It is a both a privilege and a requirement that all students in
the chiropractic and naturopathic programs take a one-day
field-trip to the Standard Process factory and farm in Palmyra,
Wisconsin. What is Standard Process, you may ask? It is a
whole-food-based supplement company that is committed to providing
quality products for distribution through health care
professionals. Standard Process has one of the largest organic
farms in the state of Wisconsin, and they are continually improving
their agriculture methods to ensure the highest quality organic
crops to utilize in their hundreds of different whole-food dietary
On Wednesday, we embarked for our trip to Palmyra and were
greeted with such kindness from the executives and employees at the
factory. We were walked through the various different processes of
production: from the biochemistry labs that test for quality of the
crops, to the state-of-the-art tablet-cutting and capsule-filling
machines, to the assembly line where the products are all packaged
and shipped at 2,000 orders per day. It was truly an incredible
display of innovative technology meeting the core fundamentals of
whole foods and quality nutrition.
Our afternoon consisted of a series of breakout sessions with
various different speakers and educators from the Standard Process
company. We learned about a handful of clinical findings that
correlate with nutritional deficiencies. For example, did you know
that those little white marks that can occur on your fingernails
may be indicative of a zinc deficiency in your diet?! We were also
educated about some of the core supplements that Standard Process
has to offer and when to prescribe them to certain patients. It was
a very informative and exciting day for our interns!
In other news, I actually am one of the finalists for a
scholarship being awarded by Standard Process! The four top-rated
videos on YouTube will be awarded scholarships this week at the
NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference) in Washington,
DC. The video topic is: "The most important thing I want to teach
my patients," and I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the importance of
living a healthy lifestyle! :) Voting is open until Wednesday by
clicking the "thumbs up" under my video.
I look forward to writing all about NCLC next week! DC, here I
In an effort to continue to expand my skills and techniques, I
traveled to Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend to take the Perinatal
Care: Webster Certification course of the International
Chiropractic Pediatric Association's diplomate program. This first
module offers the opportunity to learn and become certified in
Webster Technique, a method of diagnosis and treatment for
correcting dysfunction in the pelvis of pregnant women.
Good morning from the beautiful city of Chicago!
The Webster Technique has been taught by Dr. Jeanne Ohm for over
30 years, and she has truly changed the lives of so many women with
whom she has worked. The concept of Webster is to optimize pelvic
function, alignment, and movement, in order to potentially decrease
the difficulties associated with pregnancy and labor. The protocol
consists of analyzing the direction in which the sacrum may be
fixated, increasing motion in the pelvic joints, and affecting the
correlated soft tissue structures such as muscles and ligaments.
The technique has tremendous success with easing pain and
challenges associated with pregnancy, so women are always searching
the online database for local Webster providers. It is exciting to
have earned my certification and be able to work with this
population of patients! :)
The entire seminar was so inspiring. We discussed the changes in
obstetric care over the decades and how chiropractic care can offer
tremendous relief for women seeking alternative options during
their pregnancy. It was so empowering, realizing that I am going to
make these important changes in women's lives, and in the lives of
their future children.
National has always been a very science-based chiropractic program,
aiming to train its students as primary care physicians. Although
we don't focus too much on the traditional philosophy of our
profession, this weekend taught me how important it is to keep an
open mind about this topic. Some chiropractic schools really focus
on the concepts of innate intelligence and subluxation, and
although National does not, Jeanne Ohm truly made a valid argument:
Despite what each of us believes, she kept emphasizing that "Life
is intelligent," and there is no reason to argue with that.
Two cells can come together and develop into a fully functioning
human being. Pregnancy and birth have been occurring in our species
since the beginning of time, and it is important to realize that
the body truly does know what it is doing. Life IS intelligent, in
that even before the development of modern medicine, miracles have
been occurring naturally and without all of the interventions we
use today. Maybe it's time that we take a different approach to the
way we bring infants into this world, and the way in which we
support a woman's natural ability to carry and care for a
It's a pretty fulfilling experience to get to 8th Trimester, be
an intern in clinic (finally!), and know you've made it through the
majority of the curriculum in the chiropractic program. What they
forget to tell you is how much time you'll be spending outside of
the classroom studying radiology!
Now that I have passed courses evaluating imaging of
arthritides, trauma, congenital deformities, tumors, and chest and
abdominal pathology, they roll it all up into a big ball and say,
"Here! Apply everything you've ever learned and read this black and
white picture to tell me exactly what is wrong with this person."
Here I am thinking, "Wait, you expect me to actually remember 2
years of radiology courses?" The answer is definitely "Yes," and I
am conquering this challenge every day in 8thtrimester!
I am currently enrolled in two very important radiology classes:
Positioning and Report Writing, as we like to call them. In one
course, we spend hours in the X-ray lab, setting up the machines,
calculating the numbers, and developing the films in the dark room.
