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Acupuncture, Massage, Newsletter - January 2009 | Issue 60

In this issue you will find:


Important PCOM Dates:

•  January 26th: (Monday) Chinese New Year
•  January 31st: (Saturday) New York Chinese New Year Celebration/ Open House 10:00am - 12:00pm
•  January 31st: (Saturday) Chicago Chinese New Year Celebration/ Open House 10:00am - 1:00-pm
•  February 7th: (Saturday) San Diego Chinese New Year Celebration/ Open House 3:00pm - 4:00pm

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Pacific College Celebrates the Chinese New Year

In celebration of Chinese New Year and the commencement of the Year of the Ox, Pacific College has planned free events that are open to the public on each of its three campuses.

Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York will be hosting an Open House and a free celebration for the public on Saturday, January 31, 2009. The open house will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and is an admissions information session for prospective students. From 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the campus will hold a Chinese New Year Celebration, which will include complimentary acupuncture treatments for relaxation. Additionally, a lecture titled, "Chinese Astrology: Year of the Ox" will be presented. Qigong workshops will be held, and a lecture about health tips for winter will also be given. This event is free and open to the public.

Pacific's Chicago campus will be holding a similar Chinese New Year celebration, Saturday, January 31, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The event will include information about Pacific College's master's, associate's and bachelor's programs, as well as Massage and Body Therapy programs. This festive event will also include acupuncture and Asian Bodywork demonstrations, and qi-building practices. Free acupuncture treatment coupons will be available for all attendees and refreshments will be served.

Pacific's San Diego campus will be hosting a free event for the public on Saturday, February 7, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. From 10:00 am to 11:45 am, there will be a Program Information Session for prospective students. From 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm there will be a Community Outreach Event. This celebration will be highlighted by free treatments that will last until 3:00 pm, including acupuncture for smoking cessation and stress relief, as well as massage and various Asian body therapies. There will also be Tai Ji and Qigong workshops. Festive refreshments will be served!  This event will also include an informational lecture titled, "A Discussion on Integrative Medicine and its Profession." This lecture will lead to discussions regarding integrative medicine and the professions of Asian body therapy, Thai massage, women's health, pediatrics, and complementary family practice.

For more information on any of these events, or to RSVP, please call (619) 574-6909 ext 130, or visit http://www.pacificcollege.edu/campuses/open_house_dates.html

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Chinese New Year: Year of the Ox

The year of the Ox is about to commence! The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600 BC. The Chinese calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the year based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere from late January to mid February. This year it falls on January 26th, 2009. Chinese New Year starts on a New Moon and ends with the lantern festival on the full moon 15 days later.

A complete cycle of the calendar takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each. Each of the 12 years is named after an animal. Legend says that Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from the earth. Only 12 came to say farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person was born has a profound influence on his/her personality. The Chinese Zodiac consists of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

So, for the first time since 1997, the year of the Ox presents itself in 2009. People born in the year of the Ox are known for their patience, strength of character, and their ability to inspire confidence in others. Ox people can also be eccentric and anger easily. While they may have fierce tempers, they are not easily provoked, and are respected for their patience. Although they tend to speak little, when they do express their opinions they are often eloquent. Ox people are generally easy-going and are mentally and physically alert. They can be extremely stubborn, but are also great listeners. People born in the year of the Ox are particularly compatible with Snake, Rooster, and Rat people.

There are many traditions that accompany the Chinese New Year. This celebration is also known as the Spring Festival, and is the longest and most celebrated event in the Chinese calendar. The celebrations last 15 days and are some of the most festive of the year. Preparations usually begin about one month before the New Year. Homes are thoroughly cleaned to sweep away any traces of bad luck. Doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of red paint and hung with paper scrolls decorated with themes of happiness, wealth and longevity, a practice believed to keep away ghosts and evil spirits. Many traditional Chinese homes also have live blooming plants and flowers symbolizing rebirth and wealth such as peony flowers and kumquat trees.

Great care is taken to set a good tone for the upcoming year. It is believed that one's behavior during New Year's can decide the mood for the rest of the year; words that sound like unlucky or undesirable events, such as death or poverty, are not to be spoken. Arguments, scolding children, crying and breaking things are also taboo. During this time, it is typical to wear something red, as this color is believed to ward off evil spirits. Black and white are avoided, as these colors are associated with mourning.

The Chinese use the New Year as a time to express their appreciation for protection and good fortune during the year. It is also a time of reconciliation when debts are paid and old grudges are easily cast aside. Although celebrations of the Chinese New Year vary, the underlying message is one of peace and happiness.

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The Ancient Benefits of Tai Chi and Qi Gong

For almost 3,000 years, millions of people in China have used Tai Chi and Qi Gong as a form of daily exercise. More and more Americans are trying and reaping the health benefits of Tai Chi and Qi Gong: two of the most effective balance and coordination conditioners in the world.

Developed more than six centuries ago by Taoist monks, Tai Chi consists of a series of gentle moves carried out in a slow, continuous manner that allows every part of the body to exercise. Suitable for individuals in varying degrees of health, Tai Chi and Qi Gong requires no special equipment and takes only 8-20 minutes to perform.

Much like acupuncture, Tai Chi and Qi Gong release blocks in the body's energy channels. Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises consist of gentle movements carried out in a continuous, non-strenuous and systematic manner that allow every part of the body to exercise. The rhythmic movements of the muscles, spine and joints remove the tense state of muscles, allowing qi and blood to circulate freely throughout the body.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong also provide the benefits of exercise by building strength, restoring balance, increasing flexibility and reducing stress. A low-impact exercise, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are believed to: boost the immune system; slow the aging process; lower blood pressure; reduce the incidence of anxiety, depression, fatigue and overall mood disturbances; minimize the effects of chronic conditions such as allergies and asthma; and improve breathing capacity. Tai Chi and Qi Gong have also been recommended as an adjunct therapy for people suffering from chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, asthma, high blood pressure, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and psychosomatic illnesses. Other benefits of Tai Chi include building strength, restoring balance, increasing flexibility and reducing stress.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong exercises 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. This increased oxygen flow eliminates waste products from inside the body and enhances recovery from diseases. Tai Chi and Qi Gong can also decrease the stress hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and relax muscle tissue.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 70 percent of all illness is due to unmanaged stress. Because mind/body therapies can treat or prevent these illnesses, the integration of tools such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong into our health institutions could save the U.S. $700 billion per year, and save trillions per year worldwide. Tai Chi and Qi Gong's gentle movements and low physical impact make it a great activity for aging bodies, those recovering from injury, young children or people looking to change up their exercise routine.

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Chinese Wisdom: Proverb of the Day

"People with virtue must speak out. People who speak are not all virtuous. "
~ Confucius

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