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Short Communication
Perspectives and Ideas to Advance Integrative Medicine and Healthcare: Proceedings of the 4th Annual Jaseng Academic Conference
Andrew Jang1orcid, Jinho Lee1,2orcid, Catherine Donahue3orcid, David Coggin-Carr4orcid, Mike Cummings5orcid, Kien Trinh6orcid, Myeong Soo Lee7orcid, Susan Wieland8orcid, Christopher Zaslawski9orcid, Lawrence Prokop3,*orcid, Joon Shik Shin2,*orcid
Perspectives on Integrative Medicine 2023;2(3):190-194.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56986/pim.2023.10.007
Published online: October 23, 2023

1Jaseng Medical Academy, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

3Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

4University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA

5British Medical Acupuncture Society, London, United Kingdom

6McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

7Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

8University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

9University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

*Corresponding authors: Joon Shik Shin, Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea, Email: jsshin@jaseng.co.kr. Lawrence Prokop, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan, USA, Email: prokop@msu.edu
• Received: September 5, 2023   • Revised: September 16, 2023   • Accepted: September 17, 2023

©2023 Jaseng Medical Foundation

This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).

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  • The 4th Annual Jaseng Academic conference (August 13, 2023) in Seoul, South Korea, was a pivotal event in the realm of integrative medicine. Cohosted by Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine and Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, over 500 professionals including Korean medicine doctors, medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, acupuncturists, researchers, and students gathered at the conference. The theme, “Perspectives on Integrative Medicine,” marked a departure from previous conference themes and embraced a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare. The event highlighted the importance of holistic patient care and cross-disciplinary collaboration within healthcare. It offered a comprehensive overview of the current state of integrative medicine approaches in manual medicine, evidence-based acupuncture treatment, and acupuncture research. The Annual Jaseng Academic conference continues to serve as a platform for healthcare professionals to exchange ideas and perspectives, and bridges the gap between diverse medical systems to promote improved patient outcome and wellbeing.
On August 13, 2023, Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine cohosted the 4th Annual Jaseng Academic (AJA) conference with Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) at the Grand Inter-Continental Hotel Parnas in Seoul, South Korea. The conference was centered around the theme of “Perspectives on Integrative Medicine.” The event was attended by over 500 people including Korean medicine doctors (KMDs), medical doctors (MDs), doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs), acupuncturists, researchers, and students (in-person and online).
While previous conferences have focused on expanding the scope of Korean medicine, particularly highlighting chuna manual medicine (CMM; a unique manual manipulative therapy from Korea), the 4th AJA conference underwent a complete overhaul. It was transformed into a platform for sharing diverse perspectives and ideas from all medical systems, with discussions centered on optimizing treatments for patients across various areas of interest.
Each session was designed to embrace a multitude of topics and perspectives from different professions (Table 1). The unifying goal was to prioritize the best possible health outcomes for patients, transcending the distinction between Eastern and Western medicine approaches.
As mentioned previously, AJA conferences have primarily revolved around the theme of manual therapies, particularly CMM and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). CMM gained significant attention in 2019 when it was included in the Korean national health insurance coverage (April 8, 2019).
In 2018, the 1st inaugural conference was cohosted with AJA and the American Osteopathic Association under the theme of “Present and Future Implications of Nonsurgical Spine and Joint Treatment.” Subsequently, the 2nd conference, where AJA collaborated with the Washington State Medical Association, adopted the theme of “Expanding the Scope of Chuna and Manual Medicine,” for the 2019 conference. In 2020, the 3rd conference took place virtually and was cohosted with AJA and the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education under the theme of “Enhancing Self-Healing Power through Healthcare.” In 2023, marking its 4th event, the AJA conference underwent a significant transformation. It evolved into a dynamic platform, sharing diverse perspectives and ideas from various medical systems, fostering discussions aimed at optimizing treatments for patients across a wide spectrum of health issues.
Each session of the 2023 AJA conference was designed to embrace a multitude of subject areas and viewpoints from different healthcare professions. The overarching goal shared among AJA healthcare professionals was to prioritize the best possible health outcomes for patients, transcending the distinctions between Eastern and Western medicine approaches.
