Because Oriental Medicine is not yet fully established as a mainstream medicine in the west, many factions challenge its validity. For that reason, we continue to work on communicating clear information and gaining acceptance for herbs and TCM at all levels of U.S. society.
In times of legislative need, we have made cash donations to efforts in California, New Mexico, Illinois, Arizona, and Oregon to retain the scope of practice for herbal medicine. Nationally, we have given to organizations such as the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM), when our industry faced government regulations prohibiting importation of key herbs. We actively provided laboratory research and technical information necessary in the dialog between national organizations and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure retention of important herbs that were nearly removed from our scope of practice (such as Ban Xia (Rhizoma Pinelliae) in 2005).
Over the past few years, our own Dr. John Chen has participated in numerous events signaling not only that TCM is adapting to the west, but that there are infinite possibilities for growth. He has lectured on herb-drug interactions to professionals in Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. He has played a major educational role in media and public events, particularly in the Discovery Health Channel series on alternative medicine, and the Los Angeles Times’ first annual Festival of Health. He has been instrumental in educating western medical practitioners, first as the Queens’ Physician Group invited lecturer, speaking to medical doctors in Hawaii on herb-drug interactions, then also addressing the American Pharmacists Association on Chinese herbs. In ongoing education of TCM practitioners, Dr. Chen has an integral part as a speaker for numerous state, national and international conferences.
John and Tina Chen participate in teaching at schools of TCM, as well as continuing education seminars. But both of them want to use their experience and skills to actively disseminate the pearls of TCM wisdom to existing practitioners and to the rising students in the field via textbooks. For seven years, they focused their teaching, research, translation efforts, and all the time they could spare from other responsibilities to draft and refine a contemporary textbook/professional reference text that they felt was of prime importance. In 2003, they published the Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, emphasizing traditional uses of herbs as well as modern pharmacological research, and leading out in important discussion of potential herb-drug interactions. They also compiled and wrote its companion volume, Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications, a book of herbal formulas detailing traditional knowledge alongside modern research and pharmacology. This volume was published and released in 2008. As of 2010, both of these textbooks were added as primary references to the NCCAOM certification program. Then in 2012, John and Tina teamed up with Signe Beebe, DVM and Michael Salewski, DVM to publish Chinese Herbal Formulas for Veterinarians, the veterinary equivalent of their earlier text, Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications.