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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - March 2008 | Issue 49

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates

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PCOM Receives Maximum Accreditation from ACAOM

The San Diego Pacific College of Oriental Medicine has recently been re-accredited by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. ACAOM awarded PCOM with the maximum periods of five and seven years for its Doctorate and Master’s programs, respectfully. ACAOM awarded PCOM with the maximum periods of five and seven years for its Doctorate and Master’s programs, respectfully.

The ACAOM is the only accrediting agency that is currently recognized by the Department of Education and that is qualified to accredit schools of Oriental medicine. This recent accreditation is a great honor, and is testament to the commitment of PCOM’s Board of Education, the knowledge of its faculty, the competence of the administration and staff, and the amazing results achieved by its students and graduates.

There are 14 areas of examination, known as the Essential Requirements, that PCOM fulfilled in the process of this accreditation. Some of these include the excellent performance of admissions, programs of study, the faculty, the library and surrounding facilities, as well as legal governance records. Pacific College is one of less than five schools in the United States to be awarded the maximum accreditation by ACAOM.

Accreditation enables institutions like PCOM to be eligible for federal financial aid. One of the highest forms of peer review, accreditation recognizes the success and prestige of a campus, makes it more well-known to future applicants, as well as providing more benefits to those that already attend.


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Alternative Approaches to Prevention and Treatment of Kidney Stones

By Steve Goodman

Few, if any, conditions are as painful as a kidney stone. Passing a kidney stone has been likened to the pain experienced in childbirth. Kidney stones, also known as calculi, are hardened mineral deposits that form in the kidney. The purpose of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood and add them to the urine produced in the kidneys. When waste materials in the urine do not dissolve fully, tiny crystals form that can clump together and form kidney stones over time. The allopathic medical term for this condition is nephrolithiasis, or renal stone disease.1

According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the disease belongs to the categories of "sha lin" (strangury form urolithiasis), "shi lin" (strangury caused by urinary calculus) and "xue lin" (strangury complicated by hematuria). 2

As with most TCM practices, oral administration of herbal extracts as well as acupuncture are recommended for the treatment of kidney stones. The therapeutic principal behind the TCM treatment of kidney stones is to promote the circulation of qi (a person’s energy, or life force), induce urination, relieve the strangury, and shrink or remove the stones.2 Chinese medicine practitioners suggest the administration of the following herbs boiled down in water: Lysimachia,  Pyrrosia leaf, Plantago seed (piece of cloth before it is decocted with other herbs ), Cluster mallow fruit, Oriental water plantain rhizome, Citron fruit, Vaccaria seed, Radish seed, and Rhubarb. 

Depending on the type of stones that have formed, acupuncture, electrotherapy, and ear needling at specific acupuncture points are also used by TCM practitioners to relieve kidney stones,

Good kidney function and preventing the formation of kidney stones is very much a function of diet. Proper hydration by drinking enough water throughout the day is one of the surest ways to prevent stone formation. Other dietary changes and supplements can help prevent, and or reduce, the occurrence of kidney stones. Poor magnesium intake has been linked to kidney stone formation. Magnesium supplementation in the form of 500 mg taken daily of magnesium citrate may decrease the size of an existing stone and prevent further formations. Lack of vitamin B-6 has been shown to increase urinary oxalates, which can lead to stone formation, so daily supplementation with 25mg of B-6 has also been recommended to prevent kidney stones. 3. For some types of stones it has been indicated that reducing your intake of meat, fish, and chicken is a good idea as these foods can stimulate the formation of calcium oxalate stones. Other items in the diet that may encourage calcium oxalate stone formation include beer, black pepper, berries, broccoli, chocolate, spinach, and tea. To prevent stones it has been recommended that you add foods to your diet that have a high ratio of magnesium to calcium such as brown rice, bananas, oats, barley, and soy, and that are high in fiber such as oat bran, psyllium seed husk, and flaxseed meal.



