AOMA Blog

Battlefield Acupuncture - Q&A with John Howard, LAc., Dipl. Ac

Posted by Nicole Fillion-Robin on Sun, Jun 16, 2019 @ 03:02 AM

John Howard is a licensed acupuncturist who started his career in Western medicine. He trained & served with the U.S. Marine Corps, as a Combat Medic & a certified EMT.

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He was chosen to attend the Army's Delta Special Operations School of Medicine to become a Corpsman and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences where he trained in field surgical techniques. At George Washington Univ. Hospital he worked as an ER Trauma Technician.and as an Asst. Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medicine teaching medical students minor trauma and suturing techniques. John Howard then completed his degree in acupuncture from the Maryland Institute of Traditional Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland in 2004, and is nationally certified by NCCAOM.

After completing his degree, Prof Howard did a five-year fellowship with the US military under the direction of Dr. Richard Niemtzow, MD, PhD. It included working with Wounded Warriors only days removed from the battlefield.

John has gone on to create protocols for PTSD used worldwide and lactation that has become a staple method used to increase lactation production in a nationally acclaimed hospital. John maintains a private practice in Germantown, Maryland specializing in pain management, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, sports medicine and sports related injuries. John travels around the world to bring his teachings to acupuncturists nationally and internationally. He has also authored nine books and 25 articles on both Acupuncture & Auriculotherapy.



John, have you always wanted to work in medicine?

One of the first things I wanted to do was practice acupuncture. In 1990, my senior year in high school, I went out for a long run. I returned home much later than I expected and before I went to bed, I laid on my living room floor to cool down. While I was doing this, I watched a TV show on acupuncture. The show was filmed in China and they were using acupuncture for anesthesia while they performed open heart surgery on a patient. At that point I wasn't sure if what they were doing was magic or medicine, but I knew I wanted to be part of that.

Next morning when I woke, I approached my mother and told her my plan to study acupuncture. I thought she would be happy and excited because at that time I planned to become professional runner and live in the basement for the next 30 years. When I told her, she looked at me and said, “You don't even look Chinese. Eating Chinese food doesn't qualify you. Are you nuts? Please don't tell your stepfather because he'll think we're both doing drugs.” 


How did your time in the military shape you as an acupuncturist? What are unique challenges and benefits of working for the military? 

Dr. Frank Yurasek Ph.D., L. Ac and myself heading back into the PAU to observe acupunctureIt helped me out tremendously and plays a major role in how I practice acupuncture, even today. I was a Navy Corpsman who was selected for the US Army’s elite 18 Delta School for Medics. I dealt with a lot of pain in the military and a large part of my practice is dedicated to treating pain.

 

Malcolm Grove Hospital on Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland

There are many benefits to working with the military. One of those is that acupuncture is part of standard care, meaning if you want narcotics you also have to receive acupuncture, or you will not get any narcotics. Another benefit is using acupuncture in medical departments on base that are not used in their civilian counterparts. For example, when I was at Bethesda Naval Hospital some years ago, we would use acupuncture in the PAU (post anesthesia unit). These surgical patients might receive acupuncture prior to surgery or just after surgery. You don't find many hospitals using acupuncture in surgery or in the PAU. This was a unique opportunity to be a part of and witness firsthand.


Were you familiar with NADA before your fellowship with Dr. Richard Niemtzow? What differentiates Battlefield Acupuncture (BFA) to NADA? Is there any overlap? 

They have some things in common, they are both auriculotherapy protocols. Each protocol has five ear points, though with BFA I hardly ever have to use more than a total of 3 to 5 needles, whereas with NADA you always use 10 needles. With BFA you stop when the patient reaches the desired pain level. NADA and the BFA protocols use different needles. Also, the BFA protocol will use a combination of gold, stainless steel and titanium needles to achieve the ultimate desired level of decreased pain.

 

Do you prefer one protocol over the other? 

It depends on the purpose of the treatment. For example, I do prefer to use the NADA protocol if my patient is already off narcotics and experiencing no pain other than withdrawal symptoms. If my patient is still on narcotics or being weaned off narcotics and still has pain, then I use the BFA protocol. With BFA, the needles will stay in from 3 to 5 days. In France where the BFA needles are made, professionals will leave the needles in for upwards of 40 days. Here we think 3 to 5 days is enough to get the desired outcome.

Over the years working with disabled combat vets I found a good mix of using NADA and BFA simultaneously. This is mostly for patients who have mild to severe hyper vigilance. Sometimes using BFA needles will over stimulate these patients. I found that if I combined both protocols it balances them out. This is done by inserting filiform needles for the BFA points on the patient’s dominant side and the NADA protocol points on the patient’s non-dominant side.


I’ve read a pretty nasty article on Forbes about BFA, from 2011. Has that attitude towards alternative medicine changed at all in the past 8 years in your opinion?

First, I think that was a great opportunity to advanced BFA and acupuncture in general. Forbes magazine is a very large magazine there's a lot of subscriptions and some clout.

The article that you were referring to was written by Stephen Barrett who in 1993 was forced to give up his medical license in Pennsylvania. It is common knowledge that Stephen Barrett has been Officially Declared by the US Court System, in a published Appeals Court Decision (NCAHF v King Bio), to be "biased, and unworthy of credibility." Officially - nothing he says can be legally relied upon. The Psychiatric profession rejected Barrett; he could not pass the examinations necessary to become Board Certified.

I believe that article did more good than bad to advance the reputation of BFA. 


Have you seen any changes in interactions you have in clinic with your patients or demographics since we have nationally focused on the opioid crisis?

You might have thought I would have said yes, but here in Maryland, those who prescribe opioids have been ahead of this trend for some time now. Though I still have patients who have scripts for opioids, most are taking them on a PRN basis and others are off them completely.

I’m not seeing the abuse that other parts of the country are experiencing. Perhaps it’s because acupuncture is more accessible and accepted in the Washington, DC Metro area. Most insurance companies in the area have some form of acupuncture coverage (and pay very well), so maybe this is why I don’t see what the rest of the United States is seeing.


Do you work alongside GP for the most part? 

I'm at Walter Reed Army hospital as a volunteer where they have three different departments in the hospital that use BFA, acupuncture and homeopathy. I work alongside Dr. Steve Sharp, a pediatric neurology doctor in charge of one of the acupuncture departments. He is also a retired Air Force Colonel.

I also worked in a chiropractic office for 8 years and they would send patients to me for treatment and vice versa. I currently get referrals from local medical doctors to do acupuncture treatments on their patients. In addition, I have treated referral patients from the DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE (I live in Germantown, MD).

 

Acupuncture, of course, is only one part of the puzzle when treating patients with PTSD. How do you work to get them connected to the care and community they need?

