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Combining Ancient and Modern Medicine Makes for Better Health and More Jobs

Posted on: Thursday, 10 February 2005, 21:00 CST
by Rachel Baruch Yackley

"Not only does this mean better care for all patients, but it opens up a whole new range of occupations for people wanting to work in medicine"

In the medical world, "integrated medicine" is a new term we are starting to hear, more and more.

If you are not yet familiar with integrated medicine, it is the combination of what has been referred to as alternative medicine and western medicine - that with which we are all familiar.

Integrated medicine combines the latest medical advances with ancient healing systems such as acupuncture, ayurveda, reiki, Chinese herbology, and much more.

Not only does this mean better care for all patients, but it opens up a whole new range of occupations for people wanting to work in medicine.

Different types of modalities

A long list of available alternative therapies exist, many of which are now recognized practices that are accepted by conventional medical doctors as valid treatments. Among these are: chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; naturopathy; traditional Chinese medicine; aromatherapy; hydrotherapy; reflexology; shiatsu; yoga; and many more (an extensive list can be found at www.naturalhealers.com).

This won't hurt a bit

Oriental medicine includes acupuncture, which, when practiced by a trained and licensed acupuncturist, is a safe, highly successful treatment, which really doesn't hurt a bit.

Using an energetic rather than a biochemical model of medicine, ancient Chinese practitioners discovered that energy flows along pathways called meridians, each of which is associated with a physiological system and an internal organ. They believed dis-ease occurs when a deficiency or imbalance of energy exists in the meridians.

Acupuncture points are specific sites along the meridians, and each point effects the vital energy, or qi, which passes through that point. Modern science has actually been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, and has corroborated on the locations of the meridians.

Support from the big guys

Georgiy Lifschits is a licensed acupuncturist at Gathering Valley Center in Skokie - an acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbs clinic. He has been a practicing acupuncturist for 10 years in the United States, and prior to that, for 15 years in Russia.
Over the past 10 years, Lifschits has experienced a definite increase in clients, which he said is due, in part, to recognition of this therapy by insurance companies. In fact, Lifschits was able to finally join an insurance network about four years ago. This acknowledgment and support from insurance companies has been becoming available for several alternative therapies.

According to the Natural Healers web site, the World Health Organization (WHO) now recognizes acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine as valid treatments for numerous common ailments including: peptic ulcer; constipation; anorexia; urinary tract infections; infertility; premenstrual syndrome; respiratory disorders; disorders of the bones, muscles, joints and nervous system; circulatory disorders such as angina pectoris and arteriosclerosis; emotional and psychological disorders; additions; and much more.

More than half of the states, including Illinois, regulate Oriental medicine and acupuncture. In Illinois, there are formal schooling requirements in order to obtain NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) certification, and in order to practice acupuncture, one must pass the NCCAOM examination. At least 32 states use NCCAOM Certification as the main examination criteria for licensure.

Detailed information on these requirements is available from" Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, 320 W. Washington St., Springfield, IL 62786, (217) 782-8556.

Where there's a will, there's a school

Not surprisingly, the western world is responding to the increased interest in these alternative therapies, and more and more schools are adding coursework and even degrees in several of these modalities. One local school is: Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, (branch campus) 4334 N. Hazel, Chicago, 60613, (773) 975- 1295. This is an ACAOM accredited school that offers a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine.

Another local school is: Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, (branch campus) 3646 N. Broadway, Chicago, 60613, (773) 477-4822. This is also an ACAOM accredited school which offers a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine; a Diploma of Acupuncture; and a Diploma of Traditional Oriental Medicine.

In addition, several area colleges, including Northwestern University, Rush Medical College, and University of Illinois at Chicago, offer coursework in alternative and complementary medicine, holistic health care, and more.

Many acupuncture schools prefer their applicants have a bachelor's degree prior to applying to their programs. All ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) accredited schools require at least two years of previous undergraduate study.

Believe it or not, financial assistance is available to students who attend colleges accredited by the ACAOM.

Lifschits, who has a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from University of Wisconsin in Racine, said that at the time he attended the program, it took five years to complete, but now he believes it to be a four year program.

See what's out there

If you think you might be interested in a career in alternative or integrated medicine, take the time to visit what's already out there.

Healing Junction, 2622 N. Halsted St., Chicago, (773) 880-9120, is a great place to start, as it offers integrated health care, combining western and several different complementary therapies.

Kirk Moulton, a licensed acupuncturist at this location, said, "I treat asthma, migraines, infertility, digestive disorders, and so much more. In China, someone with my training is considered a primary care physician."

