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September 18, 2012 >> Acupuncture & Acupressure

National University of Health Sciences Moving Forward in AOM Research

For decades, National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) has been known for its valuable research in basic sciences, clinical sciences and education. Much of that research has been directed toward topics of interest to the chiropractic profession.

NUHS continues to break new ground by fostering faculty research in acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM).

According to Dr. Gregory Cramer, dean of research at NUHS: "Research at a university is based on individual efforts. The acupuncture faculty is doing a wonderful job of identifying research questions that they've seen in clinical practice and trying to work toward answers to those challenges. That's really what research is all about."

For example, Dr. Yihyun Kwon has published seven papers within the last two years, all related to acupuncture and stroke rehabilitation. He has co-authored some of these papers with Chinese doctors at TianJin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TianJin is where Dr. Kwon earned his PhD, and is the setting for the documentary "9000 Needles," which chronicles the dramatic stroke recovery of former body-building champion Devin Dearth.

Currently, he is exploring ideas for future research and publication, specifically on herbal medicine for stroke patients. "Stroke medication has many side effects, and many traditional Chinese herbs can effectively combat these side effects," according to Dr. Kwon.

Kwon is a staunch proponent of AOM research: "I think the future of our profession in the U.S. is related to the quality of AOM education and research. That's why our school is encouraging faculty research in this area, and why our AOM faculty is more heavily focused on research compared to other institutions."

NUHS' chief clinician for acupuncture and oriental medicine, Dr. Hyundo Kim, recently finished translating an important Korean textbook into English. Additionally, he is currently beginning research for a comparison paper that will present a Western approach to epigenetics and jing theory in Oriental medicine.

"The quality and amount of jing, or essential energy, that we inherit from parents determines our lifelong health. However, we currently have no measuring criteria for jing," explained Dr. Kim. "There is currently no one else doing this type of analysis." Kim did a presentation on epigenetics and jing in Korea in 2009.

Dr. Kim echoed Dr. Cramer's optimism for future AOM research at NUHS. "We do have a very good foundation for research compared to other AOM schools. In addition to a fully staffed research department and an evidence-based practice curriculum, we are better equipped and better staffed for a wide variety of future projects."

"My hope for the future is that our AOM faculty continue to thrive in developing their research projects to the point where we can begin planning integrative research, and also to where they can receive external funding and take our university's AOM research to the next level," added Dr. Kramer.

Source: National University of Health Sciences


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