Currently and throughout my whole career as an acupuncturist all the patients I have treated with PTSD and even depression have been under the care of the proper medical professional. If I ever get a patient who has one of these conditions and is not seeing a professional in the field of psychiatric medicine, I have physician friends who are psychiatrists they can reach out to. It's paramount that all of these patients be under the care of the proper medical professional. If they currently are not under the care of the proper medical professionals, I would try to convince them to go to one. If I couldn't, I would not treat them with acupuncture. I currently work with and mentor disabled combat vets who have severe PTSD and all of them see their psychiatrist on a regular basis.

A few of the disabled combat vets I worked with that have PTSD. These guys are allowed in some cases to use BFA on themselves or have their wives treat them (not my rule, nor my doing). Some of them will use BFA on their caregivers to treat their pain (again, not my doing). When the wives become pain free or have very little pain, the disabled vets tell me that they feel good about themselves once again. One guy told me when he treats his wife with BFA he feels like a functional member of society again. He went on to say that the treatments he gives his wife is a big part of his therapy.

 

What has surprised you most about this career? 

Many things! For instance, I was surprised and grateful on how generous my teachers and mentors have been with their time and knowledge. In keeping with the spirit of my teachers and mentors, I to emulate them by doing the same to those who would like my time or more knowledge.

One thing that has surprised me recently is how fast some people and institutions are becoming accepting of acupuncture. I always thought that in time they would see the benefit, but not as fast as they have. These include military units, a world-renowned University teaching hospital, Indian reservations, the VA and regional health care providers for one of the biggest providers of health care in the United States other than the military.

On a not so positive note, what surprises me is the lack of training through fellowships and apprenticeships after you graduate acupuncture school. I hope to one day be able to offer anybody the opportunities that I had when I spent 5 years learning from the US military.

Coming from a Western medicine background I would prescribe some of the most powerful drugs on this planet. I was quite confident that these drugs would work all the time and very quickly. This wasn't the case every time and that would frustrate me. Now some of the acupuncture protocols I use work quicker than those drugs and last longer with no side effects. I'm surprised that more hospitals and clinics don't see what I saw when I practiced in Western medicine. I think what really surprises me is how inexpensive acupuncture is compared to Western pharmacological therapies and why these institutions are not quicker to acupuncture as an adjunct or substitute.

 

Do you have any advice for students who want to work in an emergency response capacity? Do you have any recommended links/reading/research on organizations for those who may be interested?

I do know that BFA has been used in Australia on national ambulance services. About 2 years ago I was contacted to help train medical doctors at a large medical school in Southern California who wanted to do a research project on using BFA for compound femur fractures. Some large teaching hospitals are interested in using BFA in their emergency rooms. Cook County Hospital in Chicago, one of the largest hospitals in the US, is one of those institutions that have contacted me to help them implement BFA into their Emergency Department protocols. On my website I have a list of articles for research on BFA. For those who want to do more research, you can also look up BFA at PubMed. 


Any advice to students regarding trauma-informed care? 

Patients' piercings and tattoos will tell you a story they cannot or are not willing to share with you or anyone else at the time. That’s right - you can somewhat diagnose your patients by observing their piercings and tattoos. You might be surprised how much you know about a patient and not even know it. In my basic BFA class I will go over these clinical clues and signs.


Have you ever suffered from burnout, and how did you take care of yourself?

No, I have never had an issue with that. I have patients I treated that I could not wait till they regained their health back. These patients would eat up my time and I would fall behind on other of my patients. The other patients would get upset with me for running late but understood. The BFA fixed that problem.

With using BFA I can treat up to 10 patients per hour. Their pain level could be 7, 8 or even 9 out of 10 on a pain scale from 0-10. Within minutes most, if not all, of their pain is reduced to zero or to a comfortable level for them. I feel that getting their pain reduced to between 0 and 3 out of 10 on the pain scale is a good objective.

I don’t advise completely eliminating pain for most patients and endurance athletes. I had a runner that I treated and told him to take it easy. The next day I saw him doing a long run because I had eliminated all his pain. He was testing the limits which can result in additional injury. You do not want this to happen, so in a case like this, I would reduce the pain but not eliminate it to remind the patient to take it easy since the pain and cause of the pain are still there.

 

What the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a mentor? 

Wow, I'm sure I can write a book on all the great advice and clinical pearls I received over the years from my mentors. All the knowledge they’ve given to me can be summed up as always be positive and choose positive words with your patients.

I will offer a simple clinical pearl that you can apply in your clinic as soon as you read it. We all do this in our clinics, but I am going to give you a positive way to say this. When you do, watch your patient’s face and demeanor change on the spot. When a patient come into our clinics for the first time, we need some basic information about them, like their name, their age and chief complaint. When I ask their age, I look them in eye and ask, “How young are you?”  Try this and see how well your results are compared to the last new patient you just saw if you ask them how old they are.


What will participants learn in your upcoming CE opportunity at AOMA?  

I will teach one of the strongest if not the strongest protocol to reduce both acute and chronic pain in a long-lasting way. You will learn how to unite auriculotherapy and acupuncture in a synergetic way to help their patients achieve their objectives.

I'll discuss the history of BFA, auriculotherapy and acupuncture. Most individuals don’t know that acupuncture has been used in the US since (at least) 1773.

We will also go over an in-depth understanding of the principles of auriculotherapy to help each student succeed in clinical practice. By the end of the seminar students will be able to diagnosis basic pathological conditions just by observing their patients’ ears. BFA has the ability to change your practice and your patients’ lives.

Each student will receive a gift bag from our sponsors (Lhasa OMS, Boston MA and Sedatelec of Lyon, France) with a mix of different kinds of needles to use and practice with throughout the seminar. The BFA protocol uses semi-permanent needles known as ASP ear needles. And of course, participants will receive 16 NCCAOM PDAs and California Acupuncture Board CEUs if applicable.

 

Thank you so much for your time and thoughtfulness, John! We really look forward to hosting your seminar here at AOMA in July.  

Topics: NADA, tcm education, acupunture, pain management, medical volunteer, battlefield acupuncture

Alumni Spotlight: Rachelle Lambert, LAc, 2009 AOMA Graduate

Posted by Nicole Fillion-Robin on Sat, May 18, 2019 @ 01:02 AM

Rachelle Lambert, LAc is the owner and founder of RA Harmony Asian Medicine.  She is also the Unit Coordinator and Research Team Lead for the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps.

What was your education and experience prior to AOMA?Rachelle 2-1

I joined the 4 year MAOM program at AOMA in 2005. Pursuing acupuncture and Chinese herbs is the first career path in my life. I completed my graduation requirements for high school on the memorable date of September 11th, 2001. After high school I attended Austin Community College to receive the perquisites needed to join AOMA.

Tell us about your journey to AOMA, what led you to Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

I was born and raised in Austin, TX. My entire life I wanted to be an archaeologist, but one day I had some friends talk about acupuncture treatments at a local acupuncture college (AOMA) and it dawned on me that was the career path I was meant to pursue. Of course, once I started internship during the program it was super rewarding to use ancient medicine to help people feel better. Even though I never became an archaeologist, becoming an acupuncturist allowed me plenty of opportunities to enjoy archaeology!

