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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - September 2004 |

Welcome to the latest issue of the Pacific College E-Zine! In this issue you will find:


• Important September Dates

PCOM In The News

Chinese Medicine Offers Solutions for Healthy Aging Month

Benefits of Slippery Elm

Late Summer Health Notes

Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day


Important September Dates to Remember

• September 1 - New Student Orientation

• September 7 - Fall 2004 Semester Begins

• September 9 - San Diego Low Cost Community Clinic Opens

• September 23 - Chicago Campus Open House

• September 28 - New York Campus Open House




Pacific College Opens New Low-Cost Community Clinic

In an effort to offer better healthcare to the San Diego community, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine will be opening a low-cost community acupuncture clinic on September 9, 2004.

Pacific College 's community clinic is designed to both widen Pacific's masters degree students' range of clinic experience and to make acupuncture more accessible to the community. The community clinic will conduct treatments in a group setting and will focus on specific disorders, such as back pain, headache and asthma. The community clinic will be available to local businesses, employees of local companies, and those who have few affordable health resources available to them.

The community acupuncture clinic will be held every Thursday evening from 5 to 9 pm at the college's Mission Valley campus. The cost for appointments is approximately $15 per treatment.


Recent Alumni Prepares to Provide Acupuncture Aboard Celebrity Cruises

Luxury cruise line Celebrity Cruises recently became the first cruise line to offer acupuncture on board their ships. The cruise line ran a pilot acupuncture program in the fall of 2003, and is now expanding their "Acupuncture at Sea" program to be available on five of the ten ships in its fleet.

Celebrity Cruises has employed highly skilled licensed acupuncturists to provide top care to their passengers. One of their newest acupuncturists scheduled to join the ship "Millennium" is recent graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (Chicago), Ernie Costello.

Because the idea of offering acupuncture is relatively new Costello is looking forward to promoting the many benefits of acupuncture to a captive audience.

"For many people on board, acupuncture is just something they have heard of but never experienced," said Costello. "This is their chance to try it. I have the opportunity to provide passengers with a strong positive first experience to acupuncture and Oriental medicine that will hopefully encourage them to seek out such care when they return home."

Costello attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine because he felt inspired to learn as much as possible about Oriental Medicine after receiving successful acupuncture treatments for a shoulder injury several years ago.

" I am excited to be exploring the world, treating patients, and educating others on Oriental medicine," said Costello. "I feel very prepared as a practitioner thanks largely in part to the extensive clinical hours and opportunity to see patients that I was afforded at Pacific College ."

Between two to four acupuncturists are scheduled to work on board each ship with treatments centered on pain management, smoking cessation, weight-loss and stress management. In addition to treating patients, the acupuncturists will also be presenting free lectures on acupuncture, Feng Shui, nutrition, and herbs.




Chinese Medicine Offers Solutions for Healthy Aging Month

With September being Healthy Aging Month, we become reminded of how difficult it can be to maintain health as our bodies age. Though aging is never an easy process, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers many solutions to the physical and emotional strains of getting older.

The number of seniors in America has slowly been increasing, and that trend is projected to continue. While there were only 33.9 million people over the age of 65 in 1996, by 2030, that number is expected to reach 69.4 million.

With such a large portion of the population facing old age, Americans are increasingly looking for more holistic modalities to ease this process.

TCM encompasses a variety of preventative techniques that can all work to make the aging process easier and even slower. These include manual therapies, such as acupuncture and massage; exercises like tai chi and Qi gong, whose gentle movements and low physical impact are ideal for aging bodies; and herbal formulas.

All of these aspects of TCM are based on the same principal of health, which has been used effectively in Chinese medicine for approximately 5,000 years. According to TCM, there are 14 major pathways, called meridians, in the human body. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi , or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs. It is qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits, aging or other circumstances, pain and/or disease can result. Acupuncture, massage, tai chi, Qi gong and herbs help to keep the normal flow of this energy unblocked.

