I'm not sure I can ever top last week's blog. Special thanks to
my classmates for the inspiration. We're already talking about a
Midterms are upon us and we are in the throes of studying. While
many of us are pulling all-nighters (and some all-weekenders), I
feel like I need to remind everyone how important sleep is. I have
been suffering from insomnia--for weeks. I'm not one to spend a
whole lot of time sleeping, normally--but ever since my move, I've
been sleeping less and less. So, I thought I'd share some of my
tips for working on sleep. Here we go (see, I put you to sleep
Clear Your Space
This is the absolute most important tip I could give, and the
one I've benefited most from myself. Make sure there's as little in
the way as possible. Get rid of the clutter; get rid of the dirty
clothes (I know there's no time for laundry--it's midterms!); get
rid of anything in your space that isn't conducive to sleep. This
includes workout equipment, study materials, etc. Granted, if the
only space available is the bedroom, some concessions can be made.
Cover it up. It also helps to remove the TV, if at all
Set the Mood
Make it dark--REALLY dark. I had way too much light coming into
my space, so I acquired some light blocking curtains. I still see
daylight in the morning, but at least I don't feel like I'm looking
at the surface of the sun. Also, making sure the bed is the most
comfy place to sleep in the house is key. The only place I was
falling asleep, was the couch.
Set Up a Routine
Whatever it is, make a routine for going to bed. Brush the
teeth, wash the face, turn on some chill-out music--whatever works
to get calmed down. Try not to turn on the TV. Some people like to
work out in the evening. I can't work out and sleep within a few
hours of each other. If I'm going to go to the gym at night, it has
to be before 8pm. Working out helps with energy during the day and
also with sleep at night, but it's not a good idea right before
No snacking within a couple of hours of bed. It's bad for the
metabolism and having sugar spikes when it's time to calm down is a
no-go. Don't try to sleep within 2-3 hours of eating.
Last but not least, if sleep is still a real struggle, there are
some fantastic herbs that will help with sleeping. Some old
standbys are catnip, chamomile, and valerian. Other than the
chamomile (be careful those with ragweed allergies), I tend to
avoid Catnip and Valerian. I avoid Catnip because I have to fight
the cats for it, and Valerian because of the side
I made a nice herb/tonic with rhodiola (adaptogen for stress),
lemon balm (nervine, sedative), and white peony (nervine, calming
agent). It knocked me right out. It was just enough sedation and
calming for me to have two doses and then it reset my clock, and
now I'm sleeping better. I also didn't wake up with the "hangover"
that Valerian is apt to give.
Remember that sleep is extremely important for
memory--especially good sleep. We need those four phases of sleep
to be able to, not only replenish our bodies, but also our
So, until next week -- Happy Sleeping (and Studying).
The sun was not shining. It was too
wet they say.
So we sat in the classroom during lunch on that day.
I sat there with Dave, Ricky, and
And then we said, "We just don't know what to do!"
It was too soon to study for old
too early for Neuro, or WBCs.
We'd already had coffee, and water and lunch.
We all just sat there, our shoulders did hunch.
Then something went "Thwap!" In the
corner we looked.
My rainbow umbrella no longer was hooked.
I'd carried it in to avoid my own
to keep me nice and dry, so I would stay warm.
That umbrella it had the most greatest of power,
and because of it, this is what we did for the hour...
The storm we did weather, the damage
So sorry for all that mess has become.
It was not my purpose to cause such turmoil;
I'd rather be wearing a hat made of foil.
Exam time has started, insanity
We all are now paying, our most diligent of dues.
Miss Lauren, and Julia, Annaliese,
we all seek our studying quotas be met.
Alid, Miss Lexxi, Theresa and my Self
are looking to each other for all kinds of help.
Our Classmates--the greatest, we
always take care.
Through storms we will weather, through struggles we bear.
We help one another with notes and with guides.
and sometimes with excuses when one of us hides.
We'll make it through all of this
and help one another prepare for these tests.
We'll pass all the boards and study
and in the end we'll come out with a card,
a license, a paper, more knowledge than known,
and after all of this we'll start practices of our very
(Special thanks to those that participated in our
educational/recreational efforts, to Jordan for his contribution,
and to Dr. Seuss, for being a large part of who I am.)
Happy studying for midterms everybody,
The last week has been a total blur. Time is speeding up and
things are going faster. It's one of those times in the tri when I
look back and go--it's week what?--and also look forward and groan.
Coming up we have the start of exams (first one is this coming
Friday), midterms, and signing up/studying for boards. We have
until July 2nd to sign up. I received a notification email this
last week about it. That reminds me--I need to do something about
On the homefront, I'm slowly getting things settled in the
house--still unpacking boxes and looking for things, but I've
finally got all my books unpacked. I've been looking for one
specific book on preparing herbal remedies for a few weeks. I've
promised to share it with Dr. Martin. We've talked about hydrosols
(which are a bit like essential oils but easier to make). It's a
great book and I highly recommend it. The title is The Medicine
Maker's Handbook by James Green. He also has an excellent book
called The Male Herbal. If you're interested in working
with herbs and men's health, it's a must-have.
