By Adam Burke, Ph.D., MPH, L.Ac.
Growing Interest in Acupuncture
By James Rohr
Many authors have deconstructed the myth of the hero, but the unquestionable expert is Joseph Campbell. His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces is the gold standard. I was first exposed to this book when I was a teenager, enamored with the tales of Odysseus and Luke Skywalker. Years later, as a Chinese medicine clinician, I was amazed how my patients dealing with cancer treatments were facing similar trials of the hero's epic adventures that Campbell described. I was further amazed at how those trials could be understood and supported with the sheng cycle of the 5 phases.
By Kelly Mondesire and Dr. Jeffrey R. Lemler
Nine years ago, I was told a story by one of my herbology professors. She grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China in a poor and rural section of the country. When she was a little girl, she experienced a toothache in one of her molars. Her grandmother mixed Shi Gao (gypsum) with a raw duck egg and gave the mixture to her for the toothache. The toothache being gone, the little girl realized that if she feigned another toothache, she would get another duck egg (eggs were very hard to come by in that area and were quite a treat!).
By Roger Jahnke
"The most profound medicine is produced naturally in the human body - for free!" This is the innovative foundation of a very low cost health care system. There are many ways to turn on (activate, create, maximize) the internal medicine. By enhancing wellbeing and function - disease is neutralized (healed), or even better, disease is prevented. These methods were fully described in the ancient yet practical tradition of Chinese medicine. The Yellow Emperor and his master physicians compiled an entire book on mobilizing the ‘healer within' "
By Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., L.Ac.
The move towards integrated medicine (IM) is now at its greatest momentum thus far. The recent Institute of Medicine Summit on Integrated Medicine and the Health of the Public, and the healthcare agenda of the Obama administration have taken IM into a new arena of possibilities, which may well materialize quite quickly. Integrative medicine is basically a system of medicine that embraces patient-centered care, focuses on prevention and wellness, embraces the significance of lifestyle, environmental and psycho-social factors as determinants of health, and selects appropriate treatments according to effectiveness based on evidence.
Mastitis is a severely uncomfortable and potentially dangerous disease that can occur during breastfeeding. If bacteria invade the breast (usually within one month of delivery), it can cause a high fever, a painful mass in the breasts, redness, inflammation, an aversion to cold, unsmooth lactation, and even pus discharge. At best, this disorder is painful and inconvenient and, at its worst, if left untreated, the fever can spread and prove deadly. In Chinese medicine, this disease is considered related to the patient's emotional state. If there is an emotional problem, there is generally a stagnation of liver qi, caused by an accumulation of heat due to improper food intake after delivery. This can lead to the obstruction of the collaterals in the breasts.
Acupuncture can be used to prevent mastitis, and can also be used to treat it. The term for mastitis in traditional Chinese medicine is "Toxic Heat Accumulation with Qi and Blood Stagnation," and closely mirrors the Western diagnosis: inflammation and infection. The Oriental medicine diagnosis involves the whole body, and perceives that the lower part of the body (the uterus) is Cold and Deficient after giving birth, while the upper part of the body (the breasts) has Heat and Stagnation, causing an imbalance in harmony and qi, or energy.
Bacteria are not all bad. Too often we relate bacteria to germs and harmful microorganisms that cause disease. The truth is the human body is made up of billions of bacteria, without many of which we would not survive. The term "probiotics" relates to foods and nutritional supplements that contain these same "good" bacteria found in the body.
It is normally not necessary to supplement with probiotics to stay healthy. Most of us have enough of the friendly bacteria to do fine. However for individuals suffering from digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Irregularity, probiotics can be a blessing, and a natural alternative to more aggressive treatments such as steroids. Along with being found in nutritional supplements there are many foods that contain probiotics such as: miso, yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, and various juices and soymilks.
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Chicago is launching its newly accredited program, the Massage Therapy/Asian Bodywork Certificate. This Certificate demonstrates a significant increase in training to clients and prospective employers. Pacific College's Chicago program teaches traditional massage skills with an emphasis on Oriental medicine theory, tui na, and the development of the students' ability to synthesize the causes, symptoms, and treatments of disease.
The Massage Therapy/ Asian Bodywork Certificate requires a minimum of 600 hours and 33.5 academic credits. The state of Illinois requires 500 hours of training for licensure, so Pacific College students will be aptly prepared to enter the field of massage. This program may be completed in three 4-month terms, or one calendar year. It will prepare students for certification by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Successful passage of the NCBTMB's National Certification Exam is required for licensure and necessary for entry-level bodywork opportunities. Graduates may also be eligible, depending on their choice of electives, for membership to the American Organization of Bodywork Therapies of Asia (AOBTA). Federal financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Two $500 scholarships for Fall-2009 are on offer for those who are eligible.
by Alex A. Kecskes
An old Chinese medical proverb says--The best doctor treats the problem before the problem becomes the disease. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) uses herbs and medications, acupuncture, massage, and qi gong (coordinating breathing patterns with various physical postures and body motions). TCM has been practiced in Asia for over 4,000 years. To underscore its importance in health care, the ancient Chinese upper class saw doctors only for preventative care; if they became sick, the doctors were not be paid.
Recent studies conducted by the federally funded National Health Statistics Report have revealed that Americans spend up to 34 billion dollars per year on complementary alternative medicine (CAM). The first national estimate of such spending discovered that more than one tenth of American's out of pocket health care dollars goes towards CAM. The term CAM encompasses Oriental medicine, Asian body therapy, herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and other variations of Oriental medicine. According to new research, CAM accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of total health care expenditures.
Currently in the United States, about 38 percent of adults are using CAM for health and to treat a variety of issues. Most commonly, this report shows that people actively seek out acupuncture and massage to manage chronic pain. Of the 34 billion dollars people spent for CAM services, an estimated 22 billion dollars was spent on self-care costs such as herbs and nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products like fish oil and Echinacea. Visits to acupuncturists, massage therapists, and chiropractors was attributed to more than half of the money spent on self-care - about 11.9 billion dollars. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's three clinics (located in San Diego, New York, and Chicago) have seen a rise in patients.