Have you made your study schedule yet for Finals? (You know they
actually start next week, right?) My schedule is somewhat made;
exams, practicals, and last minute assignments have been entered,
and from this point I just have to get busy! I'm on a brief
reprieve from the Master's, until next quarter starts (during Week
15 here), and I've had off from Acupuncture for the last 2 weeks,
so the Universe, and school, saw fit to give me some time. Of
course, I still feel behind and also am a little bit panicked (as
always happens). Right now it looks like 6 exams for me next week,
and 7 the week after that. I'm already ready, but will definitely
be more ready for a break.
Sunset at Treasure Island Beach
Last week's Cadaver Workshop was AMAZING! I was, admittedly, a
little nervous when I found out I'd be going over the musculature.
After all, other than diagrams, I hadn't been back in the lab since
I left basic sciences. And I hadn't worked on the back or limbs
since first and second tri. I'd forgotten how much I love being in
there. I suspected that would be the case, but I was actually
thrilled and surprised at how much I remembered. I loved it so
much, that I'm going back this week to do it again. We did a bit of
show and tell, and also asked questions and quizzed the students
that showed up.
We had students from the undergrad program, PA program, nursing,
and EMT at St. Pete College. I'll be interested to see who comes
this week. It's absolutely invaluable experience. It also reminded
me how much I enjoy teaching. Back in undergrad, my internship was
TA-ing biology for non-majors. THAT was an experience. It's
frustrating, sometimes, to be teaching people who aren't always
interested in what you have to discuss, or to approach things from
a manner that everyone can understand (or that encourages
I have been planning, for about the last year, to spend at least
part of my career teaching. I'll be honest; I'm really looking
forward to it. Who wouldn't want the opportunity to geek out on a
regular basis, and get paid to do it? What would you teach?
Biochemistry? Physiology? Functional Medicine? Nutrition? Yeah, I
could really get into that. The tough part will be finding a
location that will allow me to practice, and has opportunities for
Last week, I did a Rehab demonstration on therapies to use for
Rheumatoid Arthritis. I learned a lot in prepping for the demo --
like how the joints in RA patients can be hotter than normal, and
how heating the joint itself can be damaging (but heating the
muscle is fine). I learned how important it is to protect the joint
-- even to the point of how the patient sits. The "point of
relaxation" for the knee, for example, is full extension. This is
the position that is least likely to promote joint degeneration.
There are other positions for other joints. This week, I'm giving a
presentation on Raynaud's Phenomenon (which I've had since I was a
teenager) and therapies for treatment. I fully intend to go get my
thick wool gloves for the demonstration -- just for effect.
Although, if they continue to keep it so cold in this building,
I'll have to wear them all the time. It does make it difficult to
type and take notes.
There haven't been any other events going on for the last week
or so, other than a ROCK tape seminar this weekend (that I didn't
go to). But if you remember back, not that long ago, when I
volunteered at the St. Pete Beach Classic and met Mr. Incredible, I
have something to share. Mr. Incredible found ME! Last weekend, I
received an email out of the blue, from Mr. Incredible himself, who
found the blog and wrote me. (I do answer all of the messages that
come through here, in one way or another.) He's starting on a new
adventure with his training. Feel free to check out his
blog: Superheroes on
All right kids, have an amazing pre-finals week! Remember to
keep going to the gym, keep sleeping, and keep eating good food.
You'll be glad that you did.
We're nearing the end of the trimester. It's the calm before the
storm. Since my classmate Lexxi just reminded me, I'll remind you.
Did you: do your FAFSA? Taxes? Register for classes?
This week starts the last minute projects and presentations
before practicals and finals. Actually we have part of a practical
on Friday for PT. I'm going to rehab a knee with Rheumatoid
Arthritis -- which I'm finding as a bit of a struggle. How do you
give someone exercises for a degenerating joint, when they have to
move the joint? I've been pondering it quite a while. Here's hoping
I come up with something good.
This week and next week, our program hosts a cadaver lab
demonstration for the nursing, PA, and other health professions
programs that we share space with. For those who aren't familiar,
we share some campus space with the St. Petersburg College health
profession programs and Barry University PA programs. Since some of
our classroom space is at the St. Pete Caruth Health Education
Center, we see a lot of students from other programs running around
-- including RN, PA, EMT, etc. Unlike our program, they don't have
cadaver exposure, which always surprised me.
So, since we do, we host workshops toward the end of each
trimester to expose those students to what the body really looks
like. Several of our students will spend an hour or more in the lab
going through some general parts of the anatomy, and explaining
function, etc. I've always been surprised that the other programs
don't have cadaver exposure. I honestly feel that dissecting has
given me invaluable information that there's no way I would have
known otherwise. Even still, when someone asks me a part of the
anatomy, my mind automatically goes to the cadavers to visualize
it. I do this during classes; I've done this during boards. It
helps to actually SEE where the origins and insertions are, how the
vasculature and nerves surround and penetrate the muscles, and how
the muscles layer and invest in each other.
I haven't been in the cadaver lab since I finished that portion
of basic sciences several tris ago. I'm REALLY looking forward to
it. I think most of the other student-instructors will be from
basic science tris. It'll be fun to get to interact with them.
That's a privilege I don't often get.
