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Acupuncture Today
May, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 05
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News in Brief

By Editorial Staff

Acupuncture Helps Tennis Star Returns to Top Form

After a disappointing 2001 season in which she failed to win a Grand Slam tournament for the second consecutive year, tennis sensation Martina Hingis has returned to the form that made her one of the most dominating players of the last half-decade.

In the first two months of the 2002 season, she won two of the first three tournaments she entered, reached the semifinals of a fourth tournament, and made it all the way to the finals of the Australian Open before losing a grueling three-set match to Jennifer Capriati.

Most recently, Hingis participated in the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. After missing a tournament in Arizona due to tendonitis in her right wrist, Hingis had also considered skipping the event until her personal physician, Heinz Buhlmann, was brought in for a quick acupuncture session before the first round of play.

"I flew my doctor in from Switzerland, and that was a big help," Hingis explained. "I'm very thankful, otherwise I don't think I would have been able to play here."

After receiving treatment on her wrist and ankle, Hingis said that her wrist felt "almost perfect." She showed just how well her wrist felt by dominating the rest of the field at Indian Wells, going through the first six matches of the tournament without losing a set before falling to Daniela Hantuchova in the finals.

Although Hantuchova kept Hingis from winning her third title of the year, she appeared more than happy with her performance. "I feel great considering last week I wasn't quite sure if I was going to be able to play here," she said.

Hingis isn't the only high-profile athlete Buhlmann has treated. An experienced surgeon, many soccer and hockey players throughout Europe seek him out for care. He also operated on Hingis' ankle last October when she damaged it in a match against Lindsay Davenport.

"He's the top of the top of these things," Hingis enthused. "All the top teams go to him. He's been doing a great job with me."

Hawaii Hospital First in State to Add CAM Providers

Maui Memorial Medical Center (MMMC) has become the first medical facility in Hawaii to add complementary and alternative health care specialists to its staff. After an extensive screening process, four new practitioners have been added to MMMC's Allied Health staff, including three acupuncturists: Kabba Anand (chair of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and a distinguished columnist with Acupuncture Today), Shirley Frank-Hall and David Kern.

Kern, who is also a naturopathic physician, called the move "progressive" and said he looked forward to seeing Western medicine open its doors and learn about the benefits alternative care has to offer.

"In the past, there has been a division [between traditional and non-traditional practitioners], so this is a way of breaking down the walls that will allow us to work together for the benefit of the patient," he said.

"It's pretty exciting," added Dr. George Talbot, Maui Memorial's chief of staff. "I think the hospital is reaching out to the community and adding services that patients have already been using to complement what we've already done."

First Bibliography of TCM Books Completed

According to the China People's Daily, researchers have completed work on China's first comprehensive bibliography of traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology. The project, which took more than 10 years and the collective effort of more than 300 medical experts, will be compiled into a dictionary for publication later this year.

More than 23,000 books and records on traditional Chinese medicine are included in the dictionary, with some references dating as far back as the pre-Qin Dynasty. The dictionary includes rare books from around the world, in addition to Chinese literature.

Experts across the country have hailed the project as "invaluable" to the future research and development of traditional Chinese medicine.

Insurance Plans Continue to Include Acupuncture as Discount Option

Another sign of the growing acceptance of acupuncture and other complementary and alternative therapies comes from the South, where Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida recently introduced a discount program for a variety of services, including acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy. The program, called "Blue Complements," also includes discounts on vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements, and books and videotapes pertaining to health and wellness.

This continuing trend has sparked widespread debate within the acupuncture profession in recent months. Supporters of the trend believe that making acupuncture and Oriental medicine accessible to the public through insurance programs will expand the profession and bring its benefits to a wider audience, while opponents claim that such programs discount acupuncturists' services and bring unnecessary controls to the acupuncture community.

Acupuncture Pioneers Honored at National College Ceremony

Three advocates for acupuncture and Oriental medicine were presented with an honorary doctoral degree in integrative medicine at National College of Oriental Medicine's most recent graduation ceremony in Orlando, Florida. The recipients included:

  • Harvey J. Kaltsas, AP, Dipl.Ac., a former member of the Florida Board of Acupuncture and one of the first graduates of the New England School of Acupuncture;
  • Arnett Girardeau, a former state senator who played a vital role in promoting the licensure of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in the state; and
  • Zhiang Ling Han, AP, who successfully campaigned for the recognition and licensure of acupuncture physicians in Florida.

The honorary degrees were the first of their kind to be bestowed by the college. The graduation ceremony also included addresses by Danny Quaranto, AP, former president of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association, and Jennifer Dysard, the class representative and speaker.


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