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Category: Student, Faculty, Alumni Spotlights

January 24, 2018

On Peak Eating and Pleasure Superheroes

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Nishanga Bliss, MS, Ph.D. L.Ac., is the author of Real Food All Year and has been a practitioner in the holistic health field for over 20 years. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, integrative nutritionist, and professor of Chinese medicine at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, where she grows, cooks, ferments, teaches, and writes about sustainable food.

On a recent sunny spring afternoon, Nishanga met with Kimber Simpkins, a yoga instructor, positive body image teacher, and author of Full and 52 Ways to Love Your Body. The venue was Sanctuary Bistro in West Berkeley. Along with Cheryl Angelina Koehler, editor of Edible East Bay, who joined them to photograph, they enjoyed BLTs and citrus trifle as they discussed the topic of pleasure in relation …

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November 28, 2017

Acupuncture: An Alternative to Drug Therapy and overuse of Opioids

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Every day over 140 Americans die from accidental drug overdose. Alarmingly, 65% of those deaths are from an opioid drug overdose. In 2016 alone, the annual death toll due to an opioid overdose was 64,000. This is a 22 increase from the previous year. The overuse of opioids to treat pain has become so dangerous that on October 26th, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency (Department of Health and Human Services, 2017).

As a result, the opioid addiction epidemic has increased awareness and interest in alternative pain management care such as acupuncture. Today, it’s estimated that more than “700 addiction centers offer acupuncture as an alternative and/or adjudicative therapy” (Esmaeili, Motlagh & Ibrahim et …

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September 13, 2017

AIMC Continues the Tradition of Rich Learning in Medical Qi Gong Program CEU

A class of twenty completed the Medical Qi Gong certification program led by Suzannah Stason LAc, CMQ this past summer. The program included six modules spanning over the length of a year. With the momentum of the resounding success of this graduating class, the program is being offered again, beginning with module one on September 16-17, 2017.

The practice of Medical Qi Gong is one of the original branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In the West, we often think of just acupuncture but when we look at Traditional Chinese medicine as a whole system, we see the many aspects that it addresses from the internal medicine that herbal formulas provides, the qi cultivation and regulation that qi gong provides and the balancing aspects of acupuncture.

Medical qi …

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TOTALITY: MY SOLAR ECLIPSE EXPERIENCE

I have been to a few festivals, but never to one this big, and never to one occurring during a total solar eclipse. All I knew about the Symbiosis festival was from a friend—a farmer in Oregon and an SF native, who called it a mini burning man and a sanctuary of the mind. After finishing my first term of acupuncture and Chinese medicine school, I felt myself moving forward on a path leading toward complete connected-ness with the earth, life and being, and with the universe, death and knowing.

I was thinking in terms of Yin and Yang, everything was becoming Yin or Yang. So I knew seeing the eclipse in totality would be the ultimate Yin Yang experience and I needed to be there. …

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August 8, 2017

Symposium Explores Future of TCM Herbal Medicine in U.S.

I recently had the opportunity to represent the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College (AIMC), Berkeley at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine’s “Symposium on the Potential of Chinese Medicine in the U.S. Healthcare System”.

The purpose of the Symposium—I believe UCLA’s first on the subject—held on Sunday, July 16th, 2017 was to bring together professionals in Chinese medicine, integrative medicine, and public health to discuss the potential and challenges of Chinese medicine in the United States.

Dr. Qi Zhang, head of the traditional medicine unit at the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the keynote speech addressing his organization’s role in “strengthening integrated, people-centered health services” in 2017 and beyond. He also discussed the WHO’s current work in developing a traditional medicine chapter in the ICD-11, the eleventh …

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July 10, 2017

Travel Abroad to Japan Earns Student Raves

Among the multiple study abroad opportunities at AIMC Berkeley, the Japan trip that took place mid-April 2017 appeared to have exceeded student expectations. Aside from depth of practice in traditional Japanese technique, the trip was defined by a satisfying immersion into Japanese culture provided by the instructors and the community of Shikoku Medical College.

On the very first day, prior to beginning the five-day intensive course, an assembly of the president, faculty, and students of the college warmly welcomed our AIMC visiting class. In his welcoming statement, the president informed us we had missed the blooming of cherry blossom trees, but as we quickly learned, this would not detract from our experience of the beautiful harmony and subtlety that characterizes Japanese culture.

In the same day, the …

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July 3, 2017

Travel to China with AIMC Berkeley

Study Abroad: China 2018

We will start out in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin. In Beijing we will explore some of the most amazing cultural sites in China. In Tianjin we will observe Chinese medicine practiced in an integrated model in a hospital setting at The First Teaching Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Southern China

In Southern China we will meet Dr. Eric Brand, author of “A Clinician’s Guide to Granule Extracts.” Eric will give us a tour of Chinese medicine universities, traditional herbal markets and a botanical garden that specializes in Chinese medicinal herbs.

Guilin & Yangshou

The Guilin and Yangshuo visit will allow you to see the greener, more natural side of China, dotted by limestone karsts and terraced rice fields. As you will discover, China …

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June 14, 2017

Medicine Making 101 with Flowers, Roots and Bark

Senior AIMC Berkeley Student Carleen Cotter taught a hands-on Salve Making Workshop on Saturday, June 10th.

More than 15 AIMC Berkeley students and a clinical supervisor came to learn the art of medicine making. At the end of the class, everyone got to take away their own salve made with three yellow herbs—Philodendron root, rhubarb root and skullcap flower. The project was funded through AIMC Berkeley’s student council and the student activities fee.

“Carleen’s salve making class was hands-on and fun!” said Joyce Kwok, L.Ac, PT, an AIMC Berkeley Clinical Supervisor. “I learned great techniques and infromation that I’ll add to my practice.”

Students ground the herbs in the AIMC Berkeley pharmacy and cooked and strained them to make a flowery essence. At one point after squeezing the …

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May 25, 2017

Graduate Grateful for Outpouring of Support in Her Healing from Cancer

Last August, exactly one week after taking the California Licensing Exam (CALE) in Sacramento, I was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, secondary to a cancer that started somewhere below my diaphragm. It was a shock to get that diagnosis.

I was so excited to begin my new career as an acupuncturist after being a poor college student for four years. It’s been an incredible journey – incredibly painful and at the same time incredibly healing. I first debated whether or not to go to the emergency room for a pain in my right rib cage. It turned out to be a pleural effusion – the emergency room doctors and nurses thought it was strange that I wanted to take a picture of the fluid they drained …

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Many Roads Lead to One Path

Chief Strategist at UCSF Benioff Integrative Hospital. Nurse. Doula, Mental Health Researcher/Yoga Teacher, Veterinarian Acupuncturist Assistant These are the diverse positions held by our Summer 2017 students. Now they share a new title: Student of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Here is what our new students say about what made them take this important step in their lives—embarking on the path to become acupuncturists: “Oriental medicine, herbs and acupuncture have healed me more than all other health modalities combined,” said Hali Hanson.

Rahanna Frykberg sees firsthand the benefits of acupuncture at her job at the Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland: “Time and again I witness the healing, regenerative, rebalancing powers of acupuncture in combination with herbal medicine and the true transformative magic of integrative medicine.”

Yaminah Abdur-Rahim comes from a …

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