My library has grown a bit over the last couple of years. I've
acquired books that the school library was getting rid of, along
with a few purchased on a whim (never a good idea) and I'm thinking
it's time to do some culling. Perhaps one of life's lessons I've
learned is to only keep in your life what you use/love. Books
definitely fall into this category. There's still SO much to
learn/know, not just about medicinals, but everything else. One can
never know too much (although I've figured out when it comes to
test questions, this is debatable). I'm still looking for resources
on Ayurvedic and Native American medicine, as well as all of my
The boys' last day of school is Wednesday. They're thrilled to
be done and trying to plan their whole summer with video games and
hanging out with friends. Instead, they'll be visiting family
members around the country for the majority of the summer. I'm
thankful that they're older and able to run things at home while
I'm at school, but I'm sure there will be ferrying about to random
events over the remaining 10 weeks. It just so happens that our
next break is right when they go back, so no family vacation for
us, unfortunately. They enjoy the time to decompress, just like I
do, when there's time off. It's officially summer.
I'm already planning for next weekend to be a quiet one spent
studying and working around the house. It's time to make more
progress on the garden and to get unpacked once and for all. It's
hard to imagine it's been almost a month since I've moved in. I
still catch myself driving towards my old place--old habits die
hard. I've not figured out a solid routine yet. I've been dreaming
of the garden and which medicinals and foods to grow.
Saturday night, I had the great joy of hearing, and seeing,
George Clinton at Ferg's in downtown St Pete. I didn't take any
pictures - the crowd was a wee bit rowdy. But it was a great show.
I always expect small, live venues to be awful, but it was amazing.
He's still just as talented as he was "back in the day." So, in
closing for this week, here's a bit of George Clinton for
everybody. Brace yourselves--this is just a wee bit funky.
Have a great week!
Here we are. Summer is upon us. Memorial Day is over and we're
headlong into the throes of the tri and Florida summer. I'm sure it
didn't get below 85º during the day here this weekend. More than a
few times I thought to myself, "Man, this is going to be a hot and
miserable summer." And yet, I always make it through (hydration is
Friday night was the Tri Mixer! We had a great turnout at Ten
Pin bowling. Strikes and spares were made, gutter balls were
thrown, and a good time was had by all. It's always great to see
students from other tris--especially now that my tri is in the
Annex all the time. I miss many of the students that we used to
have classes with/around. It's also great to see those tris ahead
of us that are now in clinic, including those that are just about
to graduate. It was just good to see everybody! Drew organized a
fantastic event. I wonder what next tri's mixer will be like.
On Saturday, I participated in the March against Monsanto
through downtown St. Pete. The controversial topic of GMOs
(genetically modified organisms) has been near and dear to my heart
since I was in high school, and I felt strongly about voicing my
opinion. About 500 people--young, young at heart, and everywhere in
between--descended on downtown St. Pete on Saturday afternoon to
express their concerns about the growing threat of genetically
modified organisms in our food supply.
Several different organizations participated--Seeds of Change,
Good Earth Market, We Are Change, and several others. People had
great signs, and while rather vocal, the march was peaceful and
with the support of onlookers and drivers-by. My good friend,
Jacqlyn participated in the March in Sarasota, where they had a bit
fewer people, but their presence was just as strong.
For more information about GMOs:
Have a great week, everybody!
I can't believe we're already going on the 3rd week of school!
How did that happen? This week not only marks Week 3 of school, but
also the Tri Mixer. Friday night, members from all (I hope) tris
will convene for a wee bit of team building. It never fails that I
meet someone I didn't know from another class. It should be an
interesting time. (Don't worry; I'll take pictures--but not
An egret at the Coffee Pot Bayou.
I'm still REALLY enjoying botanical medicine. It's encouraging
me to review everything I've learned before. In fact, I'm reviewing
old books and notes right now (as I'm writing this for all of you).
I'm always amazed at what we can do with what comes naturally. Of
course with each bit of reading that I do, the list for my
medicinal herb garden grows. I should have a nice start here in a
few weeks. Even with the Florida sun and heat I hope to put in some
seed soon. My father was kind enough to contribute some mullein
(lamb's ear). I planted it today, in fact. If you're not familiar
with mullein, there are two parts of the plant that are commonly
used: the flowers and the leaves. I like the leaves because they're
VERY fuzzy and good for topical treatments (and also fun to pet).
The flowers are used for respiratory tract issues. Don't try this
at home without consulting some references first. Plants are
A manatee at the Coffee Pot Bayou.
I'm happy to report that I'll be the student research assistant
for Dr. Mabel Chang! I met with her last week about some of the
projects she has going. One, in particular, I'm extremely excited
about. She's collected a lot of information about scope of practice
throughout the U.S. and provinces. I was thrilled when I found out!
I've been starting to research where to practice myself--looking at
scope, rights, and contemplating all the implications. I can't wait
to get my hands on the data.
I wonder what will come next. Always an adventure...
The Coffee Pot Bayou.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
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