The 25th anniversary of acupuncture and Oriental medicine as an organized profession in the United States was celebrated in Portland, Ore., at the annual AAAOM Conference and Expo.
The anniversary was shared by the AAAOM, ACAOM, CCAOM and NCCAOM.
The event began with the linguistic and scholarly experts of Oriental medicine discussing the nuances of translation - from the origins to the modern and from the ancient Asian tongues to current languages of the world. Known as the nomenclature debates, the panel was chaired by Miki Shima, co-chaired by Dr. Xiaotian Shen and moderated by incoming 2008 Acupuncture Today columnist Will Morris. Panelists included Dr. Bum-Sang Shim (the South Korean delegate to the WHO Pacific Rim Region), Nigel Wiseman, Eric Brand, David Scrimgeour, Doreen Chen and Jeannie Kang.
A lively discourse on ethics and liability led by Betsy Smith, deputy director of the NCCAOM, and Michael Taromina, JD, kept participants engaged in vigorous discourse until late in the evening. An informative herbal update panel on the impact of the new U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations was moderated by Claudette Baker and included John Scott of Golden Flower Chinese Herbs, Michael McGuffin of the American Herbal Products Association and Mark Thoman, JD. Acupuncture Today columnist Mary Elizabeth Wakefield also led a discussion on "Beauty, Health & Well Being - Acupuncture Renewal - The Resonant Face."
Conference attendees were given the opportunity to participate in a "Chart the Future of OM" session. Hand-held computation devices were used to register the participants' votes on a series of questions to help guide the priorities for the AAAOM for the coming year.
AAAOM board member Bill Reddy led the early-risers in qigong each morning. Bob Duggan shared his extensive experience and wisdom in approaching patients with the power of intention and clarity in practicing AOM. Heiner Freuhoff discussed the cosmologic and alchemical roots of Chinese medicine, while Susan Johnson shared her extensive knowledge of Master Tung's magic points.
Chronic viral pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis C and herpes were discussed by Miki Shima, while former AT columnist Misha Cohen shared the Chinese herbs most effective in treating endometriosis. Jamie Wu shared his 30 years of experience in an in-depth course on ying-wei theory, and Honora Wolfe, Dipl. Ac., another former AT columnist, spoke on starting an herbal pharmacy.
One of the highlights of the conference was the incredible 25th Anniversary Banquet, hosted by AT Editor Marilyn Allen and convention chair Deborah Lincoln. The semi-formal gala began with a gong ceremony. Guests were then greeted personally in reception lines formed by the boards of the ACAOM, CCAOM, NCCAOM and the AAAOM. Each received a book, filled with interviews of pioneers and leaders of the AOM profession, who created and promoted the foundation and growth of AOM in the U.S. It also was announced that the 2008 Expo will be held Oct. 16-20, at the Westin Chicago, Northshore. Make your plans now to attend this event.
This year's gathering was especially poignant with the reunification of the AAOM and the AOM Alliance, as well as the culmination of 25 years of effort and accomplishments within the AOM community. The record-breaking attendance, the support of the many vendors, and the participation of all the national AOM organizations was a tribute to how our profession has grown and thrived, and also promises a very bright future.
Rachel Toomim has been practicing acupuncture for more than 18 years. She educates health care and criminal justice professionals in the use of acupuncture, and serves as a board member for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association and the AAAOM.