On Saturday, I went to the Gluten Free for Life Expo. Last year
Grey and I went, walked through, and received a ton of samples,
coupons, and business cards from local gluten free businesses. This
year, I was by myself, as Grey was at an FBLA conference. I ran
into Julia, my classmate, and her daughter-in-law, Stephanie.
Beyond running into them and seeing my friend who runs a local
acupuncture clinic, the expo was a total waste. And it wasn't just
because of the samples and coupons -- which I guess were there --
it was because of the quality of products. If you've ever been to a
health food store (and I'm guessing all of us have), you've seen
that there's just as much junk food there, as there is at any other
store. It's labeled as "organic" or "all-natural" or "healthy", but
the difference is only that they use sugar instead of corn syrup,
organic versus conventional, and substitute refined with less
refined. That doesn't make any of it healthy.
So, I talked with the reps for a company (that I won't name),
because they recently reformulated their products. They are
dedicated to having gluten free, GMO free products. I respect this
tremendously, however, they still have some pretty big problems.
Previously, they were using sorghum flour -- which has been a
staple in gluten free cooking for a while. Even I have used it on a
regular basis (although not for several years). The rep mentioned
that they were having problems with their sorghum flour becoming
contaminated with GMO soy. So they changed formularies and started
using buckwheat and millet instead. The problem is, that these
other grains contain lectins, in very high quantity. Lectins, in
brains, beans, and potatoes, cause disruption of the tight
junctions in the gut -- leading to leaky gut. Leaky gut leads to
food intolerance, inflammation, and lipopolysaccharide invasion
(toxins from gram negative bacteria that naturally live in the
gut). Big problem. Check this out: The
Lowdown on Lectins. And if you're a real glutton for punishment
Dietary Lectins as Disease Causing Toxicants
for far more in depth information.
So, I talked to the rep about how the choices they've made in
substitutions are likely to affect their customers. The lady didn't
have a clue what I was talking about. But she seemed pretty scared
in response and said she'd pass it on to their recipe people. I'm
sure it won't go any further. I looked through the ingredient list
on EVERY product they had there. The few that didn't have millet or
buckwheat had TONS of sugar. *sigh* Gluten free isn't always healthy.
Since my "conversion" to mostly Paleo, I just can't look at food
the same way. I'm always thinking about the grain or carbohydrate
content, how much I'm allowing my gut to be exposed to the lectins
and sugar, and what it's doing to me. I'd say I'm about 80% Paleo
now. I go back and forth -- trying to only have rice a couple times
a week, and sugar maybe once. It IS a struggle sometimes,
especially when I'm stressed out. But I feel SO much better.
And before I go, I've wanted to share this guy with you all for
quite some time. He stands outside a defunct mini-golf turned car
dealership parking lot. I often wonder why he's still here -- maybe
it's because he's so awesome. I haven't come up with a name for him
yet. I'm willing to entertain suggestions. There are lots of
oddities around St. Pete.
Have a great week everybody.
Boy, do I have a BIG case of Senioritis! We've talked about
motivation before, about how to stay motivated, studying for
midterms, etc. But this is a whole new level of short-timer's
syndrome. Surely you all know what I mean. It's -- day before
vacation, Friday afternoon, last week of school -- syndrome. The
unfortunate thing is, I don't think I'm classified as a senior
Last week, Forest (age 14) and I were talking about school. It
seems that we're both lacking in motivation (except I seem to hide
it a little bit better). During this conversation he said to me,
"Mom, I've had senioritis since the 5th grade" -- to which I
laughed. He's in 9th grade now. But I know exactly what he means.
Being in 7th Tri provides just a bit of a tease regarding being
done (writing business plans, talking about practices, etc.). The
fact that we keep talking about clinic is a pretty big deal. We've
already started talking about schedules. It's coming quick. I can't
wait. As far as Forest and his senioritis, he's got a good bit
longer to go than I do. It'll probably be a bit more of a struggle
for him than for me. Until then, we'll have to keep tabs on our
goofing off and not doing schoolwork.
One thing that people don't really talk about outside of school
(at least it seems that way) is variation. When you get to cadaver
lab, you'll see how vastly different things are from body to body.
Sometimes an artery is on the medial side of the muscle --
sometimes the lateral. Maybe there's a split in the vein and maybe
there isn't. I happen to know that none of my nerves in my head and
face are in the "right" spot. I have a condition known as a Chiari
malformation. I tell everyone that my brain is too big for my skull
-- which is actually true (but still funny). But the fact that the
junction where most of the cranial nerves exit is lower in the head
has made for interesting positioning as far as the rest of them. My
dentists are always (not) amused if I need work done. And we
figured out that regarding acupuncture of the head (on Saturday),
it's not necessarily a good idea for me.
So, regardless of the condition or the modality, it's important
to remember that not all people are wired the same, have the same
sensitivities, or respond to therapies the same way. There is no
"one size fits all" approach. The idea of "protocols" is a trap
that we can fall into -- but we have to keep in mind, that our
patients are individuals with unique bodies and unique needs.
Dave and Ricky
In Modalities this morning, we were experimenting with TENS
units. Since it didn't happen last week, I wasn't going to include
it in this week's post, but the reactions were priceless. Ricky and
Dave decided to "exercise" (or maybe it was exorcise, LOL) the
Have a great week, everybody!!!!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.