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Acupuncture Today
August, 2005, Vol. 06, Issue 08
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The Dog Days of Summer

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

Greetings and welcome to the dog days of summer. I've often wondered what the saying "dog days" really means. I found out recently that it has to do with Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, which is also nicknamed the "dog star." In Latin, the name for Sirius is canis major, which translates to "the big dog." During the summer, in the Northern Hemisphere, Sirius rises and sets with the sun.

Some ancient astronomers believed that the heat that Sirius generated often added to the heat of our sun, creating a period of especially hot weather in the summertime. Hence, the "dog days" of summer.

In reality, the "dog days" has nothing to do with Sirius, but the way the earth's axis is tilted. I like to think of the dog days as a time to relax a little, maybe catch a quick nap on the porch and refresh myself. What a perfect time to rest and re-energize yourself for the fall.

Speaking of fall, this is a good time to remind you that Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day is fast approaching. October 24 falls on a Monday this year, so plan your events accordingly. Now is also a good time to get a jump on AOM Day and start preparing how you want to celebrate. If you want a proclamation, get in touch with your city council, or contact the mayor's office in your town. They may ask you to provide the language for the proclamation. Last year, I wrote an article that included some general language for a proclamation; you can read it online and use it as a base for creating your own. Proclamations like these serve several purposes. They help others learn about the importance of acupuncture and Oriental medicine - and they look great hanging up in your office.

Considering the legislative problems our profession was facing in California only a few months ago, I haven't written much about my recent adventures. Fortunately, our most recent legislative crisis seems to have been derailed for the time being, so I'd like to share with you my experiences in New York and Rhode Island.

This year's annual conference of the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association was held in New York in April to celebrate NADA's 20 th anniversary. What a great event! The attendees were enthusiastic, and were privy to valuable, timely information from Dr. Michael Smith and other knowledgeable speakers at the conference.

While in New York, I seized the opportunity to visit one of the newest Oriental medicine programs in the country. The journey took me upstate to Seneca Falls, a beautiful location in the Finger Lakes region, where the clean water, fresh air, clear sky and wildlife create a perfect setting for learning. The program is just two years old, and shares a 238-acre campus with the New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Frank Nicchi, NYCC's president, stated that the college's board of directors had discussed starting an Oriental medicine program for several years. Both he and the board are committed to a separate, yet integrated, program between acupuncturists and chiropractors. The school and its program will certainly have an influence on both professions in the coming years.

Not long after visiting New York, I journeyed to Newport, Rhode Island to attend the annual meeting of the National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance. Whoever chose the destination for the meeting certainly did a good job, as the setting was just perfect for that type of meeting. Among the speakers at the conference was Michael Schroeder, who delivered a presentation to members of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine on risk management and safety, followed by a question-and-answer session. Everyone benefits when we learn about these important issues and craft solutions that keep patients and practitioners safe.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York, the author of the Federal Acupuncture Coverage Act. He spoke to the attendees about how to be a good constituent and get the word out. It was a very well-thought out, impassioned speech. Thanks for sharing with our profession, Mr. Hinchey.

I mention Rep. Hinchey's speech as a reminder to you that 2006 is an election year. While the next presidential election won't be until 2008, two-thirds of the assembly seats in California will be open due to term limits, and dozens of House and Senate seats in the U.S. Congress will be up for grabs in November as well. If you're not registered to vote, do it now. If you are registered to vote, start speaking with your legislators and the people running for office. Tell them how important acupuncture is to you, and get their feelings on the subject. They're going to represent you in Sacramento (on the state level) and in Washington, D.C. (on the national level), and it pays to be informed.

Get involved in the political process. It will arrive here sooner than you think.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.


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