The site visit wasn't as bad as everyone made it sound like it
would be. I think the university and the students were well
prepared for the members of the accreditation site team. The
program has made improvements since they last came and I feel
confident we met their standards. The program is still new and it
does have its growing pains (such that I felt with having to make
up an extra credit of Biomedical Science). However, the school
itself is prestigious and the teachers in the program are top
Speaking of top notch, our Western Nutrition class is great. Dr.
Keith Hartley, a National DC grad, teaches the class. He makes the
class enjoyable because he lectures in terms not above our head and
shares clinical information useful in real life encounters. There
are some classes that give all the facts but don't present them in
a manner that can be utilized outside the classroom, but not this
Nutrition class. It is enjoyable because not only do we learn but
also Dr. Hartley loves to answer questions.
We have learned about digestion and all the mechanisms involved.
We also have learned amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, and my
favorite, the vitamins. We discussed water soluble and fat-soluble
vitamins as well as minerals. We have talked about the different
forms of vitamins and why some brands are cheaper than others,
probably because they don't have the active form of the vitamin,
which makes it almost impossible for the body to utilize and
therefore is flushed down the drain.
Another neat thing we do is something called Journal Club. Dr.
Hartley used to do these in his undergrad days, and what they are
is just that, discussing journal articles. Each student gathers an
article based on nutrition that they are interested in and passes
it along to each student and Dr. Hartley. The next week, after
having read the article, the chosen student also gathers articles
that either support or disregard the topic. They then present the
additional articles to the class and everyone discuses the
For instance, Dr. Hartley prepped us with an article about the
Atkins diet. The next week he shared articles that were in favor
and against the diet. It is a fun way to keep up to date on
research and not have to do all the work.
So needless to say, now that the trimester is coming to an end,
it's the 14th week and finals are near, I won't mind studying
because I really like all my classes this trimester. I hope you all
had fun learning about my classes this trimester and let me know if
you have any questions.
The pictures posted are of Dr. Hartley teaching and Dr. Jia Xu,
my Friday clinician, who I have blogged about in the past.
Hey, everyone! I was thinking I would do a follow-up to last
week's blog about diet and cleansing.
In TCM, there are many foods you can eat throughout the year to
support your body and each organ system in its season. In TCM,
every food has a particular nature or "flavor" associated with it,
such as plum = sour, and carrots = sweet, and so on. They may also
have a temperature associated with them such as warm, hot, cool, or
cold. In each season, an individual would want to eat foods that
would support or nourish the organ system of the season.
For example, Summer belongs to the Heart and the Heart's flavor
is bitter. It would greatly benefit an individual to eat more
bitter foods. Eating light meals and "very little to no" cold foods
would be best. Since Summer is such a yang part of the year when
everything is in blooming and in motion, we don't want to hamper
our systems with cold food that would "put the fire out."
Many of the patients in clinic ask what they should eat. I try
to inform them that in TCM we believe one should not eat cold, raw
foods, dairy, or too much spicy food, and to minimize alcohol
consumption to one glass of red wine a day and remove coffee from
the diet. If you think of your digestive system as a pot of boiling
water just think what will happen when you consume cold foods; it's
going to steam and eventually could kill the digestive "fire." This
can lead to many bowel problems such as IBS, diarrhea, gas,
bloating, and even constipation. It really makes sense when you
think of it like that. The other foods I have listed may cause damp
or heat and these can cause imbalance in the body as well.
TCM, along with all the other natural health programs here at
National, believe the body should be balanced. If the body is not
in balance, a person is going to feel sick or have other symptoms
that disrupt their daily life. Fatigues, allergies,
gastrointestinal problems, headaches, can all be symptoms of a body
out of balance. One way to help your body ease back into balance is
with a cleanse.
By cleansing, one is "giving their body a break." With a whole
body detox, the major organ systems being cleansed are liver, GI
tract, gall bladder, kidney, bladder, lungs, skin, and lymph - and
even the mind. There are many detoxes out there, but it is best to
discuss which one is best for you with a doctor. Also, once you
start a cleanse, you should always follow through with the whole
program. The Liver goes through two phases in detoxification.
During Phase 1, enzymes called cytochrome 450 help detox many
substances such as caffeine, alcohol, or environmental toxins. The
enzymes cause a reaction in the liver that makes these substances
more water-soluble. In Phase 2, the substances from Phase 1 are
acted upon by more liver enzymes, which convert them into
water-soluble compounds that can be easily eliminated through the
urine, stool or sweat. If one does not follow through with the full
program, the toxins may not be flushed out of the body and cause
One must also include many vitamins and antioxidants, as well as
plenty of water, in the diet to support the body's functioning.
Including light exercise or meditation helps the body become more
efficient at eliminating toxins, and sweating always adds to the
removal whether it be from exercising or a sauna.
Eat to good health!
Ahh, spring, what a wonderful season to experience nature's
entire awakening after the long cold winter. This weekend was a
wonderfully warm one, almost too warm to be called spring. It was
in the 90s this weekend and I definitely wanted to enjoy it while I
could, in-between studying of course. My husband and I like to
enjoy the many parks around where we live. We get to enjoy nature
while getting a little exercise by walking around the lake. All of
the trees are green and a few flowers are starting to bloom and in
Chinese medicine the body is similarly renewing itself.
Springtime in Chinese medicine belongs to the Liver. The Liver
is associated with the element Wind. Wind is fast and free flowing
and it is said, "Wind is the leader of the hundred diseases." Many
disorders that occur in the spring are linked with Wind Heat or
Wind Cold. In biomedical terms, these may present as the common
cold, allergies, asthma, and even eczema or urticaria. Each of
these disorders may present differently in each person depending on
their underlying constitution.
Nevertheless, one way to support the Liver in springtime is with
your diet. Since Liver is in charge of free coursing the qi, we
want to nourish the yang qi with our diet. (In Chinese Medicine the
Qi is yang and the Blood is yin). We also want to strengthen the
immune system because old diseases can be provoked due to the
active liver qi in the spring. For example, if one did not eat
according to season, they may have caused injury that will manifest
itself in the spring. Foods to incorporate into one's diet during
the spring include scallion, garlic, chives, and kale; these foods
nourish the yang. One will also want to eat less sour food such as
pickles, plum and Hawthorne because too much will cause stomach
upset. Incorporate foods that are sweet in nature such as yam,
fruit, beets, spinach, and carrot. Sweet food does not refer to
candy, ice cream or pastries; these foods will lower your immune
system and cause damp in Chinese medicine. Also avoid cold foods
and heavy or spicy foods that can be detrimental to the Liver and
Cleansing may also offer your body and Liver benefit. Currently,
National has a Spring Cleanse meeting with support from one of the
naturopathic medicine teachers who has given ideas and options for
cleansing. I personally have used cleanses and I believe they are a
great way to jump start your spring, but I believe they should be
supervised by a physician.
National also offers a fresh foods delivery from a local farm
that carries organic fruits, veggies and meats as a great way to
start your spring off to a healthy start!
• Clinic Success
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• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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