Hello everyone! I am writing you from Springfield, Missouri with
my one-month-old niece cuddled up in my lap! She is just sooo
stinkin' cute I can't keep my hands off her for a second! My sister
and brother-in-law left to run errands together this morning and
left Grace with my boyfriend and I to look after. Right now she
just woke up from a nap and was one hungry little baby so I warmed
her "emergency" bottle and after a nice burp she was the happiest
little thing ever! Seeing her lay here on the floor looking around
the room taking things in makes me think of how minute all the
stresses in my life are. Although I love the path I have chosen for
myself, I am very excited for my "after school life" to begin so I
can spend the majority of my time with my family, including my
Last week in clinic we learned we would be having a new doctor
on staff to report to. He is a medical doctor with a couple other
busy practices in the surrounding Chicago area. This is great news
for us, especially in the Naturopathic field as this opens up the
opportunity for us to train in our full scope of practice in the
state of Illinois. I will be sure to keep you posted on our new
staff member and clinic happenings as they come up!
Botanical Garden Update
The NUHS botanical garden is overflowing with herbs ready for
harvesting. Last Friday morning the Naturopathic interns and
clinicians took a walk over to the garden to brush up on our
botanical knowledge. Thinking back on when we first planted this
little garden last spring and seeing how it has taken off is really
breathtaking. It was such a beautiful morning that we decided to
have a little ND photo shoot complements of Dr. Coe, a professor in
the massage therapy program as well as fellow ND intern.
That's all I have for now, hope you have a great week!
With the trimester flying by, the ZRT naturopathic medical
students' collegiate bowl at the annual naturopathic convention is
fast approaching! We have booked our flights to Portland and made
our hotel reservations, so there is no turning back! The group of
four of us who are going to participate are meeting weekly to
practice for the competition. Although I am very excited to compete
for NUHS, the next few weeks are going to be crazy with taking
final examinations early, as we will be missing the last two weeks
of school. A few crazy weeks of examinations will be well worth it
once we are in Portland!
While we are out on the West Coast, we plan to shadow at as many
naturopathic clinics as we can. Being so close to graduation,
making connections with practicing NDs is becoming more important.
We already have one shadowing opportunity set in stone in southern
California. I can't wait to report back on how it goes!
In Botanicals recently, we discussed the topic of treating
cancer in a naturopathic clinical setting. This topic is
particularly interesting to me as I plan to pursue further
education in naturopathic oncology. The field of oncology is vast,
therefore most naturopathic treatments are guided toward integrated
care and supporting the body's ability to tolerate debilitating
chemotherapy, radiology and surgical treatments. There are many
botanical formulas that can be given to help patients gain their
energy and strength back after oncology treatments and to help with
the brain fog patients experience post-chemotherapy referred to as
"chemo brain." The lecture on botanical uses in cancer is just the
tip of the iceberg when it comes to naturopathic therapies that can
be utilized as adjunctive treatment in the field of oncology.
We're also discussing oncology in depth in both Internal
Medicine and Functional Medicine. I am a total cancer junkie… so I
will be sure to relay any interesting information!
With about 10 papers and 3 presentations looming over my head I
had better get to typing! Have a great week!
This week's photos show how our naturopathic garden is
This week, I spent extra time in the clinic observing patients
as well as being a patient. My student intern suggested that I do
weekly Russian steam hydrotherapy treatments for detoxification,
stress relief and overall immune support. There are two phases to
The first phase is pretty intense as you start out in a mini
steam sauna for 20 minutes where only your head is exposed. The
intern takes your temperature and pulse every five minutes to
ensure you don't get overheated, and offers you sips of water to
keep you hydrated. After you get good and sweaty in the sauna, you
transfer over to a hydrotherapy table.
This second phase of the treatment is spent lying on the hydro
table wrapped up tight in a wool blanket and sheet that has been
soaked in ice-cold water to induce sweating yet again. Yes, you are
expected to climb into the cold wet sheet and wrap up! The contrast
of being warmed in the steam sauna and then wrapping in a cold
sheet is an important part of the treatment. It is typical to see
the body temperature decrease by a few degrees after transferring
from the steam sauna to the cold sheet wrap, but it will quickly
rise again once you are wrapped up! This phase can last anywhere
from 30 minutes to two hours
I only lasted 30 minutes in the wrap but my intern said that the
more I get the treatment done, the longer I will be able to last in
the wrap. We will see how I feel by the end of the month after a
few more Russian steam treatments!
