After completion of last week's NUHS exit exams, it was time for
some fun! This weekend my family and I went to the Brookfield Zoo.
Since I was a child, I have enjoyed going to the zoo. In addition
to seeing the animals, this weekend many companies, families, and
volunteers were decorating their sponsored Christmas trees.
Lining the walkway of the zoo were hundreds of Christmas trees.
While we were walking around, we had the opportunity to see Girl
Scouts and Boy Scouts hanging handmade ornaments on the trees. The
kids smiled with excitement as they hung their carefully crafted
I have included pictures of some of my favorite handmade
ornaments. Many of the decorations had a theme of recycling and
environmental awareness. Two of the pictured ornaments are a
decorated container and a decorated soda bottle. What creative
ideas! I'm excited for my family to make these, too!
We didn't stay until dark, but saw thousands of holiday lights
ready to be lit once the sun set. This is the season for Brookfield
Zoo lights. The zoo is normally a wonderful family environment, but
with the holiday spirit in the air, patrons were even more friendly
I felt fortunate to have this opportunity to relax and laugh. I
have learned through my scholastic journey that it is crucial to
stay focused on studying and schoolwork, but it is equally
important to take time to have fun and enjoy the journey.
My mom is a retired college professor. Growing up, I remember
her telling me at the start of each semester, she would tell her
students that they needed to study and keep up with the class work.
She would follow that with sharing they also needed to do at least
one fun thing a week to help them balance out all the hard work. I
have integrated that as one of my personal philosophies!
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July
celebration. Thank you to all who have and are serving our country!
Thank you for helping preserve the independence we all recently
This 4th of July, I had the pleasure of celebrating
at a lake with my family. Being surrounded by family and water
caused me to think about the earth's elements and how they relate
to AOM. A major school of thought in AOM is the theory of the Five
Elements. This is a very involved theory.
One aspect of the Five Elements is that all the acupuncture
meridians are linked to elements. For example, the kidney and
urinary bladder meridians are considered the water element. As a
result, these meridians can be treated with water elements and hold
the nature of water in many ways.
By being able to be treated with water, these meridians can be
tonified (strengthened) or sedated (weakened) using the element of
water. All primary meridians contain points that are considered
water points. Using the Five Element Theory, these water points can
be used for many functions, including affecting the kidney and
urinary bladder meridians.
Additionally, being surrounded by the water element is believed
to strengthen the kidney and urinary bladder meridians and thus
strengthen their functions. For example, since I spent much of the
past week on a boat as well as swimming in natural bodies of water,
my kidney and urinary bladder meridians were tonified.
I also ate a fair amount of seafood, which is also believed to
have the water element. In AOM, food often has the element of its
environment. This food also aided in the tonification of the kidney
and urinary bladder meridians.
Furthermore, the kidney meridian is believed to contain our
prenatal jing. Jing is our primal energy that we have when we enter
this world. Much of our jing is believed to be derived from our
parents. Jing is similar to the biomedical understanding of genes
and DNA. I believe that as a result of being with my family all
weekend, my kidney meridian was further tonified. I believe it
could be tonified as a result of being with my family because we
have a comforting and loving relationship. As a result, I believe
this is nurturing to my kidneys since it houses my prenatal
Just as we had our first snow fall of the season this week, NUHS
had its first week of the classes for the new trimester. The AOM
student body feels like it is growing in a positive way with every
new trimester. I had the pleasure of meeting the new clinic AOM
observers this week. I also have had the ability to meet additional
AOM students throughout the campus.
Every trimester I seem to notice the same thing about AOM
students--we love coming to our classes and clinic. Simply by being
around my current friends/students and the newer students I met, I
could feel the rooms being filled with enthusiasm. This positivity
creates such an invigorating energy throughout the AOM department.
I find a little extra boost in positivity is always pleasant to be
I think some of my favorite things about returning to classes
are reconnecting with all my friends, returning to clinic and
receiving the syllabi from my new classes. I always feel a sense of
excitement during the first classes of a trimester. I find myself
filled with a new sense of anticipation when reading each class's
syllabus, as I realize within a few months, I'll have a grasp on
all the knowledge outlined in it.
While it was wonderful to have returned to NUHS last week, I was
rather happy to have the extended holiday weekend the first week
back. It has helped with the transition of being on vacation
mind-set to returning to a studious train of thought. It has also
been very helpful with my schedule change in my home life. From my
experience and those shared of my fellow students, returning to
school after being on break can sometimes feel like a rather large
adjustment for those at home, especially children. Fortunately,
this extended holiday weekend allowed for extra time to
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