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Oriental Medicine Journal New Year 2012

The Year of the Rabbit is considered a calm interlude between the more outgoing energy of the Tiger that preceded it and the Dragon that follows now. Chinese tradition considers the Year of the Rabbit to be a time for catching one’s breath and for creating peace and safety so that one can deal calmly with any problems that come along. Let’s hope we took advantage of the calm, because the storm is upon us!

While the dragon is the “ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness. . . . dragons move like lightning and whirlwinds – all powerful yet totally unpredictable.” ( A dragon year is a time for big ideas, grandiose schemes, a time of fortunes and disasters.

Where will our profession be at the end of such an auspicious year? Will we be the dragon, flying high? Or will we be hanging limp in the dragon’s talons?

Our profession is increasingly under assault, as others notice the power of our medicine and begin to chip away at the edges, taking our techniques and recasting them in Western terms, challenging our independent practice and looking to require that we be supervised or need written referrals, seeking to take away research funding from NCCAM, or simply incorporating our methods into their own scopes of practice and making our profession ultimately unnecessary.

This is the year to be bold and claim what is ours! Like the dragon, we must be fearless in the face of challenge. We can succeed on a grand scale, or we can fail on a grand scale. Which will it be? Get involved in our state and national professional associations, and ensure that acupuncture and Oriental Medicine remain a unique and intact profession.

In this Year of the Dragon New Year’s issue of Oriental Medicine Journal, we bring you an article by Elaine J. Wagner, DC, LAc, on the dangers and delights of qi gong practice. Wagner shows us how things can go very right with qi gong, but also how they can go very wrong. She cautions us to approach our qi gong practice responsibly and with appropriate goals, and she gives us concrete examples of how and why to do this.

Nicholas Sieben, MS, LAc, gives us an in-depth discussion of how disease progresses through the jing-luo. Citing classical texts, he explains how disease becomes latent and how latent disease progresses through the primary and secondary channel systems. Knowledge of this progression helps us to be better diagnosticians and more effective practitioners.

Frank Yurasek, LAc, reviews The Story of the 5 Elements: A Teaching for All the Children of the World, by Terres Unsoeld. This is an illustrated children’s book that attempts to explain the Five Elements to children. Our reviewer found the story a bit complicated and confusing and thought children might, too.

We open this issue with zodiac information about the Year of the Dragon and Dragon personalities; and we close it with an award-winning poem by Elaine J. Wagner, DC, LAc, about her Dragon father. We wish you the best in this year that promises to be anything but mediocre.

May this be a year of grand successes for Oriental Medicine!