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Chi Nei Tsang Massaging negative energy out of your body

by Alex A. Kecskes
Called a holistic approach to health, Chi Nei Tsang, or CNT, is a touch-healing system developed by ancient Taoist Chinese monks to help detoxify, strengthen, and refine the bodies. Literally translated, Chi Nei Tsang means “working the energy of the internal organs” or “internal organs chi transformation.” This is accomplished by integrating the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of your being.

In practice, CNT uses massage, acupressure, and guided breathing to expel negative energies and toxins from your internal organs, tissues, and bones. It also recycles these energies to enhance your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. CNT even uses meditation techniques involving an internal awareness of colors and sounds to help detoxify your body.

Believers in CNT have reported the reduction or elimination of chronic pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, sciatica, fibroids, and prostate problems. CNT has also been known to manage stress.

So how does it work? A typical CNT session usually begins with you lying relaxed on your back with your legs supported and stomach exposed. You would then relate your health concerns and history to your practitioner, and include any final questions you may have about the procedure. After you’ve established a deep breathing pattern, your practitioner would begin with gentle and precise hand movements to your abdomen while guiding you in proper, healthful breathing techniques. You’ll start to feel relaxed on a physical and emotional level. The massage will continue around the navel, expanding outward to all the other organs and tissues. Experienced practitioners can evaluate the area around the navel—through its look and feel—and detect any imbalances in your system. The sessions can include 40 to 50 minutes of hands-on time.

After a few sessions, your practitioner will learn to “sense” and “feel” the blockages in your body, along with their associated energy patterns. They’ll learn to sense your tension, and the hot or cold, dry or wet aspects of your body’s signals. The goal is to address unprocessed emotional charges and to soothe all you body’s systems. This includes the digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, lymphatic, nervous, endocrine, urinary, reproductive, muscular-skeletal, and your acupuncture meridian system, or qi.

So what can you expect after a session or two of CNT? Some people are revitalized with energy and feel refreshed for the rest of the day. They claim to be more alive and able to sense things more clearly. Others are often tired the same day or the day after and sleep for hours after a session. And some even have strikingly vivid dreams the night after a CNT session.

Those interested can also check out the CNT official site at


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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still”

~ Lao Tzu

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - February 2008 | Issue 48

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates

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Infant Massage and its many Benefits By: Michelle Fletcher

Massage is no longer solely the refuge for overworked athletes and office workers suffering from carpal tunnel. The littlest in our lives are now reaping the many benefits of massage-infants.

Massage applied specifically to infants is deemed infant massage, used to enhance blood circulation, stimulate the nervous system, promote relaxation, decrease the production of stress hormones, and relieve discomfort associated with colic, gas, congestion, and teething. Applied by certified massage therapists or parents who have undergone training in this healing method, infant massage provides many positive benefits for parents and children.

The University Of Miami School Of Medicine and the Nova Southeastern University have been the flagship institutions researching the effects of massage in infants, citing the numerous benefits in clinical studies. According to their numerous studies, "Research suggests that touch is as important to infants and children as eating and sleeping. Touch therapy triggers many physiological changes that help infants and children grow and develop. For example, massage can stimulate nerves in the brain that facilitate food absorption, resulting in faster weight gain. It also lowers levels of stress hormones, resulting in improved immune function."1

Infants who receive massage therapy may reap numerous benefits, including a feeling of relaxation, relief from stress, involvement and interaction with adults, and stimulation to the nervous system, which aids in many bodily functions. "When infant massage therapy is properly applied to preterm infants, they respond with increased weight gains, improved developmental scores, and earlier discharge from the hospital."2

Infant massage also provides benefits for those giving the massage. Parents gain an increased awareness of the baby and his or her needs while enhancing the bonding process between child and caregiver. In the advent of postnatal depression-a common occurrence among mothers following birth-both child and parent are in danger of suffering long-term adverse consequences in their relationship and the infant's development. Improving a mother's depression through massage techniques that not only physically aid the infant but also heal both individuals emotionally may be the key to encouraging positive mother-infant interaction. "Learning the practice of infant massage by mothers is an effective treatment for facilitating mother-infant interaction in mothers with postnatal depression."3 Further, "Parents of the [infant] also benefit because infant massage enhances bonding with their child and increases confidence in their parenting skills."4

The benefits of massage on both infants and their parents are overwhelmingly positive, with research indicating that infant massage is increasingly recognized as a legitimate health care treatment.


