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July 8, 2023

Staying cool with TCM-inspired foods and movement this summer

According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for your body during summer by balancing and supporting the fire element.

Summer sunshine, warmth, and longer days are finally here! In East Asian Medicine (EAM), summer is associated with the fire element, which makes sense given the warmer temperatures, longer time that the sun is out, and our overall warmer feelings in our body. Summer is also the most Yang time of the year, meaning it is the time that is most bright, active, warm (compared to winter, which is the most Yin time of year, meaning it is dark, slower, cooler). With all of this in mind, it is especially important to be taking care of our bodies in a way that keeps the fire in balance, not too much, or not too little. According to EAM, there are many ways you can care for …

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June 9, 2023

Celebrating Juneteenth and the Legacy of Dr. Tolbert Small

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Dr. Tolbert Small has made numerous other contributions to the the field of acupuncture, healthcare, racial justice, and to his community.

Dr. Tolbert Small is a hero of service and healing, as lead physician for the Black Panther Party and one of the first doctors outside of the Asian American community to practice acupuncture in the United States, and is still a practicing physician in the Bay Area. It might be possible you don’t know all of his incredible contributions to his community and the nation when you meet him at his doctor’s office. But in honor of Juneteenth, we want to take a moment to celebrate the activist, the healer, and “the People’s Doctor”, Dr. Tolbert Small.

Image Credit: Dr. Tolbert Small: The People’s Doctor website

Dr. Tolbert Small was an activist before he was a healer, and began fighting for civil rights in …

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May 17, 2023

San Fu: Treating the Winter illness during the Summer

三伏(sān fú) usually appears between Xiao Shu and Chu Shu when there is a combination of high temperature and humid in nature.

Treating Winter illness, or 冬病夏治 (dōng bìng xià zhì), during the Summer, or by using 三伏贴(sān fú tiē)

What is 冬病夏治 (dōng bìng xià zhì)?

冬 病 (dōng bìng) means illnesses that happen more often or get severe in the winter. For example, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, and Spleen & Stomach deficiency and coldness in Chinese Medicine perspective, etc. 夏治 (xià zhì) means the condition of the illness improves while the yang is rising in the summer. With the differential diagnosis, taking Chinese Medicine internally and externally can prevent the severity of the illness in the winter.

What is 三伏贴(sān fú tiē)?

三伏(sān fú) usually appears between Xiao Shu and Chu Shu when there is a combination of high temperature and humid in nature. There are 30 …

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April 21, 2023

An Earth Day Conversation with AIMC’s Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSc, LAc

In honor of Earth Day, we had the pleasure of speaking with one of AIMC’s long-time community members and professors, Dr. Nishanga Bliss, DAIM, DSc, LAc, about her work to educate practicing and aspiring acupuncture and East Asian Medicine practitioners, her call to action to support a healthy environment, and her hopes for the future.

Nishanga has been with AIMC since 2008, and has been practicing Chinese medicine since 1999. She has always been interested in the public health aspect of Chinese medicine and health, but felt more drawn to it, especially living in the times that we’re living in today.

Becoming an Environmental Activist

Nishanga watched her father, an environmentalist, work with the East Bay chapter of the Sierra Club in a time of …

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March 13, 2023

Can acupuncture treat pain due to arthritis?

A brief look at what EAM can offer those who experience pain due to arthritis

What is pain?

Pain is an indicator that something is hurt or injured in the body. It is a way of telling you that something might be wrong and needs attention. When your body is injured (say you trip and fall on your knee), inflammation of tissues and nerves occurs in the area that has been hurt. Some key signs of inflammation include swelling, pain, redness, feeling warm to the touch, some loss of normal or typical function. These are all a part of a normal healing response in the body. Sometimes we experience pain for other reasons – we don’t have to trip and fall to feel pain! Sometimes we wake up with a sore back, or the cold makes your hands feel tight and …

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February 2, 2023

The Year of the Yin Water Rabbit

This Water Rabbit year we look ahead with hope for prosperity, growth, kindness, community, and peace.