What did you learn at AOMA that you use everyday in The Real World?

The training I received at AOMA is invaluable. Patients in Colorado tell me all the time how unique and comprehensive my training is. Working in the field I find it valuable to have skills in various styles of acupuncture, pulse diagnosis, and having knowledge of scalp and auricular acupuncture.

In everyday life, I forget to practice my qi gong and tai chi on a regular basis, but when I am in the field of emergency management I use it everyday. It helps me stay my best for the people I am supporting. When I am at FEMA training at the Emergency Management Institute in Maryland, often times the class has had me guide the class in tai chi warm-ups and qi gong meditation exercises. Everyone wants to learn it when they see me doing it, and I find it hysterical that I am teaching mind-body techniques to groups of emergency managers at FEMA. It helps to remind them to take time for self-care. And during my deployment to Puerto Rico this was a great tool to teach the community to support their resilience.

Your work in emergency response is outstanding, how did you get involved in this work?

I have always dreamed of offering acupuncture to global communities did not have the opportunity to experience acupuncture. I feel my love of emergency management started during my time working on cruise ships as an acupuncturist where I learned extensively about the US Coast Guard laws and regulations. They are thorough and very strict the procedures intended to save lives. No matter your position, as a ship crew member you are required to train and drill weekly so all hands-on deck would be available during an emergency. As an acupuncturist, I learned how to fight fires with a fire hose, close water tight doors, stabilize frantic passengers, lower life boats and jump down a chute into a life boat, and help pull others from the sea into a lifeboat, to ensure survival. It was incredible to me that regardless of your background anyone can be trained to make a difference and save lives. In addition, I learned the valuable skill of speaking/communicating in a way that even non-English speakers can understand.

What would you like everyone to know about you, your interests, passions, hobbies, etc?

Since I was 3 years old, I have practiced origami and it became a valuable skill during deployment to support both Hurricane Irma and Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017. Knowing qi gong and tai chi also became valuable. These tools have saved my body and mind during all of my emergency deployments both domestic and international. They stabilize me as an emergency responder and allow me the chance to re-boot and remain 100% so I can be my best for the communities I support. They also are skills easily taught to others, providing them the ability to cope with extremely stressful situations.


Rachelle 2

Please share anything else you would like about yourself and your work.

I moved to Colorado in 2014 during the first year of creation of the Colorado Acupuncture Medical Reserve Corps. Today if you want to be integrated into a disaster response in a professional way, a responder must be trained in Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System(NIMS) to speak a common language and offer a structure for response that is evidence based.

Captain Rob Tossato created the Medical Response Corps (MRC) program to vet and train volunteers before a disaster occurs. This includes; verifying credentials, background checks, and ensuring a smooth system to organize volunteers and ensure safety for everyone involved. This reduces the chaos that comes with disaster situations. With the Medical Reserve Corps, program volunteers have the opportunity to train and drill with a team, are included in networking opportunities and exercises with many agencies involved in emergency response, practice skills ahead of time, establish critical relationships, allow for official request for deployment, and participate in healthcare coalitions.

I became the volunteer leader of the Colorado Acupuncture MRC in 2016 and have worked hard with my team to create buy-in from the leaders of all national MRC teams. We have led by example, and our work recognized and published. We authored the Acupuncture Mission Ready Package, and created the first pilot research study exploring the feasibility and acceptability of acupuncture in emergency management (funded by a grant I authored with the National Association of City and County Health Officials).

For the last three years, the work we have done has created buy-in with many leaders throughout the nation and allowed acupuncturists to join these teams on a nation-wide scale for the first time. My goal is to make our profession a paid deployable position with FEMA. I plan to infiltrate the system and continue extensive training to continue in my second career as an emergency manager with FEMA.

What agencies do you work with? Is it typically a paid contractor gig or volunteer work? 

The first thing I want to express with the acupuncture profession as a whole is that this is volunteer work. We need to spearhead the movement of volunteer culture in the acupuncture profession, as I see it flowing in other healthcare professions. It is hard work, but so rewarding, and someone has to do it. As far as I know there are no paid acupuncture positions in the world of emergency management... yet! We have to start somewhere and volunteering to get the resource out there in the world is the best way to educate the global population in this valuable resource.

Remember, the acupuncture profession just got an occupational code, we have just started our work in national and global recognition. So far the VA is the only organization I know of that pays acupuncturists as part of government.

In my personal opinion, we can make a huge influence by joining federal and state approved teams. Remember: infiltrate the system! These teams are the most influential during an emergency response, they are the ones who are officially requested, and they follow guidelines of preventing self-deployment (meaning you don't show up to a disaster unless you are called upon by an authority). 

Which organizations do you recommend students look into if they are thinking of doing this kind of work?

If considering this line of work in your future, please stay professional and understand the world of emergency management - never show up to an incident unless you have been officially requested (this is known as self-deploying and can be damaging to trust in the acupuncture profession). There are so many things happening in an emergency, it is not the time to start your education and networking as an acupuncturist. People coordinating the disaster have lives to save, and are going through a lot of stress themselves.

The best time to do your networking and education on the resource is when a disaster is not happening. Make your connections and build your teams ahead of time. You can make a lot of influence if you can participate in drills, have networking events such as provide treatments to fire departments, public health departments, offices of emergency management, and participate in local healthcare coalitions. If you know a person ahead of time, you trust them, and you know what they are capable of doing, you will be called into the field during a disaster and make the most influence.

Teams I have found as a good place to start would be the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Team Rubicon, and the American Red Cross. I am currently a registered volunteer with the Colorado Acupuncture MRC, Colorado STAR MRC, MRC of Puerto Rico, Team Rubicon, and the American Red Cross.

When were you last called to serve as an acupuncturist? How long did you stay for?

First of all, I volunteer throughout the year. My work is either in deployment or non-deployment times. For example, once a month I lead a team to offer treatments at the Nederland Fire Station, and once a month I lead a team to offer treatments at the Four Mile Canyon Fire Station. I made these relationships during deployments when I was called to respond, as well as making relationships during FEMA training. I have been supporting these teams for three years now. In April I lead a team to participate during a functional exercise and drill with the Boulder County Emergency Operations Center, and that was a half-day exercise.

My last deployment was a half-day deployment during the Sunshine Canyon Fire response in 2017, but they were able to manage the disaster fairly quickly so it was a short deployment. The most memorable experience and longest time I was deployed as an acupuncturist was during the Cold Springs Fire in 2016. The response phase was 10 days long, then we transitioned into the recovery phase which lasted for several months. During the response phase I sent teams to the firefighters basecamp, the emergency operations center coordinating the boots on the ground, and the incident command post with the incident command staff.

What is your most memorable experience as an EMR Acupuncturist?

