May 15, 2006

News in Brief -- From the June 2006 Issue of Acupuncture Today

By Editorial Staff

New Board Members Chosen at AHPA Meeting

The American Herbal Products Association has elected four new members to serve on its board of trustees. The members were elected during the AHPA's annual membership meeting, held March 23 in Anaheim, Calif.

The new board members (and their positions) are:

  • James Fischer, chair
  • Beth Lambert, vice chair
  • Gordon Walker, secretary
  • Susan Trimbo, treasurer

"I am privileged to continue the work of my predecessors and appreciate the board members' expression of confidence," said Fischer upon being elected.

"AHPA's ongoing efforts to effectively and efficiently elevate the manufacture, sale and use of herbal products, while working closely with government regulatory and legislative bodies, are vital to the continued growth and well-being of the industry and its loyal consumers."

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Bastyr to Host Annual Herb & Food Fair in June

Bastyr University will host its eighth annual Herb and Food Fair Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the university's main campus in Kenmore, Wash. The theme of this year's fair is "Ancient & Modern Wisdom Unite," which emphasizes the exploration of both old and new traditions as they relate to traditional Chinese medicine.

The keynote speakers for this year's fair are Michael and Lesley Tierra. Michael Tierra, a licensed acupuncturist and Oriental medical doctor, is the founder of the American Herbalists Guild and the co-founder of the American School of Botanical Medicine in Santa Cruz, Calif., in addition to authoring several texts on herbs and natural healing. Lesley Tierra is also a licensed acupuncturist and founding professional member of the American Herbalists Guild, and has written or co-authored several books on Chinese herbal medicine. Together, the Tierras maintain professional practices in central California.

In addition to the keynote address, the Herb and Food Fair will feature a seminar on traditional Chinese medicine and food, presented by Heather Brummer, LAc. Visitors are encouraged to take guided tours of the university's organic garden, while Bastyr students will offer herbal foot soaks and facials, workshops and cooking demonstrations.

Admission to the fair is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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Basketball Star Uses Acupuncture to Treat Wrist Injury

For Vladmir Radmanovic, a forward with the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Clippers, acupuncture has helped make the difference between him being a valuable contributor on a winning franchise and being forced to watch his teammates from the sidelines. On April 22, Radmanovic sprained his left wrist in a playoff game against the Denver Nuggets, and was listed as being questionable to play for the next game. The following day, he received an acupuncture treatment that lasted approximately an hour, which left him "feeling good" afterward.

For "You can feel the difference right away," Radmanovic said after being treated. "There's a big pain release. Without that, I'm not sure I could have played."

For and without Radmanovic's services, the Clippers might not be enjoying of the most successful postseasons in team history. With a healed Radmanovic playing a key role off of the bench, the Clippers won a playoff series for the first time since moving to Los Angeles, beating the Nuggets four games to one in the first round of the NBA playoffs. As of press time, they are preparing for the conference semifinals.

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Acupuncture Goes to the Dogs - And Their Owners

Not long ago, Julie Nagel was forced to confront a dog owner's worst nightmare - having to have one of her beloved animals destroyed. In this case, Nagel was faced with the difficult choice of euthanizing Wolf, her beloved 5-year-old dachshund, or coming up with an estimated $10,000 to pay for surgery and rehabilitation to correct the paralysis that had afflicted Wolf since February of this year.

"He was minutes away from getting put to sleep, and I was freaking out," said Nagel, a police officer in Saginaw County, Michigan. "The vet was getting ready (to euthanize Wolf), and my little dog was just looking at me, and I had a feeling. I didn't want to make a rash decision. It was not a good time to make a decision."

That night, instead of leaving him at the veterinarian's office, Nagel took Wolf home with her and slept on the floor to keep Wolf company. When she awoke the next morning, she resolved to try whatever she could to return Wolf to a normal life.

"I got on the Internet and explored every avenue," Nagel said. "I found information on canine chiropractic care, and then I found a [Web site] about acupuncture."

Nagel's online journey eventually led her to Woodside Kennels, one of the largest pet care facilities in the Saginaw area. The kennel recommended that she take the dog to Sue Johnson-Wendt, a veterinary acupuncturist in nearby Midland, Mich.

"We know we can't cure some of these dogs," explained Johnson-Wendt. "The number one goal of acupuncture is to improve quality of life."

After conducting a thorough examination of Wolf, Johnson-Wendt set about treating the dachshund's paralysis using acupuncture. Johnson-Wendt delivered a series of six treatments, using needles to stimulate the dog's nerves and "bring about balance."

According to Nagel, the effects of Johnson-Wendt's care could be seen almost immediately after the first treatment session, with Wolf's condition continuing to improve after each visit.

"A couple of days after the first visit, I started tickling his toes and noticed he was getting the feeling back," Nagel said. "After the second treatment, he was wagging his tail. I never thought I'd see him wag his tail again. After four visits, he took his first steps. He gets better and better after each treatment."

As amazing as Wolf's recovery has been, acupuncture appears to have had just as much of an effect on the dachshund's human counterparts. Nagel's aunt and three of her friends have all sought acupuncture after being inspired by the care Wolf received.

"If my dog had never been crippled, my aunt would never have known how well acupuncture works," Nagel said. "She's had four treatments and she's pain-free after being miserable for years. She's jumping up stairs and she's in a great mood. She has never felt better."

Johnson-Wendt also knows the benefits of acupuncture, as both she and her son receive regular treatments. While she has not had an easy time convincing her colleagues, she envisions that acupuncture will become a standard component of veterinary care in the not-too-distant future.

"When they see what it can do, they're amazed," Johnson-Wendt said. "I predict that there will come a time when veterinary clinics will be required to have acupuncture for pain and hospice."

And as for Nagel? She couldn't be happier.

"There's something to this," she said. "I never thought I'd see my dog walk again. He can't run marathons, but he can get around, tunnel in pillows, play and go to the bathroom on his own.

"This could have been a devastating experience. But now, I still have my baby, and he's happy. Acupuncture is something people need to know about. People need to know there are other alternatives to Western medicine."



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