TCM Conference Takes Participants "Beyond Technique" to the Heart of Healing
By Frances Brisbane, PhD
Serious decision-making goes into the physical and financial commitment to attend a professional conference. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) World Foundation is well aware of the competition for the minds, hearts, and pocketbooks of conference participants today.
In our third year of convening Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine, to be held Oct. 7-10, we've dedicated significant energy toward developing a unique forum that rewards participants on many levels.
The theme of Building Bridges for Traditional Chinese Medicine 2004 is "Beyond Technique: The Heart of Healing." It will use this platform to explore cancer, pain, immune system disorders and women's health issues - areas where TCM (and acupuncture, its primary modality in the West), excel. This conference is also unique in that it offers 18 category I continuing medical education credits (CMEs) sponsored by InnoVision Communications, LLC. These credits allow conventional health-care professionals who want to learn about TCM, acupuncture, tuina, qigong, and other modalities, to accrue educational credits. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has approved 22 CEUs for acupuncturists.
The conference's goal is to offer participants a singular learning experience. To accomplish this, we've assembled a special group of Eastern and Western faculty members with tremendous scholarship and expertise in TCM, acupuncture and qigong. We've chosen an exciting roster of presenters who represent a unique "brotherhood" of TCM practitioners. These experts have been trained by some of the most well-respected and renowned teachers in China, and possess knowledge derived from the highest academic degree possible in China, as well as from postdoctorate fellowships - but they have several other qualities, however. They have also received healing information through transmissions in the ancient traditional way from their professors/masters. These masters have, in turn, been gifted with healing information that has flowed from their own masters' lineages.
These TCM experts offer something precious - something beyond the textbook. They also possess a deep passion for sharing their unusual wisdom with Eastern and Western practitioners through Building Bridges for TCM 2004. We're fortunate to present Western medical experts with equal passion and insight who are dedicated to helping facilitate the convergence of TCM and conventional medicine to improve health options and outcomes in the U.S.
Eight sponsors demonstrate a broad range of interest in exploring collaborative medicine. They are: Mount Sinai School of Medicine (New York); the School of Social Welfare, State University of New York at Stony Brook; The Center for East-West Medicine, University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA); The Center for Health and Healing and the Donna A. Sanzari Women's Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (New Jersey); The School of Graduate Medical Education, Seton Hall University (New Jersey); The Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (Maryland); and InnoVision Communications, LLC (California) and its peer-reviewed journal, Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Thirteen affiliate partners also support this effort.
Events begin Thursday evening, Oct. 7, with an opening meditation for participants and exhibitors. The Friday evening panel reinforces the essential nature of healing by touching the spirit with a creative view into the Eastern and Western approach to meditation. "Meditation - The Heart of Healing" is an experiential event with Mitchell Gaynor, MD and Nan Lu, OMD, which I will facilitate.
Friday opens with keynote speaker Ka-Kit Hui, MD, director of the Center for East-West Medicine at UCLA, and longtime champion of integration. He will discuss "The Benefits of Incorporating Chinese Medicine in the Current Health-Care System Transformation." Dr. Hui makes his third appearance at Building Bridges for TCM.
One of Dr. Hui's clinical staff members, Dr. Marc Brodsky, participates in "Collaborative Medicine in Clinical Settings," a panel in which faculty will discuss their experiences with challenges, opportunities and successes, including the financial benefits that their operations have had with TCM. In light of the current health care crisis, Drs. Hui and Brodsky's case studies of the cost-efficiencies and results-oriented treatments of the center continue to excite and motivate thoughtful health care professionals across the country, as well as the Far East, where Hui is a sought-after presenter at international conferences.
On Saturday, David Felten, MD, dean of the graduate school of medicine at Seton Hall University, offers a compelling plenary session on "Re-Orienting Wellness: The Scientific Foundations for Integrative Medicine." Dr. Felten, a seminal thinker, innovator and expert on psychoneuroimmunology, provides a rich and enlightening journey into metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, and its inflammatory mediators as risk factors, for a host of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular problems and cancer. He is an enthusiastic supporter of integrating the best of TCM and Western medicine to bring about fundamental changes in how we conceive of wellness and health care in the US.
Building Bridges for TCM 2004 offers morning taiji with Effie Chow, PhD, RN, LAc; morning plenary sessions and panels; sponsored luncheons; and a complimentary Sunday brunch. Eleven workshops will be conducted on Friday and Saturday with acupuncture and TCM experts, including: Leon Hammer, MD ("Oriental Pulse Diagnosis"); Lonny Jarrett, MS, MAc, FNCAAOM ("Emotions and Narcissism"); Felice Dunas, PhD ("Sexual Energy: The Essential Nature of Qi"), Decheng Cheng, MD, PhD, LAc ("Single Point Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Pain"); Henry Lu, PhD, DTCM, LAc, well-known author ("Balanced Emotions: The Root of Health and Healing"); Nan Lu, OMD ("Women in Transition - Managing Menopause Naturally"); Guoping Zheng, OMD, LAc ("TCM and Infertility"); and Yemeng Chen, OMD, LAc, FICAE ("TCM for Migraines"), among others. Additional subjects include irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, herbs and cancer, herbal formula for food allergy, TCM for inflammatory pain, and medical qigong for rehabilitation. Participants can also engage in a lively debate: "Is There a Scientific Basis for TCM?" with researcher Lixing Lao, CMD, PhD, LAc. The TCM World Foundation will present its third annual Bridges of Integration awards at the Saturday night dinner.
Because of the conference's growing success and because of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've added a special Sunday event. The conference concludes with "Prevention is the Only Cure: Complementary Medicine, TCM and Breast Cancer" for participants and invited guests. The workshop, part of the foundation's ongoing Breast Cancer Prevention Project, has already generated tremendous interest from complementary medicine facilities and breast cancer organizations in the metropolitan area. Faculty members Drs. Gaynor and Lu will share an in-depth look at the root causes of breast and ovarian cancer; signs and signals that can be addressed before physical symptoms appear; the role of emotions; and proactive steps to prevent breast cancer from the Eastern and Western perspective.
Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine 2004 takes place at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center in East Rutherford, NJ. The location is near Newark's Liberty International Airport and eight miles from midtown Manhattan. A one-page agenda with speakers and topics may be downloaded from www.tcmconference.org, which also features expanded agenda content. Registration information may be obtained from Elaine Katen, event manager, at 888-TCM-6909 (800-826-6909) or at
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