In 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria rocked our nation. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) requested a disaster behavioral health team to deploy to Puerto Rico. To our knowledge, this was the first time a behavioral health team was requested through this system (and does not mean this is the last).

The State of Colorado won the bid to provide this team and the request came through for volunteers with our state volunteer registry for people who spoke some level of Spanish and were trained/certified in Psychological First Aid. Due to the fact I trained ahead of time, was a registered volunteer with Colorado, and was trained in disaster response, I made the team. My travel, meals, and accommodations were all paid for, and I was paid acupuncturist wages for every hour I worked. This is the first time I have ever been paid to be part of a deployment.

The deployment was for three weeks and we supported local behavioral health teams in Puerto Rico. Our mission was psychological first aid, and we traveled to about 30 refugios (shelters) to provide assistance in healing and emotional recovery. Even though our mission was not to provide acupuncture, I was able to share my skills as an acupuncturist and provide the local community group Qi Gong exercises, Tai Ji stretching, and share different acupressure points and lifestyle choices that can support resilience and recovery. At the end of the day I provided acupuncture treatments to my team keeping them at their best, as well as several branches of the military, FEMA, and other supporting agencies we housed with.

This deployment helped me create new partnerships, and I have since worked on a year-long project partnering with the Medical Reserve Corps of Puerto Rico to train their unit in ways they can use the acupuncture resource. I joined the unit as a volunteer, so next time a disaster occurs, the team not only has ways to use immediately use acupuncture through the Acupuncture Mission Ready Package Training, but now I have a chance to support the team and offer acupuncture to Puerto Ricans.

Do you qualify for any loan forgiveness benefits as a corps member (asking for a friend)?  

Since this is only volunteer work, and not a salary based position, there are no loan forgiveness benefits with the Medical Reserve Corps. In order to qualify for loan forgiveness you must have 50% or more of your salary coming from a government organization or 501c3 for 10 years. That is why we need to create a movement in the acupuncture profession to volunteer, you have to start the work somewhere.

My hopes are that we can create paid positions in emergency response. It is all about the experience you have and not your educational training. Those with real-life experience in deployments will be considered higher up for the interview process and will be the first considered for those paid positions. My biggest suggestion is to get your experience now so when paid opportunities do come around then you can have a better chance on nabbing one of those positions.

For those interested in loan forgiveness I would suggest becoming employed with a 501c3 or with the VA as an acupuncturist.

Do you have your own practice or work for another clinic? If so, how do you balance emergency response work with your regular clinic patients?

It all depends on how busy your practice is and how many hours you can volunteer. When I first moved to Colorado and was growing my practice I had the time to donate 10-25 hours a week to be in a leadership position. Now that my practice has grown and I am seeking employment as an emergency manager, I have stepped down from a leadership role and volunteer about 4 hours twice a month.

My patients know my passion to volunteer and participate in deployments so when an emergency does occur they are understanding when I call to reschedule them so I can close my practice for a day or more and help out the local community. My patients love the fact I do this work, and volunteering has even helped my practice grow. They know that supporting me financially allows me the chance to volunteer and indirectly supports the community. 

What opportunities does your upcoming training at AOMA open up for participants?

This training will provide the basics you need to join many federally and state approved teams, such as the Medical Reserve Corps and Team Rubicon. Every team is different and training requirements may differ, but with my work in creating and growing the Acupuncture Mission Ready Package every class participant will have skills on how to modify the acupuncture resource in your specific community and your unit needs.

We will also train everyone with basic FEMA required training, such as ICS 100 and 700. We will also have an introduction to psychological first aid so people can have an understanding on how to use this in the field and in their practice, and I will guide everyone on how to get their certification.

We will talk about local volunteer opportunities, such as joining the University of Texas at Austin Medical Reserve Corps and the Williamson County Medical Reserve Corps. In addition, I will be talking in detail about the pilot study in which I was the principal investigator, partnered with the University of Colorado at Boulder Psychology department, and funded by a grant with the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO). Information provided about this pilot study can be used to help you with education and networking with the the acupuncture resource as a volunteer.

Any advice to students in school right now and students about to graduate?

Start training now! Start volunteering now! The more experience you have in the world of disasters and emergency management the more it will benefit you personally, benefit your practice, and benefit your local and global community. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available right now, and so many rewarding ways in which you can volunteer even if you don't use needles. Remember, acupuncture is just one tool in the fast world of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We have to start somewhere, help me grow the movement on volunteering in the acupuncture profession!

 

Thank you so much for your time and all the work you do, Rachelle! Here are some links for those interested in learning more about Medical Response Teams:

Medical Reserve Corps

Team Rubicon Disaster Response

The American Red Cross

FEMA training Materials

About Psychological First Aid

 

Don't forget to check out our upcoming CEU and training opportunity with Rachelle:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/acupuncture-emergency-response-and-medical-reserve-corps-volunteer-training-tickets-58664871209

 

Topics: alumni, alumni spotlight, masters program, grad school, aoma, tcm education, acupunture, disaster relief, medical volunteer

Faculty Spotlight: Nelson Song Luo, PhD, MD (China), LAc

Posted by Mary Faria, PhD, FACHE on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 @ 12:14 PM

Nelson Song LuoNelson Song Luo, PhD, MD (China), LAc is a neurologist with a focus on the treatment of
stroke and other chronic degenerative disorders. He was recognized by China as “Excellent Doctor,” an honor bestowed on only 10 of the 2,000 doctors in Provincial People’s Hospital in Chengdu, China. His international teaching circuit includes more than fifteen countries.

Please tell us about your history before joining AOMA.
I graduated from one of the most ancient Chinese medicine universities in China, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. After graduation, I served Sichuan State Hospital & Sichuan Provincial Academy of Medical Science for more than 12 years. In the hospital, I enjoyed greatly the weekly Friday afternoon case discussions in the national neurological center. I called it “Friday Afternoon Brainstorm” since there were many rare and complicated neurological cases from remote rural areas or other cities. Many experienced senior neurologists were invited to lead the case discussions. I was invited to serve patients in the neurological ICU. This was why I could successfully serve the patients in the ICU of Seton Medical Center here in Austin. While at the Sichuan hospital, I was called “stair-climber doctor” since I went upstairs and downstairs every day to serve patients throughout the hospital. No wonder I could not find enough time for lunch since there were 4000 beds in this hospital. During those 12 years, I served thousands of patients in various departments including neurological, cardiac, digestive, respiratory, endocrine, orthopedic, neurosurgical departments, ER, ICU, etc. I was awarded the title “Excellent Doctor,” an honor bestowed on only 10 of the 2000 doctors in this hospital.


I know you’ve been working on your Master’s degree in Public Health from John Hopkins, please share a bit about that experience.
Since I have a full-time job at AOMA, I have to say that earning the MPH (Master’s in Public Health) at Johns Hopkins University at the same time is very challenging. I really appreciate AOMA’s support during my study. AOMA faculty members took very good care of my classes and clinics when I needed their help last June. The program has been very intense, but the good news is that I have done well! My efforts, many sleepless nights studying, have been rewarded. I feel I’ve gained much deeper learning on clinical diseases, research methods, clinical trial design, and qualified paper requirement, etc. Moreover, as a clinic doctor, I have learned how to better interact between clinical work and research. It has been an honor to work and learn with talented clinicians and researchers from all over the world. As an instructor, I shared many related important contents from Johns Hopkins to AOMA master and doctoral students. I also tried to modify my teaching based on what I have learned so far.

I know you have a specialty in Neurology, what led you to that specialty?
When I was studying in Chengdu, I selected a neurology course out of curiosity. I was scared to do that since the lead professor was Yongyi Li, a very respected expert in neurology with a reputation of treating students rigorously. To my surprise, I was graded 98 out of 100 in the final exam which was the highest grade ever in that class. It was professor Li’s encouragement that inspired my interest in neurology. After graduation, I served at Sichuan State Hospital & Sichuan Provincial Academy of Medical Science for more than 12 years. There is a national neurological center in this hospital where I learned a lot and treated a large number of patients with neurological diseases. I knew this work would make a difference in many lives. A few years later my father had an encounter with one of my stroke patients. The man’s story and gratitude for my work brought tears to my father’s eyes as he shared the story. This was so touching and reassured me about choosing Neurology.

Please share anything else you’d like us to know about you; why you enjoy what you do, your family, your hobbies, etc.
My family: My great grandfather, aunt, and uncle are all physicians in China. When I was little, an anxious middle-aged male knocked at the door in the middle of night. He was hesitant to ask my great grandfather to help his seriously ill wife at home. In this extremely cold winter, my 90-year old great grandfather grabbed his medical equipment and followed the man without any hesitation. The image of my great grandfather, which disappeared slowly in the dark, will always linger in my mind. In my heart, I was born to save patients’ lives, and pass the love from my great grandfather to the future.

Hobbies and Leisure:
I love the outdoors. I’m very passionate about playing soccer and jogging outdoors in a natural park, along a pavilion, and near a lake. I enjoy breathing the fresh air and hearing the melody of birds. I enjoy holding parties, making dumplings and sharing stories with my neighbors, students, and friends. I still remember the time my students and I made more than 400 dumplings at one of my dumpling parties!

Topics: faculty spotlight, AOMA clinic, graduate school, china, aoma, tcm health, tcm education

Reagan Taylor, AOMA Master's Graduate and DAOM Student

Posted by Brian Becker on Thu, Mar 14, 2019 @ 11:59 AM

 

Please introduce yourself! Where are you from? Where did you go to undergraduate?  What did you study?

My name is Reagan Taylor, and I am from Austin, TX. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was actually grown up, but once I discovered how intriguing acupuncture and Chinese medicine I never turned back. In my research to find a good school, I didn’t need to look any farther than my hometown…I heard that AOMA had a great program with higher educational standards than other schools throughout the country.  I familiarized myself with the requirements for admission and studied AOMA’s curriculum. From there, I focused my studies at Austin Community College in biology, health sciences, sociology, and psychology to prepare me for patient care.

What were you doing before you came to AOMA?

I lived in Oregon for several years learning how to blow soft glass; making vases, sculptures, paper weights.  While I was having fun, I didn’t feel like I was really serving a purpReagan Taylorose. I moved back to Austin and began work at a wonderful organization, The Marbridge Foundation, which is a residential care facility for adults with intellectual disabilities.  I worked there full-time before starting AOMA master’s program.  I stayed on as a part-time employee all throughout my time at AOMA, and left Marbridge all together about a year ago. It was a wonderful place to work and my experiences there instilled in me patience, communication skills, and stress management skills for myself as well as for patients.

What are some of your favorite classes and/or teachers at AOMA?

What kind of trick question is this?!?  There is no way I can really choose a favorite instructor from AOMA because they are all wonderful in their own way.  As a current doctoral student, I recently took the Neurology class with Dr. Amy Moll because I have a special interest in neurological systems and disorders. Dr. Moll is an exceptional educator with incredible knowledge of functional neurology and ways to treat disorders with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.

How would you describe the Student Culture at AOMA?

Personally, I have found the student culture at AOMA to be very welcoming and warm.  During my time as a master’s student, and now as a doctoral candidate, I have found a lot of support amongst my cohorts.  Friends I made as a master’s student are still some of my closest friends and biggest supporters.  Students always seem to be finding ways to lift each other up, whether it’s forming a study group or carving out much needed time for fun or relaxation.  The students here all have very diverse backgrounds, and everyone is here for their own reason so we learn from each other.

What is your favorite thing about AOMA and why? Describe your experiences at AOMA.

I have really appreciated the high standard of education I’ve received at AOMA.  I’ve also always felt very supported and heard by the faculty and staff here.  After graduation, I maintained a relationship with AOMA and worked as a part-time clinical teaching assistant, which then blossomed into my current position as the full-time clinical resident.  It’s been interesting to go from being a student, to faculty member, and now a hybrid of doctoral student and faculty member. I get to see and experience all sides of AOMA, which has only added to my appreciation for this institution.

What benefits do you feel earning your Doctorate will afford you, and how did you decide which one was the best choice for your career?

Earning my doctorate will not only open up a lot of doors for me as far as my career, but it’s also providing me with a deeper clinical understanding and exposing me to some amazing, more advanced techniques.  I started out in the DAcOM program (first professional doctorate) and made the decision to switch to the DAOM, which will challenge me in ways I never knew I wanted to be challenged.  Earning my DAOM, will open up doors for me to work in academia and research and provide me with vast clinical insights.  I decided to switch programs because, as AOMA’s clinical resident, I have found I really enjoy working with students in the clinical setting, helping them learn, while also working with patients.  The DAOM arms with the knowledge I need as well as the credentials necessary for a career in education.

What, if any perceptions of Chinese medicine have changed from when you started the program to now? What vision would you like to see for the future of healthcare?

Before starting the program, I viewed Chinese medicine and its founding philosophy as mystical and magical.  After learning so much more, I no longer see it quite like that.  Now, I understand it as an extremely logical and scientifically sound medical practice…ancient physicians just had a different language and ways to describe how our bodies function and the cause of disease.

What are you plans after completing your Doctorate?

I have developed a real passion for clinical education.  Once I receive my DAOM, I hope to serve in that capacity.  I always want to be a clinician, working with and treating patients, but I would also like to be deeply involved with teaching other people how to be great practitioners.  Developing clinical curriculum, treating patients, and helping students become confident in their abilities are all things I believe are well suited to my personality, strengths, and talents and I hope to be doing exactly that in my future.

