In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- Appreciation for PCOM Fire Volunteers
- Hospitals Increase CAM Services
- Tea For Weight Loss
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
February 2nd (Saturday):
New York Open House 10:00am-12:00pm (Chinese New Year 12:00pm-3:00pm)
February 9th (Saturday):
San Diego Chinese New Year Celebration/ Open House 10:00am-3:00pm
February 16th (Saturday):
Chicago Chinese New Year (all programs)
Appreciation for PCOM Fire Volunteers
We would like to thank all of the Pacific College alumni, faculty, and staff that volunteered to help San Diego fire victims. The recent disaster in Southern California has been termed the worst firestorm San Diego County has ever seen by the San Diego Fire Department, with nearly 500,000 acres burned. This was the largest evacuation in California’s history, and considered a national disaster that warranted visits from the state’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as President Bush.
Local residents that did not lose their homes still suffered from extreme levels of anxiety and poor air quality. Evacuees that had to spend days at local refugee center Qualcomm stadium found one source of care and diversion with Pacifc College of Oriental Medicine. PCOM’s San Diego campus came together in an effort to aid all ailments with a combination of acupuncture and massage. PCOM donated supplies, and its students, alumni, and faculty volunteered their services at Qualcomm Stadium. PCOM faculty member Bob Johnson worked to organize practitioners and graduates to provide acupuncture treatments for fatigue on the sites of the firefighting. Helio Medical Supply helped PCOM in this effort by donating needles and other supplies, while PCOM alumni Ryan Altman’s non-profit organization, the Alternative Healing Network, helped organize and execute the volunteer effort at Qualcomm.
Together, acupuncture and massage provided relief for those who were stressed and facing respiratory problems. Acupuncture and massage can alleviate stress symptoms by releasing endorphins, the body’s own natural painkillers, and improving the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, which brings fresh oxygen to body tissues. Chinese acupuncture and massage also decrease the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and relax muscle tissue.
Acupuncture and massage can also help with respiratory problems caused by an excess inhalation of smoke. Bronchospasms associated with asthma and other breathing problems result from over-stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. Patients can therefore experience both a physical release from bronchial constriction, and also an emotional or psychological release from the fear of constriction and suffocation.
Hospitals Increase CAM Services
The American Hospital Association conducted a survey in 2006 that revealed that more than one out of every four hospitals in the U.S. now offer some “alternative” therapies, including acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and massage therapy, among other types of non-Western treatment. According to the survey, which is conducted every year by the AHA, the percentage of hospitals offering “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) therapies grew from 8 percent in 1998 to 27 percent in 2005.
More Americans are finding relief through alternative forms of health care. Hospitals have increasingly expanded programs in order to attract this patient base as well as to optimize care options. CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) inpatient programs nearly doubled between 1998 and 2001, as attitudes and perceptions toward alternative medicine change. The Journal of the American Medical Association states that 42 percent of U.S. adults receive at least one of sixteen alternative therapies surveyed.
The top six therapies offered by the AHA member hospitals and sought by Americans include massage therapy, tai chi, yoga, or qi gong, relaxation trainings, acupuncture, guided imagery, and therapeutic touch. Studies showed that Americans paid for most of these services out of pocket, spending $13.7 billion annually on CAM products and services, making it an attractive market for many struggling hospitals. In a 2002 Health Forum report, most hospitals cited patient demand as the number one reason for implementing CAM programs. Other reasons included clinical effectiveness, reflection of the organizational mission and competition with other hospitals. By offering a wider range of treatment choices to patients, hospitals may gain a competitive edge.
Physician resistance is the number one reason why hospitals do not opt for CAM services, a trend that is likely to change, as 60 percent of medical schools now offer CAM courses, and efforts by schools such as Pacific College of Oriental Medicine are making strides to expand knowledge of traditional medicine.
Three quarters of hospitals offering CAM services reported program start up costs as less than $200,000, according to AHA’s Annual Survey. Numerous services are offered with such minimal costs. These include, but are not limited to: acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, pastoral care, herbal medicine, reflexology and biofeedback.
Hospitals will continue to begin CAM programs as they review new research that validates efficacy, educate physicians and hire licensed professionals.
Tea for Weight Loss
Many Americans are putting down the double-espresso mocha latte and exploring the extraordinary world of tea. Asian cultures realized its value centuries ago, and U.S. consumers are now finally catching on. Tea is being rediscovered as the miracle drink that others have revered for years.
As the healthiest beverage in the world after water, tea offers numerous benefits that can significantly contribute to a change in your lifestyle and consciousness, resulting in a healthier way of life. This affects the way you eat and the foods you consume. People who drink four to six cups of tea a day are unlikely to continue consuming foods high in fat and calories.
How does drinking tea, especially green tea, contribute to a change in lifestyle, awareness and diet? There is nothing you have to do or think about. Within 30 days or so of starting a green tea regimen of four to six cups a day, you’ll start to experience a change in attitude and behavior, based on the empowering belief that you’re the source of all your own answers.
At first, you’ll notice a subtle change. Instead of reaching for that candy bar or dish of ice cream that you’re accustomed to eating after dinner, you’ll find that you’re consciously taking a smaller portion or eliminating it altogether. You’ll begin to notice when you go out to a restaurant that your choices will be more in alignment with foods that will optimize your health.
As for tea’s healthful aspects, its powerful antioxidants have been shown in numerous studies to fight illness and disease, slow aging and beneficially affect health. Clinical tests have shown that they destroy free radicals and have far-reaching positive effects on the entire body. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules, or fragments of molecules, in our bloodstream that can damage the body at the cellular level, leaving it susceptible to cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases.
Recent studies have shown that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant found in tea, is at least 100 more times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage believed to be linked to serious illnesses. It has twice the antioxidant benefit of resveratrol, found in red wine.
In addition, preparing tea is a ceremony that invites you to slow down and do things more deliberately. It is the opposite of wolfing down a quick burger at a drive-thru. It involves careful preparation and a slower pace. This in turn may cause you to slow down in life in general, be more conscious of what you do, how you spend your time and what you eat.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.