I had another topic planned for this week's blog, but I decided
to write about strokes and warning signs. My fellow intern had a
stroke this week during our clinic shift at the Lombard campus
clinic on Monday afternoon. She was rushed to Good Samaritan
Hospital and spent 2-3 days in the ICU unit and is now in a
rehabilitation center. She is doing much better but the stroke
affected the left side of her body.
Signs of Stroke
Even when stroke symptoms only last a few minutes, you should
get immediate help. Time is of the essence. Call 911 or rush the
person to your local emergency room if they experience any of the
following 5 warning signs of stroke:
Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.
Although these 5 warning signs of stroke are the most common,
the latest research shows that signs of stroke for a woman can also
include the following stroke symptoms:
One-third of all stroke victims die and many of the rest end up
with major disabilities.
Prevention of Stroke
It's estimated that 80% of all strokes can be prevented
according to the American Heart Association and American Stroke
Association. Those are really good odds. So it only makes good
sense to structure your life for stroke prevention, especially if
you have family history of strokes and hypertension.
I would like to dedicate this blog to my fellow intern and her
family. We pray for her speedy recovery. Her body may be broken but
her spirit is strong.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Have a
Statistics and stroke information cited from livestrong.com, Mayo Clinic, American
Heart Association, and American Stroke Association, and class
First, I would like to say welcome back students and faculty at
NUHS. I had a wonderful two weeks break. At the end of this
trimester, I will graduate with my master's degree in acupuncture.
I will still be around campus, though, since I officially
dual-enrolled this trimester in the naturopathic medicine program
and will be working on second doctorate at Midwestern University in
Downers Grove starting in winter quarter.
This week's blog is about the first Illinois Walk for
Acupuncture sponsored by the Illinois Association of Acupuncture & Oriental
Medicine (ILaaom). ILaaom is Illinois' oldest
professional organization representing licensed acupuncturists and
students, along with oriental medical schools and
acupuncture-related businesses. It is registered with the State of
Illinois as a nonprofit corporation. ILaaom was formed in 1983 (as
the Illinois State Acupuncture Association) to be the unifying
force for Illinois acupuncturists to uphold ethical and
well-regulated standards of practice and to lobby for legislation
to advance the profession. ILaaom acknowledges and respects all
traditions of acupuncture and oriental medicine, and believes that
cooperation and strength among practitioners and supporters will
ensure that this ancient medical art will retain its integrity and
achieve the recognition and legal status to which it is entitled,
thus enhancing the quality of health care for people in
The first Illinois walk for acupuncture was held this past
Saturday, September 7th from 9am to 12pm in
downtown Chicago along our beautiful lakefront. We had a great
turnout. They coined the phrase "Move your Qi - Walk for
Acupuncture." Everyone had a great time!
The walk helped raised money to continue our work of increasing
awareness of the benefits of acupuncture, advancing and defending
the practice of acupuncture in Illinois, and improving services and
support for practitioners. ILaaom will be having future walks and
events. You can visit their website: Support Acupuncture.
A Big Thanks to NUHS students, friends, and family who were able
to attend the event.
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog! Have a
I made the switch from coffee to tea almost 2 years ago, but I
always preferred tea to coffee. I believe that herbal teas do have
powerful healing factors to help us stay healthy.
Herbal teas are specially blended teas that have medicinal
properties to maintain health and help prevent illness. In
addition, herbal teas are caffeine free. I read several journal
articles and studies that support research that the flavonoids are
the key health-promoting ingredient in tea. These polyphenol
antioxidants are present in many foods and plants, including
tealeaves, and have been found to help prevent cell damage. Recent
research suggests that teas may protect against heart disease and
many types of cancer.
I have three favorite herbal teas that I want to share with you
tea's antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals
that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and
atherosclerosis. There is a lot of research about green tea, mostly
more lab studies and epidemiological studies. The tea is "green"
because of its minimal processing--its leaves are withered and
steamed, not fermented like black and oolong teas--and its unique
catechins, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), are more
concentrated. I personally drink green tea at least 3-4x a
Black tea is a
product made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The aged leaves and
stems are used to make medicine. Green tea, which is made from
fresh leaves of the same plant, has some different properties.
According to my research, black tea is used for improving mental
alertness as well as learning, memory and information processing
skills. I came across some interesting studies that say black tea
has been used to help treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and it
also contains antioxidants and other substances that might help
protect the heart and blood vessels. I usually drink black tea 1-2x
Like black and
green tea, white tea is also derived from Camellia Sinensis. Thus,
white tea shares many of the same chemical properties and health
effects of tea. However, white tea contains the most antioxidants.
The catechins, a group of polyphenol antioxidants found in white
tea, have been found to reduce cholesterol, decrease blood
pressure, and improve the function of blood vessels, thereby
decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. I also read a study
that mentioned that white tea has been shown to help antibacterial
and antiviral action, but also help with anti-inflammatory
properties to help potentially reduce the risk of developing
rheumatoid arthritis. I drink white tea 2x a week as well.
Overall, I enjoy all the three teas. I also drink chamomile and
ginger teas. Instead of Starbucks, there are some great alternative
teashops like Bello Teas in Downers Grove and Adagio Teas in
Naperville. I highly recommend them both.
Brewing Tips: Tap water affects the taste of
tea. It is best to use fresh filtered water. To extract the most
beneficial compounds from the tealeaves or bags, let them steep for
three to five minutes. It is best to drink tea unsweetened and
without milk, which can minimize some of the health benefits. Forgo
the sugar and try instead honey, stevia products, or a stick of
Thank you for your continued support for AOM blog! Happy
Studying! Happy Break! I'll see you again in September!
Acupuncture can be used as complementary treatment for stroke,
head injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD). I am currently treating a 29-year-old
Marine veteran who suffered a stroke and a traumatic brain injury
While there is no definite evidence that acupuncture treatments
can cure severe brain injuries, studies and clinical experience
demonstrate that victims of brain injury and stroke have a higher
chance of recovery and rehabilitation if acupuncture treatment is used soon after the
My patient case is very complex and unique. His acupuncture
treatment focus is on his brain injury, stroke and PTSD. His main
objective is to bring back feeling and function to his body, help
with vision, speech impairments due to apraxia, spasticity
(uncontrolled movements) in both his hands, and regulate stress and
His TCM DX (diagnosis) is shen disturbance with trauma bi. His
treatment strategy is to calm the shen and relieve bi pain. I use
scalp acupuncture, but I also incorporate Tui Na (Chinese massage)
and Sotai. Sotai is a systematic form of exercise using active and
passive exercises. It is similar to kinesiology, but the key to
Sotai is correct breathing and a natural balancing of one's weight
while moving. Sotai treatments are often immediately effective in
reducing the effects of the stress on one's body.
he comes in for treatment he responds well overall. His wife has
seen the improvement in his conditions over the past 9 months at
our Lombard clinic.
His progress has been slow and steady, but significant. He also
receives chiropractic treatment, speech therapy, cold laser
therapy, massage, equestrian therapy, and intense physical therapy.
His motto continues to be Semper Fi!
It is an honor and a privilege to treat him. His dedication and
determination is inspiring to me and those around him.
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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