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April 26, 2017

Shaping the Future of Integrative Medicine: AIMC Berkeley Hosts International Leaders of Tibetan Medicine

Front row (l-r): Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo, Academic Director of Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine; Yasuo Tanaka, President of AIMC Berkeley; Dr. Yangdron Kalsang LAc, Founder of Kunde Institue Back row (l-r): Adam Okerblom LAc; Founder of Sowa; Dr. Sanggee Bohm, Visiting Instructor at University of Virginia School of Medicine; Dr. Kunga Wangdue, Vice President of Traditional Tibetan Medical & Astro Association New York; Tsering Zangmo; Geshe Lobsang Partsang, Buddhist Chaplain at Santa Clara County Jail; Dr. Jordan Wheeler LAc, Pharmacy Director at AIMC Berkeley; Robyn Adcock LAc, Program Director of AIMC Berkeley; Isabella Liu, AIMC Berkeley student.

AIMC Berkeley, a leader in the field of acupuncture and integrative medicine education, was honored to host a distinguished group of Tibetan doctors and scholars on April 19, 2017. The focus of the day’s roundtable discussion was: how to best treat human pain and suffering through the effective and respectful integration of different systems of medicine.

As AIMC Berkeley prepares to offer, in addition to its master program, a new doctoral degree program in the field of acupuncture and integrative medicine, its school leaders are deeply exploring the concepts of “integrative care” and how that goes beyond the melding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine with western biomedicine, and into the very frameworks and platforms through which we share clinical techniques, academic theories, and cultural viewpoints so that all patients may receive the very best healthcare.

The visiting Tibetan group was introduced to AIMC Berkeley through Adam Okerblom, LAc, CMT, a recent graduate of the school, a longtime practitioner or Tibetan Medicine, and a founder of the exciting new East Bay medical practice called Sowa. (www.sowa.care)

“The different Asian Medicine traditions are deeply interconnected across the centuries,” shares Okerblom. “We should draw from this rich history, and collaborate together. Sharing ideas and working together will help us all to build the future of traditional Asian Medicine here in the West.”

The group had just successfully held the “4th Annual Symposium on Western and Tibetan Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.” The event, which was co-organized by Stanford University, the Kunde Institute, and the Global Health Research Foundation, focused on the topic of “Integrative Approaches to Pain Management.” It was attended by more than one hundred Stanford medical students, researchers and faculty, as well as Tibetan and integrative medicine practitioners from around the world.

The Symposium presented the history and theory of Tibetan medicine, modern research on integrative approaches for pain, aging and end of life care, and included experiential workshops on tongue and pulse diagnosis, urine analysis, depth hypnosis, yoga, stress reduction, mind training, warm oil therapy. Staying true to the roots of Tibetan medicine, the leaders of the symposium incorporated group meditation at the opening and close of each day.

AIMC Berkeley constantly is exploring, defining and teaching cutting edge integrative medicine through its partnerships with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, UC Berkeley Sports Medicine, and international schools like Goto College of Medical Arts & Sciences and Shikoku Medicine College in Japan, and Tianjin School of Medicine in China.

While its current master program and soon-coming doctoral degree program focus on the integration of traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine with western biomedicine, AIMC Berkeley is committed to advancing the future of integrative care for all systems of medicine and for all patients.

Robyn “Ra” Adcock is a California licensed acupuncturist and a proud graduate of the Master of Science in Oriental Medicine program at AIMC Berkeley, where she currently serves as the Program Director. Ra also is a founder of AIMC Berkeley’s “Care for the Caregiver” acupuncture internship at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. She recently presented original research at the 2016 conference of the World Federation of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Societies (WFAS) in Tokyo, Japan.

Ra also serves as the Executive Director for the California State Oriental Medical Association (CSOMA) and has served as the California representative to the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA). Ra enjoys teaching qigong classes at UCSF, at major medical conferences, and in weekly classes in the East Bay and loves seeing pediatric and adult patients in her private clinical practice in Berkeley, CA.

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