Building Bridges between Eastern and Western Medicine
Sep 09, 2013 01:39AM
The Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation (TCMWF) is a not-for-profit organization devoted to educating both the public and healthcare practitioners about the natural healing wisdom accumulated over thousands of years in China. Through educational programs, publications, online and practitioner resources, TCMWF advances the practice and integration of authentic traditional Chinese medicine in Western culture. They bring to Washington D.C. their 12th annual Building Bridges of Integration conference this coming October.
Nan Lu, OMD, LAc, is the president and founding director of the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation and its sister organization, the Tao of Healing. Dr. Lu holds a doctorate from Hubei College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hubei, China, and is a New York State—licensed acupuncturist. Classically- and university-trained, Nan Lu, OMD, is a master herbalist as well as an internationally-recognized Taiji expert and Qigong master. In addition to his contribution to healthcare media, he is also the best-selling author of a special series of three self-care books on TCM published by HarperCollins: A Woman's Guide to Healing from Breast Cancer, A Woman's Guide to a Trouble-Free Menopause, and A Natural Guide to Weight Loss That Lasts.
Natural Awakenings D.C. publisher, Robin Fillmore, had the opportunity to interview Dr. Lu recently. The following is an excerpt of their conversation.
NA: What is the mission of TCMWF?
Dr. Lu: TCM World Foundation was founded to build a bridge between eastern and western medicine. We know that Chinese culture has had an impact on the world in many different ways—including teachings of ancient wisdom. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on natural law, which has been used successfully for thousands of years to help all the Chinese people unlock their healing abilities. We know that it is still beneficial today to help people bring their bodies back to balance.
TCM is focused on understanding the uniqueness of each individual’s ability to heal themselves. We know that the answer to each person’s health is held within. Even today with illness that is genetic, the positive and negative exist at the same time. If a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, she has diabetic genes within, but she also has the genes to control this disease. TCM is a medicine of extraordinary relationships which is where the true power lies and once practiced, allows the individual to find balance.
Finding balance requires techniques for the deeper levels – mind, body and spirit. We use all angles including eating foods which carry a Universal energy, Wu Ming Qigong practice to move and build energy and an understanding of the role emotions play in discovering life’s purpose.
NA: When most Americans use the term “traditional medicine” they are referring to Western medicine – believing that treating a disease after they have been diagnosed by a physician, usually with medication or surgery, or both, is the more advanced way to healing. What are your thoughts on that idea?
Dr. Lu: Everything happens for a reason. Every disease has a purpose. Western medicine tries to fix the disease through the medicine and it does help a lot of people but in reality, everything is connected. When TCM looks at a tumor, the focus is to see how to change the energy. To treat any condition, we need to look at the whole lifestyle—the whole reality. That is why TCMWF seeks to build a bridge to western medicine to see where techniques can be incorporated – to see how care can become complementary.
NA: Have you seen growth in the acceptance of TCM since your founding? What ideas and beliefs resonate in today’s culture?
Dr. Lu: More and more people are accepting this. They are trying different ways to find health. So many people go to the doctor because they don’t feel good. Their tests say they are normal but the condition is still there. They need to find a different solution. They are searching for a different angle, a different point of view which allows them to see a different reality.
NA: I have read about your Wu Ming Qigong Breast Health program that will be offered as a preconference workshop at your conference. What led you to develop this program?
Dr. Lu: Women need to understand where breast disease comes from. If you don’t know where it comes from, you can’t really treat it. To heal the breast is one of the specialties of TCM. There are energy lines that run through the breast area and any energy stagnation can cause breast problems—cancer, tumors and cysts. Specific qigong exercises can help energy flow through this area to help prevent breast cancer. The program that I have developed is comprehensive—to treat the mind, body and spirit with exercise and food. (Publishers note: to learn more about this program, visit: BreastCancer.com)
NA: You have a yearly gathering in the DC area. Who comes to the conference and what is the goal of the conference?
Dr. Lu: The goal of the conference is to build the bridge between the east and west. Many professionals come to this event looking for body mind spirit training. Health is more important than the disease and this conference gives the opportunity to look at health from a different angle.
Also, many people who are not health care professionals come because they are looking for answers. The name of the event this year is Building Bridges of Integration for TCM: Discovering the Healing Wisdom of Transitions. What people are looking for are ways to transform themselves by seeing their health from a different angle and an approach that incorporates the body, mind and spirit. Here they find many techniques to put into practice in their own lives. There is basic information, including a workshop called “The ABCs of TCM.” Attendees also have the opportunity to meet and talk with practitioners and speakers and by the end, we have created one large energy field of interconnections and no one wants to leave.
The TMC World Conference will be held October 17 to 20 in Chantilly, VA. To learn more visit: TCMConference.org.