Friday, September 7, 2007

Mission Statement

"To contribute to the medical care options of disadvantaged peoples worldwide through the teaching and application of Acupuncture.

Our Acupuncture Ambassadors, individual volunteer licensed acupuncture practitioners, have a threefold mission:

Share knowledge of Acupuncture with local medical practitioners, doctors, nurses, and medical assistants in developing countries, imparting basic theoretical and practical training to treat the most common illnesses faced by these medical practitioners.

In a war-torn world, there are countless victims suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression. Acupuncture is an effective modality for healing these devastating health issues. Using acupuncture points originally developed for drug addiction and used daily all over the U.S., the Acupuncture Ambassadors will use their skills to be of service to those who suffer from PTSD, depression as well as drug addiction.

In keeping with a time honored Japanese tradition of Acupuncture schools for the blind, Acupuncture Ambassadors will also train people afflicted with blindness in the theory and practical knowledge of Acupuncture to increase the vocational options of these individuals.

To this end our Acupuncture Ambassadors will spread the knowledge and value of Traditional Asian Medicine as a powerful, viable and timeless healthcare modality throughout developing nations in the 21st century."

Monday, July 16, 2007

Welcome to Acupuncture Ambassadors

Hello friends, collegues and family,

I truly believe that Acupuncture, although ancient, is such a viable and powerful healing modality for the modern world. In recent years I have been inspired by the work of a French organization Acupuncture without Borders. Their mission is to travel to rural areas in third world countries to teach basic acupuncture theory and techniques to doctors, nurses and physician assistants with a focus on the medical issues they deal with daily. This would greatly add to the medical treatment options where western medical treatments and pharmaceutical drugs may be sparse. Since my specialty in Asian medicine is the treatment of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and depression, a serious focus of our missions will be the care of the many victims of war and refugees that are suffering from PTSD and depression. Acupuncture is a very powerful modality in this area. There is an American organization, Acupuncturists Without Borders, whose sole mission is to treat PTSD in victims of disaster as well as returning veterans in the U.S.

As I practice an acupuncture style that is aligned with the Japanese style of acupuncture, I am quite interested in the history of acupuncture and medicine in Japan. An over 300 year old tradition in Japan is to teach acupunture to the blind as a vocation. This teaching tradition is another aspect to the mission I envision for Acupuncture Ambassadors.

In a larger world view the teaching of Acupuncture can create and foster a common language, a global language, in which all acupuncture practitioners and patients worldwide can communicate thus solidifying international relationships and cross-cultural bonds betweens citizens of countries of the world. A healthier more productive, cohesive and inter-connected world united by the common language of Acupuncture and Traditional Asian Medicine.

With the assistance of collegues in the field, we founded Acupuncture Ambassadors, a Non-Governmental Organization with similar goals as to the above mentioned organizations. I wish to be an ambassador of Traditional Asian Medicine to places in the world that have never seriously considered or have forgotten about it as “real medicine". I am happy to report that in my research to develop Acupuncture Ambassadors, I have found a number of people and organizations who are engaged in developing and implementing similar models as well. I hope to learn from my fellow practitioners and their organizations and find ways that we can join forces to do the most in providing healthcare all over the world.

I have just returned from 5 weeks in Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia on the inaugral mission of Acupuncture Ambassadors. It was such a profound experience. The Japanese part of the trip was to try to fundraise among the corporate and acupuncture communities and to visit two blind Vietnamese Acupuncture students. I have always had a fascination with the "famous" blind acupuncturists in Japan. These Vietnamese students are living in Japan to study acupuncture to further the Shiatsu training they received in Vietnam. For the blind, training in acupuncture in Vietnam is virtually non-existant so with enough passion, effort and focus, blind people from other countries can study in Japan. The history of blind acupuncture in Japan is long. Today 30% of all acupuncturists in Japan are blind.

The second part of the trip was a sometimes very intense journey into "what is happening in acupuncture as well as the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD in South East Asia". Vietnam style acupuncture is quite interesting with techniques that I have only read about in books or not even heard of at all. There are even some family styles that really need to be learned and documented as they are fading into history. Although I will spend some time in the next few weeks writing my observations about what I have learned, my initial thoughts is that along with great opportunities to be of service, there is much education to be done there for introducing the value and broad scope of acupuncture. And especially for the treatment of emotional diseases. I do have to say that even in Japan, the treatment of emotional issues with acupuncture is not widely known and not used very often there. I have a number of ideas about how to work there using my skills as a former television producer. So that brings me to Acupuncture Ambassadors.

Now that I have had my boots on the ground so to speak, I feel that the need for organizations like AA is great and very important. The three areas of focus in AA's mission statement have a wide range of possibilities but there is a tremendous opportunity for many people with emotional health issues to be helped all over the world using acupuncture. Especially in Asia where the stigma of seeking help for mental and emotional issues is so ingrained in the population, a natural medicine has a greater chance of being used if its value is known. Education will be the key. Getting the word out not only to the public worldwide but among medical professionals, social workers, counselors and charitable organizations will take much effort but can be done and groups like AA can be quite successful. Successful if the right people have the right intentions, good research and great communication skills, proper and passionate acupuncture training and practice and a great deal of compassion.

As we know, fundraising is the lifeblood of any non-profit/NGO. We are attempting to seek funding from a number of different sources including private individuals, corporations and international governmental organizations sponsorships. We are planning to engage Acupuncture associations and supply manufacturers around the world to help not only with potential funding but also with volunteers, donated supplies, books, educational materials and promotion. The best situation of course would be endowments so that many future mission sites can be planned well in advance and su port for these sites can be ongoing throughout the years.

We are so fortunate to be mentored by a UN affiliated foundation called Friendship Ambassadors ( Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. is a non profit, tax exempt organization with international affiliations. FAF promotes intercultural exchanges that reduce tension, increase mutual understanding, cooperation, reconciliation, and the ability for cultures to meet in meaningful ways; the foundation also believes that Cultural Tourism can be a resource for communities seeking locally managed, sustained growth and development.

FAF Executive Director Patrick Sciarratta has been kind enough to share his long experience in the non-profit world with Acupuncture Ambassadors. His guidance has been invaluable. Until our non-profit status has been granted, Friendship Ambassadors will accept donations on behalf of Acupuncture Ambassadors. All donations can be directed to Friendship Ambassadors (FAF) with FAF in the top line and Acupuncture Ambassadors noted in the memo so those funds are earmarked for Acupuncture missions.

We are also seeking opportunities to be of service and welcome any requests from international medical organizations, NGOs, or UN affiliated organizations where we can work in developing countries as an acupuncture practitioners, teachers, mission organizer/coordinator or managers. Our group has business world experience and would be a great asset to any organization.

The Acupuncture Ambassadors is in the process of creating a full website but in the meantime it will be using this blog version to continue to develop contacts, fundraising and future mission sites.

If there is anyone who wish to comment, make suggestions or contribute in any positive way to this goal, your support is very appreciated.

Stay in touch.
With my sincere love and gratitude,