Community Outreach

Bringing Healthy Living to the Zoo

July 31, 2014 by Krystal in Community Outreach

 Pictured: AIMC Berkeley Student Interns Makha Phetphommasouk, Krystal Robinson-Justice, Ai Kasida, and Laurel Hayne-Miller.

It was a warm, bright day at the Oakland Zoo on Thursday, July 17th for the eleventh annual Healthy Living Festival for seniors. About 2500 attending seniors and their families came to the event to learn more about how to enhance their health from the 50 attending exhibitors. They also enjoyed lunch, a live band, dancing, socializing and a trip to the zoo.

The festival was organized by the United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County (USOAC), an organization that promotes health and wellness for their 7000 aged 60+ members.

AIMC Berkeley was invited to share the benefits of acupuncture with their member-base. A group of five intern practitioners attended with supervisor, Sierra-Marie Magdalana, LAc. Guests of the event had the opportunity to sit individually with interns for tongue and pulse diagnosis. Interns also preformed ear acupuncture treatments, a method where small magnets are placed on ear points that correspond with internal organs and functions.

Many of the guests at the festival, who came from all over the county, were experiencing acupuncture for the first time. They were encouraged to ask questions about Chinese medicine, providing intern practitioners experience in crafting their own style of communicating Oriental Medicine to a diverse population. Sierra-Marie explained there are two parts of being a healer; the skill to accurately diagnosis and the ability to create a rapport and educate patients, a talent that is often not taught in class.

Acupuncture has been shown in evidenced-based research to be an effective approach for many age-related health problems. Seniors at the event were eager to learn more about a new approach to manage their pain and to create an increased connection to their wellness.

Nate Miley, President of the Board of USOAC said that the Healthy Living Festival enables seniors to be engaged, active and exposed to new ways of healing. Hosting the event at the zoo adds another layer of excitement and activity for seniors and their families.

People at the event weren’t the only ones receiving acupuncture at the zoo. The giraffes also have a treatment program. For the past 10 years, lead zoo keeper, Amy Phelps has worked with acupuncturists to treat a wide array of the giraffes’ medical issues such as arthritis, pedal bone fractures, muscular strains, and gastrointestinal upset. Sheep and goats have also received treatment.

To find out more about AIMC Berkeley community outreach events or to host an event, please email our Marketing Assistant.

Article by Jessica Wakeman

Jessica C. Wakeman is a health and wellness explorer. Her journalism background and passion for exploring paths of well-being have granted her the opportunity to chronicle the journeys of many individuals in their quest for whole health. From the corporate sector to pediatrics, she delights in healing through storytelling.

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