Moulton is a big proponent of acupuncture as a health care occupation, and said that everything from the affordable education to the availability of state licensure, is helping to make this a growing profession.

- Rachel Baruch Yackley is a Daily Herald Correspondent. If you have an idea for a future health care story or topic, please email: healthcarepulse@@dailyherald.com

Source: Daily Herald; Arlington Heights, Ill.

Fresh approach Market offers locally grown fruits, vegetables and dairy

Publication: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date: Friday, June 22 2007

Byline: Rachel Baruch Yackley

Would you like to get your hands on some fresh produce? I mean really fresh, like grown on a farm in your own community. How about pesticide-free, hormone-free fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products?

You can tour the farm, shop at the store, or just chat with other patrons and the folks who run the Heritage Prairie Market and Education Center, which just opened last month in Elburn.

The market is the product of two couples: Bronwyn Weaver and Bob Archibald, and Tim Fuller and Beth Propst.

"We're building our business on three different aspects," said Weaver, who lives on the farm with Archibald, her husband, and their twochildren, Margaret, 12, and Grace, 9. Fuller and Propst run Erehwon Farm just down the road.

"First is our CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. This gives a level of predictability to the farm. We have a limit of 150 families that we are going to be growing for," Weaver said. "People can understand and control where their food comes from. They can eat healthier, enjoy what comes in seasonally, and support local farmers atthe same time.

"Most farmers, and we ourselves, go to the local farmers markets. Part of what we're doing is creating a year-round market. The more people who decide to buy local, the better for the farmers, and the better for us."

Customer and CSA subscriber Liz Westberry said, "I like it (the CSA) because we try stuff I never cooked before. I was driving all overthe place for this before. We were in the CSA for three years through Erehwon Farms."

Turning to another customer who was curious about the CSA produce selection, Westberry explained, "We trade. You can pick broccoli if you like broccoli. If you don't like something, you put it in the trade-in box."

The second aspect of this farm is the retail store, which is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Inside, customers can find fresh fruits and veggies in season, meat and dairy products, snacks, gourmet food items, garden plants, gardening tools, teas, honey, ceramics and other gift items.

"This is kind of a farmers market environment, but open year- round," Weaver said.

On the farm itself, there is a hoop house in which lettuce, spinach and chard are currently growing. Vegetables, herbs and flowers can be found growing both indoors and out.

"If it's not grown here, it's still local. We currently have eightdifferent family farms, as local as we can get, in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan," Weaver said.

For example, mushrooms found in the store come from Burlington, Wis. They are fresh as can be, as they actually come to the Heritage Prairie Market before they hit the Chicago markets.

Beyond the store is a barn that houses four horses, a donkey, several chickens, a couple roosters and two cats, which, according to Margaret Weaver, "eat mice and cat food, but they're lazy right now, andare only eating cat food."

A smaller building on the approximately 6-acre farm is home to about half a dozen Nubian goats, including two kids, which visitors are welcome to pet.

Margaret took me around the barn and showed me where she and her sister milk the goats. Outside, she pointed out where seeds are sprouted and explained what vegetables were growing in different parts of the gardens.

"We've lived here five years. Before that, we lived in Antigua in the Caribbean. I was born in Pennsylvania," said Margaret, who attends the Montessori Academy in Batavia when not working on the farm. "Mymom, Grace and I decide what jobs we're going to do over the summer,and how much we're going to get paid. We're saving up to buy a laptop computer."

The third aspect of this farm's business is education. The public is encouraged to come out and learn.

"We want people to walk around, see our fields, see our animals," Weaver said.

Food preservation classes, and gardening classes for individuals, children and families will be offered here. Cooking classes will takeplace in collaboration with Past Basket in Geneva, which has a custom kitchen at its South Third Street location.

Although the Heritage Prairie Market just opened, there are already plans to expand.

"We've got big plans for what we want to do here," Weaver said. "We are planning on building more greenhouses. We plan to expand the store size."

The surrounding community has been quick to embrace all that the Heritage Prairie Market has to offer. Three high-quality Geneva businesses - Movable Feast catering and retail shop, Inglenook Pantry restaurant, and Niche, a restaurant on Third - use produce supplied by themarket.

For information about the Heritage Prairie Market or the CSA, visit www.hpmfarm.com, or call (630) 715-5475.

Better yet, stop by the Heritage Prairie Market, 2N308 Brundige Road, two miles west of Randall Road, just south of Route 38.

Antique Toys on Display (2008)

Band Trio To China (2007)

Healthcare Needs You

St. Charles Singers (from 2006)