Valentine's Day is on Monday this week and I have clinic in the
afternoon (1pm-5pm) and then class (5-10 pm), so my husband and I
celebrated on Saturday. We wanted to try a new restaurant and I had
heard good reviews of a Mediterranean restaurant called Reza's. We
made reservations and a good thing we did because it was busy.
The food was very good with an excellent variety of vegetarian
dishes. We had more than enough to eat with plenty to bring home.
Yum! Saturday's dinner was a nice way to end a long day of class on
This was the second weekend of two that we held our Acupuncture
Treatment Strategy class. The class is taught by Dr. HB Kim, who
resides in Kentucky. The two weekend hours equal the same amount of
hours if we had held the class every week for two hours of the
trimester. Those who have clinic on Saturday are excused from
clinic for those weekends.
In addition to his PhD, Dr. HB Kim is a licensed acupuncturist
and herbalist. He teaches both the Acupuncture and Herbal Treatment
Strategy classes. National students are blessed to have this class
because it is very good preparation for the Acupuncture and Herbal
boards. If you memorize everything he teaches, you will pass the
boards. Sounds easy enough but in reality it is a review of
everything about acupuncture that we have learned in our seven
trimesters of school.
Technically the class is a fourth trimester class but I waited
till my eighth tri to take it. I figured I would have most of my
classes completed and it would be a nice review. The class provides
new two point strategies that some might have heard of and I can't
wait to use them. Having it in fourth tri might be a little
overwhelming for some. However, if a student wishes to wait to take
it, they should be aware that the acupuncture class is offered
every other trimester with the herbal class offered in the
alternate trimesters. If a student is confused on when to take it,
I would recommend talking to Dr. Kwon or an upper tri
Happy Chinese New Year!
Happy Belated Chinese New Year (February 3)! It's the year of
the Rabbit! If you are interested in astrology, you can
search for your birth year to figure out what animal you are. After
talking with one of my Asian professors, I learned that their
birthday is determined by how many days it falls from the date of
the New Year. Therefore, their birthday may be celebrated on
different days each year. How interesting!
'Til next week. Email me with any questions.
Oh boy, did it snow in the Midwest this past week! In our area,
we had a total of 21 inches. Even though Chicago was prepared for
the storm, it still was a messy cleanup. Needless to say, National
University instituted a "snow day" and classes and clinic were
cancelled on Wednesday.
It was unfortunate school was closed because the AOM club had
arranged for a webinar to be seen on campus, to which we had no
access. The topic was Endometriosis and it was given by Giovanni
Maciocia. Dr. Maciocia is a leader in Traditional Chinese Medicine
and he has written several books that a student will become
familiar with. He has studied extensively in China and is also very
affluent in Chinese herbs. Endometriosis is commonly seen in the
patient population so as students we were thrilled to learn more on
the topic. I recently learned we do have the opportunity to see a
Speaking of seminars, I was fortunate to attend an Infertility
Seminar in Chicago a few weekends back. The presenter was Richard
Blitstein, a graduate and former professor of Pacific College of
OM. It was a two-day seminar that included biomedical foundation of
what, why and how infertility occurs - whether it is due to a
hormone imbalance, no follicle growth or pituitary related. Mr.
Blitstein also included information on Assisted Reproductive
As seen in clinic, many women are combining Oriental Medicine
with IUI or IVF. Truthfully, I haven't learned much on the
processes of either so this was of much help. Mr. Blitstein
discussed the medications women use during the treatment and how
they affect the process. Acupuncture methods, diagnosis, and herbs
were incorporated into each cycle of the ART process. Other topics
discussed were PCOS, also very popular in clinic, autoimmune
infertility, and premature ovarian failure. I was impressed with
the seminar because he clearly spelled out the Western meds used in
infertility. Patients will expect us as practitioners to be
familiar with the meds they are taking. It is also our duty to know
the impact of the meds they are taking, as well as any side
Studies have shown Acupuncture to increase implantation of
approximately 10% when administered before and after IUI or IVF.
Those treatments have a 20-40% success rate, but with acupuncture,
it could be as high as 50% success rate or more. Women with
infertility like those higher numbers and are definitely seeking
out ways to improve their fertility. I would love to be a part of
Wow, what a crazy weekend! On a recent Saturday, I awoke
to find a river in my backyard and a lake beside my apartment
parking. The water was five feet from the 1st floor balcony and a
foot away from the transformer box. Needless to say I was a little
panicky since I had to go to clinic in two hours. So my husband and
I unplugged all of our electronics in preparation for any water
damage. When I arrived at clinic, the parking lot was flooded,
leaving very few options to park. Lake Janse was overflowing with
water almost to the sidewalks. The swans probably loved the larger
area in which to swim. Marilyn at the front desk informed me we
were closing clinic and re-scheduling patients. However, I still
was able to treat two patients.