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, DAOM, MAcOM, aoma students, chinese medicine, tcm education, acupunture

How Auricular Acupuncture Can Help with Opiate Use Disorder

Posted by Victor S. Sierpina, MD on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 @ 11:37 AM

Previously published, Galveston County Daily News, Jan 23, 2019

Opiate Use Disorder is claiming lives by the tens of thousands. The Center for Disease Control reported 47,600 deaths in the US involving opioids in 2017, concluding that the opioid overdose epidemic continues to worsen with increased in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. In the state of Texas, deaths attributable to opioids rose three times from 1999-2015 with increasing impact on maternal mortality and neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The UTMB Department of Family Medicine recently submitted a grant proposal to improve education and clinical practice by training and outreach to rural areas hardest hit by this growing scourge. Many of those with OUD started on prescription medications and then moved onto black market products like heroin, fentanyl, and diverted OxyContin.

Controlled substance contracts, the statewide Prescription Monitoring Program, limiting initial opiate prescriptions, automated electronic medical record notifications about the use of Naloxone, medical provider and public awareness are all part of the solution.

The use of auricular (ear) acupuncture for substance abuse, alleviating withdrawal symptoms, behavioral health, and pain management is a safe, widely researched, and long-standing adjunctive treatment modality. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA protocol) is the best known of the methods and has been practiced widely for over 30 years. It involves application of 3 to 5 needles at specified ear points, is simple to learn and to apply, and enjoys wide patient acceptance.

The clinical application of ear acupuncture for substance use since it was first found effective in easing withdrawal symptoms from opium and heroin in Hong Kong in the 1970’s. Since then, research and practice-based evidence continues to accumulate and drive its use along with safety, ease of application, and patient acceptance.

The broad application of NADA to alcohol, opiate, nada pictobacco, methamphetamine, and cocaine abuse makes it a promising adjunct to medical and behavioral treatment methods in a very challenging patient population. Additionally, the NADA protocol has been used for stress management, including post-traumatic stress, treating addicted pregnant women, sleep disorders, and anxiety. It has been used in refugee camps, post-hurricane settings, prisons, hospitals, rehabilitation treatment centers, as well as outpatient clinics, predominantly in a group treatment context.

Practitioners emphasize that so-called “acudetox” is an adjunctive, not a standalone treatment for easing withdrawal symptoms as well as maintenance of abstinence. It is most effective when applied with standard therapy, behavioral interventions, and/or 12-step programs.

Physiological studies have shown auricular acupuncture acts on neuroendocrinological pathways include serotonin, dopamine, endorphin, dynorphin, and GABA receptors which mediate its effects on pain management. The Battlefield Acupuncture protocol using 5 tiny tacks in each ear has been increasingly used since the early 2000’s when it was first applied in military settings. It can also be highly and immediately effective in acute problems like migraine and chronic problems such as back or muscle pain.

Other non-pharmacological treatments such as mindfulness, anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements, chiropractic, massage, hypnosis, diet, exercise, physical therapy, yoga and tai chi can also be part of a rational integrative pain management plan that doesn’t involve the risk of using addicting opiates.

“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

---Martin Luther King, Jr.

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, efficacy of acupuncture, chinese medicine, tcm education, prevention, acupunture

Four Things Everyone Should Know About Acupuncture School

Posted by Brian Becker on Tue, Jan 22, 2019 @ 11:20 AM

Acupuncture (5)

In my time as an Admissions officer I have encountered a lot of commonly held misconceptions about various degrees, perhaps even more so when it comes to the field of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  So here are some basic facts about Acupuncture school that some individuals, such as perspective students, patients, other healthcare providers, as well as the public in general, may not be aware of.

1) It is a Rigorous Master’s Degree

One of the chief misconceptions about Acupuncture is the amount IMG_7927of schooling required.  People are often shocked to learn that a Master Degree is required before they may sit for the National Boards exams.  What’s more, this is not your standard two year Master’s.  AOMA’s program is 203.5 quarter credits (equal to 135.6 semester credits), typically takes four and a half years, and involves a total of 2970 instructional hours.  Of those, 161.5 of the credits, or 1962 hours are Didactic and 42 credits, 1008 hours, are clinical.

Many of those obtain their Master’s go on to take bridge programs such as our DAcOM, becoming Doctors of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  Indeed there is a push within the profession as a whole to require doctorates for licensure in the United States.

2) Amount of Biomedicine

More and more TCM is being taught as an integrative medicine,Classroom_Blood Pressure (1) working alongside other healthcare providers with the best interest of the patient in mind.  To this end AOMA’s program covers a wide range of biomedical topics including Medical Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, and Biomedical Pharmacology among others.

3) Hands On 

Like the training for any other healthcare profession,IMG_0031 copy acupuncture programs require a lot of clinical and hands on laboratory hours.  As mentioned earlier, 1008 of AOMA’s 2970 instructional hours are clinical, this translates to 34%, one third of the program.  This process begins with Clinic Theater I in which students are exposed to the diagnostic methods of TCM including the techniques and application of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine by observing professional treatments performed by a member of the AOMA faculty.  This culminates in a full clinical internship, in which the student, as a supervised intern, performs the intake, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.

4) Strength of Faculty

Our faculty is well versed in a wide range of clinical specializations,Dr. Wu's book academic backgrounds, and published research.  At AOMA there are 37 faculty members, including 29 Licensed Acupuncturists, 7 Medical Doctors, 2 Ph.D.’s and 6 faculty members who hold both an MD and a Ph.D.  AOMA Graduate School is also the home of the only Chinese herbal pharmacologist Ph.D. in the United States.  About two thirds of our faculty bring to the table at least a decade of tenure and many years of training and practicing TCM in China.

Topics: Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture school, masters program, acupuncture students, tcm school, tcm education, acupunture

Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments for Cedar Allergies

Posted by Yongxin Fan on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 03:45 PM

Austin Cedar Allergy treatment

Are you familiar with seasonal allergies? If you live in Austin,Texas, you probably know more about periodic wheezing, sneezing, and sniffling than just about anyone! It’s not all doom and gloom, though.  According to the AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) 2016 fall Allergy Capital list, Austin is ranked at 46th place compared to 35th place in 2015(1). It appears things seem to be improving for us here in the live music capital of the world.  But while the rest of the nation generally only has two pollen seasons (fall and spring), Austin is unique in that we have three distinct pollen seasons, plus an intense winter pollen season. That is why some people call Austin the Allergy Capital of the World!

Mountain cedar pollen season extends from December to March, with peak levels usually hitting in January. Cedar pollen counts in Central Texas are among the highest pollen counts of any plant anywhere in the world. Cedar allergy, commonly referred to as "cedar fever," can be intense and debilitating. Cedar fever is a seasonal illness that affects people during pollination of the mountain cedar tree(3). As you may know firsthand, people experience severe symptoms when afflicted by cedar fever and can find that their daily activities are greatly impacted while it runs its course (2).

