| Visit to Consul General of China in San Francisco
In August, Ron Zaidman, President of Five Branches University (photo: middle row, furthest to the left) joined leaders of the Traditional Chinese Medicine profession for a private meeting with the Consul General of China, Yuan Nansheng (photo: middle row, center), in San Francisco, California.
The Consul committed to supporting the continued growth and development of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the United States. Ron Zaidman, and the leaders of our profession thanked the Consul for his time and the opportunity to meet.
| Faculty Spotlight: Kevin Zhu's New Book
“I’ve always known that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up, but I was afraid of blood.” This is what brought young Kevin Zhu to the University of Beijing to study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). “Chinese medicine and acupuncture are gentle, yet powerful forms of medicine that suit my character better. Unlike other TCM programs in China, the University of Beijing offered a six year program which included many elective courses and options to graduate with a medical specialization.” he added.
Kevin Zhu graduated in 1988 with a BA in TCM and a specialization in urology and men’s health. He worked as the Physician-in-Charge and as a Lecturer for nine years at the Beijing First Teaching Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine before moving to the United States in 1997.
In 2001 he began teaching at Five Branches University. At this time, Five Branches approved a curriculum amendment which included the teaching of classical Chinese medicine texts, and Professor Zhu was asked to teach these texts. "I did not want to do it," he recalled. "It is hard to teach the classics in the Chinese language, let alone in the English language. In China, there are separate university departments for each of the classical schools of thought. On the one hand, this is good because it allows in-depth research and understanding of the classics. On the other hand, it compartmentalizes the medicine and causes, in my opinion, a disconnect between the classics and the other modalities of Chinese medicine. It reminds me of the Indian folk tale of the ten blind [men] who encountered an elephant. Each one of them could palpate a different part of the elephant and based on it, each of them created a [different] vision of what an elephant is. The same goes when studying each classic on its own, you don’t get the full picture."
Teaching the classics in English, despite my original resistance, turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Professor Zhu. Through his teachings, he was able to delve more deeply into the philosophy of Chinese medicine and found it intriguing. "It is a constant workout for your brain.” Kevin said.
Professor Zhu recently published a book where he assembled his thoughts on the Yellow Emperor's Internal Medicine Classics (Huang Di Nei Jing). “In the past, I participated in the compilation of eight professional books, but this is the first time I published something that is entirely my own." As a foundational book in TCM theory, the Nei Jing is the topic of numerous research projects, and many commentaries were written about it. In his book, Chuang Guan Ji Wo De Huang Do Nei Jing Jue Wu Zhi Lu (My Understanding of the Nei Jing), he brings together the classics, acupuncture, and berbal medicine. "From the Nei Jing you can extrapolate not only theoretical principles, but also understand how they apply to acupuncture point combinations and herbal medicine. For example, Ma Huang (Herbal Ephedrae), is the first herb you study in Chinese medicine's Materia Medica. It enters the lung meridian, has a bitter and spicy flavor, and a warm effect on body temperature. In the clinic, we use it in cases of cold and flu's, especially if they are accompanied with a constriction of the bronchi and asthmatic breathing. If you look at the properties of the Lung 10 and Large Intestine 4 acupuncture points, you can see that together they have similar effects to Ma Huang. In my clinical practice, I use mainly the points below the elbows and knees which correspond to the Five Shu-Transporting points and the Five Elements, alongside the principles of the Nei Jing. I can finally see the whole elephant,” he adds with laughter.
Professor Zhu's book, Chuang Guan Ji Wo De Huang Do Nei Jing Jue Wu Zhi Lu, is currently available in Chinese through Dang Dang and Jing Dong Publication companies.
|Santa Cruz Ranked 6th in Nation for Job Growth by Forbes.com|
| Arizona Acupuncture Safety Petition
In response to the Dry Needling situtation happening in Arizona, an independent coalition has formed. The Coalition of Acupuncture Safety in Arizona has created the following website, where you may find and sign a petition to ensure public safety and national standards for the practice of Acupuncture in Arizona: http://azacupuncturesafety.org
We hope you'll consider adding your support by signing this petition and disseminating the link within your network of contacts. You may read more about the legislation involved by visiting the website linked above.
