A monthly round-up of the latest news, events and topics in integrative healthcare from John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports.

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports


Controversy erupts when TED drops “consciousness issues” from site

An e-letter from the Institute for Noetic Sciences (IONS) shares the history of a battle that erupted when the TED talks recently “removed videos of two TEDx talks from their official YouTube channel and then cancelled a TEDx event.” The IONS letter explains: “The censored talks and cancelled event had a common theme-exploring the possibility that consciousness extends beyond the brain. TED’s justification for their actions was that the contributors were promoting ‘pseudo-science.'”Among the presenters at the dumped event were Russell Targ, Larry Dossey, and IONS’ Marilyn Schlitz. The TED decisions were reportedly from its “anonymous Science Board.” Deepak Copra and others took the issues to the Huffington Post, generating over 4500 “likes” and 1500 Facebook re-postings. TED eventually re-posted the videos, on a lesser visibility blog, but revoked the TEDx licensed of the Los Angeles group for which Schlitz and the others were to talk. The conference reportedly went ahead, with a strong turnout.


American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine names Denise Graham as executive director, Beth Clay as lobbyist 

The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) has named Denise Graham as its new executive director. Graham, of Alexandria, Virginia, is the former executive vice president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, (APIC) in Washington, DC where she worked for eight years prior to her new post with AAAOM. In a letter to members shortly after she was hired, Graham announced a new electronic newsletter while will begin to re-link the field via sharing news, initiatives and accomplishment. Graham begins by noting the Lifetime Advocacy Award that was given to past AAAOM president Jeannie Kang, LAc, a volunteerism award to the president of AAAOM’s student Rachel Brumberger, and an acknowledgment of the work of Lixin Huang, the president of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for her years of work in integrating Chinese and Western medicine. Meantime, long-time Beltway staffer and lobbyist in integrative health and medicine Beth Clay was selected as a lobbyist for the association. The AAAOM concurrently announced an ambitious agenda relative to Medicare, Federal Employee Benefits Program (FEHB), Department of Veterans Affairs, Tricare, and Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Comment: The troubles of this profession in creating a strong and effective national organization are legion, and as deeply saddening as the opportunities for the profession are grand. Here’s hoping that Graham’s past work in infection control can help with what has ailed this field’s advance at the national level. Clay will need the backing of a strong organization to tackle that federal agenda.


Massage Therapy Foundation names Gini Ohlson as first executive director

The Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) Board of Trustees announced on May 2, 2013 that current American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) foundation director, Gini S. Ohlson, will become its executive director on July 1, 2013. Ohlson has worked 15 years directly managing the day-to-day operations of the MTF via an arrangement with AMTA which has historically been MTF’s core funder. The hiring is an additional step toward independence for the foundation which is heralded for, among other things, sponsoring a top-flight biennial research conference. In a statement, MTF president Ruth Warner notes that Ohlson is positioned to both maintain strong relationships with AMTA and other donors.


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