U of A Researchers to Study Acupuncture for Depression
As difficult as clinical depression is to diagnose, it can be just as difficult to treat. While most people with depression are treated with psychotherapy or antidepressive drugs such as Prozac and Paxil, these treatments are not always successful, and they can often be accompanied by unwanted side-effects.
In recent years, acupuncture has become an increasingly popular method of treating depression. A new study currently underway at the University of Arizona will attempt to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in helping depressed patients feel better.
"The fact is that people are seeking alternative treatments," said Dr. John Allen, a professor of psychology at the school and the study's principal investigator. "Our existing treatments, although good, are leaving people without the relief that they're seeking."
The study is funded by a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. In the study, healthy men and women between the ages of 18-65 who exhibit signs of depression and are not undergoing other forms of treatment will undergo a Chinese medicine assessment, which includes individualized needle placement patterns.
If the new study confirms the findings of previous investigations, it could go a long way toward convincing insurance companies and other providers to pay for treatment.
"People are increasingly using alternative medicine for different kinds of conditions, including depression," added Allen. "Research like this will tell us which alternative treatments are effective and worth getting, and which are not."
Hawaii TCM College Appoints New President and Academic Dean
The board of directors of the Traditional Chinese Medical College of Hawaii (TCMCH) in Kamuela has named Dr. Robert E. Smith and Jivan Collins, LAc, as the school's new president and academic dean, respectively.
Dr. Smith brings a broad background in non-Western health care to the position of president, having studied Hawaiian medicine for four years and helping to introduce a series of lectures and workshops on Tibetan medicine to Hawaii. He also taught medical science at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and has written a number of books on physiology and the use of complementary medicine in treating cancer.
Collins, as academic dean, will assist Dr. Smith in overseeing the college's academic affairs and student admissions, and will be responsible for the administration of the school's medical clinic. He has several years of experience teaching and practicing traditional Chinese medicine, and has served on the faculties of both TCMCH and Tai Hsuan Foundation College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Honolulu.
New Chief Administrative Officer for Pacific College's Chicago Branch
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine has appointed Peter Stewart as chief administrative officer of the school's Chicago campus. A graduate of Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Mr. Stewart was certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 1995. He has also been a registered respiratory therapist since 1976.
In his new role, Mr. Stewart will oversee the growth and development of the school on both an administrative and academic level. He will also represent the college to other healing institutions in the area, and will help Pacific College establish internship programs at local hospitals and clinics.
TIA Undergoes Staff and Department Changes
In recognition of its continuing expansion and relocation to a new campus, The Traditional Acupuncture Institute's Community and Graduate Education department has officially been renamed the Department of Special Programs. The department will be responsible for developing, marketing and administrating all professional courses for acupuncturists, as well as community courses for non-practitioners and other special events.
Gail Doerr has been named the institute's Director of Special Programs and will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day functions of the department. Lisa Marie Price will administrate the school's special events, symposia and certain alumni functions.