| Faculty Spotlight: Senior Professor Jeffrey Pang
Last year Five Branches University’s Senior Professor Dr. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac., MD (China), collaborated with one of the University’s oldest alums, Adam White, L.Ac, to write and publish a textbook on nutrition from a Chinese medical perspective titled Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I). The text explores Chinese medical dietetics, food preparation techniques, theory and detailed information on many types of individual foods including a wide variety of grains, tubers, oils, condiments, liquor, beans, tea, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I) presents both a Chinese and a Western medical perspective on nutrition, and offers integrative approaches to healthy eating and food remedies.
When the political situation in China intensified, and Dr. Pang’s father was put in house arrest, the young Jeffrey and his older brother decided to flee the country. They built a raft and hoped it would keep them afloat until they reached safety on the shores of Hong Kong where they had relatives waiting. "We floated part of the way, and swam part of the way... the ocean water was very cold," Dr. Pang recalled. “I was young, and these were different times…. I was lucky, two months after our arrival to Hong Kong, the British authorities would capture refugees, and send them back to mainland China".
For a couple of years, while waiting for his request for asylum in the United States to be approved, Dr. Pang practiced as a TCM doctor in Hong Kong. Following the approval of his request for asylum and his arrival in the United States, Dr. Pang was invited to join the newly established Five Branches University, and went on to become one of its preeminent faculty members.
"For years I was teaching TCM nutrition and dietetics along with [Chinese] herbal medicine and TCM theory.... Chinese Medicine is primarily about prevention and nutrition is one of the best way to maintain good health," says Dr. Pang. "Chinese medicinal herbs are great for health maintenance as well, but especially in the US, it is difficult for people to be consistent with brewing and drinking their herbal teas.... Keeping a proper diet is much easier to follow, and can be used for both prevention and treatment of diseases.... In ancient times, doctors who specialized in nutrition had the same importance as did acupuncturists or herbalists,” he added. "What prompted me to write the book is that today most of the chronic diseases and epidemics that we see in the clinic are lifestyle related. Proper nutrition can make a real difference in these conditions.”
Volume I is an introduction to the Chinese medical perspective on nutrition. Volume II, whose expected date of completion is within the year, will focus on addressing specific clinical conditions including as high blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux, migraine headaches, and more.
We look forward to Volume II of Chinese Medicine Dietetics, and we congratulate Dr. Pang and Adam White on their collaborate efforts to create Volume I.
| Community Outreach: Five Branches University Participates in Project Homeless Connect
Five Branches University was one of more than 40 groups offering services at the fourth annual Project Homeless Connect event in Santa Cruz, CA. More than 700 low income and homeless individuals attended the event seeking free services including medical care, legal help, food and haircuts.
Five Branches University joined leading community and national organizations at the event, providing complimentary Acupuncture and Massage Therapy services for over 100 clients. The University worked alongside the Mental Health Client Action Network and Janus of Santa Cruz, both health facilities where the University also regularly provides free clinical resources.
"This is the second year Five Branches has participated in Project Homeless Connect. We love the concept of bringing the services all together under one roof," said Alexandra Polk, Five Branches University’s Director of Marketing. "It’s spectacular to see hundreds of people able to utilize services that normally a lack of transportation would preclude them from.”
The University looks forward to participating in Project Homeless Connect again next year.
| Five Branches Establishes New Hospital Externships in Vietnam and China
Our President & Academic Dean, Ron Zaidman and Joanna Zhao, traveled to Vietnam in March to establish two new Hospital Externships in Saigon and Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam has a rich history of Traditional Medicine and we hear it is a beautiful country. Our graduate and faculty member, Phu Tran, DC., L.Ac., and graduate Diem Nguyen traveled to Vietnam with our President and Academic Dean after helping to facilitiate relationships with these hospitals.
Our Academic Dean, Joanna Zhao, was impressed with the strong integration of Western and Eastern medical modalities. In Vietnam, our team witnessed large numbers of computerized simulation equipment used by students for the study and practice of both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Our team also was informed of advanced research being performed regarding the effects of acupuncture on DNA.
