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
Holy cow! It's the start of the eighth week and only eight more
to go 'til the big day. The weeks seem to fly by. I have already
applied for graduation and need to check if I have completed all of
my university and community service hours. It is best to start
early on in the program because before you know it you will be
Community service hours are volunteer work done throughout the
community, possibly helping with a relay race or at a food shelter.
University hours are done on campus and there are many
possibilities, such as helping with the recycle program.
We have a newly formed Pulse Club, founded by Noel Jensen, the
president of the AOM club. They have had two meetings that meet
random days to try to accommodate everyone's schedule. It can be
hard to find the perfect day because even though all the students
have night classes, some have morning or afternoon clinic shifts
that are hard to work around.
In the club, they are listening to a 5-part seminar by Jimmy
Chang, a well-known acupuncturist and expert in reading the pulse.
The seminars can be taken individually through the Lotus Institute.
Weekly free webinars on various topics are great for students.
There are a few of these free webinars online, just Google and sign
up on their email list to receive weekly reminders. I have watched
a few, namely on inflammation and pain, common pediatric syndromes
seen in clinic, and a fertility webinar.
More Good News
My husband recently received his score on the Part 4
chiropractic boards and he did very well. He scored high enough to
practice in any state in the U.S. Two states require 100 points
higher than the others and he surpassed that number. So now we have
a new dilemma of whether to stay in Illinois or move to a warmer
My husband and I.
It's usually not until the last few trimesters that students
start thinking about where they will practice and whether they will
open a practice, independent contract, work for another medical
professional, or continue their education. National does provide an
Alumni link on our website where other
professionals can advertise. Job offers, practices for sale and
even equipment for sale can be found. Acupuncture Today, a
publication for acupuncturists, has a classified section as well as
the state AOM organization. Many possibilities, it's just finding
the one that suits you is the hardest decision. Well, wish me
A recent grad that moved to China to teach and intern has made a
trip back to Illinois. Hopefully, next week I will have a blog
about her experiences in China.
Hello, prospective students! If you are new to my page you may
not know that I will be graduating in August. Yay!
About a month back I took the first of my four board exams. Some
states only require three, so to see what your state requires you
may go to nccaom.org and browse for state requirements.
Usually when you take the computerized board exam it will tell you
if you passed, but since the biomedical portion is so new they are
still working out kinks so they mail the results. It's grueling
because you have to wait 30 days. I received my results this week
and I passed! It is such a good feeling to see the
Besides my results, I had a good week in clinic. I had 16
patient visits to add to my tally sheet to meet my 450 total
patient visits for all my clinic shifts. I saw my continuing
patients but also a few new cases. I filled in for an intern who
usually sees PTSD patients. These patients receive specific
auricular points to help cope with their stress and anxiety. These
patients are so grateful because they are experiencing results and
receive the treatments for free.
Dr. Yihyun Kwon has started to see stroke patients in the
clinic. This is part of his ongoing stroke clinical study on the
results of acupuncture and herbs in stroke victims with any kind of
paralysis. I have been very lucky to be able to observe his cases
as he takes a history, needles and gives the patients instructions
on home exercises and dietary changes. Some of the points he uses
are not commonly used in clinic, as well as his needling method, so
it is fascinating!
On Thursday I had the pleasure of eating with one of my favorite
professors. She wanted to cook for a fellow acupuncture grad who
has treated her in the past. It was her way of saying thank you to
the grad and she invited me as well. We had a feast, as you can see
in the pictures. We had noodles, fried rice, tofu, shrimp, fish,
baby bok choy, dumplings, and egg drop soup. Oh my, it was so much
food and so yummy!
This weekend was of great importance for the school because it
was Homecoming Week. The celebration brings together many people.
All alumni are invited back to the school and often to an Oak Brook
hotel where the event is held. It is much anticipated by many of
the staff and planned for months in advance.
Many of the departments have tables where they display important
projects or improvements to that department. Dr. William Bogar,
chief of diagnostic imaging and residency, was at the hotel where
he displayed many of his radiographic findings in light boxes.
