Last year Five Branches University’s Senior Professor Dr. Jeffrey Pang, L.Ac., MD (China), collaborated with one of the University’s oldest alums, Adam White, L.Ac, to write and publish a textbook on nutrition from a Chinese medical perspective titled Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I).The text explores Chinese medical dietetics, food preparation techniques, theory and detailed information on many types of individual foods including a wide variety of grains, tubers, oils, condiments, liquor, beans, tea, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Chinese Medicine Dietetics (Volume I)presents both a Chinese and a Western medical perspective on nutrition, and offers integrative approaches to healthy eating and food remedies.
Dr. Pang has been with Five Branches since its inception in 1984. As a third generation herbalist from Guanzhong, China, Dr. Pang received his education in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by apprenticing with his grandfather as a complement to his formal training in Western Medicine. Like many other physicians in China, Dr. Pang was sent to the countryside to work at a rural community hospital during the Cultural Revolution. It was in these challenging times that Dr. Pang’s knowledge of TCM became further developed and useful, as Western medical supplies were scarce and traditional methods for treating patients were needed.
When the political situation in China intensified, and Dr. Pang’s father was put in house arrest, the young Jeffrey and his older brother decided to flee the country. They built a raft and hoped it would keep them afloat until they reached safety on the shores of Hong Kong where they had relatives waiting. “We floated part of the way, and swam part of the way… the ocean water was very cold,” Dr. Pang recalled. I was young, and these were different times. I was lucky, two months after our arrival to Hong Kong, the British authorities would capture refugees, and send them back to mainland China”
For a couple of years, while waiting for his request for asylum in the United States to be approved, Dr. Pang practiced as a TCM doctor in Hong Kong. Following the approval of his request for asylum and his arrival in the United States, Dr. Pang was invited to join the newly established Five Branches University, and went on to become one of its preeminent faculty members.
“For years I was teaching TCM nutrition and dietetics along with [Chinese] herbal medicine and TCM theory. Chinese Medicine is primarily about prevention and nutrition is one of the best way to maintain good health, “says Dr. Pang.“Chinese medicinal herbs are great for health maintenance as well, but especially in the US, it is difficult for people to be consistent with brewing and drinking their herbal teas. Keeping a proper diet is much easier to follow, and can be used for both prevention and treatment of diseases. In ancient times, doctors who specialized in nutrition had the same importance as did acupuncturists or herbalists,& he added “What prompted me to write the book is that today most of the chronic diseases and epidemics that we see in the clinic are lifestyle related. Proper nutrition can make a real difference in these conditions.
Volume I is an introduction to the Chinese medical perspective on nutrition. Volume II, whose expected date of completion is within the year, will focus on addressing specific clinical conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, acid reflux, migraine headaches, and more.
We look forward to Volume II of Chinese Medicine Dietetics, and we congratulate Dr. Pang and Adam White on their collaborate efforts to create Volume I.