TCM Conference Explores Pathways to True Healing, True Health
By Kristen Georgi
Who is the real healer? How can the relationship between caregiver and patient be optimized? From October 6-9, 2005, experts in Western and traditional Chinese medicine will engage in dialogues that get to the heart of healing at the fourth annual Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine educational forum in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
The event is convened by the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, which has been awarded a grant this year by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to further the conference's work of fostering sustainable dialogues and the exchange of knowledge among diverse audiences.
Melding Western research technologies and paradigms with TCM medical philosophy, Xiaoding Cao, MD, PhD, one of the world's foremost acupuncture researchers, will present her acclaimed work on the effect of acupuncture on pain perception. Dr. Cao, an acknowledged expert on the mechanism of acupuncture analgesia who contributed to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, is director of the Institute of Acupuncture Research at Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University and a member of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Advisory Panel on Traditional Medicine. Dr. Cao's two workshops will allow participants a rare insight into her 40 years of pioneering research efforts in the use of acupuncture in combination with drugs.
Addressing how research in TCM can facilitate the integration of this ancient wisdom into modern biomedicine will be another key focus of the conference. Given the physical, emotional and financial toll of chronic illness in the U.S., the time to share newly emerging evidence-based data on the efficacy of TCM modalities, including acupuncture, herbal remedies, taiji, and qigong, is at hand. In spite of the significant challenges involved in conducting scientifically rigorous research in TCM and other areas of complementary medicine, breakthroughs are being made with increasing frequency.
At this year's conference, Lixing Lao, MD, PhD, LAc, associate professor and director of the Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will present his findings on the effect of acupuncture on osteoarthritis of the knee that were recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In the wake of issues that led to the withdrawal of prescription medications for arthritis treatment from the market, participants can gain a deeper understanding of how TCM can offer relief to patients without the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
It is impossible to talk about the benefits of authentic TCM without investigating the role of energy and the practice of qigong. Shin Lin, PhD, a professor of cell biology, physiology and biomedical engineering, and director of the International Alliance of Mind/Body Signaling and Energy Research at the University of California, Irvine, will discuss his studies on the latest technologies to measure biophysiological changes such as blood flow, brain activity, and the emission of bio-energy associated with the practice of qigong.
David Felten, MD, PhD, noted psychoneuroimmunologist and dean of Seton Hall University's School of Graduate Medical Education, will open the conference with an in-depth look at the scientific support for TCM modalities for chronic diseases. Bernie Siegel, MD, author of the best-selling books Love, Medicine and Miracles and Peace, Love and Healing, and founder of the Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECaP) program, will also take a featured role. Bernie (as he prefers to be called) will speak about the "dance" of healing as he explores the roles verbal and visual communication between doctor and patient play in patient recovery. The power of a clinician's words, both empirically and symbolically, he says, can be used to create - or destroy - supportive, empowering relationships that foster true healing. He will conduct an extraordinary experiential workshop with interactive questions, exercises and drawings to help practitioners nurture the healing process. His Saturday evening lecture, "The Miracle Within - Where True Healing Begins," will be open to the public.
New this year is the pre-conference event, "Risk Management: Liability and Professional Responsibility in CAM," with Michael Taromina, Esq., who will offer a four-hour course that satisfies the new NCCAOM requirement for ethics. The Friday evening masters' demonstration provides another look at the true healing aspects of taiji as five taiji masters demonstrate their favorite movements and explain their healing implications. Building Bridges for TCM 2005 offers a host of programming for the acupuncturist, including: morning taiji and qigong sessions; plenary sessions and panels; sponsored luncheons; complimentary Sunday brunch; and 15 workshops.
This forum offers a special opportunity to move beyond technique to a deeper understanding of the subtle, invisible intricacies of healing. It will explore the benefits of TCM and acupuncture for alleviating the side-effects of cancer treatments, diabetes, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), medical qigong, chronic conditions of the elderly, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, among other topics.
"The conference goal is to offer participants a singular learning experience," according to Ellen Schaplowsky, vice president of TCM World Foundation and conference director. "To accomplish this, we've assembled a stellar group of Eastern and Western faculty members. We've also invited an exciting group of presenters who represent a unique assemblage of TCM experts trained by some of the most renowned teachers in China. They possess knowledge derived from the highest academic degree possible. Most importantly, they have also received healing information through transmissions - in the ancient traditional way - from their professors/masters."
A one-page agenda with speakers and topics may be downloaded from www.tcmconference.org, which also features expanded program descriptions and faculty biographies. Registration is available online at the same address. Further details may be obtained from Elaine Katen, event manager, at (888) TCM-6909 [888-726-6909].