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Acupuncture Today
December, 2006, Vol. 07, Issue 12
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East Meets West: Conferences on Both Coasts Bring Practitioners Together

Highlights From the Pacific Symposium and Building Bridges of Integration

By Kathryn Feather, Senior Associate Editor

PCOM: 2006 Symposium

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners from around the country convened Nov.

2-5, 2006, in San Diego at the Catamaran Hotel for the 18th Annual Pacific College of Oriental Medicine Symposium. New to this year's symposium was the advanced acupuncture track, offering an alternative to the morning lectures. In choosing this track, experienced acupuncturists had the opportunity to participate in a three-hour advanced needling techniques workshop. Four of these workshops were available, with one offered each day, Thursday through Sunday. Workshop presenters and topics included: Holly Guzman, Pulse Forum; Wei Liu, Advanced Needling Technique, Part 1; Kiiko Matsumoto, Psychosomatic Illnesses, Part 1; and Mark Kastner, Advanced Needling.

Thursday's program (Nov.2) included Bill Helm's lecture, "Qi Gong-Five Frolics," where attendees learned about the study of Dr. Xie Pei Xi's energy and sensitivity exercises. Acupuncture Today columnist Darren Starwynn lectured on "Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture for Pain Relief and Assisted Rehabilitation," sharing his discoveries about the effectiveness of low-intensity electrical currents (microcurrents) in treating patients with challenging complaints of pain. Dr. Starwynn focused on proper point, polarity, frequency and current intensity selection to achieve optimal results. In conjunction with the lecture, he also conducted a three-hour workshop titled "Microcurrent Electro-Acupuncture Techniques for Effective Treatment of Pain and Injury." Attendees learned the most up-to-date principles of microcurrent electro-acupuncture and treatment techniques such as Circling the Dragon, Dermatome and Distal, muscle origin insertion and trigger-point release.

Friday's education sessions included Richard Gold's three-hour workshop, "Thai Massage: Lateral Recumbent Techniques for Back, Arms and Shoulders." Attendees learned different techniques for working the back, arms and shoulders using their feet, knees and elbows in addition to their hands. Advanced stretching methods also were taught and practiced. John Chen offered a lecture and a three-hour workshop discussing the "Recognition and Prevention of Herb-Drug Interaction." Attendees heard the latest information regarding pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions.

Saturday's session offered a three-hour workshop by Kiiko Matsumoto, who discussed "Psychosomatic Illnesses: How Yi Disturbs the Shen." Acupuncture Today columnist Jake Paul Fratkin lectured on "The Effect of Chinese Herbs on Neurotransmitters," discussing recent research pointing to new and effective uses for traditional Chinese herbs and formulas in treating common neuro-emotional disorders. Subhuti Dharmananda presented a three-hour workshop titled, "Integrative Care for Autoimmune Disorders." Practitioners learned that understanding the place of Chinese herbs within a broader regimen might improve outcomes significantly.

Sunday's closing sessions included Acupuncture Today columnist Felice Dunas' lecture, "Taking on the Business World," where she taught attendees how to translate their knowledge of Oriental medicine into the jargon of the business world. Paul Schell presented a three-hour workshop titled "Posture and Pain: Experience the Change." Attendees experienced changes in their own bodies as routines for posture correction and restoration of proper function were presented. The session closed with a two-hour evening lecture by Ted Kaptchuk titled "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the History of Medicine."

PCOM Exhibit Hall Showcase

Helio Medical Supplies, Inc., introduced its new Web site for more convenient ordering and product tracking. Visit for a complete listing of all product lines New features to the site include order history and the ability to repeat the same order; account maintenance, including password, e-mail and contact info change; a "What's New" section highlighting new products; customer support for questions or to request a free catalogue or samples; and a resource section with school, association and licensing information.

Kan Herb Company introduced its MycoHerb extracts and capsules. MycoHerb products include Chaga, Cordyceps, Coriolus, Fu Zheng Support Formula, Himematsutake, Maitake, Myco-Forte, Myco-Protect, Performa-Forte, Poria, Reishi, Reishi-Forte, Shiitake, Tremella and Tri-Forte. For more information about these or other Kan Herb products, visit or call (800) 543-5233.

Blue Poppy introduced its classics line of 29 formulas. It also offered its three lines of internal formulas, including the classics line, pediatric tinctures that are glycerin-based and alcohol free, as well as its original line of herbal formulas. For more information about Blue Poppy and its herbal products, visit or call (800) 487-9269.

For more information about PCOM, please visit the PCOM Web site at

Building Bridges: Annual Educational Forum on TCM Continues to Expand

Editor's Note: Ellen Schaplowsky, vice president of the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation and conference director for Building Bridges of Integration for TCM, contributed the following report.

Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine, the U.S. educational forum for Eastern and Western health-care professionals, drew its largest number of attendees to date for its fifth anniversary. More than 360 participants came to explore TCM with 30 faculty members in plenaries, workshops, experiential sessions and keynotes. The event was held Oct. 5-8, 2006, at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

With a focus on "Transformation: Spirit in Healing," the conference, designed to create meaningful dialogue between Eastern and Western healthcare practitioners, attracted a multidisciplinary audience of acupuncturists, TCM practitioners, MDs, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists and sociologists, among others. For the second consecutive year, these vital dialogues were supported in part by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Foundation Helps Students Gain Deeper Understanding for TCM

With underwriting assistance from American Healing Technologies, Inc., the World Society for the Protection of Animals, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, TCM World Foundation sponsored registration, lodging, meals and in some cases, travel awards, for 33 acupuncture students from 16 schools in nine states: N.Y., Mass., Md., Fla., Okla., Ore., Texas, Ariz., and Calif. Students were selected through an application process that included an essay competition.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Nan Lu, OMD (extreme left, 2nd row) joins acupuncture students from around the country whose participation was sponsored by TCM World Foundation. Noting that these acupuncture students will join the vanguard of tomorrow's much-needed integrated health-care professionals, Nan Lu, OMD, the foundation's founding director and president, remarked, "The enthusiasm and energy of our student participants were phenomenal. We created a special track for them so that we could meet privately each day for special training." According to one student, "I've come home with a new drive. I've been practicing the qigong I learned every day and it's helped me become more focused and do my assignments more easily. I think about what we talked about with Dr. Lu, like starting to empty the glass that is too full. I feel how valuable the higher energy and guidance we received at the conference was and I'm grateful to have been a part of this special student group."

Building Bridges 2006 centered its programming around "Transformation: Spirit in Healing" to reflect the spiritual origins contributions of TCM. In his keynote, Dr. Lu commented, "TCM is a byproduct of a spiritual practice; it's not the product of the scientific mind. Its origins and worldview are vastly different and offer a unique framework for understanding the root cause of disease and illness, and their ultimate spiritual purpose." To expound on this focus, participants heard keynotes from Brother Bernard Seif, Catholic monk, clinical psychologist and naturopath, on bridging science and spirituality, and from Dr. Lu on Five-Element consciousness. Luncheon presenter Anne Harrington, PhD, chair of the History of Science Department at Harvard University, offered a provocative look at "Is Spirituality Good for Your Health?"

Building Bridges for TCM Acknowledges Leadership and Loyalty

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark (L-R) Efrem Korngold, OMD, LAc; Larry Baskind, MD, FAAP; and Stephen Cowan, MD, FAAP, talk with parents after their session on TCM and Pediatrics, "Growing the Dao: The Five Infant Types." This year, China's Xiaoding Cao, MD, PhD, internationally known researcher and immediate past director of the Acupuncture Research Institute at Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University in Shanghai, accepted the annual Building Bridges of Integration award. Dr. Cao also is a member of the World Health Organization's Expert Advisory Panel on traditional Chinese medicine and presented highlights from her 40 years of work on acupuncture and analgesics on two research panels.

Acknowledged for their loyalty, partnership and spirit, Kan Herb Company, American Healing Technologies, Inc., Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine (Montclair, N.J.) and VitaPharm International, Inc., were celebrated with exhibit hall signage and a special awards event at the Saturday luncheon where representatives received recognition plaques.

Continuing its tradition of building a multidisciplinary audience for the TCM educational forum, the foundation provided CEUs for acupuncturists through the NCCAOM and the California Board of Acupuncturists, and CMEs for Western doctors through the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. For the first time, the conference offered continuing nursing education activities through the American Holistic Nurses Association.

Conference workshops that generated excitement among the multidisciplinary audience included:

  • qi-dancing, an experiential evening event featuring guidance on how to use specific energy movements to help connect to Five-Element music, free the body's qi foundation and touch the spirit;
  • a multidisciplinary panel on pediatrics with Stephen Cowan, MD, FAAP, Larry Baskind, MD, FAAP, and Efrem Korngold, OMD, LAc, on "Growing the Dao;"
  • three 4-hour intensives: "Post-Hysterectomy Syndrome" with Haihe Tian, AP, PhD, MD; "East-West Clinical Problem-Solving" with Malcom Taw, MD, and David Hui, MD, UCLA Center for East-West Medicine; and "The Spirit of Herbs" with Thea Elijah, MAc;
  • "Research from the Field," chaired by Xiu-Min Li, MD, with Lixing Lao, PhD, MD, LAc, reporting on the Research Conference at Edmonton, Canada; Kevin Chen, PhD, MPH, on the state of qigong research in the U.S.; and Xiaoding Cao, MD, PhD, on innovative research at Shanghai Medical College;
  • psychoneuroimmunologist David Felten, MD, PhD, medical research director, Beaumont Research Institute, Royal Oak, Mich., on the Future of Collaborative Medicine; and
  • China's leading expert on liver diseases, Boxiang Wang, MD, who co-presented with his former student, Dan Wen, MD, president of Honso, USA.

Other faculty in attendance included: Joseph Acquah, OMD, MS, LAc; Frances Brisbane, PhD; Suzanne Clegg, LAc, RD; Misha Cohen, OMD, LAc; Effie Chow, PhD, RN, LAc; Wanda Ferrauiola, AOBTA; Ellen Franklin, PhD; Lonny Jarrett, MS, MAc, FNAAOM; Irma Jenne; Abdul Alim Muhammad, MD; Xiao-Tian Shen, MD, LAc, MPH; Michael Smith, MD, DAc; and Michael Taromina, Esq.

Next year's Building Bridges of Integration for Traditional Chinese Medicine is scheduled for Oct. 18-20, 2007. Updates on location, faculty, agenda and registration information will be posted at


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