Meet our Board of Directors!
The OBAA Board of Directors is a dedicated group of volunteers from across the globe. Each of them believes in the mission of the OBAA, to continue to share knowledge and experience to elevate the quality and safety of perinatal care with Acupuncture.
Raeghan Siemens B.Sc., R.Ac, Birth Doula
After receiving her B.Sc from the University of Alberta, Raeghan studied Chinese Medicine at the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria, BC. Compelled by Chinese medicine’s 2000-year-old history of treating woman’s reproductive disorders, Raeghan pursued postgraduate studies in obstetrics and gynecology under Dr. Randine Lewis, Debra Betts, Raven Lang, Jean Lesveque, David Bray, and Sharon Weizenbaum and many other world renowned specialists.
Raeghan has been in practice for over 9 years and practicing at Living Wellness Centre in South Surrey, BC. She is dedicated to treating all stages of women’s reproductive wellness, from enhancing fertility, through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. By working collaboratively with other health caregivers such as physicians, midwives and doulas Raeghan is able to provide the most comprehensive and effective care for her clients.
Raeghan lives in White Rock with her husband Dave, daughters Ardyn and Natalia, and dogs Lyle and Libby.
For more information go to www.raeghansiemens.com
Emilie Salomons, Dr. TCM, FABORM, Birth Doula
Dr. Emilie Salomons is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (DR. TCM) with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture of BC. After graduating as a Dr.TCM, Emilie spent eight months in Beijing, China, doing postgraduate studies at the Dongzhimen University Hospital.
Emilie is a fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM), as well as a co-founder and board member of the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association (OBAA). She has also co-developed the first program in Canada for training midwives in Obstetrical Acupuncture for pain in labour. Emilie works at Acubalance Wellness Centre focusing in fertility and reproductive health.
In keeping with her commitment to working at the community level, Emilie has volunteered several times in Uganda and Nepal teaching nurses, midwives and traditional African medicine practitioners basic obstetrical acupuncture as well as acupuncture treatments for the debilitating symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. Furthermore, in her capacity as an acupuncture detoxification specialist, Emilie has run stress management and addiction cessation groups in New York, Vancouver and Richmond, as well as contributed to a maternal substance abuse study with the University of British Columbia.
For more information go to www.emiliesalomons.com
Shannon Larson Dr.TCM, BFA, Doula
Regional Director for British Columbia
Dr. Shannon Larson completed a 5 year program in Chinese Medicine and holds a diploma of Doctor of Chinese Medicine from the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Vancouver. Her studies include clinical practice at the China Medical University and Hospital in Taiwan. Shannon also completed a 2 year Master’s Mentorship Program with Sharon Weizenbaun at the White Pine Institute and continues to study with the White Pine Institute.
While Shannon’s interest in Chinese Medicine is wide ranging, her passion for women’s health has led her to pursue training in workshops by some of the current leaders in Chinese Medicine for fertility and obstetrics including Sharon Weizenbaum, Bob Flaws, Debra Betts and Jane Lyttleton. Shannon was a partner in Acumamas for 6 years and has extensive hours of experience attending labours both as an acupuncturist as well as a birth doula.
Leisha Laird Dr. TCM, R.Ac
Regional Director for Alberta
Leisha is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a registered Acupuncturist with the College and Association of Acupuncturists in Alberta. She has trained under leading experts in the fields of nutrition, gynaecology, fertility, obstetrics, paediatrics and immunology. Over the past 10 years she has supported hundreds of couples as they have navigated through fertility, pregnancy, and welcoming their children into the world, both naturally and in collaboration with IVF and fertility treatment protocols. Her practice focuses on women’s health and has evolved to include autoimmune issues, digestive health and the creation of a more balanced and aligned self. She draws from an established network of resources to invite an integrative and complete experience.
Leisha is a Regional Chair and an active board member of the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association (OBAA), and works closely with midwifery and doula communities in Alberta.
Tanya Smith, R.Ac, R.TCMP, FABORM, Birth Doula
Regional Director for Ontario
Tanya Smith works with women and couples, treating all aspects of reproductive wellness, from enhancing fertility through to pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Tanya is the only Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (ABORM) in Eastern Canada. Tanya graduated from the Canadian College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Victoria BC in 2004 with the highest level of Traditional Chinese Medicine training available in Canada and continues with post-graduate studies focused on fertility and pregnancy.
As an acupuncturist and birth doula, she has been bringing her craft and needles to pregnancies and labor rooms for over 13 years. Her experience supporting women and couples at their labour and deliveries gives her a special perspective in the care of pregnant and postpartum clients. It is one of her greatest joys to see a fertility client holding their new baby in their arms, having supported them through that journey!
She has lectured at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, at Ryerson University for the Midwifery Education Program and at the Breech Birth Conference in Ottawa. Her perspectives have also been featured on City TV’s Breakfast Television, in FLARE magazine, the Women’s Post and numerous local Toronto newsletters of valued colleagues.
Tanya considers it a privilege and responsibility to speak about Traditional Chinese Medicine applications and has a special connection to the obstetrical community. She has been recognized both within her field and in the community for her expertise.
You can find out more about Tanya and her work at www.tanyasmith.com
Regional Director for Quebec
Graduated from Collège de Rosemont, Julie Morand has been practicing acupuncture since 2008. Fascinated by this age-old medicine, she seeks to reconcile Eastern and Western visions to help people who consult her regain their optimal health.
Ms Morand has developed a particular expertise in pregnancy and childbirth support through training in obstetrical acupuncture (Lasalle Hospital), and treating women in labor either in hospitals, birth centers or during homebirths. She is a former member of les Acupuncteures Associées and also acted as an internship assistant-supervisor. Passionate about obstetrics, she has continued to develop her practice through participation in conferences and training activities, amongst others the 2012 Mid-Pacific Conference on birth and primal health research in Hawaii, and training in the use of western herbs for pregnant women and children.
Although she is particularly interested in women’s health, Julie works with a diverse clientele. In order to develop a holistic practice for the whole family, she also trained in Living Systems Energetics, under the supervision of Dr. Maurice Mussat and Lise Tousignant, as well as several courses in Japanese acupuncture with Kiiko of Matsumoto and Alice Granger. In addition, Julie Morand has had the privilege to accompany many couples in their path to fertility and thus contributed to the achievement of their dreams, for which she has trained in fertility acupucunture with Mrs. Aina Zhang. More recently, her practice has focused on issues related to treating pelvic pain as she continues her clinical practice with patients at Clinique Pelvi-Santé in Brossard.
Director of International Membership
Originally from Portugal, Sandro Graca is a graduate of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After completing his Licentiate in TCM, he pursued postgraduate studies in Chinese herbal medicine, tui na massage, and medical qi gong in colleges in Ireland, UK, and China at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
His journey into the specialized fields of acupuncture for gynecology, endocrinology, fertility and pregnancy started by studying with Jani White and continued with other world renowned experts such as Jane Lyttleton, Debra Betts, and Sarah Budd. Following his interest in developing personally and professionally, Sandro started his MSc degree in 2015, focusing on research in acupuncture for PCOS.
He is a member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network and has served on the Executive Committee of the AFPA, the professional association for acupuncturists in Ireland. In 2016 he became the first acupuncturist in Ireland to achieve membership of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.
Sandro runs “The Acupuncture Clinic” in Dublin, Ireland focusing on fertility and pregnancy care, alongside his work and life partner Siobhan Seville. He is an avid vlogger and promoter of research and professional development of acupuncture and TCM.
For more information go to www.acupunctureclinic.ie