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Acupuncture Today
April, 2004, Vol. 05, Issue 04
 
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Remembering James Ramholz

By Fred Jennes, LAc, Dipl. Ac., CH

James (Jim) Ramholz died suddenly on January 23rd, 2004, at the age of 52, doing the activity he loved most: treating patients in his clinic.

Mr. Ramholz began his career more than 20 years ago in Illinois.

He undertook his formal training at the Chicago School of Oriental Medicine, but he received special training from both Ineon Moon and the noted Dong Han-style practitioner and pulse diagnostician, Sung Baek. After briefly practicing in the Chicago area, he moved to Colorado and founded the Silk Road Acupuncture Clinic in Fort Collins. There he built a successful acupuncture and herbal medicine practice. He also started his own herbal medicine company, Silk Road Herbs, which provided unique and effective formulas to practitioners.

He strongly believed in the importance of studying classical works as the foundation for the successful diagnosis and treatment of patients. To that end, he taught himself to read and write ancient and modern Chinese, and translated many seminal works on Oriental medicine into English. His first scholarly effort was to edit Sung Baek's book on moxibustion therapy, Classical Moxibustion Skills in Contemporary Clinical Practice (Boulder: Blue Poppy Press, 1990). Another scholarly work he wrote and self-published was a collection of ancient martial arts herbal remedies, Shaolin and Taoist Herbal Training Formulas (Chicago: Silk Road Press, 1992), many of which he translated from the original texts. He later published and edited the Oriental Medicine Journal, which featured analytical studies and historical research by many prominent scholars in the field. He also was an active participant at the Chinese Herb Academy Web site (www.chineseherbacademy.org), and moderated the Advanced Pulse Diagnosis Group at Yahoo.com, where he engaged in lively online discussions with his colleagues.

Mr. Ramholz was a dedicated educator and supporter of the acupuncture profession. He was a member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), the National Sports Acupuncture Association (NSAA) and the Acupuncture Association of Colorado (AAC). He served on the governing board of the AAC, where he was the long-time chair of the Education Committee. In this capacity, he arranged for many well-known lecturers to come to the state and teach weekend seminars. He also served on the faculty of several Oriental medicine colleges, most recently the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CSTCM) in Denver, where he was both a classroom and clinic instructor. He was a much sought-after teacher and mentor because he truly relished sharing his vast store of knowledge with both novice and seasoned practitioners. He freely took many under his ample wing, and improved their diagnostic and treatment skills with his practical example and gentle wit.

In recent years he began to focus in on his study of complex pulse diagnosis. Building on his early studies with Sung Baek, Mr. Ramholz began to publish a series of articles that radically changed and enlarged the role of the radial pulse as a diagnostic and treatment tool. One of these articles, "An Introduction to Advanced Pulse Diagnosis," appears on the Chinese Herb Academy Web site. Despite a failing heart, he began to travel nationwide to give seminars and share this knowledge. He had hoped to collect his writings on this topic into a textbook before he died.

Practitioner, scholar and teacher, James Ramholz will be missed by his patients, colleagues, students, and by the many who were his friends. Donations in his memory may be made to the Jim Ramholz Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Mountain States Bank, 1635 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80218, Tel: (303) 388-3641.

 

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