AOMA’s name, AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, echoes the movement toward an integrative, holistic approach to healthcare involving practitioners of both Western and Asian medicine. AOMA trains its students to be able to interact with Western medical professionals in off-site clinics ranging from community healthcare to palliative care. The value of this will be enhanced in the treatment and future prevention of pandemics like COVID-19.
AOMA is honored to provide AFM with a series of articles over the next year to give AFM readers a comprehensive insight into the benefits of integrative care with a focus on acupuncture, Chinese herbal treatments, Asian Bodywork Therapy, Tai Chi and Qigong.
Integrative medicine involves the whole person, including all aspects of his or her lifestyle, physical and emotional wellbeing. The Department of Veterans Affairs and several hospital groups and clinics are moving swiftly toward new, integrative models of care across the United States. Acupuncture plays a key role as it has been proven to be effective not only for the management of pain and stress, but also for acute and chronic health issues. Because it is a non-pharmaceutical alternative to many invasive procedures, it will continue to become more widely accepted and utilized.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
After careful diagnostic procedures involving a client’s health history, discussions and pulse and tongue assessments, a licensed acupuncturist inserts fine, metallic needles into specific acupoints along the meridian system. Needles are activated by gentle and subtle movements or by electrical stimulation.
Acupuncture is the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The aim is to harmonize the body’s energy flow or qi (pronounced “chee”) coursing along the network of meridians or pathways dotted by an estimated 2,000 acupoints. Active qi flow is the essence of homeostasis. Illnesses and health challenges are viewed as imbalances, excesses or deficiencies in the body’s qi. A skilled TCM physician’s careful selection of acupoints for needles (or acupressure for the needle-shy) helps to unblock stagnant qi or stimulate sluggish qi. Acupuncture can relieve pain, promote healing and play a vital role in preventive care to help chronic problems such as persistent back pain, migraines and intestinal challenges.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. National Institutes of Health reference clinical trials proving the effectiveness of acupuncture. Beyond pain and stress control, acupuncture has helped relieve a wide range of medical conditions including some side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, post-stroke spasticity, infertility, knee osteoarthritis, postoperative constipation, labor and delivery complications, allergies, peptic ulcers and depression.
AOMA’s school and clinical activities are currently ongoing via Zoom, subject to city and state guidelines/restrictions during the pandemic. In time, AOMA plans to do rounding (real or virtual) with Western medical schools to enhance students’ collective experience of integrative medicine. For updated information, please check our website www.aoma.edu.
INTRODUCING AOMA AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE, BY MARY FARIA PhD, President and CEO and PAMELA ELLEN FERGUSON Dipl ABT (NCCAOM), AOBTA(r) -CI, LMT, Dean Emerita, Asian Bodywork Therapy.