Alex Tiberi–Teacher, Trailblazer–Passes Away

Alex Tiberi--Teacher, Trailblazer--Passes Away

Alex Tiberi, one of the early pioneers of Chinese Medicine in the United States and a founder of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, passed away on November 18, 2014. Throughout his life, Alex practiced medicine, lectured, and led study groups around the globe, inspiring innumerable students with his irresistible enthusiasm. He was a student of Buddhism for over 30 years, and practiced both Tibetan Vajrayana and Japanese Shugendo. Alex was also an accomplished martial artist, well-versed in horseback archery, aikido, and jousting. Alex will be missed by many.

Remembering Alex Tiberi’s Contributions and Legacy

For those who were not able to join us in remembering Alex Tiberi in San Diego, PCOM has provided a recording of the service as well as a photo album.

Tributes to Alex from around the world:

It is with the heaviest heart that I inform you that our dearest friend and colleague, Alex Tiberi, has passed away. As a founder of Pacific College, he was our partner, friend, and family member. He was our teacher and mentor. He was and will remain in our hearts an immense joy and inspiration. We will share our many memories when we can. For now, we send our love and support to his wife, Claire, his children and family, and to everyone who is touched by this loss.

With love for Alex,

Jack Miller

President of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

Dear community of friends, colleagues and mainly- lovers of Alex Tiberi. What I’ve learned over the last couple of days is that when things happen that feel out of order, that what seems to help- is connecting with each other. I know that all of your notes and remembrances have lifted me up, and supported me with energy and the beauty of how Alex deeply touched so many people. Thank you so much.

But even having said that, Alex had a way of being; he would often say that he was not sentimental. And he really wasn’t. It could be confusing, even to me- someone who shared more than 15 years with him as a very close student and confidant. But what I think he meant is that he didn’t really hold on to people, like most of us do. But that he was with you, in the moment when you were together. And that was what was important to him. So the way he touched you- I believe you touched him in just the same way, in that moment.

With a deep bow and much gratitude,


I just sent a note that will not make it.

Tattoos and taut muscles.

Wild curly black hair.

Like a Greek God of old.

Riding fast a Harley or bare back on a horse.

Wielding swords and firing arrows of healing qi.

Medicinal flames rubbed gently into skin.

Always an innovative technique or fascinating clinic anecdote.

Able to encompass so much, such an amazing mind.

A boundless smile and cheeky laugh.

Little could hold you back in your enjoyment of life.

Inspiring us all.

Really a gifted, unique, teacher.

Teacher, colleague, working in clinic and academic meetings together.

Oh, Alex I miss you,

But your suffering has subsided.

Oh, you of noble birth,

Be not afraid, as you journey on.

Many hearts are holding you.

We will watch over you, your children and wife, these next days of transition.

Seek good teachers, old friend.

And thank you, thank you for what you have contributed to my life.


Alex Tiberi was an extraordinarily skilled practitioner and an enthusiastic and empowering teacher. His legacy lives on through us, his students, not only in the knowledge he shared so generously, but in the values he modeled.

I’m thinking about and sending love to his family and friends.


When I brought Alex to NY to teach and we were trying to decide on a subject, I was informed that it didn’t matter what the subject was because he could read the phonebook and people would be riveted, as he brought a magic to everything he spoke about and engaged in.


Alex was the reason I entered this medicine. He is the inspiration for much of my teaching style and way of being in the world. I remember him telling us that we should not worry about what we are going to say to people because they won’t remember your words as much as they will remember how they felt from your words. What an amazing spirit. Thank you Alex.


He will forever be missed, and what an inspiration Alex always was. He was part of our 1st Scandinavian TCM Congress Denmark and touched very many Scandinavians with his amazing knowledge. His words and teachings will forever be with me.


Alex was one of my very first formal teachers of Chinese medicine already almost 16 years ago, and amongst the many things that I was privileged to learn from him – which for me was also the most valuable – was to not have to give up one’s individuality in pursuit of becoming a practitioner, but to rather embrace it and let that individuality contribute to the kind of practitioner one becomes. All of us that have had him as a teacher are truly blessed and owe a large extent of our insights into the deep wonders of oriental medicine to his readily accessible and colourful explanations. He was always so good-natured and immediately captivating once he began speaking, whether in class or at symposia. His great Shen will continue to inspire us all. My deepest condolences to all of his family, friends, colleagues and students.


Those of us whom were his students were so lucky. He taught my very first class as well and I remember the enthusiasm that we all had while he was lecturing. I also fondly remember how he used to do his demonstrations and how dramatic he was when he lit the cotton for the cups. My condolences to his family.


Huge loss for our field of medicine. Truly one of a kind. Alex had an incredible ability to translate traditional Chinese medicine into understandable concepts. Loved his classes; long on useful and practical, short on useless academia.


Attending one of Alex’s lectures 23 years ago was the deciding factor for me to go to PCOM as opposed to some other good acupuncture schools. And I thoroughly enjoyed every moment in class with him as well as at Pacific Center for Health and later lectures at the Symposiums. Missing you my fellow Horse.


Alex was one of my most inspiring teachers. Not only for Chinese medicine but especially for his way of being and how he looked at the world. His free-spirited teaching was free of dogma and so refreshing! I am forever thankful to have had the opportunity to know, study and spend time with Alex!


Terrible news … one of our greatest teachers! I was so lucky to have the opportunity to follow him for a year at Pacific Center. He taught me so much about how to work with kids. So sad… such a great guy.


Alex was very influential in my CM career. I have mentioned recently under a video of him doing moxa at a Pacific Symposium many years ago about how the first time I saw Alex speak around ’94 or ’95 in Santa Cruz when I was studying there. He completely changed my perception of what a CM practitioner could be. He inspired me and after his talk I approached him and he was open and willing to engage with me. This was a significant spring-board for me in my studies/career. I later was lucky enough to have him for a teacher at PCOM and enjoy a little social time with him (he also treated my oldest daughter several times). His presence on this earthly plane will be missed!


No words, just deep sighs, and many memories of your inspiring instructive lectures Alex. We honor your great legacy by humbly continuing to practice this medicine with integrity and skill, as you always demonstrated for us. Blessings on your way.


I am shocked! Alex was one of the great teachers of this medicine, he inspired me as a student on so many levels…I am deeply hurt by the sadness this brings, my thoughts and prayers for his family and for our TCM community which he played such an integral part.

Rest in peace Alex, you will be greatly missed… thank you for all that you have done for us.


You were totally one of my most favorite teachers *ever*… will never forget our class where we did *burn moxa* and you shared how you did it in China, and I decided I would do it and still have a nice scar on Stomach 36… it was such a mind over matter moment.


Great teacher and all around cool dude. He left the world a better place for sure and will be missed by so many.


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