In previous blogs, I have spoken about extra webinars or
seminars being very beneficial. I was able to attend the AOM pulse
club's webinar hosting Jimmy Chang. Jimmy Chang is well known for
being an expert in pulse diagnosis. The webinar was an hour long,
and since they are free, anyone can watch if they have Internet
Noel, the president of the pulse club, standing next to the
The webinar was an introduction in how to examine the patient's
hand, wrist and arm. These parts can tell the acupuncturist a lot.
For example, he spoke of feeling for temperature differences
between the wrist and the forearm, the color of the veins in the
wrist and forearm, and whether they travel up the arm or not. It
was fascinating and I have already started implementing the tactics
in my clinical experience.
I recently signed up for my other three boards. I would
definitely recommend signing up in advance because what I have
found, is signing up a month before you want to take an exam may
not result in many choices of days available. The other option is
to drive to a further location such as Chicago, Wisconsin or
Speaking of Indiana, a fellow soon-to-be graduate took his
Foundations exam and passed. He said the Acupuncture Strategy class
we take with HB Kim really prepares the student for the test. There
were a few cases of difficult terminology on the test. Different
schools, especially the Five Element schools of acupuncture, use
different terminology for excess or deficiency and the different
pulse positions. But these questions were few and need not be
I will be taking my exams in the next month and a half. I want
to finish as soon as I can because the state application process
can take several months. A past graduate friend of mine waited at
least three months for her state license. So be prepared, you may
have to wait. I am going to try and start the application process
and mail as many documents as I can in advance to hopefully speed
up the process.
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, it's only three weeks into the trimester, but I've been to
a weekend seminar each week! This weekend I went to an advanced
insurance seminar given by the American Acupuncture Council (ACC).
When I signed up to be an acupuncturist, I guess I didn't think
about all the work that goes on behind the scenes to actually make
a successful practice. As I have said in past blogs, my husband and
I are planning to open our own practice and as you can see we are
trying to gather as much information as we can so we can be as
successful as some of our counterparts.
I have to give props to National and Dr. Hodges, our business
planning professor, for giving us a firm foundation on how to
start, manage and market a business. However, there was a
lack of billing and insurance information given to us. I suppose
the lack is because in the state of Illinois, we as acupuncturists
cannot bill many health care insurance plans and expect a refund.
However, each state is different because they each have different
Scope of Practice Acts for acupuncture and therefore may have
better reimbursement. Also, if the health reform act is passed, we
will have more benefits such as equality in patient visits, but
don't quote me on that. That's how I understood it coming from the
presenter of the seminar. The presenter Sam Collins gave a great
presentation. He is a chiropractor and on staff of the AAC. He is
knowledgeable of our medicine and wants us to succeed.
As Sam said, many of the attendees will go home after the
seminar and re-bill many of their rejected claims because they now
have the correct codes and when to use them. As it was explained,
the insurance companies may reject a claim only because a
four-digit code should have been a five-digit one, or a date or
signature was missing. As a student, I was aware that
acupuncturists cannot give a diagnosis, but what I learned was I
needed a diagnosis code to bill. Therefore, the patient must have a
previous diagnosis, which in Illinois would be from their PCP,
before I can bill.
The seminar also clarified subjects such as worker's
compensation and personal injury cases, and when and how we should
expect to be reimbursed without being taken advantage of by
lawyers, patients or insurance companies. Sam also made us aware of
free websites and other tools to receive the proper
Well, I don't want to bore you with all things insurance, but as
I have said before, as a student we should be going to as many
seminars as we can and often we receive a discounted fee. Oh, and
it's a great meet-and-greet venue to exchange business
Knowledge is power!
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!
Hey there, it's that time again, the first week of school. Wow,
those two weeks flew by! I spent one of the weeks on my honeymoon
in Kauai. Oh what a wonderful place and such awesome weather. The
island was hypnotic, such lush green foliage and amazing waterfalls
and enormous waves. I completely forgot I had a life outside Hawaii
and I definitely did not want to leave. We went on an ATV trip that
toured us around areas where Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones were
filmed, we went hiking along the cliffs of the ocean and we swam in
waterfalls. But all good things must come to an end and I had to
leave the beautiful island.
Back to School…
This trimester is going to be a busy and intense one. I am
taking Patent Formulas and Herbal Formulas as well as Imaging, OM
Nutrition, Neurophysiology, and Senior Seminar IV - plus my clinic
shifts. Some students asked me why I was going to study when it's
only the first week back, but if you don't want to fall behind you
will keep up with your studies.
I did take Sunday off to go to an all-day Tung's Seminar. Dr.
Tung Ching has been referred to as "the greatest acupuncture master
who ever lived." He was born in the Shangdong Province in Northern
China. When the Communists occupied China, he moved to Taiwan. He
was a traditional Chinese physician famous for the miraculous and
spontaneous results he would obtain by using few needles. The
acupuncture points and techniques he used are unique and only a few
are similar to the Traditional Chinese Acupuncture points. His
points number over 700 and cover the whole body including head and
ears. From 1953-1975, there were over 40,000 patient visits in his
clinic. Master Tung's Points were a treasured family secret, handed
down and refined over generations. He was the first one to break
his family tradition and began to teach his acupuncture system to
outsiders. He selected all his students, 73 of them, without any
charge. He even offered boarding for those students if in need. Dr.
Chuan-Min Wang is one of the 73 students that gave the lecture I
We received a course in Tung's acupuncture taught by Jia at
National. I tried some of the points in clinic and received good
results so I decided to expand on the knowledge. At the seminar, we
learned to observe the spine, palm and face to look for signs of
excess or deficiency to help with our diagnosis. I really enjoyed
the class and I am excited to use the tools I learned, especially
for gynecology and pain syndromes of the shoulder and knee.
Tip: As a student, I recommend attending as many seminars
as you can fit into your schedule because they are often offered to
students at 50% off!
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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