If you are new to Austin and have not yet experienced cedar fever (lucky you!) then you might have at least heard of this form of seasonal allergic rhinitis that comes with some extra symptoms.  On top of the usual hay fever symptoms (runny nose, itchy and watery eyes nasal blockage, and sneezing), some sufferers of cedar fever also complain of fatigue, mild headache, facial discomfort, sore throat, partial loss of smell, and ear pressure or a sense that the ears are plugged.The inflammation triggered by the allergen can even cause a mildly elevated temperature, hence the nickname “cedar fever!”

Western medicine relies on two forms of allergy treatment: medication and immunotherapy. Decongestants and antihistamines are the most common allergy medications, and they can help to reduce a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Corticosteroids are generally effective in treating inflammation in the nose in the form of nasal spray. Immunotherapy is a preventive strategy designed to ward off allergic reactions to substances such as pollens, etc. This involves giving gradually increasing doses of the allergen or substance to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, which ultimately reduces the symptoms of the allergy. 

How TCM can help

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) relies on a more holistic approach to allergy relief.  By virtue of satisfactory clinical results due to a combination of acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbs, more and more people are realizing that seasonal suffering caused by allergens can be avoided without exclusively relying on invasive Western medical treatments. 

But, you might be asking, how does this work?

According to TCM, people who suffer from allergies experience what we term a wind invasion to the body combined with defensive Qi (vital energy) weakness of the body itself. TCM treatments are designed to treat both the root of the disease as well as the symptoms that you are experiencing. Acupuncture can treat allergies by controlling the body’s inflammatory reactions to allergens, and specific points that your practitioner selects, such as acu-points on face and foot, can relieve the nasal and facial symptoms by stimulating the far ends of the channels, or meridians, where Qi flows. 

Specific herbs can also help to reduce the inflammatory reaction and desensitize the body to allergens. Treasures from the Chinese herbal tradition, such as Huangqi (astragalus) can modulate immunity, while still others, like Cangerzi (fructus xanthil) and Juhua (Chrysanthemum flower) can lower histamine production to relieve the nasal and eye symptoms. Regular moxibustion, or heated herbal therapy, can boost the body’s immune system to prevent allergy symptoms in the first place.

Generally, people with allergies would be wise to begin TCM treatment one to two months before the allergy season, in order to allow the body to build up the necessary immunities. However, during the allergy season itself, immediate treatment can also provide great relief. Your best bet is to talk to your practitioner and find a strategy that best suits you, especially if you have a chronic allergic response that recurs each year.

Your at-home activities can also make a difference in the allergy symptoms you experience.  Do you take vitamins?  Study results demonstrate that Vitamin D supplements can alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms and treat chronic hives.  In addition, Vitamin C is a well-known immune antioxidant that lowers histamine levels to prevent the onset of allergies. Are you mindful of your diet? Dairy products, sugar, and wheat are all common contributors to allergy symptoms, so limiting your intake of these foods may help reduce your symptoms.

TCM highly values the proactive nurturing of one’s health, and there are several modalities that can help. Striving for balance in your daily life and regular self-care make a positive difference in your Qi and promote overall wellbeing.  Mind-body exercises such as qi gong can teach you to cultivate your body’s natural healing energy as well as reduce stress. Reasonable amounts of work followed by rest, a plan for managing stress, and proper diet are also important for preventing allergy symptoms. Acupuncture reduces stress, boosts mood, and helps you sleep better. By avoiding overwork and receiving sufficient hours of sleep each night, the body’s vital energy remains strong and less susceptible to allergens If you take time to enjoy yourself and maintain a happy mood, then you are doing a wonderful job supporting your health during the allergy season!

 Request an appointment at AOMA Acupuncture Clinics to get started on your allergy relief!Request an Appointment

 

(1). http://www.aafa.org/media/Fall-Allergy-Capitals-Report-Dec-2016.pdf

(2). https://www.quora.com/Why-does-Austin-TX-have-a-reputation-for-bad-allergies

(3). https://www.texasmedclinic.com/symptoms-remedies-cedar-fever-and-allergies-austin-san-antonio/

(4). http://acaai.org/allergies/treatment

Topics: tcm education

11 Best TCM Accounts to Follow Right Now

Posted by Rob Davidson on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 02:54 PM

AOMA Instagram TCM accounts to follow

Ever wondered how the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine translate into the modern world of social media? As acupuncture and Chinese medicine continue to grow in popularity in America, many practitioners are turning to social networks like Instagram. Instagram can be used as a powerful tool to promote one’s practice as well as educate the public on this ancient form of healing.

Many of the Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques are visually appealing and catch the eye, such as fire cupping or burning of moxibustion. As acupuncture practitioners continue to shed light on these often mysterious and less common practices via social networks, the curiosity and interest by patients will increase as more attention is given to alternative health therapies.

We’ve done our research and found the 10 best TCM social media accounts to follow, while highlighting what sets each of them apart. Continue reading for some of the most fascinating TCM accounts to follow and hopefully you’ll have a new perspective on acupuncture and Chinese medicine. :)

(In no particular order)

1. Bob Wong - @art_of_acupuncture

Bob Wong’s focus on social media is providing high quality photos of acupuncture and cupping, while educating the public on what TCM has to offer. Most of his photos are monochromatic, which creates unique and powerful imagery, showing the artistic side of acupuncture. He uses primarily his wife as an acupuncture model out of their home, in which he has set up a black backdrop. Bob also posts videos of various TCM treatments and has a blog interviewing TCM practitioners. His social media presence is one of a kind, and one you’re definitely going to want to follow.

2. Carolyn Barron, L.Ac. - @Botanarchy

 

A post shared by Carolyn Barron, L.Ac. (@botanarchy) on

Carolyn Barron is a licensed acupuncturist practicing out of Los Angeles, California. Her practice has an emphasis on herbal medicine, with her Instagram page highlighting photos of various herbs and recipes. Her images are warm and welcoming, and she showcases other treatment tools on her page such as tuning forks, mindfulness and nutritional recipes. Carolyn draws importance and attention on self care and women’s health issues with a muted color palette collection of photography and graphics.

3. TCM Herb a Day - @tcmherbaday

 

A post shared by TCM Herb a Day (@tcmherbaday) on

TCM Herb a Day is one of the best educational Instagram pages to follow, highlighting various Chinese single herbs everyday. The photos are bright and vibrant, showing the raw herb form used medicinally and the plant the herb is derived from. Posts are daily including explanations of the herbs and how they are used medicinally with Chinese herbal medicine. If you are still learning Chinese herbs, or want a daily review, this is the best page to follow.

4. LILYCHOINATURALHEALING.COM - @Lilychoinaturalhealing

Lily Choi is a licensed acupuncturist currently practicing in NYC. Her instagram page is educationally informative as well as visually pleasing. Her photos start health minded conversations, with each day highlighting either a health food item, natural remedies, or general health concerns. Lily uses instagram as an educational tool, highlighting how food can be used as medicine and explaining Chinese herbs and other natural remedies in layman's terms. The conversations she starts are common questions and concerns many patients have, and her opinions are holistic in nature, providing a safe place for open discussion. 