1 Field, T. Massage therapy for infants and children. Developmental and Behavioral Psychology. 1995 Apr;16(2):105-11.
2 Beachy, JM. Premature infant massage in the NICU. Neonatal Network. 2003 May-June;22(3):39-45.
3 Onozawa K., et al. Infant massage improves mother-infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2001 Mar;63(1-3):201-7.
4 Beachy 201.


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Traditional Chinese Medicine and Bone Health

Ten million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from osteoporosis. In addition, 34 million are at a serious risk for developing this debilitating bone disease. Known for the severe loss of bone mass and breakdown of the architecture of the bone, osteoporosis thins the bones to a point where a mere cough can cause a fracture. Twenty percent of those suffering with osteoporosis will die within a year after sustaining a broken hip. Within 15 years, half of all Americans over age 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis-related fractures, according to the Surgeon General.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to preventing and eradicating the source of bone disease. TCM theory states that "The kidneys are in charge of the bones." Essentially, the skeleton's growth, development, and repair are closely related to the kidneys. These organs promote the growth of marrow and the flow of vital energy (qi) through the skeleton.

Post-menopausal women experience both bone loss and kidney weakness. Studies performed at the Traditional Medicine Research Institute in China have found that "the increase of bone mass in amount and density and the increase of age have a close relationship with the abundance of, or decline of, kidney qi." Individuals suffering kidney failure will also experience lower bone density, according to the study.

The second factor that contributes to bone disease is blood flow. Blood flow and qi circulation throughout the body are directly related. Promoting blood circulation may remove such stasis and encourage the production of new bone material. Like Western medicine, TCM promotes vigorous exercise for general well being, and weight exercises for bone strength and health. An American study concludes that athletic and active women maintain bone mass longer later in life. Further, a study at the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver suggests that, "Moderate physical activity in people with osteoporosis can reduce the risk of falls and fractures, decrease pain and improve fitness and overall quality of life. It may also stimulate bone gain and decrease bone loss." Movement is as important in preserving healthy bones as eating well and getting enough calcium.


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Reducing the Risk of Stroke With Teab

Drinking teas that are made from the Camellia Sinesis plant, that is Black, Green, and Oolong, can reduce the likelihood of stroke in the same manner it reduces the chance of heart disease and cancer. Tea as preventative medicine is so effective because it works with the body's natural state of balance to placate the onset of age and lifestyle related disease.

There are different classifications of a stroke, but for the most part they all entail blockage of blood flow to the brain either by blood clot, or the hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Some signs that suggest a person is at risk for stroke include genetics, cholesterol levels, volume of sugar in the blood serum, amount of salt intake, lack of exercise, and if they are a smoker. These are all contributing factors that lead up to high blood pressure, which suggests the heart is working too hard because of blockage in the arteries. It takes a lifetime of poor eating and exercise habits to create the stroke environment, but some people are more susceptible than others.

Drinking tea regularly (2-8 cups a day) has shown to reduce the risk of stroke as well as help speed the recovery from stroke. Stroke isn't one of those diseases that affects or develops in everyone the same way. Strokes are not caused by a virus or bacteria, but they are, however, partly due to an outside source - processed foods high in cholesterol and sugar. The body just cannot metabolize the Western diet efficiently, and over the course of time as the body tries to regulate itself, toxins accumulate, energy stores are depleted, and blockages form. Eating a diet high in sugar or a diet high in fat is unhealthy, but eating a diet loaded with sugar and fat is detrimental.

Tea has been shown to reduce the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine by inhibiting the effects of enzymes. This means less sugar is absorbed into the blood stream at one time, which can lead to the adrenaline/insulin roller coaster. Often times when a person has a stroke or heart attack it isn't after eating a meal high in fat, as if the small amount of fat in food was the straw that broke the camel's back. In fact, it is meal high in starches that can be a killer. The heart gets pumping harder as adrenaline kicks in, the blood pressure rises, then an existing clot is pushed into place, thus stopping blood flow. Stressful situations can give rise to increased blood pressure through the fight or flight response in a similar manner. Tea is a natural relaxant to muscles and tissues as it shoulders some of the load of metabolizing energy that the body is constantly in the process of.

