As I stated in last week's blog, I planned to interview one of
the graduates who went to China.
A little background: Dr. Cai has connections with one of the
hospitals in Xi'an and is friends with one of the hospital
directors. More than a year ago, she set up a program for the
students. In exchange for a year in China teaching English at
Shaanxi University, the students are able to study in the hospital
with the other doctors. The students are given housing and paid a
minimal wage to teach. They also receive two months off in the
summer to travel. Cherlyn, one of the herbal students, left in
February to travel to China and is currently on summer break and
As I talked with Cherlyn at dinner, she stated what a big
culture shock it is to be in China. They are living in one of the
oldest Chinese cities and it shows. There were a few surprises that
they have had to become accustomed to, such as the plumbing, but
that is such a small quirk compared to the beauty of the city.
Everyone is really friendly and like family. Many of the dinners
are focused around "dim sum," which is like a big lazy susan where
all the food is shared among those at the table. It's like
Thanksgiving every night.
At the hospital, where she spends four hours a couple of times a
week, she has enjoyed learning new techniques that are not taught
in the U.S. For instance, they do a lot of herbal injections into
acupuncture points. This could be for menstrual cramps, to induce
labor, for Bell's palsy, and much more.
She has also seen them do a lot of blood transfusions. For
example, the doctor will extract blood from the cubital vein and
then energetically inject it into ST 36. ST 36, Zu San Li , is a
very important and powerful point in Chinese medicine. In Chinese
literature, it is often said to moxa this point every day to bring
She has also seen a lot of flash cupping done to the face for
Bell's palsy. She said the doctors treat a lot of facial paralysis
at the hospital. Cherlyn and her roommate Andrea, also a graduate
of NUHS, have put together a website, Jouneys to Healing Medicine, to share their
experiences and new knowledge. She says she really enjoys China and
all the new experiences it brings her. She also likes the downtime
to practice yoga every morning and read books she has always
balloons at Eyes to the Sky festival in Lisle.
Well, that's all for now, I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth
The much needed winter break has ended, and as always I still
feel like I need another week - but then again who doesn't. Our
winter breaks are usually three weeks long and spring and summer
breaks last two weeks.
Three weeks was long enough for my husband and I to do some
business shopping. We had the chance to visit an acupuncturist in
Oak Park and a chiropractor. Each practitioner gave us different
advice but all very helpful. The office atmospheres were completely
The acupuncture office was more exotic and peaceful but
professional, which I really liked. I think when a patient walks in
the door they should breathe a breath of relaxation, which I felt
was accomplished in that office. The chiropractic office was very
professional and big with lots of light. It was a typical medical
office environment and in my opinion not very relaxing.
After listening to both practitioners, it seemed they tailored
their environment to their patients' needs and expectations. For my
husband and I, it gave us a big clue as to what kind of environment
we should strive for.
We also got a jump on the business ball by stopping into the
local Chamber of Commerce, which offered us much help, as well as
steered us in the direction of a reputable commercial real estate
agent. Even though we are looking a little early, I think it shows
our dedication and ambition as business owners to these individuals
(who could possibly be future patients). We also interviewed an
accountant who offered us loads of information free of
My advice to you, future students and possible business owners,
is to check out all of your business opportunities way in advance
of graduation. Talk to as many practitioners in the area in which
you are thinking of practicing because they can each give you
valuable information as well as warn you of any mistakes they have
On another note, the Fall 2010 graduating class was the largest
so far for the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program. Cherlyn,
one of our Oriental Medicine grads will be traveling to China in a
month or so. She will be attending the program set up by our
Hui Yan Dr. Cai. Cherlyn will be teaching English to students in
exchange for room and board as well as attending grand rounds in a
University Hospital in Xi'an. We have had two graduates enter the
program so far. I plan to stay in touch with Cherlyn to give
everyone details on her year-long trip.
Stay tuned for upcoming weeks in which I will be sharing details
of my lunch with a former graduate and the infertility seminar I
Happy New Year!
Wow, it's already the end of the first week of classes. Our
summer break of two weeks has come and gone and I wish we still had
two more weeks. This trimester I am light on classes with only four
and three clinic shifts. I guess I am getting a reprieve from the
seven classes I took last trimester. However, I am using my
time to refresh on older material and to really study herbs.
I am taking Herbal Treatment Strategy, Western Nutrition, Herbal
Formulas 2, and Business. My three clinic shifts are supervised
under Dr. Xie, Dr. Fan and Dr. Zhu and Jia. I was especially
excited to be under the supervision of Jia because she is
emphasizes the importance of palpation in treatment. But enough
about school for now, I'll get back to that later.
The Summer 2010 graduating class was our biggest so far. Four
students graduated from the Acupuncture program and three students
from the Oriental Medicine (or Herbs program as the students call
it, which is acupuncture and herbs together). It was a bittersweet
graduation because my good friend Nicole graduated. She is from
Charlotte, North Carolina. She also graduated the chiropractic
program with her husband in December and they are opening their own
business in Charlotte. Not soon after break started, I helped her
pack her belongings into her car so she could drive back home. As
students, we learn from class and each other and Nicole has taught
me many things. I plan to visit Nicole and Andy in North Carolina
and I will update you on their practice.
The other "herbal" students that graduated also have big plans.
Andrea has left for China. Dr. Cai helped set up a 1yr program for
graduates. The students go to China for one year and they teach
English a few hours a week and the other time is allotted to follow
clinicians in the University Hospital. It is not clear if the
graduates can needle, but it is an extraordinary learning
experience to see the integration of Western and Eastern in the
hospital. The students are paid to teach English and they can use
this money to travel on weekends or the two-month break they are
Margo also graduated from the herbal program and she has plans
to go back to her home country of Poland. From what Margo
understands, she might have to get a PhD to practice Oriental
Medicine, but it is very accepted by the people in Poland. However,
the European Union is also very strict in authorizing certain herbs
to be used in practice, so she might have to modify her formulas to
omit any animal products, however other herbs can be substituted.
These ladies are intelligent and great with patients, and I wish
them much luck in the future!
Note: The pictures are of Nicole and Mike (He graduated
MSAc and is practicing chiropractic and acupuncture in Naperville,
Ill.) and Andrea, Dr. Cai, Nicole, and Margo.
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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