This review aims to provide a concise overview of the key topics explored during this conference. This conference was divided into two distinct parts: (1) Perspectives on manual medicine treatments. Session 1: Integrative Manual Therapies Clinical Session on Chuna Manual Medicine and Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM); and (2) Perspectives on acupuncture research and clinical practice. Session 2: Perspectives on Evidence-Based Medicine in Acupuncture and Manual Therapies. Both session discussions were from a KMD, MD, DO, researcher, and acupuncturist perspectives (Fig. 1).
The conference commenced with Dr. Joon Shik Shin’s keynote address on motion style acupuncture and chuna treatment for patients with temporomandibular disorder. Motion style acupuncture treatment (MSAT) was first developed by Dr. Shin, and is a technique that amalgamates acupuncture with controlled bodily motion, either passively or actively facilitated by the physician, while acupuncture needles are inserted into specific anatomical sites [1]. The term “MSAT” was derived from this technique's dual nature. Dr. Shin provided a concise procedural overview of the MSAT technique, accompanied by a live treatment demonstration on patients with temporomandibular disorder. Numerous studies have explored the effects of MSAT, and their findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The cumulative body of evidence suggests that MSAT yields positive outcomes in terms of immediate alleviation of pain and enhanced functional recovery for patients [2].
2.1. Vocal performance
Dr. Lawrence Prokop, Professor of Health Programs and representing MSUCOM, addressed the application of OMM in enhancing vocal performance. In our daily lives, speech holds a highly significant role, but is often underestimated, not only for vocalists but also for other professionals including salespeople and educators, for whom speech is key. The strain imposed by excessive use of vocal cords can lead to injury, detrimentally impacting performance quality. Dr. Prokop emphasized the value of OMM in his talk as a solution to this issue. He explained that simple myofascial release techniques targeting the various muscles encompassing the upper airways can effectively improve vocal performance and preempt unwarranted injuries. During his presentation, Dr. Prokop conducted live demonstrations of these techniques, captivating the audience with his practical insights. Moreover, he generously shared his clinical perspectives on leveraging these methods to enhance vocal performance in patients.
2.2. Korean medicine treatment for neck pain
Dr. Jinho Lee, KMD, PhD, the director of Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine explored the latest developments and trends worldwide in the treatment of neck pain, and brought a new dimension to addressing neck pain. Dr. Lee emphasized the multifaceted nature of integrative medicine treatment for chronic pain, emphasizing the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and patient engagement in providing effective healthcare. He also described common neck pain treatments in Korean medicine such as CMM and MSAT which include ultrasound guided pharmacopuncture to perform precise treatment. These treatments have been reported in evidence-based, reputable journals [2,3].
2.3. The role of muscle imbalance: the postural structural model
To conclude the 1st session of the conference, Dr. Catherine Donahue, DO, an assistant professor at MSUCOM, delivered a presentation which highlighted the significance of posture and body structure in causing muscle imbalance. She emphasized that joint overload and its impact on joint health was critical in causing muscle imbalance, drawing from the wisdoms of Dr. EL Radin “The manner in which physiologically reasonable loads are applied is critical to the continued health of a joint [4]”. Dr. Donahue highlighted the importance of the sensory and motor systems in maintaining body balance and posture. She explained that pain and injuries arise when imbalances occur within the body. Expanding on this, she explored how addressing these issues through OMM and balance training exercises can effectively reeducate patients' movement patterns, restore body function, and reduce pain.
3.1. Acupuncture during pregnancy
Dr. David Coggin-Carr, MD, PhD, MSc, FRCOG, the Editor-in-Chief of “Acupuncture in Medicine” and a leading figure in obstetric acupuncture with dual training in the UK and US, delivered a comprehensive talk covering the efficacy/effectiveness of acupuncture and related techniques (including acupressure and moxibustion) for pregnancy-related issues. This included nausea/vomiting, musculoskeletal pain, breech presentation, cervical ripening, labor induction, and labor pain. Moreover, the safety of acupuncture procedures during pregnancy was a significant aspect of Dr. Coggin-Carr’s presentation. He extensively discussed situations where acupuncture and associated techniques could be considered safe for expectant mothers, and reviewed the controversial topic of “forbidden acupuncture points” [5], supported by a robust level of evidence.
3.2. Acupuncture for chronic pain
Dr. Mike Cummings, MB ChB, Dip Med Ac, medical director of the British Medical Acupuncture Society explored the contrast between Western medical acupuncture (WMA) practices and Eastern traditional Chinese medicine approaches. Similar to other speakers at the conference, Dr. Cummings emphasized the importance of the physician-patient interaction when it comes to the effect of acupuncture treatment and discussing mechanisms of acupuncture. It is important to consider the influence of the patient’s prefrontal cortex, particularly when trying to avoid the nocebo effect. Dr. Cummings also outlined the principles of point selection from the WMA (physiological) perspective and illustrated these with examples of WMA acupuncture protocols for chronic conditions [6].
