As Chair of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Theory Division, I see great excitement as well as some challenges in the AOM programs here at MUIH, and within the larger stream of our profession.
I am excited in the presence of each beginning class as their enthusiasm and wonder for this medicine begins to brew. One of the first things I teach is no matter how they mature as a practitioner, the five elements and the seasonal cycle will be the wallpaper in their treatment room… a backdrop throughout their careers as healers. The myriad ways in which this tool continues to be used for coaching and treating are just too numerous to mention.
I am excited by the alumni of this tradition growing and evolving Chinese medicine theory not as a static body of knowledge but as an ever evolving one. In the last alumni newsletter, Alaine Duncan spoke of her application of five element theory to PTSD; in his newest book “The Compleat Acupuncturist,” Peter Eckman, alumni of Leamington Spa, adapts and integrates essential teachings he received there, in particular constitution (CF), with additional streams of medical thought; and close to home our faculty have cultivated the art of healing presence and choosing wellness as transformational tools impacting a generation of acupuncturists.
As the conversation of integration grows, bringing acupuncturists into medical offices and mixing complementary providers, there is a twofold challenge to our profession and our students. One is the ability to converse with other providers… to have a conversation around medical markers and medical testing (this in fact is a component of the upcoming doctoral program). The other is our capacity to sustain the perspective of this unique lens… to see, to hear, to ask, to feel… and to articulate its strengths and philosophy of wellness within a paradigm that may speak in another voice.
As Peter reminds us in his latest book, “The history of Chinese medicine is of a continual addition of new paradigms to the old ones, rather than a replacement of the old ones by the newer ones.” There are streams converging here at MUIH that point to the continued evolution of this medicine.
Professor, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Chair, Theory Division
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