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Background

MCCD Complementary Healthcare Initiative

A landmark study published by the Harvard Medical School in 1993 revealed that one in three Americans was using some form of Complementary Medicine. While the traditional medical community has insisted that the use of complementary therapies (most of which predate Allopathic Medicine by hundreds if not thousands of years) must await the validation of scientific scrutiny, Americans were speaking their opinions candidly and eloquently with their pocketbooks. The Complementary Health Care Movement was already under way. As a result, complementary therapies such as massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, and other mind-body modalities had become a $14 billion-a-year industry, and growing. Further evidence of the acceptance of Complementary Medicine was the fact that several leading HMO's and major insurance companies were allowing patients to select from a variety of complementary techniques.

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After years of opposition, the American Medical Association (AMA) finally began to encourage its members to explore Complementary Health Care. This exploration lead to the integration of allopathic and complementary techniques and is tending towards the ultimate transformation of medical practice in the U.S. Evidence of the inroads complementary practices have made into the allopathic community is the establishment of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health. With the funding provided by this agency, scientific evaluation of Visualization, Biofeedback, Acupuncture, Yogic Breathing, Hypnosis, Therapeutic Touch, Energy Therapy, Tai Chi Chu’an, Music Therapy, Ayurvedic Healing, Qigong (Chi Kung), Homeopathy, Meditation, and other modalities is now underway.

As complementary health care consolidates with mainstream medical care, the education of healthcare providers, consultants, and coaches becomes more critical. Increased consumer demands dictate the need for competent practitioners and assistants. In response MCCD has begun offering many such classes throughout the District. The intent of the Paradise Valley Community College THM Program is to offer quality CHC education that provides students with a sound philosophical and technical foundation for entrance and advancement in the health care field. The PVC Afro-Asian Studies Component of this District-wide initiative has chosen to focus our program development in the area of the Afro-Asian Martial and Healing Arts that will include the health and healing traditions of Africa, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and other indigenous traditions.