In this issue you will find:
- Important PCOM Dates
- North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day 2007
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Psychiatric Disorders
- Boost Immunity the Natural Way
- Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
October 3 (Wednesday):
Chicago All Programs Open House 6-8pm
October 24 (Wednesday):
San Diego Campus North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day 2007 Celebration featuring complimentary and discount treatments
October 24 (Wednesday):
Chicago Campus North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day 2007 Celebration featuring complimentary and discount treatments
October 24 (Wednesday):
New York Campus North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day 2007 Celebration featuring an open house and complimentary acupuncture
North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day 2007
To increase understanding and appreciation of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine will celebrate North American Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day at all three of its campuses, San Diego, New York, and Chicago on October 24, 2007. Each campus will observe the day with various events.
Pacific College’s San Diego and Chicago campuses will be offering complimentary treatments for first time patients as well as $10 off treatment for current patients on Wednesday, October 24, 2007. This offer needs to be mentioned or coupon surrendered at time of treatment for offer to be valid.
Pacific’s New York Campus will be hosting a free Open House for the public from 3:30 to 5:30 pm with featured activities that teach about acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and Oriental body therapy. On that same day from 5:30 to 8:00 pm, there will be complimentary acupuncture for balance, as well as stress acupuncture and qi gong workshops.
Acupuncture has been used to treat (or relieve the pain of) dozens of ailments. The national institute of health recognizes its usefulness in treating addiction, fibromyalgia, headaches, cramps, back pain, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel, asthma, and more. According to www.acupunctureschool.com’s careers statistics, employment in the alternative therapy and non-mainstream medicine fields is expected to increase by 48.8% from 2002 to 2012.
For more information on North American Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Day, or on any of these celebrations, please call Pacific College at (800) 729-0941.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Psychiatric Disorders
By Kathleen Rushall
While mental health is often considered a separate issue from one’s physical well-being, the two have always been linked in the practice of traditional Chinese medicine. In TCM, emotions and thoughts are considered to have a direct impact on the physical health of a person, and furthermore, mental and physical health are equally valued. Because of the importance placed on the mind in traditional Chinese medicine, there are many methods available within the profession that are geared toward the renewal, healing, and upkeep of mental wellness.
Over 28 million Americans take antidepressant and anti-anxiety agents, and depression is considered among the most common of behavioral disorders. While there are a myriad of prescription drugs and therapists available for disorders such as depression, there are also some interesting Oriental methods available for this affliction. Peace-providing physical exercises such as Tai Ji and Qi Gong have been known to help align the energetic forces of the body and soothe anxiety. Massage therapy is a well-known stress reliever, and consistent breathing and meditation exercises can have long-term effects on high-strung individuals.
Even the approach to diagnosis in TCM differs. In his article Can Chinese Herbs Help Clients with Depression? Andrew Gaeddert discusses the contrast between diagnoses for psychiatric problems in Eastern versus Western medicine.
Gaeddert writes that in Western medicine, when a person sees a doctor with an emotional complaint, the patient is often quickly prescribed an anti-depressant to ‘relieve’ the difficulty instead of being carefully diagnosed to ascertain the root cause. Gaeddert goes on to explain that in Chinese medicine, emotional presentations are treated just like any other disease, since the seven emotions are intimately connected with the health of an individual.
Chinese herbal therapy is one manner of healing mental conditions in traditional Chinese medicine. Wei Liu, L.Ac., writes in his advice article, Traditional Chinese Medicine for Depression, that the Chinese herbal formula Mood Smooth (Jia Wei Xiao YaoWan) has been in use for six hundred years in China to deal with depression. The Chinese call this old remedy "the happy pill" because of its well-known anti-depressant effect. Liu expands on Chinese herbal therapy, writing about other common herbal remedies for depression. These include spleen tonic herbal formula, known as Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan, kidney nourishing herbal formula, known as Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan, and many other curatives that are widely used with different patterns of depression, treating the organs that may correspond to the emotion.
Traditional Chinese medicine can offer an entirely new method of healing for patients suffering from mental health issues. Depression is most commonly discussed, but ailments like anxiety, mania, various phobias, stress, and even schizophrenia can be alleviated by traditional Chinese medical methods like acupuncture, herbal treatment, massage, and qi gong exercises. Above all, patients may find it refreshing that the process of diagnosis in TCM is different than in Western medicine. The TCM process is thought to be more personal, taking an increased amount of history and examination into account to design a unique treatment tailored to the patient, one that addresses both symptoms and the pattern of disturbance in the energetic equilibrium of the body.
Boost Immunity the Natural Way
By Michelle Fletcher
For centuries, herbs and spices have been used in food and as medicine. Ranging from mint tea to common ingredients in pharmaceutical drugs, herbs play an important part of our everyday life.
The increased use of medicinal herbs among the general public has encouraged further examination of herbs’ effects upon humans. Recently, much research has focused upon certain herbs that possess hypolipidemic, antiplatelet, antitumor, or immune-stimulating properties, which may be useful in preventing colds, avoiding infection, and even reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. A wide variety of phytochemicals in these herbs has been identified which contain these immune system-stimulating properties.
Astragalus, Echinacea, Ginseng, licorice, and green tea are among those herbs which play a role in providing antioxidants, stimulating the activity of protective enzymes in the body, or inhibiting nitrosation (a class of chemical compounds considered carcinogenic, or “cancer-causing”). “Many of these herbs contain potent antioxidant compounds that provide significant protection against chronic diseases,” said Winston Craig from the Department of Nutrition at Andrews University. “The volatile essential oils of commonly used culinary herbs, spices, and herbal teas inhibit mevalonate synthesis and thereby suppress cholesterol synthesis and tumor growth.”
The most popular herbal remedy for promoting immunity, Echinacea, was first used by the North American Plains Indians to ward off infections. Echinacea increases the activity of the immune system in a non-specific manner, stimulating the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. In contrast to antibiotics, Echinacea make our cells more efficient at attacking viruses, bacteria, and abnormal cells – including cancer cells.
Several clinical studies have supported Echinacea’s medicinal fame. Scientists at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine assessed the ability of Echinacea and two other herbs in activating immune cells in human subjects. “The effect of these herbs when ingested for seven days was measured… The results demonstrate that Echinacea, Astragalus and Glycytthiza herbal tinctures stimulated immune cells.”
Echinacea has long been used to promote mucosal immunity in treating upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) in children and adults. Researchers at Elmhurst College examined the effects of Echinacea on mucosal immunity and the incidence of duration of URTI. This 2007 study yielded positive results: “Echinacea may attenuate the mucosal immune suppression known to occur with intense exercise and reduce the duration of URTI that subjects incur.”
While Echinacea shortens the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections, other herbs such as Astragalus and Ginseng aid in inhibiting tumor growth and boosting resistance to infections. “[Antioxidant] compounds [in these herbs] may protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, inhibit cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase enzymes [(which cause inflammation and pain in the body)]… or have antiviral or antitumor activity.”
Over 80% of the world’s population depends upon plants for health and healing. While much of the world relies heavily on pharmaceuticals (most notably in the United States and Europe), the root of health and healing may rely upon these ancient remedies.
For more information on herbs and health, visit an acupuncturist, practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or nutritionist for a thorough consultation of your herbal needs.
Craig, Winston. “Health-promoting properties of common herbs”. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1999;70(3): 491-499.
Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day
“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still”
~ The Book of Odes