John Weeks April 2013 Integrator Round-up covering the topic of Integratve Healthcare Organizations

American Pain Foundation offers NIH/NCCAM-backed pre-conference session on complementary treatments

Portland, Oregon acupuncturist, curandero, and consultant to the University of Minnesota’s neuroscience department Gonzalo Flores, L.Ac., MAOM sent a notice of a “first of its kind” conference associated with the American Pain Society (APS). On May 8, 2013, in New Orleans, a day-long, pre-conference APS session will focus on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Roles in Pain Management and Research. The inclusion was assisted by work of Flores and his colleagues who secured a conference grant from NCCAM/NIH for the symposium. Speakers include Flores as well as Candace Pert, Sean Mackey, Seddon Savage and direct NIH/NCCAM involvement via Partap Khalsa, DC, PhD and Northwestern Health Science University research Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD who was until recently an NCCAM adviser.

Comment: As Nixon opened China, so the NIH NCCAM opens the APS, the slowest pain-related organization to acknowledge that roughly one gillion Americans use acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, supplements, mind-body practices, yoga therapists and others for pain-related conditions. I was going to call APS a “conservative” organization but that wouldn’t have been correct. Proper “conservative” medicine would think never only opioids when something else is available. Great to see APS showing this openness. Basic education about options is a first step out of the binary prescribe/wait bind toward a more robust tool kit that inis available to those following the integrative medicine principle reported above: “Appropriate consideration given to use of less-invasive and less-harmful interventions, when possible, while addressing the whole person in addition to the disease.” Credit Flores and his team, and the NIH NCCAM. 

American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) votes to accept naturopathic physicians as full voting members

“Today is no doubt a monumental and historic day for the American College For Advancement in Medicine (ACAM),” begins the March 129, 2013 release from the organization. “Earlier this year the ACAM Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Bylaws/Legal Committee worked effortlessly to identify eight significant changes to our current bylaws. The most significant of these changes was to allow licensed naturopathic physicians full voting membership and to be categorized along with MDs and DOs.” The release included a link to a bar-chart of the results of the general membership’s vote: “88.7% of our voting active members approving.” Of 665 ACAM active voting members, 17% voted. Concluded Michael Boutot, ACAM executive director: “ACAM is excited about welcoming qualified NDs as full active voting members. To be qualified, the ND must be practicing in a state with licensing.

: This is another measure of embrace for the naturopathic profession which, after all, has the highest accredited standards and required clinical education for education to practice integrative medicine.

Institute for Functional Medicine takes focus on “the energy that drives are biologic activity”

The Institute for Functional Medicine, known for its focus on biochemistry and the application of supplements to diverse metabolic and other syndromes, is offering a hard look at energy in its 2013 Annual International Conference. The program is entitled “Illuminating the Energy Spectrum.”  The focus is on “assessment and treatment strategies related to energy regulation.” IFM president David Jones, MD announces the emerging view: “As we begin to understand how energy permeates all bodily functions, we start to move away from viewing disease as the cause of dysfunction and toward an awareness that energetic dysfunction is a primary cause of disease.” The program offers an unusually diverse group of speakers from diverse disciplines. Among the 16 featured in the program are 5 MDs, 4 PhDs, 3 NDs, 2 DCs, an MPH-homeopath, and a Qi Gong practitioner.

Comment: In a recent conversation, Jones shared some of what he considered the natural change in focus as IFM shifted from its founding era, led by a trained chemist, Jeff Bland, PhD, to the present in which he, a clinician, is guiding the organization. This content seems a piece of that move. Here’s hoping that that the content ius based in patient-empowering, patient-centered life change strategies rather than merely the biochemical regulation through the kind of supplementation that is sometimes-described as “green allopathy.”