Dr. Bogar presenting radiographic findings at
Homecoming is a great time for students to mingle with fellow
graduates. The weekend is full of speakers with a broad range of
topics and a great way for alumni to earn CEUs. One of the speakers
was discussing the role of chiropractors as primary care physicians
and utilizing that role to serve those unable to afford health
care. The keynote speaker on Friday before the pig roast was an ND,
Dr. Joe Pizzorno, who spoke of the role of the natural medicine
professional in the new health care paradigm. That was a great way
to kick off homecoming.
Alumni can also mingle with old classmates and tour the
university to see all of the updates that have been occurred,
including the small garden planted by the ND students. The garden
contains many botanical plants as well as a few Chinese botanicals.
There were student opportunities, such as the chiropractic students
manning a clinic and giving free adjustments for alumni. Students
are able to attend some of the festivities and lectures for or a
I like the idea of homecoming because it is a great way to
mingle and make contacts with other professionals. It is especially
important for those soon to be graduating. My husband talked with a
few doctors and we will soon be contacting them to visit their
office. Many of the doctors like to share the wisdom they have
learned along the way during their careers.
Acupuncture is fairly new to the university, but, hopefully, it
won't be long before we see more acupuncture grads at homecoming as
well as speakers. Next year, I will be attending homecoming as an
Only 67 days till graduation!
The weeks keep flying by, probably because I am in clinic six
different shifts, which seems to make the days fly by. I would like
to take a moment to talk a little about a special case I have. I
started treating a patient this trimester that was recently
diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
Everyone is familiar with the word or diagnosis of fibromyalgia,
but how is it defined? Fibromyalgia is defined as a disorder of the
muscles and connective tissues. Patients have muscle pain, tender
spots, and they may have sleep disturbances, fatigue or depression.
Researchers have many theories of what may cause fibromyalgia such
as low serotonin levels, or an increased chemical called "substance
P" that can be caused both by stress or emotional trauma. Others
believe muscle "microtrauma" leads to fibromyalgia, and yet some
researchers believe genes play a role in how the body responds to
In TCM, we diagnose based on the answers the patient states
about their pain as well as their response to questions about other
bodily functions. TCM does have acute and chronic pain diagnoses as
well those that sound like they have nothing to do with pain.
However, we always diagnose the whole person and not just their
I started treating my patient at the beginning of May. Her
rheumatologist had just diagnosed her as having fibromyalgia two
weeks previously. During history taking, she said she also had
severe arthritis in her toes and knees. These disorders were
confirmed by either X-rays or bone scan. After completing an
extensive history, I came up with a diagnosis with my clinician and
began treatment. My point prescription was based on the pattern the
patient had that seemed to be causing the TCM organ disturbances
and thus the pain. After the treatment I discussed with the patient
how often I would like to see her and when I would reassess the
condition. I wanted to see her twice a week for three weeks.
After the two weeks she seemed to be getting great results. Her
pain went from a 5 on VAS pain scale to no pain but just soreness.
She also had no headaches, an improved mood and some increase in
energy. She has not had to take her Celebrex for pain control in
After such improvement, I wanted to incorporate stretches that
she could perform at home to relax the muscles and tendons. I
consulted some of my books but also my fellow chiropractic
students. They gave me instructions on how to perform the stretch
and how it would benefit the patient as well as the results I
should see. After explaining and showing these stretches to my
patient, I also gave her diagrams of the stretches with
instructions of how many reps, sets and amount of time to hold.
She was very grateful and appreciated the time I took with her.
This in turn made me feel good because that's what I look forward
to every day--helping my patients improve their condition as well
as allowing them to take control of their health.
After reassessing her pain condition I have concluded that we
can treat once a week and hopefully see enough improvement that we
can do monthly treatments to keep her energy
• Clinic Success
• Rainy Saturday
• Business Planning
• Bee Venom Therapy
• Kinesio Taping
• SACA Seminar
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