With the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, we honor those whose lives have been lost, and are holding in our hearts all those who are grieving among the AAPI community. This time of year is supposed to be a time of celebration. While this year’s celebrations are clouded with trauma and grief, we can look to the Water Rabbit for hope.

Rabbits in the Chinese Zodiac

Each year, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar cycle, a heavenly stem, one of the five elements, is paired with an earthly branch, one of the 12 zodiac animals. This year is the Gui Mao, or Water Rabbit year. Gui represents water, while Mao represents rabbit. Both of these hold significance, and can offer insights into the …

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November 14, 2022

Student Spotlight: A Visit to Oakland Chinatown

This term I am doing my Herb Room internship under the capable direction of the Herb Pharmacy Manager, Le Jiang. Spending time with the raw herbs and  granules, mixing formulas has proven enriching to say the least. Le is a  wealth of knowledge, and a terrific resource and an even better study mentor- especially where formulas are  concerned.

Imagine my surprise and enthusiasm when she asked me if I’d like to go on a field trip to Oakland’s Chinatown! With no hesitation, we were off.

The Mission

Our mission was to secure more Lianhua Qingwen Jiaonang for the school pharmacy. It’s proven an effective treatment for the symptoms of Covid-19, and having it in stock to support our community has been an important measure.

After parking and walking a …

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October 25, 2022

The Kitchen Herbalist: Jing-Nourishing Superfood Bars

Try out these Jing-nourishing superfood bars that tonify and strengthen many vital substances in our bodies.

Ingredients:

1 bar gui ban jiao, or 2 sheets of gelatin, or 1 teaspoon agar agar powder*
Handfuls of:

Almonds
Walnuts (Hu Tao Ren)– Tonify Yang
Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)– Tonify Blood & Yin
Chinese Dates (Da Zao)– Tonify Qi
Dried rose petals (Mei Gui Hua)– Regulate Qi
Black sesame seed (Hei Zhi Ma)– Tonify Yin

Recipe

If using Gui Ban, soak Gui Ban Jiao in yellow wine for 72 hours.
Gently simmer gui ban in yellow wine until it has a jelly-like consistency, add sugar or honey to preference.
As that’s coming to a simmer, line your mold/pan with rose petals & lightly toast nuts and seeds to release their nourishing oils.
Mix the nuts & seeds into the pot with Gui Ban & remove from heat.
Pour the mixture into the pan lined with roses and …

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October 12, 2022

A Look at the History of Ējiāo (Donkey Hide Glue) and Its Vegan Substitutes

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In recent years, Ējiāo treats have become more popular. Dive deeper into its history, medicinal properties, and vegan options.

Before the Tang Dynasty, Ējiāo was Cattle Hide Gelatin; and Vegan Options Are Readily Available Today as Ējiāo Substitutions.

Ējiāo is a medicinal that plays a role in many important formulas that are commonly prescribed for our patients.  In Herbology I we are familiarized with the Latin translation of Ējiāo, Asini Corii Colla, to mean “donkey hide glue.” However, Asini Corii Colla, is not a literal translation of the word ējiāo and reveals assumptions based on the recent history and current production of the medicinal. Try pasting the characters for ējiāo 阿膠 one at a time into Google translate to see what you get. 阿= A 膠= gelatin.  The word ējiāo simply means “gelatin” and is by no means specific to one type of animal.  Historical …

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July 26, 2022

AIMC Berkeley Stands for Reproductive Justice

AIMC Berkeley stands firmly in the belief that abortions are a critical form of health and medical care.

In the wake of recent news of the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe. v. Wade, a 1973 Supreme Court ruling that protected the constitutional right to abortion, we at AIMC Berkeley are processing this historic decision, and committing to action. This decision means that abortion rights in many states have been or will be quickly be rolled back, with many “trigger laws” being enacted to take immediate effect to further ban abortion rights and access.

AIMC Berkeley stands firmly in the belief that abortions are a critical form of health and medical care, ensuring that people of all identities deserve to make their own decisions about their bodies. This belief is rooted in traditional East Asian medicine, where the patient is the …

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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