Drinking Tea also helps to minimize the damage done in arteries by free radicals, from carcinogens and the air we breathe, which react with cholesterol molecules in the blood stream. Tea is loaded with anti-oxidants that not only scavenge free radicals that damage blood cells, but all other cells of the body. Tea also decreases the rate at which self-programmed cell death occurs. Over the years as cells replicate and replace each other, the integrity of DNA is degraded. This is aging. Tea helps in the repair and protection of neurons in the brain and central nervous system to keep the body's reflexes and reactions, internal and external, sharp.

Tea aids liver function by not only regulating blood sugar levels but also by boosting the ability to metabolize glucose from fat and protein sources. When the body is in balance it can utilize the lipids that combine with proteins in the blood stream to form cholesterol more efficiently. When LDL cholesterols accumulate in the arteries they harden the walls by forming plaque. This narrows the passageways of blood, making it easier for a clot to get stuck in an artery leading to the brain, or for that part of the brain to atrophy. The liver produces all the cholesterol our bodies need for repair and maintenance of cell walls; it is the cholesterol in food that gets us in trouble. It is thought that drinking tea before a meal will reduce the amount of fat our intestines absorb. Instead of sending it into the bloodstream where it is not needed it passes through the digestive tract.

These are a few examples of how drinking tea promotes a healthy body and decreases the likelihood of stroke symptoms and precursors to develop. Regular exercise is also important to utilize the nutrients in the food we eat efficiently. Tea has been shown to increase endurance for exercise, which depletes energy stores and makes room for new energy. Stagnation anywhere in the body impedes blood flow. Drinking Tea isn't a cure all for stroke, but when accompanied by a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low in processed fats and sugars it can help stabilize and balance the system.



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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

 ~ Confucius

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - December 2007 | Issue 46

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • February 2nd: (Saturday)
    New York Open House10:00am-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)

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Dr. Tom Haines Receives AAAOM 2007 Leadership Award

Thomas Haines, Ph.D., the Coordinator of Doctoral Studies and Assistant to the President at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, was awarded one of the 37 coveted Leadership Awards presented at the 25th anniversary conference of the AAAOM held in Portland, Oregon in October 2007. These awards were given to honor some of the pioneers and leaders that helped expand Oriental medicine in this country over the past 25 years.  Dr. Haines spent more than 35 years in higher education before coming to the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AOM). Since joining the AOM community over a decade ago, Tom has been highly influential in bringing higher education standards to the field of Oriental medicine and in the development of the postgraduate doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine. His role as an Academic Dean for ACTCM in San Francisco for four years then later serving as an administrator for the past eight years at Pacific College along with his 12-year membership as a public board member on the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance board helped him to promote and shepherd the development of the postgraduate clinical doctorate standards. His involvement with the Council of Colleges of Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) doctoral task force and later the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM) doctoral task force allowed him to help guide this process to fruition.

In 1998, Dr. Haines attended the biannual CCAOM meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, armed with a set of doctoral standards that were designed for implementation within the profession of Oriental medicine. Present at this meeting were most of the 41 colleges of Oriental medicine that were accredited at that time. The CCAOM had been contemplating the doctorate degree for the profession for over a decade. The new interest among the colleges was in the development of a postgraduate clinical doctorate for licensed practitioners of OM. “Each school had a different idea of what they wanted the doctorate to be and there was a 'hand shake' agreement between the colleges that no school would start a doctorate program until they all agreed on the standards. Obviously, consensus had to be developed before the process could move forward. I mediated a process (with invaluable input from Dr. Richard Hammerschlag) over a 61 hour period using the Delphi technique to establish agreement,” Tom said. CCAOM members at this meeting eventually agreed to the doctoral standards and later that year, the standards were passed on to ACAOM for review.

