American Holistic Medical Association renews focus on healing the healer The American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) has clarified its mission. Here is the focus in the words of outgoing president Steve Forbes, MD in a recent newsletter   “We view

American Holistic Medical Association renews focus on healing the healer  

The American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) has clarified its mission. Here is the focus in the words of outgoing president Steve Forbes, MD in a recent newsletter:


“We view the core foundational aspect of holistic health practice to be our own work on self-healing. Our ability to effectively serve our fellow human beings inevitably emanates from knowing the territory within ourselves. Thus, we see the AHMA’s core mission as furthering that ideal, helping holistic practitioners heal in order to truly be present for others, enhancing our capacity to ‘pay it forward’.”


On October 14-16, 2011, AHMA will further this mission with a The Healer Within seminar at the Institute for Noetic Sciences retreat center in Petaluma, California. AHMA executive director Steve Cadwell notes that AHMA and its partners in the successful iMOSAIC conference have decided to hold their next joint conference as a group of 4 organizations in 2013.


Comment: This focus for AHMA tracks back to the organization’s origins 30+ years ago. Then the organization was a support for the individual holistic doctors who were beginning to pop up here and there in practice, but were not yet connected. The direction appears to represent a retreat from engaging a broader policy role such as has been urged by some of its board members in recent years.

Regarding the iMOSAIC conference, two of the 4 partners, the American Academy for Environmental Medicine and the American College for Advancement in Medicine, have chosen to jointly hold a conference this year, on November 16-20, in Portland, Oregon. Called Exchange 2011, the conference is posted via the iMOSAIC web address


IAYT announces draft Educational Standards for Yoga therapists 

The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has announced Draft Proposed Educational Standards for the Training of Yoga Therapists. The 14-page document is divided into the following sections:

  • Definition of Yoga therapy
  • Competency profile
  • Length of training (Minimum admission requirements, Length of Yoga therapist training, Practicum training)
  • Other topics,
  • Transliterated Sanskrit Words with Diacritical Marks.

The Competencies Profile section has the following sub-components: Yoga Foundation; Contemporary biomedical and psychological knowledge; Knowledge of teaching and therapeutic skills; Application; and Professional practice. The development of IAYT’s Proposed Education Standards was led by IAYT’s 14 person Standards Committee.


Comment: The value in setting standards for the consuming public and for prospective members of any field is inestimable. At the same time, as Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH observed 20 years ago during the naturopathic educators’ process toward a nationally-recognized standard, any time you create standards you create pain. Congratulations to the IAYT for its steady, inclusive process. One cannot help but note that these standards are announced not only as a “draft” but also as “proposed.” This is strong advertising of openness to input from the Yoga therapy educational community.


American Massage Therapy Association reviews its broader healthcare relationships  

In an article in its e-newsletter, the American Massage Therapy Association offers a piece entitled AMTA’s Health Care Relationships and Their Impact on the Massage Profession. Among the membership organization’s listed involvements are with the Penny George Institute, the AMA CPT coding operation, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium and Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. Chris Studebaker serves as the organization’s Government and Industry Relations Manager.

Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) gains new Partners in Health 

The IHPC website shows growth in the organization’s Partners in Health program. Among the new logos on the Partners page are those from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), Sojourners Community Health Clinic, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and the American Sustainable Business Council. Not listed but also a Partner is the American Massage Therapy Association (see above). According to individuals close to the organization, the Partners program, with its linked and interlocking IHPC board positions, may now have as secure a base as the organization has had since it was founded a decade ago. A significant new force has been the increased commitment of Bastyr University through Greg Goode, the director of Bastyr’s Center for Policy and Leadership.


Comment: IHPC is the little engine that could. With the AANP decision to join, the national organizations for naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy and certified professional midwives are each involved. Missing from a full house of the distinctly-licensed CAM fields is the American Chiropractic Association. Two significant chiropractic organizations are partners, however: the pediatric group noted above and Palmer College. The bigger missing pieces among IHPC’s partners are the integrative and holistic medical doctors and nurses. Interestingly IHPC’s chair, Len Wisneski, is a medical doctor. As noted elsewhere in this Integrator, IHPC had an important recent influence when its definition of “integrated health care” was used, word-for-word, in the National Prevention Strategy.


Chiropractors link Primary Care Clinical Symposium to ACA Delegates gathering 

The University of Western States (UWS) is partnering with the Oregon Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association to offer a symposium on primary care. The educational sessions will immediately follow the ACA House of Delegates meeting. Subject matter ranges from irritable bowel to hypertension to otitis media to women’s health and gastrointestinal issues. University of Western States, led by president Joe Brimhall, DC, is a leading broad-scope chiropractic educational program.


Comment: The philosophical and educational splits in chiropractic, which make some recoil from the phrase “chiropractic medicine,” make the broad scope primary care positioning a challenge. I have often wondered what US back care outcomes would look like if chiropractors positioned themselves triage articles to both conventional and other CAM practitioners as “primary care for back pain.” Given the very high percentage of primary care patients who come with back-related issues, an expanded use of chiropractors in this primary care capacity alone could substantially relieve pressure on the primary care system.


Midwifery accreditation group seeks enthusiastic part-time executive director 

The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) is seeking a new executive director. The 20-year-old organization, recognized by the US Department of Education as the accrediting body for direct-entry (non-nurse) midwifery programs, has played a leading role in the maturation of the profession of Certified Professional Midwives. MEAC presently accredits 10 schools. The executive director position is expected to take 20-30 hours a week. Salary will be negotiated. The MEAC office is presently in LaConner, Washington, but could be moved to suit the right person. For information, contact


Comment: Whoever lands this position will not only be connected to a tremendous community of health professionals. This person will also have access to the mentoring of Jo Anne  Myers-Ciecko, MPH, the outgoing executive director. Myers-Ciecko, a long-time colleague, will be available for up to 2 years to support the acculturation of the new executive. Myers-Ciecko writes: “MEAC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and I am the last of the original founding board members still involved in the governance or administration of the organization. A new era in professional midwifery and education is dawning – we look forward to finding a gem of a person who will bring new expertise, energy and leadership to our dear MEAC.”