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Acupuncture Today – July, 2012, Vol. 13, Issue 07

International Developments and Updates in the World of TCM

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

I flew into the city of Hong Kong recently for the ICTM diagnostic codes meeting. There were about 30 delegates from China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the United States. The main objective was to complete and review Chapter 23.

Chapter 23 is the material that is going to go into ICD 11 that is the international classification of diseases - the 11th version and IC TM international classification of traditional medicines.

At this time you can make your views and opinions known by logging in to the WHO website and making comments about the approximately 800 codes for traditional medicine.

This website would be If you think something should be changed, contribute your comments as to what should be changed or added. Let's make our opinions known and our voices heard. We are definitely part of this medicine worldwide.

The citizens of the US will certainly benefit from these codes and ultimately we will be the largest users in numbers for this medicine in the future. As most of you know were also working on a fundraising effort, so far thsi is moving forward well and the profession has contributed over $70,000 in the individual contributions.

These contributions range between $25 and $100 for each person. I even had someone send in a $5 bill. Thank you so much for everyone's help. We are continuing to collect the funds, so remember that no contribution is too small or too large. I want to thank the vendors, the acupuncture schools, NCCAOM and the Council of Colleges for their contributions.

The next place where traditional medicine is being discussed in the international scene. The ISO tag 249 ISO stands for the international organization for standardization tag. It is the short version of the technical advisory group and we've been assigned a number 249. Thus it is ISO tag 249.

There is still an ongoing discussion for the permanent title, the objectives of this tag is to create global standards for both herbs and medical devices. As used in acupuncture practices the first device that was named that is going to be looked at in standardized Ismail's tag, and 65 people will be divided into working groups. These working groups have met separately throughout the world with individuals representing each country to create a beginning draft for guidelines and standards. The most recent meeting was held in Dijon, Korea at the end of May and the American delegation was chaired by Michael MacGuffin the president of the American Herbal Products Association. I am currently serving on the chairman's advisory group with Christine Chang, John Scott from Golden Flower Herbs and Eric Brent Jasons of KPC Herbs. We all represent your interests.

The progress that has been made is of the working groups have reported back and they are currently introducing draft versions of standards standardizing herbs and needles. We need your support now is the time to join your individual state associations. These groups want and need to import your input and support so that this medicine can continue to grow in the United States. If you don't have a state association form one start working with your friends.

It is extremely important that we begin to build a strong coalition of professionals within the state and the state associations become strong in turn, we can support the building of a powerful national association. Professional associations have a responsibility to promote and protect the practitioners within the individual states as well as being involved in national issues. Now is the time you must act join and get involved.

The leaders who have stepped forward need your support, both in knowledge and sharing of information.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the AAAOM student organization on their first student conference held in April in Chicago. Their leaders worked hard and did an outstanding job. If you as a student missed it, plan to attend the next one at the same time next year.

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

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