Students will be able to join this new study abroad opportunity in Vietnam during the Winter Break of 2013-14.
We would like to thank Ron, Joanna, Phu, Diem, and Carol for all of their hard work in establishing these new relationships.
| Leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Profession Attend a Press Conference
On February 21, 2013, leaders of the Northern California Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine profession, including Ron Zaidman, President and CEO of Five Branches University, held a press conference in San Francisco, California to announce the benefits California residents will receive with the inclusion of Acupuncture in Obamacare (effective January, 2014). This is an important and significant development, as Acupuncture joins Western Medicine as an essential healthcare benefit to be included in private insurance plans.
This development started in California in 1975 when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the profession of Acupuncture as primary healthcare. The growth of the profession was made possible through high and rigorous standards of education and training, and state and national licensing and certification exams.
The leaders of the Acupuncture profession also announced the United States will be hosting the 10th World Conference on Chinese Medicine, for the first time, in Silicon Valley, in September, 2013. Every year The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) organizes a worldwide Chinese Medicine Congress to provide a platform for Chinese Medicine specialists from all over the world to publish their clinical findings and to present the latest development of Chinese medicine to the world. The 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine was held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia , with prior conferences held in The Hague, and London.
| Second Student Externship to Korea a Success!
For the second year in a row Heerei Park, our Director of the Korean Language Master's program, led a group of Five Branches students on a Study Abroad externship at Dae Jeon University and Dun San Oriental Medicine Hospital. This time around, students from the English program and the Chinese language program joined the Korean MTCM students. Students had two very packed weeks with activities scheduled from 9am-6pm including visiting each hospital's various clinical departments.
In Korea, Traditional Korean Medicine, who's origins can be found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is very popular and highly esteemed. In fact, the competitive entrance requirements are equivalent to those of Western medical schools in the United States. The length of study for Traditional Korean Medical programs are six years. In Korea, the social medical system covers acupuncture treatments, but not medicinal herb prescriptions.
Dae Jeon University has four affiliated hospital facilities located in various provinces throughout South Korea. Dun San Hospital is most famous for its Oncology department, but it also has other notable clinical departments.
Students also went to field trip to KIOM (Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine). This Nationally funded institute is doing many interesting research which can be approved scientifically for the Oriental Medicine. This Institute developed a machine to scan a patient's body constitution in 4 different types: Tai Yang, Shao Yang, Tai Yin, Shao Yin, according to the SaSang Chejil, and has also to accurately located acupuncture points.
During the first half of the externship, students primarily focused on departments where herbs, western medicine, and moxibustion were combined in the form of injectable sterilized herbal formulations. During the latter half, students rotated among the various departments of the hospital including Oncology, Pediatrics, Gynecology and of course Neurology and Pain Management. Students also had the opportunity to observe non-surgical techniques for face lifting.
The relationship between the Five Branches University and Dae Jeon University were facilitated by a Five Branches University Korean MTCM Program student, Kang Seung Ku, who is also the president of the of the East Bay Chamber
| Welcome to the Year of the Yin Water Snake
The Snake is the Yin to last year's Dragon Yang. They are the fifth and sixth representations of the Chinese Zodiac and form a karmic pair. That means we can expect high-highs and low-lows again this year. You see, like the Dragon, the Snake does not settle for mediocrity. Yet, the Snake is more subtle than the flamboyant Dragon, but it can make as big a splash, when it wants to.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that the Snake is the thinker, while the Dragon the doer. This year is not just any Snake year. It is influenced by the Water element as well. Water is the element most closely associated with education and research, making 2013 a very special year for scientists and scholars. That means we’re likely to see significant developments in the area of science and technology. It will be a great time to be in academia.
Snake is a great sign, a positive one, with energy that can help us face all of the challenges ahead of us. Let's take advantage of this vibrant influence to improve our lives -- and the world around us.
