Chinese medicine series begins

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 16, 2002

To many, the practice of Chinese medicine is outdated and unscientific-a type of "voodoo" medicine that should be avoided by the educated and enlightened.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

To many, the practice of Chinese medicine is outdated and unscientific-a type of "voodoo" medicine that should be avoided by the educated and enlightened.

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Jason Richard a licensed acupuncturist, is hoping to dispel those stereotypes with his "Chinese Medicine Brown Bag Series" of seminars.

"I want to de-mystify Chinese medicine and acupuncture … Chinese medicine is medicine and can really help the body," Richard says. "It’s as full and complete of a practice of medicine as Western medicine. It’s just based on a different model."

Richard explains that while Western medicine is based on biochemical reactions that occur in the body, Chinese medicine focuses on the electrical energy within the body. "Chinese medicine teaches you how to manage the energy of the body to help organs that are out of whack," Richard says.

"One goal is to let people know that there is no disease or ailment that cannot be affected with Chinese medicine and acupuncture," he says.

Another goal, says Richard is "to give helpful hints about what people can do at home … it’s to give tips on home remedies you can make with herbs and things you find in the kitchen cupboard."

He also emphasizes that Chinese medicine is not an alternative medicine."Because the theories and principals of Chinese medicine are so different from Western medicine, you can integrate the two," he says."They complement each other very well. You certainly don’t want to give up Western medicine."

"The Chinese use herbs differently from the way we use them in the west. Here people will use St. John’s Wort for depression in place of Prozac. They replace one with the other. In Chinese medicine, you have to use a combination of herbs. You can’t use one things instead of another," he says.

Richard acknowledges many people are wary of the thought of practicing Chinese medicine, but says "study after study is being done to legitimize it … it’s not some silly, quaint folk medicine. It’s totally legitimate, effective and usable."

"It’s not based on spirituality, like many people think. It works because it works, just the way aspirin works. They’re ‘old folk remedies’ that are actually legitimate."

Art Bauer, who teaches Tai Chi and Qigong at the Center for the Healing Arts, attended the first two sessions because "I’ve always been interested in Chinese medicine and herbs. I’m interested in what Jason does because he’s very good at it."

Bauer explains he became interested in the practice of Chinese medicine after Richard treated Bauer’s long-term problems with irritable bowel syndrome with some herbal teas. Bauer says his problems finally started to clear and he wanted "to try to get an understanding for Chinese medicine because it’s so complementary to Western medicine. You can’t have one without the other because they help each other."

"People need to be aware they have control of their health and that they can help problems before they even start," Bauer says. "It’s a very good thing and is very legitimate."

– Schedule of the Chinese Medicine Brown Bag Series:

Mar. 20: Chinese Medicine for Common Pediatric Conditions

Mar. 27: Relieving PMS and Other Gynecological Problems with Chinese Medicine

Apr. 3: No session

Apr. 10: Chinese Medicine for Colds, Flus and Immune Support

Apr. 17: Healing Herbs for Health and Sexual Vitality

Apr. 24: Understanding the Five Elements

The series is held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Center for the Healing Arts, 115 Fourth Avenue NE.

For more information, call 434-8700.

Call Amanda L. Rohde at 434-2214 or e-mail her at