About the Institute for Traditional Medicine
The Institute for Traditional Medicine and
Preventive Health Care, Inc. (ITM), is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
established in 1979, incorporated in 1983, and moved to its current head
office in 1988. ITM was founded by and is directed by Subhuti
Traditional medicine refers to ideas, experiences, and
substances that have been handed down generation to generation from ancient
times, where the origins are obscure but where the continuity of basic
understanding has been assured by a formal structure. Among the primary
traditional medical systems still active today are the Chinese, Tibetan,
and Indian (Ayurvedic). ITM enriches the lives of people seeking traditional
medicine knowledge and services by clarifying the nature of traditional
medicine and demonstrating how it can be utilized in the modern setting.
To accomplish its goals, the Institute
performs 6 basic functions:
- It operates two clinical facilities, the Immune
Enhancement Project (IEP) and the An
Hao Natural Health Care Clinic (An Hao). IEP is a low cost treatment
center providing acupuncture, Chinese herb therapies, and Zen shiatsu
primarily for patients with serious ailments (such as cancer and HIV)
that can clearly benefit from effective adjunctive therapies, though
all are welcome so long as they follow program protocol. IEP serves
as a charitable outlet for ITM's clinical activities. An Hao is a
mixed therapies clinic offering naturopathic medicine, acupuncture,
chiropractic, Zen shiatsu, Chinese herbs, and modern medicine. It
is a demonstration clinic that illustrates a potential new model for
integrative health care. In addition, ITM provides consulting to other
clinics that wish to follow the presentation method or the therapies
that are available at these clinics. Selected students at local acupuncture
colleges, particularly of the Chinese medical department of the National
College of Naturopathic Medicine, can get advanced training at
- It provides numerous educational materials, primarily articles written
by Subhuti Dharmananda. Currently, over
2,000 pages of such articles are in the ITM archive. Dr. Dharmananda
provides free consulting to practitioners who are members of the START
Group, to aid in their understanding of herbs, issues related to traditional
medicine, individual patients, and practice methods.
- It conducts background research in traditional medicine, including
medical journal searches in China (carried out by Dr. Fu Kezhi in
Harbin) and computer searches here in the U.S.
- It provides specially designed herbal formulations (most in tablet
form) for use in the ITM clinics and by practitioners who read
ITM's literature. These formulas are described in the ITM book A
Bag of Pearls, and belong to the overall educational and training
method of ITM which is to integrate the study of Chinese medicine
into the practice of Chinese medicine. A Bag of Pearls describes 200
formulas, most of them based on traditional Chinese medicine principles.
ITM also maintains a pharmacy of dried extracts, following the method
of herb use that is dominant in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. These dried
extracts (granules) are used to make personalized formulations or
formulas that are used in doses higher than suited to tablets.
- ITM supports traditional environments where traditional medicine
can be preserved. As funds are available, ITM has aided Tibetan, Indian,
Chinese, Native American, Central and South American groups that represent
potential reservoirs of traditional medicine culture and resources.
Most notably, ITM has provided funds to construct a health care clinic
at the Drepung Gomang
Monastic refugee camp in southern India and has helped this group
of about 1,700 refugees in maintaining their traditional culture.
A doctor trained in Tibet works at the clinic. ITM has also supported
a licorice cultivation project in a remote area of China where the
capability to develop herb
cultivation is strong. Herb materials have been given to practitioners
traveling to Hondurus, Guatamala, East Europe, India, and other destinations
to provide traditional Chinese health care in areas of desperate need.
ITM funds have aided the International Trust of Traditional Medicine
- It provides information to other organizations, such as the American
Botanical Council, and to magazines, news reporters, and researchers,
upon request. ITM is frequently cited as a source for reliable information
on herbal therapies.
ITM has 24 employees: about half are part-time
health professionals (mainly acupuncturists and massage therapists); about
half are full time office workers. ITM has affiliate organizations in
Belgium and China.
ITM is not a school and does not offer courses,
certifications, or diplomas; it does not conduct clinical or laboratory
research; it is not a foundation (e.g., that might provide funding to
students or others working in the field of traditional medicine).
To better understand the work of ITM, please
read several of the articles posted here.
About Subhuti Dharmananda
Subhuti Dharmananda received
his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California in 1980. He traveled
to China several times, the first visit in 1977 and most recent in 2001,
and has collected a large library of books and journals involved with
traditional medicine. In addition to ITM, Subhuti Dharmananda helped initiate
People's Herbs Incorporated, All-The-Tea Company, and Dharma Consulting
International, and has been a consultant to several major herb companies,
including Fmali Herbs (maker of Good Earth Teas), Health Concerns (maker
of Chinese Traditionals), and Sen (maker of Sen traditional herbal formulae
and other products). He has been an editor, reviewer, and contributor
to several journals involved with traditional medicine, including the
International Journal of Oriental Medicine, the Protocol Journal of Botanical
Medicine, and Herbalgram.