College Feed

Acupuncture Today
November, 2004, Vol. 05, Issue 11
Share |

News in Brief

By Editorial Staff

Bastyr President Resigns; University Begins Search for Replacement 

Saying he felt drawn back to the East Coast by family ties and an "exciting opportunity" in the private sector, on Sept.

14, Dr. Thomas Shepherd announced his resignation as president of Bastyr University, a position he had held at the school since 2000. While no immediate successor has been named, the school has established a search committee to find his eventual replacement.

"Bastyr University is a wonderful and inspiring institution, but my family and I have deep roots on the East Coast," Shepherd explained. "When an exciting opportunity was offered to me and the location was closer to our family, it was with both regret and anticipation that we accepted."

"It's with mixed emotions that I'm leaving," added Shepherd, a father of eight who is set to become a grandfather early next year. "It's a vibrant community, and I certainly have enjoyed working here."

Dr. Shepherd was the second president in Bastyr's history, succeeding Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, one of the school's co-founders. Among his accomplishments, Shepherd helped to develop a 20-year master plan for the university, and began efforts to establish a presence for the school outside of Washington state. He also helped secure one of the school's largest financial donations, a million-dollar gift, from real estate developer and naturopathic advocate Stephen Bing in 2002. In addition, Dr. Shepherd played a major role in leading the battle to establish a licensure law for naturopathic physicians in California.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, John Daley, executive vice president and provost at Bastyr, praised Shepherd's leadership and ability to forge ties with health care professionals and industries in the Seattle area. He added that the university's board of trustees will work with Shepherd over the next few months to establish a transition plan and maintain the school's strategic initiatives.


  1. Solomon C. President of Bastyr University to step down. Seattle Times, Sept. 15, 2004.
  2. Bastyr University President Tom Shepherd to return to private sector. Bastyr University press release, Sept. 15, 2004.

Acupuncture Supplier Commits to Annual Donation Program for Non-Profit Organizations

In the past few years, Blue Poppy Enterprises, a leading supplier of books, educational materials and other items related to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, has made donations to organizations ranging from the World Wildlife Federation to the Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association. Building on the success and good will derived from those endeavors, Blue Poppy has announced an ongoing project to contribute a portion of its annual sales to non-profit organizations that work for "meaningful change" in the world.

"Now we are simply mankind donations a part of our annual budget," noted Honora Lee Wolfe, Dipl.Ac., on of Blue Poppy's co-owners. She added, "For the remainder of 2004 and for as long as Blue Poppy exists, we will contribute a portion of our sales to non-profits working for positive change."

Among the organizations to benefit from the donations is Heifer International, a group that provides livestock animals and training to millions of families with inadequate resources. Blue Poppy intends to make a donation of $5,000 to Heifer International this year and, if all goes as planned, will double that amount in 2005. For more information on the project, visit

Acupuncture Sessions Help Arthritic Camel Get Over the Hump

In her seven-plus years as a veterinary acupuncturist, Dr. Barbara Royal has treated animals of all shapes and sizes - from dogs and cats to pregnant hamsters, rabbits with back problems, and neurotic macaws that pluck their feathers out with machine-like precision. Few of her patients, however, have made quite as big an impression on Dr. Royal as Jewel, a 1,600-pound Bactrian camel at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois.

"Jewel is definitely the biggest patient I've ever worked on," said Royal.

Since January 2003, Royal has treated Jewel approximately once a month to relieve pain in the camel's arthritic front legs. The procedure usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour and, depending on the camel's condition, may require between eight and 30 needles to be inserted into Jewel's sides, legs and ankles.

"There are still some people who think acupuncture sounds like some sort of voodoo thing, but it is so widely accepted no as a human treatment that most of my clients aren't shocked when I suggest acupuncture for their pets," Royal said. Royal had previously worked on smaller camels at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Her success there, combined with a failure of more traditional therapies in improving the camel's condition, prompted Brookfield's chief veterinarian, Tom Meehan, to call her to work on Jewel.

"Jewel has an age-related chronic and progressive problem in her joints," explained Meehan. "Her legs make noise every time they are bent, and she clearly experiences pain as a result of the arthritis."

At Brookfield, Dr. Royal's treatments take place in the camel yard during zoo hours, in full view of the public. The therapy sessions are a three-person operation: one keeper steadies the camel with a harness and a second gives her treats (such as carrots and cubes of grain), while Dr. Royal inserts the needles. Based on videotapes of the camel's movements before and after receiving acupuncture, the treatments appear to have improved Jewel's speed and mobility, and have convinced many people at the zoo of acupuncture's benefits.

"When they said they were going to try acupuncture on Jewel, I thought, 'no way,'" recalled Mary Schollhamer, the camel's chief keeper. "This camel hates needles. She gets upset at the sight of a hypodermic injection needle." However, Schollhamer changed her mind a few days after Royal's first treatment on Jewel. As she arrived for work at the camel enclosure that morning, Jewel glanced up, saw Schollhamer, and immediately ran toward her.

"I hadn't seen this camel run for more than two years, she'd gotten so lame," said Schollhamer. "But when she saw me that morning, she ran all the way to the fence to greet me. I was so moved, I started to cry."


  1. Camel pins down pain relief. Brookfield Zoo press release, Sept. 7, 2004.
  2. Mullen W. Acupuncture hits the spot for camel. Chicago Tribune Sept. 8, 2004.

China Announces Plan to Improve Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospitals

The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM), China's official agency in charge of developing and administering traditional Chinese medicine and pharmacology, has announced the creation of a national program designed to improve 161 traditional Chinese medicine hospitals, each of which will specialize in the treatment of a particular condition. The goal of the program is to improve the standardization of traditional Chinese medicine nationwide, while putting TCM in a more positive public light.

"The aim is to standardize TCM hospitals and drugs, train more TCM practitioners, and improve the public image of TCM," said SATCM Section Chief of Medical Affairs Liu Wenwu.

The SATCM will select participating hospitals by the end of 2005. Before they can participate, each hospital must pass an evaluation process. According to Liu, hospitals will be evaluated based on research capabilities, the number of patients that nave been treated successfully, and the prominence of the hospital's doctors and researchers.

Hospitals that pass the evaluation will specialize in treating a particular disease or condition, such as a certain type of cancer, heart disease or hepatitis. The SATCM and the Ministry of Health will provide financial and academic support to recommended TCM hospitals, which will help them to develop specialized treatments. Liu did not say how much the government intends to spend on the program.

In a related decision, the State Food and Drug Administration has announced that it intends to standardize a wide range of traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions. Beginning in 2005, more than 1,400 registered traditional medicines will be standardized. The process is expected to take a minimum of three years to complete.


Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreement
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.
comments powered by Disqus
Get the Latest News FASTER - View Digital Editions Now!
To suggest a poll question
please email

AT News Update
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today

AT Deals & Events
e-mail newsletter Subscribe Today