At the end of a two-year public review process, the ACAOM Doctoral Task Force accepted almost 95% of the recommended standards established by CCAOM. In May of 2000, ACAOM, which oversees accreditation of the degrees in this field, published the standards for a clinical, postgraduate doctorate degree. The first OM colleges began offering postgraduate doctoral degree programs in 2002. Today there are over 10 colleges approved to award the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree. As of October 2007, Dr. Haines said, "there are approximately 65 DAOM graduates with another 150 to 160 doctoral fellows currently seeking their doctorate degrees in a variety of clinical specialties ranging from pain management to family medicine. The DAOM process has gained a critical mass and we will see many more practitioners elect to take advantage of this option."

Dr. Haines stated he had one primary goal when he agreed to come out of retirement and become involved in the field of Oriental medicine. This goal was to help develop a clinical doctorate degree for the Oriental medicine profession. However, with his involvement at the national level as an Alliance board member, Dr. Haines soon acquired a second mission. This mission was to help bring about the unification of the profession, or in his words, "the establishment of 'one voice' for the medicine".
Due to the hard work and compromise from many in the profession, Dr. Haines was able to help facilitate an agreement acceptable to the colleges, and the often opposing, but similarly invested groups of the American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM) and the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance (AOMA). These two professional membership groups were once united as the AAAOM, but a separation occurred over fifteen years ago due to major philosophical differences within the original AAAOM group, many revolving around the role of doctorate level education in the field of Oriental medicine.

After many years of confrontational politics, the major differences between these newly formed groups were set aside when Dr. Haines and Dr. Will Morris were selected to co-chair the Visioning Search Task Force (VSTF, Acupuncture Today, November 2004, Vol. 5, Issue 5), which attempted to consolidate the profession through a Future Search process, a well known conciliatory course of action.

Although the VSTF did not bring about full unity, it contributed significantly toward developing a climate that allowed the two national groups to continue a dialogue directed at unification of the profession. With behind-the-scene facilitation from Dr. Haines and other leaders in the profession, and through invaluable support from the American Acupuncture Council (primarily represented by Vice President Michael Schroeder), this continued effort toward unification was fully realized at the 2007 January meeting of the two boards in Dallas, Texas. As a result of this landmark meeting, both national groups agreed to once again reform as a united front as the AAAOM beginning February 1st, 2007.

Dr. Haines played an important part in this merger, urging the groups to focus on their common goals regarding the advancement of the field of Oriental medicine. It was a long road to success, but this joining of the two associations was part of Tom’s second goal: he wanted to bring the people in the field together. “When I am at legislative or national meetings, I want to be able to say ‘we’ have consensus on the major issues influencing our profession. The perception of 'unity' is very important for those looking at us from the outside,” Tom said.

Dr. Haines is currently working on a third AOM career objective, the development and implementation of an entry-level doctorate in the field of Oriental medicine. The entry level doctorate will allow people to go straight for their doctorate in AOM instead of first having to receive an elongated master's degree (which is almost four years long) before moving on to the postgraduate clinical doctorate. “An entry-level doctorate will add credibility to the field by providing greater patient care, much needed visibility and, ultimately, be more time-effective and economical for students. ” Tom said.

Dr. Haines is currently a member of the NCCAOM Joint Task Analysis Taskforce, which is conducting a national occupational survey to establish appropriate credentialing guidelines within the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is also working closely with the California Acupuncture Board in their efforts in completing the California 2008 Occupational Analysis, which will help to define what items the entry level California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) will contain.

Dr. Haines said he was  "drawn to this medicine because of its potential to address the major health issues in America, i.e., high levels of stress, poor diets and the lack of exercise." The Leadership Award granted to Dr. Haines from the AAAOM is in response to his unfailing efforts to help people work together in the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to improve and create more educational opportunities as well as increase the awareness of this wonderful medicine's potential.


