This is my last blog. I will be graduating next week. I have so
many emotions I really can't describe them all, but I wanted to
express my gratitude to the university, professors and my fellow
My journey does not end here. It is just the
beginning. I am very thankful that I was able to further my
education, especially with the obstacles. It is difficult to raise
a family in this day and age, especially a family of seven. I am
thankful to each of my children and my husband for the many
sacrifices the family made to see me through the past two and
one-half years in the Master of Science in Acupuncture Program.
I have been truly blessed with a great support system of
friends, family and a wonderful father-in-law, Father Michael
Pfleger. My success is true testimony to anyone that you can go
back to school AND raise a family.
I did have difficult times. I had a few trimesters where I just
wanted to throw in the towel and go back to Human Resource
Management because we desperately needed the money. There was a
point in time where we lived in hotels and the entire family was
dislocated. I had to reach out in the community to food pantries
and government supplemental assistance. I never gave up my hope or
Of course, remember that saying, "What does not
kill you makes you stronger." My experience here at National made
me a stronger person, a better mom, and a caring, compassionate
practitioner. I look forward to passing the boards and working with
a fellow graduate in Lisle, Illinois, and also continuing my
I am thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. This
would not be the case if I did not further my education. I
encourage those who are thinking about going back to school for
their master's or doctorate to pursue it now!
Remember: Juli Yelnick will be the new AOM blogger staring next
trimester. I look forward to reading her blogs and learning from
Happy Holidays! Happy Studying! Congratulations to the graduates
of the NUHS December Class of 2013. Happy New Year!
I thought this week would be best time
to introduce my fellow colleague and classmate Juli Yelnick. Juli
will be the new AOM blogger next trimester. I am graduating this
trimester on December 12 with my Master of Science in Acupuncture
with honors. I will still be around NUHS because I am also in the
doctor of naturopathic medicine program. I also will be working
with a former colleague as a licensed acupuncturist in her practice
in March after I pass the boards, of course, in January. I am
currently in process of publishing two journal articles and writing
my own book.
Juli Yelnick is a wife, mother, teacher, and student of oriental
medicine. She began the AOM master's program in Fall 2012, and she
continues to enjoy that journey today. Julie has always been
interested in natural living, and the need to reduce exposure to
unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals becomes even more
apparent when you become a parent. Through this program at NUHS,
she is learning how to be well the natural way, and wants to share
this with others.
In addition to attending the evening AOM classes, Juli teaches
World Culture and American History classes at the college level.
Anthropology has always been my passionate research interest, so
adding ancient Chinese traditions to the mix is nothing but fun for
her! Juli loves integrating what she learns at NUHS into the
courses that she designs, and she recently had the opportunity to
co-author an Anthropology text book that explored the
interconnectedness of seemingly disparate world cultures and
values. Currently, she is gearing up to coordinate a return medical
brigade to Nicaragua through the integrative medicine non-profit
organization Natural Doctors International.
I want to personally thank everyone who has supported the AOM
blog. I have enjoyed sharing my many cases and experiences with you
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to all. Merry Christmas and Happy
Holidays. Good Luck on Finals! Congratulation to our graduates of
Q: Why did you decide to come to
National University of Health Sciences and dual enroll in both
chiropractic and acupuncture?
A: I majored in mass communication and nutrition in undergrad at
Miami, and when I graduated, I ended up working in the advertising
industry for 4.5 years. It was a great experience, but I really
wanted to be involved with health care and wanted to help people on
a day-to-day basis. My father is a chiropractor and I've seen what
a great influence he's had on his patients and their well-being
over the years. I chose NUHS because of the well-rounded curriculum
and evidence-based practice program. In my
4th trimester of the DC program, I decided to try
acupuncture in the clinic to see what I thought about it, just in
case I was going to recommend it to patients in the future. I ended
up loving it so much I decided to pursue my master's degree in
Q: What are the pros and cons of dual
A: Being dual-enrolled was great because the acupuncture classes
are at night, so I was able to do both programs full-time without
having to slow down. It was also nice when studying to be able to
approach a condition from a western and eastern medicine
standpoint. Both chiropractic and acupuncture are awesome
treatments on their own, but they are so complementary with each
other that it's very beneficial for the patients to have a
practitioner that can do both. The downside of being dual-enrolled
is that it can be exhausting and it's easy to get burned out. Since
I chose to stay full-time with both programs, there were multiple
14-hour days in there that really kicked my butt.
Q: What are the pros and cons of AOM clinic and DC
A: The pros are that you get to see a variety of patients and
get to use both eastern and western treatments. The clinic
experience has been great on both sides, and the clinicians are
awesome and have really given me the guidance I needed. The AOM
clinic has allowed me to work with veterans here in Lombard and
work in a hospital atmosphere downtown as well. However, it can be
frustrating, because even as a dual-enrolled student I still had to
treat an AOM patient with acupuncture and a DC patient with
chiropractic, and I couldn't combine them in the same visit because
they are separate shifts and are overseen by separate clinicians.
But it's still good experience because it gives me an idea of how
I'll operate when I have my own practice.
Q: Where do you see the future of integrative
A: I think more and more patients are going to be searching for
a doctor or health care practice that can provide them with a
variety of treatment strategies instead of a single option. I think
patients can only benefit from having a plethora of resources
available to them that address them as a whole person and take into
account all aspects of their lifestyle. Students should really read
up on Andrew Weil, MD, who has put out some great material
regarding the importance of integrative medicine. A recent article
described his treatment strategy as "not being wedded to a
particular dogma, western or eastern, only to the
get-the-patient-better philosophy," which is the way all
practitioners should think.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: I will be opening my own practice in Indiana after I graduate
in August. I'll be working out of the same office as my soon-to-be
husband, who is also an NUHS graduate, so it will be nice to have a
National colleague to bounce ideas off of. He does a lot of
ART/DNS/MacKenzie work, where I will focus more on acupuncture, so
we'll have a variety of treatment options for our patients. I'd
love to get in part-time with a hospital in the area after a few
years of private practice, as well as focus on using my advertising
background to work with national and state organizations to promote
A BIG thanks to Lauren! We wish her the best in her future
endeavors and upcoming wedding in August.
Thank you for your continued support in the AOM blog! Have
a great week as we count down to finals and graduation.
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