In the other course, we also spend hours in the X-ray lab,
but instead reading the images in front of us, identifying the
pathologies present, and writing reports that summarize our
findings and possible diagnoses. It's quite a lot of
responsibility, developing the skills to take the X-rays accurately
so that we may see all the pertinent anatomy, and then to identify
the patient's underlying pathologies so that we can take the proper
measurements to resolve or manage their condition.
I will admit, I spend a lot of time with my nose buried in
Yochum [Terry R., a 1972 NUHS grad] and Rowe, the bible of skeletal
radiology textbooks. I'm excited to use my laterality markers (with
my initials on them!) when shooting X-rays, and the Supertech is
the coolest sliding, calculating toy for goofs like me. All of this
studying will pay off soon, especially for Parts 2, 3, and 4 of
National Chiropractic Boards that I will be taking over the course
of 2015! Wish me luck! :)
Well, we knew winter was going to sneak up on us at some point.
It seemed that a January without snowfall was too good to be true.
According to the records, this weekend's blizzard was the 5th largest snowfall Chicago has ever seen.
We're a lot tougher than we look in the Midwest! It was great to
see people coming together to help salt sidewalks, shovel cars out
of the snow, and share rides around the city. I never thought I'd
see the day when I had to walk down the street to purchase
a shovel that I needed just to be able to drive my car!
Oh, the challenges of living in the city of Chicago!
When we have snow days at school, you have to take full
advantage of the extra time away from class. I spent the past few
days catching up with close friends, exploring new places in the
city, and enjoying great food. For my Type A personality, it feels
great to have a break from the normal routine of class and
Coming up this week, I'm looking forward to getting together
with The Ohio Club members at National to gear up for events in
2015. It's exciting to share a common connection with fellow
students interested in practicing in the same state and area,
especially to support each other when making tough decisions about
our futures! I hope that over the next few years, other state clubs
are formed at National and can offer a sense of community for other
students from different areas.
On another positive note, congratulations to the Clinic team
(Trimesters 8, 9, 10) who won the dodgeball tournament at Tri-Games
on Friday night! Although I was not in attendance, I heard the
Clinic team rocked the court!
I'm looking forward to seeing the sunshine again this week and
hopefully no more snow here at NUHS! :)
Recently at NUHS, I attended a weekend course taught by The
McKenzie Institute USA. This educational foundation has
developed a method to diagnose and treat patients suffering with
musculoskeletal pain originating from the spine and extremities.
Robin McKenzie was the founder of this institution, which began
researching disorders of the musculoskeletal system in 1982. Since
its beginning, McKenzie Method was utilized primarily by physical
therapists, but it has in recent years become more accessible to
(Photo courtesy of The McKenzie Institute, New Zealand)
One of the most unique features of McKenzie Method is the
concept that patients have the power and responsibility to help
treat themselves through exercises and lifestyle modifications.
This also adds a component of compliance to each patient's
treatment plan, assuming that they will actively work to help
correct and maintain proper posture and movement patterns. McKenzie
treatment involves the patient in actively caring for their
symptoms, which has an empowering effect that is able to eliminate
pain for each person in the end.
I was enrolled in the Part A course, the first of the series
toward certification that is geared toward focusing on the lumbar
spine. With our class size of about 20 people, an even mix of both
students and practicing doctors, we were able to work hands-on with
two patients who were coming in complaining of low back pain. We
practiced running through a McKenzie-based physical examination,
taking a thorough history with the patient, and going through the
diagnostic protocol that are used to help identify the
classification of different pain presentations.
Once we were able to identify the type of mechanical back pain
we were dealing with, we proceeded to work on exercises with each
patient to help reduce and relieve their pain in different regions.
The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was to see both of the
patients leave the seminar with a reduction in their low back pain
as well as in their radiating pain.
Getting to work with current DCs throughout the seminar was such
a tremendous experience, and there was much clinical knowledge to
be gained from these doctors! I even had the opportunity to meet
Dr. Anthony Hamm, the current president of the American
Chiropractic Association! In a couple weeks, we will be returning
to complete Part A of the seminar.
Now that I am an intern in clinic, I'm beginning to hone in on
what seminars I hope to take in the next year and what types of
additional skills I want to obtain for practice. At National and in
the Chicago area, there are so many tremendous seminars and
certifications available for us as students. With all of the
developments in the field of medicine, it will be valuable to have
other skill sets such as McKenzie to offer to my future patients
when I am in practice.
Last Friday night was our tri-mixer where all of the students
were invited to come out and meet each other. As an officer for
Student Council who helped plan the event, it's always fulfilling
to see tons of students come and participate in social events! The
cold and the snow can't hold us back from enjoying a weekend night
out with friends (like my friend KC and I)! :)
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.