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Acupuncture Today
January, 2000, Vol. 01, Issue 01
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Northwest Institute Names Robert Shook New President

By Editorial Staff

The Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has chosen Robert M. Shook as its new president, bringing more than a quarter century of experience in health care administration and management to the position.

Mr. Shook replaces Fred Lanphear, who had served as the school's president the last six years.

"I am both excited and honored to join a healing community dedicated to the foundational principles of Oriental medicine," said Shook. He added that the school is working on a new health care model "driven by the principles of wellness, prevention, alternative therapies and collaboration with the mainstream health care delivery system."

Prior to joining Northwest, Mr. Shook served as the president and CEO of Tualatin Valley Centers, a behavioral health care agency in Portland, Oregon. He was the executive director of Pacific University from 1994-96, providing administrative support for the school's academic and clinic programs for allied health, and also spent six years as the executive director of the Governor's Commission on Developmental Disabilities in Salem, Oregon.

Master Binhui Receives "Master of the Year" Award from World Congress on Qigong

Master He Binhui, a director at the Chinese Five Element Qigong Training Center, was honored as the "Master of the Year" at the Third World Congress on Qigong and the Second American Qigong Association Conference held concurrently in San Francisco this past November. Binhui received the honor in light of his contributions to the field of chi kung (a system of healing also known as qigong) and his treatment of cancer patients.

One of the world's leading experts on chi kung, Binhui's achievements have led to his receiving numerous awards, including the Award for Success in Medical Science from the American World Science Institute. In addition to his duties at the Five Element Training Center, he serves as the director of the Chinese Society of Qigong Science and Research, China's leading administrative organization for the study of qigong, and also heads the society's anticancer research center.

Researchers Study Ginseng's Safety and Efficacy

Ginseng is one of the most commonly-used substances in Asian healing. Traditional beliefs hold that ginseng plays a vital role in yin and yang and helps restore balance to certain body systems. Research presented at the International Ginseng Conference in Hong Kong has shown that factors such as which species of ginseng is ingested, which part of the plant is consumed, and how much is consumed can all have markedly different effects on their subjects.

According to Dr. David Chiu-yin Kwan of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, different types of ginseng should be used depending on the subject's condition. Kwan isolated the active ingredients (saponins) from several forms of ginseng to find which types work best for certain ailments.

Chinese or Korean ginseng (panax ginseng), Kwan explained, has a "hot/warm" nature and is recommended for improving blood circulation under yin-dominant conditions. American ginseng (panax quinquefolius) is regarded as "cold/cool" and is recommended for individuals with yang deficiency or excess yin. A third species, pseudoginseng (panax notoginseng) has a "warm/hot" nature and is used to treat occlusive vascular disease and improve microcirculation in muscle tissue.

Kwan also noted that different portions of each plant have different effects. Saponins taken from the root of pseudoginseng, for instance, had a greater effect than saponins taken from the plant's leaves. And saponins extracted from Chinese ginseng caused vasorelaxation (less tension) in some blood vessels, but vasoconstriction (increased tension) in others. More studies on ginseng will be conducted in the near future.


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