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April 15, 2019

How Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Help the Opioid Crisis

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the opioid crisis “is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.” Every day millions of lives are affected and many are lost due to opioid addiction and overdose. While Doctors of Medicine (MDs) are doing their part to reduce the amount of opioids available, we have to ask ourselves, as educators and practitioners in the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine what we can do to end the epidemic.

Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) seeks to educate our students and our communities on what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can do to help move our society toward an alternative answer.

Traditional Chinese Medicine …

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April 12, 2019

The Benefits of an On-Site Herbal Pharmacy at AIMC

Practitioners and patients of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC) know that the key to a well-rounded approach to health and healing often includes multiple modalities. Two of these modalities that go hand-in-hand are acupuncture and herbal formulas. The combination of acupuncture and herbs is a powerful one. That is why it is so important for the practitioners, students, and patients at Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) to have access to a full-service, on-site Chinese herbal pharmacy.

What is an Herbal Dispensary?

An herbal pharmacy is a place where practitioners have access to herbal formulas based off of traditional recipes that date back thousands of years. The typical Chinese herbal pharmacy contains fresh herbs like fresh ginger and red dates, raw herbs in …

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April 5, 2019

What Do Acupuncturists Actually Do?

Many people know that acupuncturists practice acupuncture, but few know what the day-to-day life looks like. Acupuncture is full of many different approaches, so no two days are the same. Each professional acupuncturist can choose to run their practice how they please, but here are some of the common job responsibilities that acupuncturists have in common:

Meet with patients in 30 to 60 minute-long appointments
Review health information & discuss treatment options
Perform acupuncture & other treatments for patients
Update patient records
Manage practice, employees, and work space
And meet continuing education requirements

Acupuncturists are licensed primary care providers, so they have the opportunity to oversee more than simply performing acupuncture practices. Acupuncturists do not focus only on particular diseases or troubles, but they watch carefully and prescribe …

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October 5, 2018

Eight things I learned about Qigong: Continued from August 13th blog post*

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*See August 13th blog post I practiced Qigong for two months. Here are eight things I learned. for the four previous things I learned about this practice.

5. Prepare to let go
2017 was a tough one. It marked the end of a relationship, the second year of a move and finally admitting to myself that I wasn’t happy working behind a desk. Then, during the last few months of the year, a blow of chronic illness quite literally brought me to my knees. For a couple long months I cobbled together all that I could to get through each day, and at night, I fell apart again and again and again. Cutting my losses, I filed for disability, packed my bags and booked a plane …

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September 20, 2018

AIMC Doctoral Program Begins Classes

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Students from AIMC Berkeley’s newly launched 30 week doctorate program began classes this week. The 13 student cohort consists of educators, practitioners, and other licensed professionals seeking a specialized curriculum and advanced training in integrative medicine.

In addition to celebrating the start of the Professional Doctorate program this week, AIMC is also looking forward to the formation of the first cohort in its 4 year DAIM (Doctorate in Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine) program. This program provides individuals the option of obtaining a

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August 29, 2018

Laugh So You May Flourish

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Fellow students, acupuncturists, and health enthusiasts: I have one question for you, when was the last time that you laughed? I don’t mean the respectful chuckle you show your boss, or the polite giggle offered to strangers in conversation. I mean knee slapping, gut clenching, tear-jerking laughter that takes physical resistance to be held back. If the last time you remember such a guffaw is childhood, I encourage you to incorporate laughter into your daily routine. The health benefits are immense and it’s truly one of the most satisfying expressions of emotion a person can feel!

Laughter may appear to be a cause and effect phenomenon. First comes the happy or funny event, and then a smile or laugh follows. However, the “Facial-Feedback Hypothesis”, a long-held …

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August 13, 2018

I practiced Qigong for two months. Here are eight things I learned.

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My introduction to Qigong

My practice began in the classroom where we were asked to establish a daily practice and jot down our reactions in a journal. Initially, I had no intention to share these written reflections, but the idea of incorporating these into this blog post popped into my head about midway through the assignment. At first, I wondered if I’d made a mistake. As you’ll read shortly, I found it tough to simultaneously cultivate a meditation practice and blog about it. But the truth is, Qigong surprised me in more ways than one and I’m excited to share what I discovered.

A brief disclaimer: The perils of writing for public review

In the beginning, I’d find myself midway through a sequence trying to relax, while at …

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August 7, 2018

The Delightful Importance of a Chinese Herb Garden

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Purple Perilla (Shiso) Leaf (Zi Su Ye or Zi Su Zi), in the AIMC Student Garden

As acupuncturists and herbalists in training, the students of AIMC learn hundreds of herbs, sometimes up to 20 new herbs per week. This is a huge task for anyone! And though we often have the opportunity to touch and smell the dried herbs in our classes, it is so much more fresh and immediate to witness their growth. It is wonderful that while located in a dense urban environment, AIMC has a small Chinese herb garden right outside our door.

Some may wonder, what is the purpose of growing Chinese herbs outside of Asia?

This medicine after all, was developed over 1,000’s of years in China and surrounding countries. …

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June 22, 2018

What is Qi?

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Qi is fundamental to Chinese Medicine. It moves with the blood through the meridian channels, and its flow can be influenced by stimulating various acupuncture points. Qi can flow smoothly or it can become deficient, stagnant or even rebellious. If you’ve ever felt under the weather in any way shape or form, chances are your qi fell into one of said pathological states. But what exactly is qi? And more importantly, how does it manifest in our everyday lives?

When acupuncture school first piqued my interest, I pretty quickly realized how little I knew about qi. Sure, I’d heard qi tossed around before; someone emerging from a yoga class, glowing, raving about the qi of the instructor. But if you’d asked me to define it, I …

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May 11, 2018

What is Moxibustion?

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What is Moxibustion?
By: Katie Scarlett

Knowledge and acceptance of acupuncture is on the rise, but few people know that the Chinese term for acupuncture includes moxibustion. The word is “Zhen Jiu” (針灸) meaning “acupuncture-moxibustion”.

Moxa is made from ground mugwort, artemesia argyi, which is can be rolled into a stick or cone, and burned above or directly on the skin to stimulate and warm the acupuncture points and meridians. Mugwort is an excellent material for lighting on fire. It burns cleanly and slowly, allowing the heat to evenly penetrate the muscles and tendons thereby increasing blood circulation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), moxibustion is an especially important modality for treating cold and deficient conditions. (Chen, 2001).

“Mugwort is an excellent material for lighting on fire. It burns …

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Testimonials

"One of my favorite things about AIMC is the sense of community. We come together to support each other through challenges. Instead of a sense of competitiveness between students, there is a caring community that lifts everybody up. The faculty and staff are approachable and provide wonderful support during your graduate journey.

- Master’s Student

Acupuncture & Integrative
Medicine College, Berkeley

2550 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

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