Dr. Leon I. Hammer, M.D. has had a remarkable life and career. He has a wonderful ability to think independently of establishment constructs, and because of this has made invaluable contributions to the world of medicine and healing. Born in 1924 in New York City, he served in the United States military during and after World War Two as a Navigator, Aerial Gunner, Captain and Flight Surgeon. He attended Cornell University and Cornell Medical College, and then went on to study at the William A. White Institute of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry.
Until 1971, he practiced psychiatry and psychoanalysis, directed a child guidance clinic and Drug Abuse Councils on the Southeast Shore of Long Island, taught at Adelphi University, and was Psychiatric Consultant and Associate Professor at Southampton College in Southampton, New York.
After working with Fritz Perls and Gestalt therapy for three years, and with Alexander Lowen and Bioenergetics over a period of eight years, he began a study of Chinese medicine in 1971. For the next three years, he studied in England with Dr. J.D. van Buren.
In 1974, he began a twenty-
In 1975, Dr. Hammer achieved certification to practice acupuncture in New York State, and later also became a registered acupuncturist in Maryland, where he studied and taught at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute. In 1985 he was granted honorary ‘Diplomate in Acupuncture’ status by the NCCA.
Dr. Hammer practiced Chinese medicine from 1973 to 1990, when he retired from private practice. He has lectured and taught in places as diverse as Spain, Poland, Italy, Holland, Germany, England, Australia, and Japan, as well as all over the United States. He served as a member of the Commission for Evaluation of Acupuncture Schools, and was appointed a member of the National Blue Ribbon Committee for Initiation of the Herbal Examination. From 1991 through 1998, he was a member of the New York State Board of Acupuncture. In 2001, Dr. Hammer received an award as “Educator of the Year” for participation and contribution to excellence in education from the American Association of Oriental Medicine. In 2002, he received an award from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Foundation for “Building Bridges of Integration” between Oriental medicine and Western Medicine.
In April 2001, Dr. Hammer helped found Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. He served as Chairman of the Board and as a faculty member, offering direction and guidance to students and practitioners. The school is distinguished not only by its strong focus on diagnosis, especially Contemporary Chinese pulse, but also by its curriculum, Contemporary Oriental Medicine. COM stresses psychology, along with a methodology for thinking in Chinese medicine, and integrates parts of various models including TCM and Five-
Dr. Hammer was first published on the subject of Chinese medicine in the American Journal of Acupuncture in 1980, and subsequently has written numerous articles on a range of subjects within the medical field. His first book, Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies (Eastland Press, 1990) was also translated and published in Germany and Spain, has become a classic in the field. His second book, Chinese Pulse Diagnosis, A Contemporary Approach (Eastland Press, 2001), has been described as a seminal work. In 2008 his third book was published: The Patient-
He has a great love of nature and ecology, and a passion for ensuring that all creatures are treated with equal respect and compassion. Dr. Hammer greatly enjoys sailing, kayaking, cross-