BBQ and Baby
This weekend some friends and I got together for a barbeque and
to hang out with our friend from school, Fayaz, and her 3-month-old
baby boy, Layethe. Layethe did very well considering he was being
passed from stranger to stranger! I know it must be hard taking
care of a new baby and trying to finish out two more trimesters of
school but Fayaz defiantly does a great job.
It made me realize that sometimes we can get so wrapped up in
our school weeks that we forget that life outside of NUHS does go
on. Although my reality is not taking care of an infant at this
time in my life, it makes me realize just how much I do take on.
With 30 credits, student clinic, two gardens, blogs, and work, I
couldn't imagine adding even one more thing on right now. Not to
mention it is summertime! It was really nice to finally get to meet
little Layethe and to end the weekend with an amazing
We have been slowly sprucing up the garden with plant markers,
fencing and a new watering system. The plants seem to be taking off
and are thriving. The only thing left to do is work out a watering
schedule and the garden should be set!
It's official! NUHS has a botanical garden!
About 15 students showed up to partake in the planting of the
garden, and with so much help we were done planting an 8x10-10 foot
plot in just over an hour. Before we packed up our tools we stood
around the plot hand-in-hand and took a moment to think back on all
of our hard work in getting to this moment.
It was suggested by a student that for good gardening luck we
should spit on the garden. I know this sounds disgusting, but it
was actually really fun! Now all that is left to do is to spruce up
walking paths with stones and make a sign with the NUHS Botanical
Garden printed on it! We will be assigning a watering and weeding
schedule this week to help with maintenance of the garden. This
week I'll welcome the rain instead of wishing it away!
In the Classroom
As for classroom news, this week's topic in Advanced
Manipulation class was on low back and leg endurance tests. This
meant that we were subjected to performing each test to see where
we fell compared to the average patient. Dr. Selby had us really
sweating by doing as many squats, sit-ups and sustained planks as
we could! He wanted us to be able to experience what it would be
like for a patient if they were asked to perform these endurance
tests. Granted, we were not wearing proper attire, most of us in
summer dresses, so it was a bit difficult to perform at our highest
potential, but it was an enjoyable lecture nonetheless!
One of our teachers, Dr. Lou, is always telling us of the
importance of "living in our labs" - meaning, we should not be
recommending things to our patients that we have not tried
ourselves. If we expect our patients to eat healthy and exercise
regularly...we should be doing the same!
In the Pool
With the weather being so nice this weekend I finally got to
take advantage of the swimming pool at my apartment. A friend from
home came into town this weekend so we spent most of our time
relaxing in the sunshine! Being that I did not apply sunscreen
liberally enough, I ended up getting a pretty good sunburn on my
shoulders. Not to worry though, homeopathic Cantharis and Calendula
lotion to the rescue!
This week is full of midterms and papers… but I will surely find
time to play in the garden! I will keep you posted on the latest
It has been raining off and on the past couple of weeks, making
it almost impossible to keep up with the weeding in the garden! The
rain has also postponed the planting of the botanical garden on
campus until next weekend, weather permitting. In the meantime we
have the plants and manpower ready to go!
Writing and More Writing
This week was exceptionally exhausting. I spent a lot of extra
time in the clinic writing charts, which seems to be my biggest
struggle with Student Clinic. After seeing a patient there is an
enormous amount of paperwork that needs to be done. I am slowly
learning how to concisely put things together, but my poor hand has
never done so much writing! If I could only write as fast as I can
Writing seems to be the theme of this trimester. Every class has
a writing assignment attached to it in some form. For our advanced
ND Business and Jurisprudence course, one of our assignments is to
prepare an article on any naturopathic therapy. The article is to
be written in terms that anyone can understand. We are to make the
paper "web ready," meaning it needs to have links to outside
websites and include pictures. The topic I chose was the many uses
of the botanical lavender. I discovered a few new ways to
incorporate the fragrant herb into cooking and teas, and also add a
few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow before bed at
night to encourage restful sleep. It will be interesting to see
what other students choose to write about.
Much Needed R&R
After a long week of class, I went out with friends for some
much needed sushi. It was nice to get dressed up and leave the
books at home for a while. With midterms starting next week, we
deserved a night out!
I can't believe it is Week 6 of 15 already… where does the time
go! As for now, I am off to make a list of things to do this week…
Keeping organized this trimester is an absolute must!
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.