By treating every patient as an individual and working to balance qi, TCM can alleviate and prevent many of the health problems experienced by seniors, such as depression, arthritis, memory loss, pain, muscle and joint stiffness, heart problems, diabetes, osteoperosis, insomnia, bladder and kidney problems, impotence, and many more.




The Benefits of Slippery Elm

This incredible herb is a member of the Elm (Ulmus) family. Native to Canada and the US, it can be found growing in the Appalachian Mountains . The inner bark is collected from trees which are at least 10 years old, and is mainly powdered for therapeutic use.

Slippery Elm was traditionally used by Native Americans as a poultice for boils, ulcers and for wounds in general. Internally, it was commonly used for colds or fevers and to soothe an irritated digestive system - one of its main uses today.

The 'Slippery' part of Slippery Elm refers to the texture of the herb. This is because of the large mucilage content of Slippery Elm, which is also responsible for its wonderful healing and soothing action. In most herbal literature this is termed a 'demulcent' or an 'emollient' agent, which means it is a soothing substance.

It not only soothes and heals all that it comes into contact with, but is highly nutritious. Slippery Elm is a wholesome food for the weak and convalescent, from infants to the elderly.

Listed below are some of the most common uses for Slippery Elm.



Slippery Elm makes a wonderful poultice, applied locally, for drawing out toxins, especially those associated with boils, spots or abscesses and can assist the removal of splinters.

Applied to wounds, burns and inflammation of any kind, Slippery Elm will help to soothe, heal and reduce swelling and pain.



  • Slippery Elm can be used to help soothe many different types of digestive complaints, for example:
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Colitis and diverticulitis
  • Inflammation of the gut or colic
  • Can give instant relief to acid indigestion or 'reflux' (this is a common use for Slippery Elm)
  • Ulcers anywhere in the gut (stomach & intestines)
  • Diarrhoea - especially if mixed with a banana and powdered Marshmallow

As a nutritive, Slippery Elm is a great food for debilitated states, and as a baby food

  • It can also be useful for urinary infections - cystitis for example.
  • Traditionally, Slippery Elm is also reported to ease chest, lung and bronchial conditions


Slippery Elm is often combined with other digestive herbs, such as Aniseed, Peppermint or Cardamon. You may also come across many products formulated for the bowel or kidneys and urinary tract which contain Slippery Elm and other herbs.


There are no-known contra-indications for Slippery Elm - it is a very safe herb.


Slippery Elm is an incredibly soothing herb, with fast acting relief for many digestive and bowel problems. It certainly lives up to its reputation.

If you have or are thinking of making a herbal first aid kit, Slippery Elm is essential. It's safe and nutritious for all the family - a herb you should always have close at hand.




Late Summer Health Notes

In Traditional Chinese Medicine our bodies and our selves reflect the natural world we live in. Being in harmony with the seasons increases health and well-being.

  • Late Summer is considered a separate season in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the middle of the Chinese calendar, late summer is a transition time when we return to the middle, between he expansive growth of spring and summer (yang energy) and the more inward energy of fall and winter (yin energy). It has been said that it's almost as if time stops for a moment, as at the instant when a pendulum reverses its swing.


  • In Chinese medicine, the stomach and digestive system are at the center of health, regulating and harmonizing the effects of seasonal extremes. Foods that support the center are often mildly sweet, yellow or golden, and round shaped. Millet, corn, white and sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, rice, ginger, fish with omega 3 fatty acids, and small amounts of beef are excellent seasonal choices. Limit excessive raw vegetables and fruits (especially citrus) and dairy products (except goat milk) at this time of year.


  • Late summer is an ideal time for centering, simplicity, and quiet reflection. It is a great time to "digest" your experiences so far this year, sorting through which experiences are nourishing and should be assimilated and learned from, and which you can let go of.


  • Regular exercise keeps the qi and blood circulating, keeps reflection from becoming excessive (worry and obsession), and supports smooth transitions through the seasons and emotions.




Chinese Wisdom: Quote of the Day


To learn without thinking is fruitless;

To think without learning is dangerous.