The statements and opinions contained in the articles on the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's (AAAOM) Blog are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the AAAOM. The appearance of advertisements in the AAAOM’s publications are not a warranty, endorsement or approval of the products or their safety. The AAAOM disclaims responsibility for any loss, injury or damage to persons or property resulting from any ideas or products referred to in any article or advertisement. Readers are advised to verify any information on which they choose to rely. 

Honoring Donald "Deke" Kendall, 1930-2017

16 Oct 2017 9:43 PM | Anonymous

A legend in the field of Chinese Medicine passed away on September 22, 2017, after a lifetime of contributing to the field. Donald "Deke" Kendall lived a full life and was loved and admired by many. Below is the eulogy of his friend and colleague, Steven Stumpf, honoring the legacy Deke left behind. For more information about Deke, his life, and/or to leave a message to the family, a memorial will be held on October 21, 2017; follow this link for more details:

Honoring Deke Kendall, by Steven Stumpf:

"Donald “Deke” Kendall was an aerospace engineer. When I suggested he was a rocket scientist he laughed. Like so many healthcare providers he entered the world of medicine looking for a solution to his own health concerns. This is a common phenomenon. We are often inspired by events – frequently unexpected – that change our lives. Deke found health in Chinese medicine. He decided to look further. He learned to speak and read Chinese so he would be able to read the "classics." He looked at TCM from the perspective of a scientist. He assumed nothing. He vetted everything. He concluded that this ancient approach to diagnosis, treatment and mechanism of action was profoundly misrepresented in the popular TCM literature. He wrote a book - The Dao of Chinese Medicine - that to this day is one of a kind; a treatise on Chinese medicine and especially acupuncture that places the practice squarely in the medical mainstream. He accomplished two of his principal goals: (1) establishing that acupuncture efficacy was the result of an interaction between the cardiovascular and neurological systems, and (2) that the ancient Chinese physicians discovered this principle along with the longitudinal organization of the body, the function of blood flow, and much more.


Deke was a fighter. His theories and his book were considered heretical. As a scientist, Deke chose to fight for his views on the basis of observable anatomy and theory driven medical mechanisms. His book was roundly ignored. However, Deke could not be ignored. He found an excited group of acupuncture providers who understood he had provided evidence and practical theory to understanding what these practitioners practiced. For this group of students and licensed practitioners Deke provided answers to their questions and a path towards intelligent practice.


More than ten years ago I hired Deke to lecture to a group of doctorate students at Emperors College. I did not know him; I only knew of him. My doctorate students told me his book was banned and his theories were blasphemous. I suggested these notions were hardly in tradition of educational inquiry. Deke agreed to lecture under the condition that I understand the risk I was taking. Huh? “Steve – you know you will be fired for this.” I laughed. He was right. We continued our relationship which became a friendship. We published two academic papers together; both about topics that ran against the grain for the acustablishment. On this point we absolutely stood together: acupuncture belongs in the medical mainstream. It is a modality that needs to be recognized. It fits with modern medical theory and should be utilized as the first – not the last - option in numerous illnesses and injuries. In recent years Deke finally grew weary of fighting for this cause. Fortunately, he inspired too many students and associates who continue to follow his lead."

Steven H. Stumpf, Ed.D. 818-571-3930

Deke Kendall, you will be missed!! With love, AAAOM


  • 20 Oct 2017 3:33 PM | Manuel/Tian Shui
    A great man, intelligently generous.
    Thaks for you contribution.
    Link  •  Reply

acupuncture website design

"American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

PO Box 96503 #44114
Washington DC 20090