Before I begin to talk about the title of this week's blog, I am
happy to announce I did well on all of my exams. Yeah, go me! I try
not to freak out before tests, but this trimester is pretty
As I mentioned last week, the AOM club was hosting the film
"9000 Needles" here at the school. The proceeds were to benefit the
gentleman, Devin Dearth, on whom the film was based. The movie was
offered on two days and I helped with the first day. We had a nice
turnout of about 40 people and I think Wednesday's turnout was
similar. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported the film
and our profession.
The movie was a great way to see how effective Traditional
Oriental Medicine (TOM) integrated with western medicine could be
on an individual who may not have much hope with western medicine
alone. The documentary takes the viewer on a heart-wrenching
journey of Devin Dearth (a former bodybuilder) and his family's
conviction to get the best care and rehabilitation after Devin's
debilitating intracerebral stroke. After insurance claims were
exhausted, their only option was to continue rehabilitation and pay
out of pocket. The catch: it would cost the family $150,000 a month
to continue care at the state-of-the-art rehabilitation center he
Devin's brother investigated other alternatives and came across
TOM. A hospital in Tian Jin, China, integrates TOM with western
medicine to achieve incredible results. From the day he stepped
into the hospital to the day he left 10 weeks later, he received
nothing but the best care. Everyone from the doctors to the
cleaning staff treated him like family. They gave great moral
support and really wanted him to recover. For example, Devin could
barely move any of his limbs when he arrived at the hospital and on
the first day after receiving acupuncture with electric
stimulation, herbs, cupping, and tui na, he was able to lift his
right leg four inches off the bed! How incredible to see after
other therapies could hardly come close to that success. I quote,
"He received more treatment in one day than in weeks in the U.S."
I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but Devin does make
significant recovery and I think it proves that oriental medicine
and western medicine can achieve better results together. I hope
this film is enlightening for those who are doubtful of our
medicine as it proves success.
Pictured above (L-R) are Dr. Yurasek, Dr. Kwon
and Noel Jenson, president of AOM club.
After the show, Dr. Yihyun Kwon, assistant professor of
acupuncture and oriental medicine, gave a presentation on stroke.
Dr. Kwon, who attended Kyung Hee University for his PhD, wrote his
thesis on stroke and has significant knowledge on how to treat
stroke victims. Dr. Kwon always wondered why so many stroke victims
in Asia have been successfully treated but not in the U.S. Many of
the victims are not aware of the benefits acupuncture and TOM have
to offer. Dr. Kwon wants to extend his knowledge of how to treat
these patients to our students at National. Dr. Kwon, with help
from our assistant dean, Dr. Frank Yurasek and other fellow
professors have started a stroke case study. We are looking for
those individuals who have had a stroke between 1.5 months up to a
year ago that would like to participate in a 12-week program.
So please spread the word and contact Dr. Kwon at
630-889-6608, firstname.lastname@example.org for more
During our last week of the tri, Dr. Yurasek was talking about
bee venom therapy. I know he uses it in his practice and at a
hospital where he also works, and he has had success with it. I
later went and sat in on his class to watch his presentation.
Apitherapy, as it is called, is the medicinal use of products made
from honeybees. The main product of discussion was the bee
venom. Bee venom therapy has been practiced in China, Ancient
Greece and Egypt. But growing scientific evidence suggests
that various bee products promote healing by improving circulation,
decreasing inflammation and stimulating a healthy immune response.
Amber Rose, PhD, AP, LAc, LCSW, is a licensed acupuncturist who
has written a book, Bee in Balance, and provided bee venom therapy
free to patients in need. Charles Mraz has made the therapy
more popular by the publishing of his book, Introduction to Bee
Venom Therapy. Mraz learned apitherapy from Bodog Beck who brought
apitherapy to the United States from Hungary. Beck studied under
Austrian physician Phillip Terc, who published the "Report about a
Peculiar Connection between the Bee Stings and Rheumatism." Mraz
cured his arthritic knees with bee venom therapy at the age of 15.
He later bred the honeybees and treated patients in New York. Dr.
Yurasek was able to converse with Mraz at the age of 93, and he
told Dr. Yurasek how apitherapy works.
Bee Sting? Bee Venom is administered by trained therapists
(American Apitherapy Society) in the form of a direct sting by the
bee. The venom is injected into the skin. Acupuncturists use the
bee to sting certain acupuncture points, which will aid in the
recovery of the patient. The venom bladder pumps for about 5
minutes. There is a specific protocol to follow when initiating
treatment and the therapist is always prepared if an allergic
reaction takes place.
Dr. Yurasek has treated approximately 30 people and has had
success especially with a boxer who was only able to move his
joystick on the wheelchair he was in. After about 6 treatments, the
gentleman was able to comb his hair and dress himself. Eventually
he was able to stand. Every individual is different and will have
different results. However, studies suggest that BVT may improve
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis, bursitis,
tendonitis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue
I am very excited about this therapy and want to learn
more. Dr. Yurasek is trying to get approved to lead his own
study at our school with the Department of Research. To learn more,
you can visit the American
I am on break right now and trying to read the books I haven't
gotten to yet. Sounds nerdy but I am always looking for new ways to
improve my needling style. But, I also made time for some fun at my
girlfriend's wedding and celebrating my one-year wedding
See you all next trimester!
I am currently taking Neurophysiology of Acupuncture with Dr.
Kwon. He used to be the assistant dean of the program and but now
focuses on teaching. He is a full of so much knowledge and loves to
share with his students.
We have focused the majority of our class around pain. A large
percentage of the patients we see have some form of pain, and
acupuncture successfully treats the pain. But, how does it work?
Both my patients and I are wondering the same thing. Dr. Kwon
explains how the insertion of the needle activates small nerve
bundles - vascular, cutaneous or muscular. Activating the larger A
beta, gamma or delta fibers that travel faster and "close the gate"
pain centers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, then prevent
transmission to the brain as pain. The slow C-fibers can't relay
the feeling of pain. Acupuncture also releases endorphins, which
attach to opiate receptors. This blocks the neurotransmitter and
the transmission of the painful stimulus.
We discuss other disorders that cause pain such as headache but
we don't limit our discussions to just pain. We also discuss
movement disorders such as stroke, Parkinson's and Huntington's
Dr. Kwon requires us to write a research paper based on research
we have accumulated via the Internet. My topic is stroke. I have
learned how it is diagnosed and treated in eastern and conventional
medicine, but I am more interested in the rehabilitation
post-stroke. There are many benefits if stroke rehabilitation is
started within a few days to a week. Rehab is needed for at least
three months. Benefits are seen if patients have continued rehab
throughout their life and it may prevent future strokes.
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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