5. Anthony Guadamuz, AP - @Integrative_medicine

Anthony Guadamuz is an acupuncture physician working out of Miami, Florida. He is also an AOMA alumnus. His social media highlights the power of tai chi and meditation on overall health and wellness, as well as how Chinese medicine can treat a variety of health concerns. It is clear that Anthony practices what he preaches with his personal photos of his mind-body exercises. His images are bright with contrast and he frequently posts live videos and stories regarding health concerns via Instagram.

6. Dr. Laurie Binder - @Acupuncture_la 

Dr. Laurie Binder is a L.Ac., MS, RNCNP, and LCCE practicing in Santa Monica, California. Her page is bright and colorful highlighting mostly health recipes and motivational quotes. Dr. Binder promotes healthy eating and how easy it can be to make these healthy meals at home. Follow her page for nutritional inspiration.

7. Evolution Acupuncture - @Acuevolution

Catherine Craig, L.Ac. has a boutique acupuncture studio located in the heart of downtown Red Bank, NJ. Her page includes pictures of herbs, outdoors, yoga, acupuncture, and clinical photos. She uses bright, simplistic images overall and uses these images to highlight holistic health minded topics. 

8. Magnolia Acupuncture - @magnoliaacupuncture

 

2018 is starting off just the way it should: delicious and colorful!

A post shared by Magnolia Acupuncture (@magnoliaacupuncture) on

Magnolia Acupuncture is out of Costa Mesa, CA showcasing the practice through very bright, fun images of work and personal life with family. Angela Sinnett inspires others who may want to achieve an optimal work/life balance as a professional acupuncturist. You’ll also find nutrition and food images, pictures and videos of her treating clients, as well as scenic shots of the Pacific Ocean!

9. Chinese Medicine PortMacquarie - @empiricalhealth

 

Getting it all sorted out #chinesemedicine

A post shared by Chinese Medicine PortMacquarie (@empiricalhealth) on

Empirical Health heavily focuses on the beauty of raw Chinese herbs! Here you’ll find up close and personal shots of these colorful and beautiful Chinese herbs, teas, and capsules. Explore the multitudes of variety in the Chinese herbal spectrum!

10. Acupuncture Collective - @Acupuncturecollective

Acupuncture Collective hosts a beautiful community acupuncture space where they treat clients. You’ll discover many images of patients being treated in community style acupuncture, along with some images of herbs and nature photographs. Here you’ll find a variety of TCM visual inspiration and new found appreciation for community. Interested in trying community style acupuncture but feared the open door aspect? Follow this page, and you’ll be sure to change your mind. 

11. Charlotte Alvarez - @Onemedicine

Charlotte is an acupuncturist licensed by the state of Minnesota. She has beautifully put together media with a smooth flow of images using similar themes and filters for the images. Her images typically show patients receiving treatments, with cupping and acupuncture needles. Other images show off the relaxing and clean treatment space with many plants and a basic white/clean look. She also sprinkles in shots of herbs and whole foods, to add a nicely balanced page, covering all there is to Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine can feel foreign and because of that, it may deter you from trying it. Social media can allow us to have a better awareness of things we might not otherwise be exposed to. Take some time to check out these pages and familiarize yourself with the beauty and wonder that is Chinese medicine. If you aren’t already - also follow us on Instagram for more TCM related posts. We love hearing from our readers. Let us know what TCM accounts you follow!

Topics: acupuncture, tcm, tcm education, acupuncture social media, social media

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine Announces 2016 Commencement Speaker

Posted by Rob Davidson on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 04:20 PM

 

Sean Hanna, Director of the Veterans Mental Health Program at the Texas Veterans Commission to deliver keynote address to AOMA graduates on September 11

AUSTIN, Texas, August 5, 2016 — Mr. Sean Hanna will deliver the keynote address at the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine (AOMA) 20th annual
commencement ceremony on September 11, 2016.

Sean Hanna, MAcOM, LAC, is a licensed acupuncturist in the State of Texasand Director of the Veterans Mental Health Program at the Texas Veterans Commission. Working with the Texas Department of State Health Services, Sean co-created and coordinates the Military Veteran Peer Network throughout the State of Texas as part of the Veterans Mental Health Program.

Sean_Hanna_Veterans_Mental_Health_Program_Dir.jpgSean spent 8 1⁄2 years (1991 to 2000) as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman. He saw tours of duty at National Naval Medical Center Bethesda, Maryland; Naval Medical Center San Diego, California; as well as 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton. While stationed at 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Sean deployed to multiple international locations and saw combat action in support of Operation United Shield, Somalia in 1995.

Sean earned his Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, now known as the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine (AOMA), in 2005. He served as President of the AOMA Alumni Association in 2009, served on the Board of the Austin Veterans and Family Advocacy Council (AVFAC) from 2009 to 2011 and served on the Board of Directors for Bring Everyone in the Zone from 2010 to 2014. Sean is also a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4443. He is a devoted husband, and a father of two boys, ages 19 and 14, and lives in Austin, Texas.

Mr. Hanna will address an expected 40 graduates of the Master and Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Degree programs who will be attending the exercises on Sunday, September 11 at the Omni Hotel Southpark in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Violet Song will lead the procession of graduates starting at 1:30pm. Proceedings will include the presentation of the Calvin Key Wilson Community Leadership Award, faculty recognition, awarding of degrees, and a healer's oath lead by Dean of Students Robert Laguna, followed by a reception in the lobby.

This year's Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine graduating class represents the second DAOM graduating class at AOMA, one of only nine schools nationally to offer the doctoral program. Masters students complete a rigorous four-year masters degree program, which includes over 900 hours of clinical internship. AOMA graduates are at the forefront of their field, integrating eastern and western medicine in clinics and hospitals. Upon graduation, these 40 professionals will work in independent private practice, multi-disciplinary clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospice programs, oncology centers, community acupuncture clinics, military/veterans facilities, and corporate wellness programs.

###

About AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine                             

AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine offers regionally accredited masters and doctoral level degree programs in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, preparing its students for careers as skilled, professional practitioners. AOMA is known for its internationally recognized faculty, award-winning student clinical internship program, and herbal medicine program. AOMA provides for over 16,000 patient visits annually in its student and professional clinics and collaborates with healthcare institutions including the Seton Healthcare FamilyPeople’s Community Clinic, and Austin Recovery. AOMA gives back to the community through nonprofit partnerships and by providing free and reduced price treatments to people who cannot afford them. AOMA is located at 4701 West Gate Blvd. AOMA also serves patients and retail customers at its North Austin location, 2700 West Anderson Lane. For more information see www.aoma.edu or call 512-492-3034.

Topics: tcm school, tcm education

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