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Acupuncture and Tai Ji Beneficial For Healthy Weight Loss

According to the American Public Health Association, obesity rates among adults in the past decade have skyrocketed, increasing by 60 percent.  As Americans spend more than $33 billion annually on weight-loss products and services, most diet fads bring only short-term solutions. As January is Lose Weight and Feel Great Month, acupuncture and tai ji are a great alternative to for shedding those extra pounds.

When attempting to diet, many people experience withdrawal,  or cravings, due to a lack of endorphins. The need to eat is often so strong that dieters binge on food. This is one reason why diets often cause people to gain more weight rather than lose it. Acupuncture and tai ji counterbalance these cravings by releasing endorphins in the brain, which actually alleviate the withdrawal  symptoms that many dieters experience and eventually succumb to.

Weight gain can also be caused by stress, which increases cortizol levels in the body. This increase in cortizol can alter metabolism, thus causing stressed people to gain weight. As with cravings, the endorphins released by acupuncture and the gentle motions of tai ji also help reduce stress, which can reduce the need to overeat.
Both tai ji and acupuncture can also stimulate the hyopthalamus. This induces weight loss because the hypothalamus regulates the body’s thyroid and hormone levels, which in turn regulate metabolism.

In addition to regulating the body internally, tai ji also provides the benefits of exercise by building strength, restoring balance, and increasing flexibility. Tai ji’s gentle movements and low physical impact make it a great activity for aging bodies, those recovering from injury, or people looking to change up their exercise routine.


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Endometriosis Diminished with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Women of all ages and backgrounds can be affected by the condition of endometriosis. In fact, an estimated five to seven million American women currently suffer from this condition, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Endometriosis is derived from the word “endometrium,” which is the lining of a woman’s uterus. In this condition, organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments surrounding the uterus, and possibly the lungs, head, and other locations, are lined with the endometrium as well as the uterus. However, unlike the uterus, these linings are not expelled from the body during menstruation, but rather linger and are slowly absorbed into the body. This can cause symptoms ranging from pain during intercourse, before menstruation, low back pain, nausea, fatigue, and even infertility.

The Western diagnosis and treatment for this condition are both invasive. A laparoscopy is performed to diagnose the condition; this is when a lighted optical tube is inserted through a small incision in the navel. Western treatments for endometriosis include surgery and drug therapy. The causes of endometriosis are still unclear, although many theories have been made with attention to stress, genetic predispositions, and exposure to heat or cold during menstruation.

A non-invasive, more soothing approach to diminishing endometriosis is found in traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture, massage, and herbal therapy have all been linked with success regarding this condition. Traditional Chinese medicine considers endometriosis as a condition of Blood Stasis, which means that the woman’ s blood circulation is poor. The TCM treatment for endometriosis attempts to increase circulation by smoothing the channel, or pathway, that supplies blood to the body. A common method for this is the use of Chinese herbs such as pangolin scales, cinnamon twigs, fennel seed, and lindera, which have blood or qi regulating properties. Other herbs like corydal, corydalis, mastic, myrrh, and bupleurum are known for their efficient pain-killing properties.

Acupuncture can also be used to treat endometriosis. This can help to both relieve any painful symptoms of the condition as well as to help balance the body’s hormones. When acupuncture needles are applied to points influencing the nervous system, organ functions, and endocrine system, balance can be restored and blood stasis improved. The liver and kidneys are thought to be two of the most important organs regarding fertility and menses in traditional Chinese medicine. When acupuncture is performed with attention to these organs, many of the various pains of endometriosis can be alleviated.

Lastly, it is thought that high levels of stress can contribute to the cause or perpetuation of this condition. Another form of TCM that can help to regain good qi (a person’s life force), or to maintain optimal health is the practice of massage. In particular, the Tui Na massage is thought to be beneficial for endometriosis. This massage focuses on the grasping and pulling of certain muscle groups, and serves as a painkiller. Oriental medicine is often thought to be more effective and more comfortable a treatment for endometriosis than the alternative Western courses of action, and should be considered a powerful aid for women suffering from any of these unfortunate symptoms. 


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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

If you don’t scale the mountain, you can’t view the plain.

