Although ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for thousands of years, it is still viewed with skepticism in the West.
The acceptance of ayurveda took a giant step forward in December, however, when the Russian health ministry formally recognized an ayurvedic treatment regimen called panchakarma.
"Interest in ayurveda is growing seriously," said Shailaja Chandra, secretary of India's Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. "This is a major first step towards official recognition of ayurveda as a medical science in Russia."
Panchakarma involves many of the purification processes implemented in classical ayurveda, involving emesis (vomiting), purgation, oil and decoction-based enemas, and the delivery of certain medications through the nostrils. It is considered effective for managing autoimmune diseases as well as chronic ailments like rheumatic arthritis and bronchial asthma.
Spotlight on Yo San's New Dean
Ted Hall, LAc, Dipl.Ac., has joined Yo San University as the school's dean of clinical education. He previously taught at San Francisco State University and Southwest Acupuncture College, helping design the curriculum for the latter school's course of study in Japanese acupuncture.
Dr. Hall began his training in Oriental medicine at the Kototama Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the age of 18. After acquiring a bachelor's degree from UC Santa Cruz, he returned to New Mexico and completed his MSOM (master of science in Oriental medicine) at Southwest in August 1999. He also has extensive training in Japanese acupuncture and Oriental bodywork. In addition to his role as dean of clinical education, he has provided volunteer acupuncture services at clinics in Arizona and Mexico, and at several teen shelters in New Mexico.
Iceman Update: More Scientists Link Mummy's Tattoos to Acupoints
Last year, it was reported in New Scientist magazine that a series of tattoos found on a 5,300-year old corpse in Italy appeared to correspond to certain acupuncture points on the body, lending credence to the theory that acupuncture may have been invented hundreds (or even thousands) of years earlier than generally believed.
New research conducted by a professor of anatomy suggests that many of the iceman's tattoos were not decorative, but were instead used as a guide for shamanistic practitioners to treat degenerative conditions of the spine, knees and ankles.
"The tattoos definitely had a medical role," said Dr. Eduard Egarter-Vigl of Bolzano University, who led an international team of investigators that studied the iceman in December. "The history of medicine must be rewritten: it appears acupuncture was not invented in China in 1500 B.C. as generally believed, but long before, in Europe."
New Faculty Member at Florida Institute
Dr. Er Qiang Li has joined the faculty of the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Prior to joining the Institute, he served as a professor at the Yamamoto Acupuncture Rehabilitation Institute and was a faculty member of the Haynal Imre Postgraduate Medical University of Health Sciences in Budapest, Hungary.
Dr. Li received a master's degree from Hei Long Jiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1984, then earned a PhD from the same school in 1990. He has held a variety of teaching and clinical positions in China and Hungary, and has published several papers on TCM in China.
TAI Elects New Officials, Restructures Boards
As part of its ongoing reorganization, the Traditional Acupuncture Institute's SOPHIA (School of Philosophy and Healing in Action) Institute in Columbia, Maryland has elected a new chancellor and chair of the board of trustees and has created a new advisory board. All three moves have been made in conjunction with the institute's plans to begin offering degrees in botanical healing and applied healing arts this September.
Dr. Dianne Connelly is the new chancellor of the Institute. She is a cofounder and former chairperson of the Institute, and has conducted national and international workshops on acupuncture. She has also authored two books (Traditional Acupuncture: The Law of the Five Elements and All Sickness is Homesickness).
R. Harwood Beville is the Institute's latest chair of the board of trustees. Before being elected, he served 17 years as the chief financial offer and executive vice president in charge of operations for the Rouse Company, an organization specializing in community developments and retail operations. He has an MBA from Harvard University and has served on several of the Institute's board committees. SOPHIA has also created a new Board of Overseers, which has merged with the Institute's current Board of Visitors. The new board will advise the school's president and board of trustees in all matters affecting the Institute. Its initial members are: Anne Bartley; George Bunting; Sherman Cohn; Betsey Heuisler; Guy Hollyday; Haig Ignatius; Donald Manekin; Fritz Smith; and John Sullivan.