foundation in botany, Jade began her formal herb studies in 2005. She has a varied background, rich in Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Western Herbalism in the Vitalist and Wise Woman Traditions, and brings this diversity and breadth of knowledge to her teaching and clinical practice. Her work as an herbalist revolves around self and community empowerment, equal access, community resilience, promoting local and plant-based healthcare, and the sharing and spreading of herbal knowledge.
Jade teaches herbalism throughout New England, and leads an 8-month apprenticeship and seasonal class series in bioregional herbalism. She has also been an herbal educator with Herb Pharm since 2015. In her clinical practice, Jade offers consultations in both her private practice and at the Blue Dragon (whose clinic she helped found in 2012 as a space dedicated to affordable herbal care). Her writings have been published in the Journal of the Northeast Herbal Association (NEHA), the Herbstalk blog, Birthing Mama online holistic pregnancy program, and the Birth Institute's Birth Wisdom Blog.
She has taught at conferences including the Northeast Permaculture Convergence, Radherb, Herbstalk, the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) summer conference, and will be teaching at the Good Medicine Confluence in May. She is a perpetual lover of the weeds and her current favorite plants are Wild Rose (Rosa multiflora), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).
Jade has completed a 2 year training in Clinical Herbalism at Clearpath School of Herbal Studies, and is also a graduate of Blazing Star Herbal School, The Gaia School of Healing & Earth Education, the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, FEAST Permaculture Design Certification, and the Goldthread Apothecary Clinical Herbalism 200 hr Training. She has also completed advanced clinical training and a clinical mentorship at the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism. She holds a B.S. in Plant Biology and a B.S in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Massage therapist Stephen Alicandro Mace helps people with chronic and acute pain. “I work with everyone! Yes, even you!” Stephen has done work with babies, kids, parents, grandparents, autistic people, people with anxiety, and depression.
They work with pregnant people, women, trans and gender nonconforming people, and men. They work with tough burly construction workers, athletes, couch potatoes, and with elderly people who have trouble getting around. Stephen offers a judgement free zone and complete confidentiality.
Stephen’s work ranges from clinical deep tissue massage to energy work. In addition health recommendations may be offered to continue self-care at home. Stephen also offers home visit for anyone with difficulty going places and doing things, or anyone who just doesn’t want to leave the house. (Prices will stay as close as possible to sessions at Blue Dragon.)
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