~ The Book of Odes

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - January 2008 | Issue 47

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates

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Pacific College Presents: Study With Giovanni Maciocia

For more information on any of these lectures or to register for an event please click here to register online or call (800) 729-0941 ext 121.

In conjunction with Pacific College, Giovanni Maciocia one of the most respected practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the world, is presenting a series of lecture for 2008.  While firmly rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, Giovanni’s ideas are innovative and adapted to Western conditions and diseases.  He brings a combination of classical training and clinical experience to this unique lecture series.

The first scheduled lecture will take place in San Diego, February 23 and 24.  Giovanni will discuss The Channel System and Clinical Applications Utilizing Channels. This lecture will present the fundamental clinical applications of channel theory so that the student will acquire a foundation from which to further study channel pathology, point indications and actions, and their applications in acupuncture and moxibustion therapy. As this is an extremely broad subject, Giovanni will present the clinical application of Luo channels as a model from which to approach the clinical applications of the other primary and secondary channels.

In Chicago on March 15-16,  Giovanni will present a two part series on  The Psyche in Chinese Medicine: Treatment of Mental-Emotional Disorders, and Advanced Tongue Diagnosis. The first event concerning the psyche will explore the nature and functions of the Shen, Hun, Po, Yi, and Zhi in Chinese medicine. Emotions and their connection to the psyche will be evaluated. The workshop will also present the etiology, pathology, and treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Part two of this workshop, Advanced Tongue Diagnosis will deal with more advanced aspects of Chinese tongue diagnosis. Tongue diagnosis is one of the pillars of Chinese diagnosis and its importance and usefulness lies in its reliability and objectivity. The workshop will discuss the clinical significance of tongue-body color, tongue-body shapes and tongue coating in detail. This will be done in a clinically-relevant way with many examples and cases derived from practice. Giovanni will present many new interpretations of tongue diagnosis derived from his 32-years of practice. In Los Angeles on April 12-13, and in New York from May 17-18, 2008, Giovanni will present a two part series on The Psyche in Chinese Medicine: Treatment of Mental-Emotional Disorders, and The Extraordinary Channels. The first event concerning the psyche will explore the nature and functions of the Shen, Hun, Po, Yi, and Zhi in Chinese medicine. Emotions and their connection to the psyche will be evaluated. The workshop will also present the etiology, pathology, and treatment of depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

In San Francisco on June 7-8, Giovanni will discuss The Pathology and Treatment of Dampness and Phlegm.  Dampness and Phlegm are two extremely common pathogenic factors encountered in the clinic.  Both Dampness and Phlegm result from a dysfunction in the metabolism of fluids and our Western lifestyle, with its irregular diet, stress and overwork.

Giovanni Maciocia is one of the most highly respected practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in Europe. He trained in England at the International College of Oriental medicine and graduated in 1974 after a three-year course. He has been in practice ever since. In 1980, 1982, and 1987, he attended three postgraduate courses in acupuncture at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China. Giovanni can read Chinese and therefore has access to all the Chinese medicine textbooks, old and modern, published in China. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and Giovanni Maciocia combine forces to enlighten practitioners and acupuncturists across the nation.

For more information on any of these lectures or to register for an event please click here to register online or call (800) 729-0941 ext 121.

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Pacific College Celebrates the Chinese New Year

In celebration of Chinese New Year, Pacific College has planned free events on each of its three campuses.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York will be hosting an open house on Saturday, February 2, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Following the open house, a celebration of the Chinese New Year will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will include free community acupuncture for relaxation, as well as a tai ji and qi gong and a martial arts workshop.  This event will also include an informational lecture titled, “Chinese Astrology: Year of the Rat.”

Pacific’s San Diego campus will be hosting a free event for the public on Saturday, February 9th, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Free acupuncture and massage treatments will be offered from 10:00 to 1:00 pm. There will be 15-minute acupuncture treatment targeted for smoking cessation and stress reduction, as well as 10-minute tui na massages.  This event will also include Tai Ji and Qi Gong demonstrations, an informational lecture titled,  “A Discussion of Integrative Medicine and Its Profession” and lectures featuring women’s health and pediatrics.