Saturday was a scheduled fieldtrip to Chinatown with Jin, my OM
Nutrition teacher. We have explored so many new food items in class
that she wanted us to have the experience of seeing first-hand what
they look and taste like. We went to an herbal shop that had an
array of exotic items in big glass jars and even more along the
The most abundant food item was the ginseng. They had American,
Korean and Chinese ginseng, both fresh and packaged of different
grades. Jin showed us items such as Mu Er, a black fungus that in
Chinese medicine moves blood, fresh Reishi Mushroom for cancer
protection, deer tendon to strengthen tendons and bones, as well as
abalone shell, cordyceps, shark cartilage, black hair moss seaweed,
sea cucumber, and the best - the bird's nest. The bird's nest
is the nest of the swallow. The swallow uses its saliva to make its
nest in caves in China. The Nest is used to improve one's
longevity and improve youthfulness and complexion. It is very rare
and it is sold along with the other very powerful herbs for at
least $300 per pound. I guess it is a safer alternative to Botox or
We ate at a Southern Chinese restaurant. Jin selected all of the
food choices and we ate Dim Sum style. Dim Sum consists of many
dishes that are shared on a big lazy susan among the people at the
table. Jin said the Chinese think it's rude to pass the dishes from
person to person so they use the turntable instead. Foods consisted
of duck, tofu, crab and green veggies, lotus leaf filled with
sticky rice and shrimp and veggies and a few others. Each of the
foods we have learned about in class has many functions in the
Hey there! It seems like there is a family event almost every
week in the summer, which sure makes it difficult to study. I must
plan my study time accordingly.
First, it was my brother's birthday and the next day I spent the
morning with my husband in Chicago. He had an Active Technique
Release Seminar and Sunday was his last day in which they were
tested on the 104 techniques they learned in three days. He
passed!! We celebrated by walking down Michigan Avenue to Oak
Street Beach to have an outdoor lunch looking at the water. I
haven't been to the city in a while so it was a nice treat.
Back to studying when we arrived back home. My Formulas I class
midterm was emailed to me and I started working on it since it's
due in a week. A take-home midterm sounds easy enough, but it sure
is time consuming. Our class agreed on a take-home midterm vs. a
mini multiple-choice test. We all agreed that it would benefit us
more by analyzing the formulas and comparing their ingredients and
actions. This test is similar to a research paper in that what you
learn is utilized in a way that it is put into long-term memory.
Cramming for a test only holds the information in short-term
memory, which will not benefit us.
In clinic, I have applied some of the knowledge I have learned
from Formulas. I had a patient two weeks ago that usually comes in
for treatment for infertility but she had a come down with the
"common cold." With help from Dr. Cai, I was able to prepare a
formula based on her pathology and underlying constitution.
In Formulas class we start out learning formulas that disperse
wind, cold, heat, and damp, and for those with an underlying
different constitution, in other words, for different types of
colds, flu, bronchitis, etc. Dr. Xie, my Herbs class professor, is
a great teacher. He is thorough and relates the information to
cases he has had or seen in clinic. He requires us to participate
and apply our knowledge of herbs and diagnosis to the herbal
formulas we are learning. This is rewarding because it has helped
me in clinic and refreshes my memory on things I may have
Well, I have a busy week ahead. Wish me luck!
February 14, 2010, was the beginning of the 15 days celebrated
by the Chinese as the start of the New Year.
Traditionally, on the first day of the New Year, which starts on
the day of the new moon and ends on the full moon, people celebrate
the "welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth." Usually, meat
is not eaten on this first day to bring long life and happiness.
Every day is a different celebration until the fifteenth day. The
fifth day is known as the Lantern Festival and is celebrated by
hanging red lanterns lit with light. Poems or riddles are read to
celebrate the commencement of the New Year celebration. Some common
decorations you might find in the household are a candy tray filled
with dried fruit nuts arranged in the shape of a circle called "the
tray of togetherness." Each piece of candy represents some type of
good luck, such as the lychee nut, which is said to bring strong
Fireworks and Dragons
During parades, fireworks are typically blown off to represent
sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year. Dragons are
an integral part of the celebrations/parades and represent good
luck, good fortune and prosperity. I went to Chinatown for the New
Year's parade and celebrated the year of the Tiger with all the
other New Year fans.
Chinatown was packed with many wanting to celebrate, eat from
the many authentic restaurants, and visit many of the brightly
packed shops. I stopped by to say "hi" to Dr. Cai at her downtown
office and visited a few herbal shops to pick up a few items.
This weekend was a nice ending to a nerve-wracking week studying
for Lab Diagnosis and Pharmacology. Next up is Advanced Acupuncture
Strategies, so wish me luck!
Tip: Tests can always bring the jitters and a quick visit to the
Acupuncture Clinic can help calm them. Anxiety is one of the many
disorders the World Health Organization lists as treatable with
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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