Thousands of qi enthusiasts attended the 15th World Congress on Traditional Chinese Medicine & Qi Gong, which took place May 25-28 in San Francisco. Each day, workshops were held, qi gong masters wowed the crowd with demonstrations, and casual attendees wandered through areas where vendors were showcasing a myriad of natural health products.
Created in 1998 by Qigong Grandmaster Dr. Effie Chow, this event was designed to advance the knowledge of natural health practitioners as well as introduce newcomers to the many benefits of qi gong, acupuncture, and traditional Oriental medicine. Held in collaboration this year with the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, it attracted even more attendees interested in learning what Eastern medicine has to offer.
The American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) exhibited at this event with the Student Organization (SO) volunteering their time under the guidance of Jeannie Kang, AAAOM Immediate Past President. The SO spoke with festival attendees about the AAAOM and its efforts to make positive changes in the acupuncture and Oriental medicine (AOM) profession from the grassroots level up. One example they gave that directly affects California practitioners was AAAOM’s efforts in 2011 to collect enough signatures to block the passage of a "traumatology bill,” which would have allowed physical therapists to administer acupuncture and other AOM modalities to patients with musculoskeletal disorders. The blockage of this bill, CA Senate Bill 628, was an important success for AOM practitioners nationwide.
Passersby at the student booth were lured in by the whimsical Acu-Man T-shirt, which illustrates the meridians and points of the front and back upper body. Many people asked the student volunteers who were wearing them to stand up so they could see where the meridians and points are and wanted to try them on themselves. Sales of these shirts helped raise funds to enable AAAOM-SO students to attend the annual AAAOM conference and bolster student involvement in the important work of both preserving and furthering the AOM tradition. The shirts will be for sale at future AAAOM events.The event was lighthearted and fun, T-shirt sales were successful, and in the process, many people learned about the widespread efforts of AAAOM and its growing, active student organization.
Students Tiffany Tuftee and Tori Newton