3.3. Acupuncture for Olympic athletes
Dr. Kien Trinh, MD, PhD, FRSS, FRCP clinical track professor at McMasters University discussed the integration of acupuncture at the Olympics. Drawing from his extensive background as a physician for elite professional sports teams, Dr. Trinh shared insights into his journey to become a team doctor. He followed this with a compelling clinical case study involving a professional boxer, where he showed the application of acupuncture as part of the patient’s treatment plan.
4.1. Methodological issues in acupuncture research
Professor Myeong Soo Lee, BS, MSc, PhD, principal researcher at Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine extensively went through the current trends of acupuncture research, and delved into the key limitations and issues facing acupuncture research [7,8]. Dr. Lee emphasized the need for higher quality studies in acupuncture, and the complexity of placebo (sham) acupuncture when conducting trials [9]. The presentation concluded with recommendations for how acupuncture studies can be improved and how the quality of a study can be enhanced.
4.2. Cochrane reviews of acupuncture research for musculoskeletal pain
Professor Susan Wieland, MPH, PhD, the Director of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, brings a wealth of research expertise. Systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials are considered the best type of information on the effects of an intervention, and in combination with Cochrane reviews are often considered the “gold standard” in this practice.
She highlighted the presence of substantial evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain, but also emphasized the difficulty of establishing efficacy when comparing verum acupuncture with sham acupuncture, due to the presence of both specific and nonspecific effects of sham acupuncture interventions. She explained that while Cochrane is focused on establishing the efficacy of acupuncture, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (a National Institute of Health institute) is focused on comparative effectiveness and understanding how the body responds to acupuncture and how acupuncture may work [10]. Dr. Wieland recommended that for musculoskeletal conditions sham acupuncture should not be used to test the efficacy of acupuncture but instead to investigate the mechanisms of acupuncture.
4.3. Sensory characteristics of needling
Bringing the conference to a close, Professor Christopher Zaslawski, Dip Ac, PhD, an adjunct professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, addressed a crucial topic: the role of key sensory needling sensations observed in acupuncture research, specifically focusing on “therapeutic sensations” [11]. He explored how these sensations manifest across various interventions, including both acupuncture treatments and sham acupuncture treatments. His insights are in line with relevant studies centered on needling sensations [12,13].
The 4th AJA conference marks a significant step towards fostering collaborations among healthcare professionals with diverse medical backgrounds. This platform facilitates the exchange of ideas and perspectives across a broad spectrum of healthcare topics, transcending not only the divide between Eastern and Western medicine practices but also encompassing all systems of medicine on a global scale, spanning clinical practice and quality research. forthcoming AJA conferences will be an inclusive forum for medical professionals where we aspire to transcend conventional boundaries to drive the field of integrative healthcare towards achieving enhanced patient outcome and overall patient well-being.
Throughout the 1st session of the conference, a diverse range of perspectives on musculoskeletal treatments were presented, highlighting a recurring theme of holistic patient care. These discussions went beyond addressing surface-level signs and symptoms and emphasized the importance of delving into the root causes of patients' conditions. This emphasis on treating the underlying cause of a condition or disease is the cornerstone upon which healthcare professionals should always keep in mind when embracing an integrative medicine approach to healthcare.
In the 2nd session there was a unique opportunity to explore acupuncture treatment from a Western medicine standpoint. This exploration revealed not only its current status but also its seamless integration beyond traditional medicine boundaries. This integration reiterates the evolving landscape of healthcare practices and the potential for cross-disciplinary collaboration. During Part 2, the focus shifted to diverse perspectives in acupuncture research. Various organizations were involved in comprehensive discussion covering the present state of acupuncture research and how these perspectives can be harnessed and applied to generate robust evidence for real-world settings and clinical applications.
This conference review aims to augment awareness and engagement among experts representing diverse medical disciplines on a global stage. The ultimate objective is to cultivate ongoing discussions that propel the integrative medicine healthcare field forward, ultimately leading to enhanced patient outcomes and improved wellbeing.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the work: AJ, LP, and JSS. Collected the data: AJ, LP, and JSS. Contributed data, including data analysis and interpretation: JL, CD, DCC, MC, KT, MSL, SW, CZ, LP, and JSS. Performed the analysis: AJ, LP, and JSS. Drafted the article: AJ, LP, and JSS. Revised the article for important intellectual content: JL, CD, DCC, MC, KT, MSL, SW, CZ, LP, and JSS.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare

