The Year of the Horse has arrived! On January 31, 2014, the Chinese New Year celebration began, complete with gorgeous hanging lanterns, traditional lion dances, and incredible firecrackers. In essence, Chinese New Year is about spending time with family, gift-giving, and the much-anticipated holiday feast. The history of Chinese New Year spurs from legends that have been passed down over centuries about a mythical lion-like beast that preyed on villagers. This beast was known as “Nian,” which in Chinese is translated to “year.” Legend has it that a wise man told the villagers that the only way to conquer the evil Nian was to make loud noises with drums and firecrackers and hang red paper cutouts and scrolls on their doors as Nian was scared of the color red.
This January 2014, Pacific College of Oriental Medicine New York opened the doors to its new campus location in Lower Manhattan. The PCOM New York campus moved from its long-held Flatiron District location in December 2013, just in time to ring in 2014 from its new home on 110 William Street, New York NY 10038. The campus move will provide new opportunities for students and patients alike. Campus Director Malcolm Youngren says, “The space is larger than our previous campus. The new space is 42,000 square feet compared to 38,000 square feet. This move has enabled us to create a larger student lounge and increase the number of classes and treatment rooms.”
The Zhen Qi Tang (真气堂) clinic is a busy, privately run clinic in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province in northwestern China. Lanzhou is an ethnically diverse city, and the powerful, muddy Yellow River runs through its center. Because of its location at the southern part of the Silk Road (Gansu Corridor), Lanzhou has always been a center of trade and cultural exchange. Not far from Lanzhou are the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang, which hold a rich and vast collection of Buddhist art; in 1990, a library cave was also discovered, containing many ancient relics and texts.
Teachers I admire at my alma mater (Steve Bonzak) and in our profession-at-large (Dr. Huang and Sharon Weizenbaum) speak decisively about raw herbal medicinals as the time-tested, irreplaceable gold standard. Pioneering veteran farmers Jean Giblette and Peg Schafer emphasize that a demonstrated, steady demand by herbal clinicians for ecologically cultivated raw medicinals is imperative to the confidence North American farmers need to risk growing these specialty crops.