Serpents on a rod have been a sign of healing and medicine since the ancient Greek times. 2013 is the Snake year, and if you're looking to move into the realm of higher education, now is a great time! Please join us at our upcoming Santa Cruz Campus Open House event on Thursday, February 21 from 6-8pm to learn if Healthcare, Chinese Medicine and Five Branches University are the right place for you!
| Five Branches University Graduates 60 from its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine Program
On December 16th, 2012 Five Branches University graduated 60 students from its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine program, its largest graduating class to date. Accompanied by the lovely piano melodies by Joanna Zhao, Five Branches Academic Dean and accomplished concert pianist, the faculty and graduates from both campuses, English, Chinese and Korean programs entered the hall to take their seats. The graduation ceremony took place at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's magnificent Coconut Grove Ballroom. With Lion Dancing and heartfelt speeches by Ron Zaidman, Five Branches President & CEO, Dr. Angela Tu, Chair of FBU's Board of Directors, and student elected class speakers; the graduates moved on to celebrate with their proud families and friends.
Please enjoy the video link of our celebration: Five Branches University's Fall 2012 Graduation
As soon as the celebration bells silenced, graduates went back to hitting the books and continuing to study for the upcoming California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) on February 21st, 2013.
Join us in wishing our Fall 2012 graduates and our test-takers the best of luck on the upcoming February CALE. Despite high tension from the pending lawsuit against the CAB, following the very low passing rate that many schools encountered, Five Branches continued to maintain a high passing rate of 78% on the August 2012 exam. Yesterday, Natasha Worrell-Merritt, L.Ac., Five Branches Director of Review and Assessment, told graduates to "remember, you've studied so hard. Be confident in yourself and the knowledge you have. You will pass this exam!" Best wishes to all of you!
| Dr. Shi Xuemin Inaugurates New Stroke Research Centers
On Saturday, November 10, 2012, Dr. Shi Xuemin and Five Branches University celebrated the cooperation between Five Branches and the Tianjin University of TCM with an inauguration of the new Five Branches University Stroke Research Centers in San Jose and Santa Cruz, California.
For detailed information on Dr. Shi Xuemin, the Tianjin University of TCM, the famous Stroke Hospitals of the Tianjin University, and the Awaken Brain and Open Orifices acupuncture technique used with 200 patients a day, read the Acupuncture Today article quoted below or watch the videos on the site of Acupuncture Today at: http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32539.
The video from 2-day event
Watch a video of Dr. Shi Xuemin:
| Five Branches University Announces the New Mind-Body Department!
We are pleased to announce the addition of the Mind-Body Department to Five Branches University. The Mind-Body Department will expand our current Extension course offerings, providing certificate programs, CEU courses and community classes in: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), Focusing, the Expressive Arts, Yoga, Meditation, Nutrition, and other mind-body courses to improve your health and well-being. Dr. Laury Rappaport, the Director of the Mind-Body Department, along with an Advisory Board of experts in the Mind-Body field, will contribute to the vision, quality and ethics of the development of Mind-Body programs, and the integration of Mind-Body medicine into the curriculum and clinics of Five Branches University.
| Five Branches signs Cooperation Agreement with the Fujan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine
On September 15th, 2012, President Ron Zaidman exchanges a gift of gratitude with Dr Li Candong, Vice-President of the Fuijan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the signing of our Cooperation Agreement.Master's and Doctoral students of Five Branches are invited to study with leading TCM practitioners in the hospitals of the Fujian University; and Five Branches will continue to invite their leading faculty to teach at the University. Dr Li complemented Five Branches University for our diverse and unequaled quality of Doctoral faculty. Thank you to Five Branches faculty, Carol Wang and Susanna Shen, graduates of the Fujian University of TCM, for arranging this cooperation.
| Five Branches University's Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine Program Receives Seven-Year Re-Accreditation by ACAOM
Five Branches University is proud to have earned the highest level of institutional and programmatic re-accreditation, 7-years, for its Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program in Santa Cruz. In parallel, the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program in San Jose is now fully accredited by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We congratulate the Board, administration, faculty and students of Five Branches for this double accomplishment and recognition, and thank you for your contributions to the continued growth and development of the University.