Funding

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Ethical Statement

This research did not involve any human or animal experiments.

All relevant data are included in this manuscript.
Fig. 1
Speakers of the Annual Jaseng Academic (AJA) Conference. From the left: Mike Cummings, Jinho Lee, L Susan Wieland, Lawrence Prokop, Joon Shik Shin, Kien Trinh, David Coggin-Carr, Myeong Soo Lee, Christopher Zaslawski.
pim-2023-10-007f1.jpg
Table 1
Conference Program Summary.
4th AJA conference talks

Speaker (qualifications) Title
Joon Shik Shin (KMD, PhD, SD) Keynote session - Motion style acupuncture treatment & chuna manual medicine – Integrative medicine treatment of temporomandibular disorders.

Part 1 - Integrative manual therapies clinical session on chuna manual medicine and osteopathic manual medicine.

Lawrence Prokop (DO, FAAPM&R, FAOCPMR-D, FAOASM, FAADEP) Osteopathic manipulative medicine for vocal performance.
 Jinho Lee (KMD, PhD) The latest developments in Korean medicine treatment of neck pain.
 Catherine Donahue (DO) Neck bones and shoulder bones: The role of muscle imbalance.
The postural structural model.

Part 2, Session 1 - Perspectives on evidence-based medicine on acupuncture and manual therapies.

David Coggin-Carr (MD, PhD, MSc, FRCOG) Obstetric acupuncture: Evidence-based applications and safety.
Mike Cummings (MB ChB, Dip Med Ac) Acupuncture practice for chronic pain: Getting the best of Western and Eastern approaches.
Kien Trinh (MD, PhD, FRSS, FRCP) Acupuncture at the Olympics.

Part 2, Session 2 - Perspectives on evidence-based medicine on acupuncture and manual therapies.

Myeong Soo Lee (BS, MSc, PhD) Methodological issues in acupuncture research.
Susan Wieland (MPH, PhD) Cochrane reviews of acupuncture for musculoskeletal pain: What’s the point of the comparison?
Christopher Zaslawski (Dip Ac, PhD) The key sensory characteristics of needling sensation: A RCT on the needle techniques of qi long bai wei (wagging the dragon’s tail).

KMD = Korean medicine doctor; PhD = doctor of philosophy; SD = doctor of science; DO = doctor of osteopathic medicine; FAAPM&R = fellow of the American academy of physical medicine and rehabilitation; FACOCPMR-D = fellow of the American college of osteopathic physical medicine and rehabilitation with added qualification in pain medicine; FAOASM = fellow of the American osteopathic academy of sports medicine; FAADEP = fellow of the American academy of disability evaluating physicians; MD = doctor of medicine; MSc = master of science; FRCOG = fellow of the royal college of obstetricians and gynaecologists; MB ChB = bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery; Dip Med Ac = diploma in medical acupuncture; FRSS = fellow of the royal statistical society; FRCP = fellow of the royal college of physicians; BS = bachelor of science; MPH = master of public health.

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