Published February 27, 2016 – February 28, 2016
UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Medical Traditions for the 21st Century
Feb. 27th - 28th, 2016
Royce Hall Room 314
About the Conference
Can traditional medical experience, knowledge and wisdom help rethink present-day medicine? That was the question asked by an international panel of scholars, scientists, physicians and traditional practitioners at "Medical Traditions for the 21st Century", a two-day conference held ad UCLA, February 27-28. These experts crossed the borders of traditionally defined disciplines to look at this topic synergistically.
Convened by Dr Alain Touwaide (Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions/UCLA), the symposium opened by reflecting on what medical traditions are, how they work, what are their driving forces, how they can be collected, and how their information can be decrypted and analyzed.
Young scholars and internationally renown specialists illustrated the current knowledge of different medical traditions whether characterized by an abundant ancient written record or an active oral tradition and practice: Greek medicine, Ayurveda, ancient traditional Chinese medicine, and the healing wisdom of Canada First Nations. The scholars and specialists also examined the challenges of information collection and management, the historical development of research on ancient medical traditions, overharvesting in the wild and its environmental impact, and cases combining traditional therapies with Western medicine.
Excitement was palpable among the large audience which reflected a variety of disciplines. Attendees came from the fields of education, research (public and private), herbalism, natural resources, policy-making and regulation, pharmacopoeia, environmental sustainability, biodiversity protection, medical practice, and natural and traditional medicines. Students from many disciplines were eager to know about the future of medicine, and they presented posters on related topics.
"Medical Traditions for the 21st Century" will be a milestone in the current attempts to bring medicine back from reductionism to holism and from disease to wellness. UCLA can become the laboratory of this new approach, by reaffirming that “all of us need to come together to transform the current way we think, and to move this further to the youngest generation”.
The attendees resolved to open a conversation between mainstream and traditional medicine, to empower traditions to survive, to move these traditions into the current practice of medicine. It is hoped to reconvene in the future, to expand the range of traditions under consideration,
The title of Dr. Hui‘s talk was, “Traditional Chinese Medicine: An Ancient Treasure for the World Beyond Artemisinin.”
Conference organized by Profs. Kathryn Morgan (UCLA, Classics) and Sharon Gerstel (UCLA, Art History) in collaboration with Alain Touwaide (Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions/UCLA)
The conference was hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) and was supported by the CMRS, the Ahmanson Foundation, and UCLA Dean of Humanities, Dr David Schaberg.