| DAOM Program Fully Accredited by ACAOM
Five Branches University is proud to have earned full accreditation for its Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree program in San Jose, CA by ACAOM, the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. We are also pleased to annouce that our Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine degree program in Santa Cruz, CA earned the highest level of institutional and programmatic re-accreditation, 7-years. We congratulate the Board, administration, faculty and students of Five Branches for this double accomplishment and recognition, and thank you for your contributions to the continued growth and development of the University.
| Five Branches Students Visit Korean Oriental Medicine Hospital
Eleven students of the Five Branches University Korean Master's Degree program traveled to Korea in December 2011 to train at the hospital of Dae Jen Oriental Medicine University as part of a new Clinical Externship offered by Five Branches. Students gained advanced knowledge in a busy hospital with leading Korean acupuncturists and herbalists in the internal medicine and gynecology departments, and learned first-hand of how Oriental medicine is applied in an integrative setting. One student remarked, "This has opened my understanding of what's possible in Oriental medicine". Korean Program Director Heerei Park, R.N., L.Ac., is planning the next hospital visit for Summer 2012.
| Federal Financial Aid Now Available for DAOM Program
Five Branches University has been approved by the US Department of Education to offer financial aid to students enrolled in the DAOM program (Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine). This allows practitioners to finance part or all of their Doctoral studies towards earning their Doctoral title. For more information, contact Candace Luo at firstname.lastname@example.org, Associate Director English DAOM, or Ling Zhang at email@example.com, Associate Director for Financial Aid.
| Five Branches Students are #1 on the CA Licensing Exam!
Five Branches University students received the highest passing rate on the California licensing exam, in Northern California in 2009! Thank you to the Five Branches faculty and students who worked hard to achieve this highest standing!
| Congratulations to the First Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Graduating Class!
On March 1st 2009, 36 doctoral fellows graduated from the Five Branches University Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) Program. This is the first graduating class from the DAOM program, which began in 2006.
Five Branches University began the DAOM program with a vision of creating a TCM community of experts in the U.S. The long list of renowned TCM and Western medicine experts participating in the program include prestigious faculty, renowned clinicians, and researchers from the Tianjin University of TCM, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.
Chinese experts such as Academician Xuemin Shi (石学敏院士), Dr. Juyi Wang (王居易教授), Dr. Wenzheng Huang (黄文政教授), Dr. Gang Ma (马纲教授), and Dr. Rui Li(李瑞教授), as well as local faculty, including Stanford University medical doctors; Dr. Samuel LeBaron, Dr. Archana Dubey, Dr. Belinda Jump, Dr. Jay Jernick, and Dr. Gordon Wong share their expertise on the subjects of neurology and stroke rehabilitation, channel medicine, nephrology and diabetes, among other forms of TCM and Western medicine.
Other famous TCM faculty that have been part of the DAOM program include: John Chen, LAc, PhD, PharmD; Sharon Feng, LAc; Bob Flaws, LAc; John Naiqiang Gu, LAc; Holly Guzman, LAc; Frank He, LAc; Lucy Hu, LAc; Raven Lang, LAc; Daofang Li, PhD, LAc; Peng Li, LAc; Shaohua Li, LAc; Jeffrey Pang, LAc; Zhuoyi Qiu, LAc; Richard Tan, LAc, and Wei-Chieh Young, PhD, LAc.
Currently the entry level to the profession is a master’s level degree, but for LAc’s who want to further their education, become a teacher for the next generation of TCM students, participate in TCM research or focus on a TCM specialty - the doctorate degree is the next step. Graduates of the DAOM program can use the title “Dr”– a well-deserved title and honor for our profession.
Many DAOM fellows state that the exposure to research has opened doors for them and introduced them to TCM, as evidence-based medicine. The Doctorate program is demanding as most students plunge into the academic course load, participate in clinical training, and write their doctoral thesis, all while maintaining a practice and taking care of family. This is a great accomplishment for the 36 graduates of the DAOM program.
Five Branches University is one of the few universities in the field of TCM offering a Doctoral program to LAc’s. Several doctoral students have chosen to continue their studies beyond the Doctorate, earning a Ph.D. in Chinese Medicine from sister colleges in China – the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University and Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Currently the doctorate program is being offered in both English and Chinese.