Pacific’s Chicago campus will be holding a similar Chinese New Year celebration, Saturday, February 16, 2008 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The campus will be offering complimentary acupuncture treatments, qi-building exercises, and introductions to faculty and staff.

Celebrations at each campus will provide refreshments and an open invitation to the public to tour the campus. Staff and faculty will also be available to further attendees’ knowledge of Pacific College’s programs and the field of Oriental medicine.

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Herbs for Prostate Health

Prostate disorders affect millions of men in the United States each year. Not just afflicting the elderly, over half of 49-50 year-old men have enlarged prostates, and a 1 in 4 chance of developing cancerous cells.

Located just below the bladder, the prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid. Disorders of the prostate may include inflammation called prostatitis, enlargement of the gland, and cancer. Fortunately, much of this can be avoided through proper nutrition and supplementation. Fruit- and vegetable-rich diets aid in protecting the prostate from illness, supplying the essential nutrients needed to ensure healthy function for decades. A surprisingly high proportion of prostate disorder patients rely on complementary health practices not prescribed by physicians, according to a study by Gary D. Kao, M.D., Ph.D.

For thousands of years, herbal remedies have aided in preventing and treating prostate disorders and illnesses. First and foremost is Saw Palmetto, which is taken from the berries of a small palm tree growing in the southeastern coastal United States. A traditional Native American remedy, saw palmetto contains beta-sitosterol and other plant estrogens that aid in reducing prostate enlargement. The herb inhibits certain enzymes that initiate prostate growth. According to recent studies, it is widely used in many Asian, African and European countries and compositional analysis of the berry of S. repens exhibits sterols and free fatty acids as its major constituents.

Soy may also represent hope for those suffering from prostate disorders. According to a University of Michigan study, a variety of laboratory and epidemiologic research suggests soy may play a role in the prevention of prostate cancer. Soy has been found to decrease the growth of prostate cancer cells, and can also be used for preventative medicine.

An antioxidant found in tomatoes, called Lycopene may also help lower the risk of prostate cancer. The National Cancer Institute reports that men who consumed more lycopene suffered less prostate cancer, after an analysis of over 72 research studies. The antioxidant aids in both prostate cancer prevention and treatment.

Nettle is an energy stimulant, used to treat hay fever, digestive weakness, and joint support. During times of lost appetite and energy, this herb stimulates metabolic activity which may aid in ensuring prostate health. The herb may also help alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In alternative medicine, Pygeum is often administered with Saw Palmetto. Obtained from a tree bark, it is an indigenous African remedy that aids in treating prostate enlargement.

Prepared from rye pollen, Cernilton is documented for treating BHP and prostatitis. German studies show that the herb produces an anti-edematous and anti-inflammatory effect on subjects.

Alternative medicine offers numerous non-invasive treatments for prostate illness prevention and therapy. Supplementing a healthy diet with these powerful herbs could help prevent serious prostate illness and cancer later in life.

Gary D. Kao, M.D., Ph.D. Use of complementary health practices by prostate carcinoma patients undergoing radiation therapy. Cancer, 88:3, 615-619.

Jillian L. Capodice,* Debra L. Bemis, Ralph Buttyan, Steven A. Kaplan, and Aaron E. Katz. Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 December; 2(4): 495–501.
Published online 2005 October 10. doi: 10.1093/ecam/neh128.

Mark A Moyad, MPH,* Wael A Sakr, MD,† Daisaku Hirano, MD,‡ and Gary J Miller, MD, PhD. Complementary Medicine for Prostate Cancer: Effects of Soy and Fat Consumption. Rev Urol. 2001; 3(Suppl 2): S20–S30.

Penny AllenPollen extract improves pain in men with CP/CPPS. Urology Times. Cleveland: Sep 2006.Vol.34, Iss. 11;  pg. 21, 1 pgs

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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

 ~ The Book of Odes

Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - December 2007 | Issue 45

In this issue you will find: Important PCOM Dates
  • 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)

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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.


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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.


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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.


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Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

 ~ Laozi