To some people, Saturday, April 12 may have seemed like just the start of another weekend. In many parts of the world, however, April 12 was hailed as a day of peace and healing, as millions of people gathered to celebrate World Tai Chi and Qigong Day.
More than 700 events recognizing the significance of the day were planned in 52 countries. The proceedings kicked off at 10 a.m. in New Zealand, where thousands of people practiced various exercises, breathing techniques and meditations for an hour. Other groups began performing the movements as the hour approached in each time zone. Across the United States, more than 450 events were held, including free exhibitions by trained practitioners in parks, libraries and other locations.
According to Roger Lore, LAc, an instructor of qigong at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, both therapies have experienced "phenomenal growth" in the U.S. due to increased information and changes in China's political climate, which has created a willingness among Americans to try new forms of healing.
"Belief is not a prerequisite for obtaining the benefits of qigong," Lore said in an interview with The Oregonian. "When something's good, people are eager to share it."
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day is an offshoot of a larger ceremony organized by World Health Organization called World Health Day. The first World Health Day was celebrated April 7, 1950.
NADA Honors Tai Sophia President
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) honored Robert Duggan, MAc, president and co-founder of the Tai Sophia Institute, with an award at the association's 14th annual conference in Washington, D.C. Mr. Duggan received the award for his contributions to the development of acupuncture's role in the treatment of drug abuse.
"Tai Sophia has done more than any other acupuncture school - and probably more than all others combined - in developing acupuncture in drug abuse treatment," asserted Dr. Michael Smith, a co-founder of NADA. "I know that Bob Duggan has a personal interest in this work and outreach into communities that need these services."
"Robert Duggan's vision of community building has gone beyond the limited definition of community that often defines a college community," added NADA president Carol Taub LAc, at the award ceremony. "NADA shares the vision of expanding community, and we were very pleased to honor Bob at our conference."
Also honored at the meeting were David Mercier, LAc, Dipl.Ac., a 1983 Tai Sophia alumnus, and Lamont Flanagan, commissioner of Maryland's pretrial detention and services division. Both gentlemen were recognized for their contributions to the field of addiction treatment through acupuncture.
Pacific College Update
Dr. Lynda Harvey has been appointed the new chair of clinical practice at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine's (PCOM) San Diego campus. Dr. Harvey will replace Bob Damone, LAc, MS, who served as chair of clinical practice the past three years. Mr. Damone will continue to serve as a professor and clinical supervisor at PCOM while pursuing studies in Chinese language at San Diego State University.
As clinical practice chair, Dr. Harvey will be responsible for supervising the college's clinic faculty and overseeing the teaching of clinical students. Her goals for the clinic include:
raising Pacific College's standards of professionalism via thorough patient charting and more objective measures to track a patient's progress;
updating patient intake and treatment forms;
creating standardized methods of handling difficult situations; and
implementing HIPAA privacy policies and insuring OSHA compliance.
Dr. Harvey received her degree in acupuncture from Emperor's College in 1987 and continued her studies at Samra University, obtaining an OMD degree from that school in 1987. She has been a professor and supervisor at PCOM since 1998, and has worked with the school's administration to develop a doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
In related news, Jennifer Min Young Park was named chief operating officer of PCOM's Chicago branch. A graduate of UCLA, Ms. Park brings a wealth of experience in student admissions and other administrative functions to the college.
Ms. Park has served at all three of PCOM's campuses. In 1997, she was hired as an admissions counselor at Pacific's San Diego branch. She then transferred to PCOM's New York campus and was named the college's senior admissions counselor. Ms. Park became the director of admissions and student services at PCOM-Chicago in April 2000, and will continue to perform those duties in addition to her role as COO.
Ancient Acupuncture Books Found in North Korea
Researchers at the General Hospital of Koryo Medicine in Pyongyang, North Korea, have discovered two centuries-old books on acupuncture and moxibustion. According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the books were found during a review of the hospital's archives, and contain knowledge that remained unknown for hundreds of years.
The first book, Choice of Time for Acupuncture and Moxibustion, was published in 1447, and explains that certain therapies should be applied at different times and dates because their effectiveness varies depending on when treatment is delivered. The second book, Secret of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, published in 1600, contains basic theories and methods of treatment using moxibustion and acupuncture.
The KCNA added that the books will be helpful toward the development of koryo, a type of healing that treats imbalanced or blocked qi through acupuncture points in the hand.
OCOM Receives Six-Figure Grant for Doctoral Program
The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) received a $108,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. The grant will be used to fund the college's new clinical doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, scheduled to begin in July 2003.
"We are delighted that the Murdock Charitable Trust is so generously supporting our clinical doctoral program in acupuncture and Oriental medicine," commented OCOM president Elizabeth Goldblatt. "This new clinical doctoral program will allow us to help strengthen the field of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the U.S. by training clinical researchers, educators, clinic supervisors, scholars and specialists."
OCOM is one of only two acupuncture schools in the U.S. to currently offer a doctoral program. The two-year program was approved by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in 2002, and consists of clinical studies, research and research design, and extensive training in the U.S. and China.
TCM Practitioner Makes Record Attempt at Needle Piercings
Wei Shengchu, a 53-year-old traditional Chinese medicine practitioner from China's Guangxi province, may have set a world record for self-administered needle piercings in one day. This March, he appeared before an awestruck crowd in Nanning, armed with a pair of forceps and several containers of two-centimeter-long acupuncture needles, and began inserting them. By the time he finished, Wei had inserted 2,003 needles into his head and face.
According to the Straits Times of Singapore, Wei became inspired after reading about a 23-year-old Canadian man named Nathan Robitaille who decided, for no apparent reason, to stick 420 needles into his arms and shoulders one day last March. Wei has filed an application with Guinness (publisher of the Guinness Book of World Records) to have his attempt officially recognized.