Environmental Factor, July 2009, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Program Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage
By Eddy Ball
NIEHS commemorated Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month on May 27 with a talk on Oriental medicine in Rodbell Auditorium, followed by ethnic food sampling and a hula dance performance and instruction in the NIEHS cafeteria. The theme of the 2009 celebration sponsored by the NIEHS Diversity Council(http://inside-www.niehs.nih.gov/divcounc/) was "Leadership to Meet the Challenges of a Changing World."
Hosted by NIEHS Special Techniques Group Biologist and Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month committee member Eli Ney, the talk by licensed acupuncturist and performance technologist Brian Kramer explored "The Science of Acupuncture: A Comparative Analysis of Acupuncture in Biomedicine and Traditional Approaches." Kramer's practice in Raleigh combines acupuncture, herbal medicine, fitness training, nutrition, and medical massage and rehabilitation techniques.
Kramer tied his talk into the challenges of a changing world by pointing to the increasing acceptance of Oriental medicine as a part of an integrated, holistic approach to promoting healing and wellness for the individual. "Oriental medicine, including traditional Chinese medicine," he explained, "enhances and accelerates the body's own healing wisdom by addressing the body as a whole and the balance of physical, mental and emotional health."
Kramer said more and more patients are recognizing the shortcomings of the symptom-centered allopathic medicine approach and looking to alternative sources, as they come to understand that "wellness is more than simply the absence of disease." He referred to the growing body of information about acupuncture and Oriental medicine as well as clinical studies supported by the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/) .
Following Kramer's talk, the celebration moved to the NIEHS cafeteria, where the promise of food and entertainment drew even more people. As NIEHS employees and contractors sampled ethnic specialties and desserts, they talked and mingled while Enloe High School student Serina Ann Durrett queued the music for her hula performance. Durrett's performance was hosted by Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month committee member and NIEHS staffer Myra Westmoreland.
Durrett performed two numbers before taking a break and changing her costume for the instructional part of her visit to NIEHS. She was joined on stage by several enthusiastic attendees eager to enjoy a break from routine and pick up new moves for their dancing repertoire.