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UF Health Integrative Medicine Conference – 4th Annual

May 3, 2017

UF is holding it’s 4th Annual UF Health Integrative Medicine Conference this weekend, and I have an opportunity to table for Dragon Rises College in the exhibits area, which is really an honor and a privilege (even if it means giving up a Saturday!). I’m going to be talking about the college, what I learned, what I’ve found effective in my practice, and because there is a focus on botanicals and supplements this year, I’m going to be talking about herbs!

Herbs are incredibly exciting! (photo courtesy of Bob Wong)

The conference is designed to educate MDs, PAs, RNs and other predominantly biomedical professionals on botanicals and supplements. It’s an exciting opportunity to engage in a dialogue across borders of different medicines, and I’m looking forward to being there.

The form of herbal medicine that I practice is firmly rooted in the history of East Asian medicine more broadly. Lately I have found myself increasingly drawn to Heiner Fruehauf’s work, particularly the formulas and herbal medicine perspectives found in the Fire Spirit School. That is to say that the way I diagnose patterns with patients and the mechanisms of action that I have studied for these different herbal formulas often simply do not share a vocabulary or even conceptual framework with more biomedically and biochemically oriented studies of herbal medicines. In some ways that’s why I’m excited to have a chance to be a part of this event – I have seen herbal medicine be remarkably effective when correctly applied, but of course I am also deeply grateful for the advances in biomedicine, as these have helped countless billions of lives. Being part of a dialogue between these two medicines, seeing where they can intersect and support one another, is really the essence of integrative medicine, and I’m proud to be a part of it!

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