Archive for tag: life

Graduation

This is my last week of classes! I'm filled with anticipation and excitement for what this next chapter will bring. I am thankful to all of you for reading my blog. I appreciated your emails and feedback. Writing this blog has been a highlight of my week over the past two years. While graduating feels exhilarating, leaving this blog, NUHS clinic and classes, and daily interactions with my friends/students feels bittersweet. 

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The parting from NUHS feels bittersweet because in many ways NUHS has become like family. Looking back at the past couple of years, I have spent almost as much time at NUHS as I have spent at home. Then, when I have been home, NUHS has been prevalent through homework, studying, and papers. NUHS was a dominant role in my life, so now that I'm graduating, I realize all the parts of NUHS I will miss. That solemn feeling is partnered with gratitude for all NUHS has offered me. I have learned information and experienced opportunities more than I imagined upon enrolling at NUHS. I desired to work with pediatric patients, PTSD patients, in a hospital setting, write a scholastic blog, learn AOM information rarely found in books, and much more. But, I assumed many of these experiences would come once I graduated. I am so thankful I have experienced all these and more, allowing me to bring a much broader skill set into my practice.

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Now that the chapter of earning my MSOM is closing, I have a new career chapter opening. I will be going into practice treating all conditions. I am specializing in pediatrics, fertility support, and pain management. I have many goals set for this chapter of my life. My primary goals are along the lines of teachings I read many years ago by Mother Teresa; they are very simple: "Love strongly, do as much good in this world as you can in as much time as you have. Remember, love first begins by taking care of those at home." These teachings are the main foundation of all my other goals in life!

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Thank you again for reading my blog. I have enjoyed writing it each week. Next trimester, Dia will be the new AOM blog writer. An introductory blog was written about her a few weeks ago. I am sure you will find her blogs very informative and helpful! 

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I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!!!

NUHS Film

Recently, NUHS did some filming for an informative video regarding the university and its programs. A part of the process included filming NUHS students in the various programs offered by the school. Students were interviewed about their perception of NUHS, what the programs offer, and how they see their future as a result of their education at NUHS.  

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I was fortunate to be an AOM student interviewed for the film. The filming process was very professional. Students went through an initial round of interviews. After the preliminary interviews took place, students were contacted if the production company decided to use them for the film. Those students chosen to be filmed were given a date and time that worked with everyone's schedule for the filmed interviews. All students were to arrive hair, make-up and wardrobe ready.  

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My filming day was last Thursday. When I arrived, the make-up artist touched up my hair and make-up. Next, it was time for the filmed interview. The filming took place in front of a green screen. The director and crew were very welcoming and created an instant feeling of comfort. The comfort level greatly encouraged a genuine atmosphere for the filming process. 

During the interview, a spectrum of questions was asked regarding NUHS. After the interview was finished, the production crew and NUHS marketing representative thanked the interviewees and the interview was complete. 

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Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews and filming. It was an enjoyable process that further helped me understand my perception of NUHS. Hopefully, this film will help prospective students have a deeper understanding of NUHS, and how it feels to be a student!

The Beauty of Now

Recently, one of my clinicians, Dr. Frank Yurasek, was having a rather powerful discussion with me regarding living in the "Now" and how it relates to patient care. He quoted a wise author Eckhart Tolle, who wrote Realizing the Power of Now. Dr Yurasek quoted a passage from Tolle's book that I will paraphrase: Our frustrations derive from living in the past, our anxiety derives from living in the future, and thus the only place to be living is in the now. Seems easy, but as many can relate, many of us have a foot in yesterday and a foot in tomorrow, forgetting to stand in today.

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Clinically, I have found this to be very true with patients. Many cling to the life disruptions that have brought them into patient care, or the fears of what's to come as a result of current circumstances. I am learning it is sometimes equally hard to help a patient let go of the belief system that is keeping them sick, not just helping their bodies heal.

Through acupuncture, we have points to help ground, as I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. We have points and herbs to help the physical body heal, points to help create mental shifts, and so on. But, from my perception, these points work best in tandem with the patient; the patient has to be ready to let go of the disease or illness and ready to step into the present moment.

This doesn't mean that if the patient doesn't heal, they are preventing it. What I mean is the healthiest responses I've seen and been educated about are the ones where the patient let's go of attachment to the disease or illness and its possible outcomes, and becomes more attached to the richness of the present moment. I've watched patients experiencing chemotherapy truly living and enjoying life to the fullest. These patients are free from emotional pains of all they have already experienced and are not worried about what tomorrow brings. These patients never let cancer define them. They let themselves define their lives, not their circumstances. These patients constantly remind me how important the present moment is and to stop living for tomorrow or yesterday.

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I know for myself, I seem to have constant radar up doing my best to keep myself in the present moment. Often on my free time, my mind will instantly jump to a paper I need to write, or dishes that need to be done, or some other form of responsibility I am putting upon myself. But, what I realize and remind myself of in those moments is nothing is more important than what I am doing in the present moment. Those other responsibilities will still be there and will be accomplished at the appropriate time.

I think our minds use living in the past or future as a form of procrastination from living in the present moment. If we place ourselves into a different aspect of time, we don't have to experience what is in front of us in real time. The thing I have come to learn, though, is there is little that compares with being fully in the moment and experiencing all it holds. Sometimes it's blissful, and sometimes it's filled with heartache. But those feelings are all part of here and now, allowing us to choose who and how we desire to be in this exact moment of time. 

Rightfully so, I think we as students and our patients often have fears and worries driving us to be anywhere but in the present moment. As a result, many of us proceed on autopilot and miss out on so much of life's journey. We push through circumstances that are rough in an effort for tomorrow to be better. Or, we miss out on the momentary bliss because we are stuck in pains of the past. All of this is justifiable and can be a reasonable way to live; I think it is just a less fulfilling way of life when the present moment holds so many gifts and wonders. 

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Dr. Yurasek also shared with me a theory of living a purpose directed life versus an emotionally directed life. I think this is like a lock and key to bridging living in the present while knowing you're on a path for your future. Living a purpose directed life helps prevent the anxiety about the future, as it assures us that what we are doing in the present moment will support us tomorrow. I feel listening to our emotions in each moment as guideposts to direct us is key if what we are doing is on course with our purpose. But, being driven by emotions from the past and fears of the future will never lead us to the tomorrow were dreaming of, or most importantly, the fullness of today.

Years ago I saw the comic Family Circle and it said something to this effect--yesterday is called the past because it's gone, tomorrow is called the future because it's not here yet, today is called the present because it is a gift. This has always stuck with me and feels so true!

With the beautiful weather this month, I've been spending as much time as possible outdoors. The recent blooming of the flowers reminds me if we allow things to be in the present and let nature run its course, many times, beauty will result. We don't have to think about these flowers in December for them to blossom today, they just happen naturally in their perfect time.

Transitions and Change

Congratulations, Miravone, on your pregnancy!!! What an exciting time for you and your family! I am very happy for you! As Miravone is going through an amazing time of transition and change right now, it appears many people are also going through a time of transition and change in different ways. In AOM, this is understood as a very healthy and natural process with the coming of spring. 

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I have been noticing many of my friends, colleagues, and family members experiencing a rapid amount of transitions right now--some regarding health, others relationships and others school. Some are experiencing transitions in all three. I think we are all faced with transitions in life; it's as factual as the flow of yin and yang in AOM. But, I think what makes a transition easy or difficult is our willingness and ability to move and change as the transition enters our life. I think sometimes we can get lost or stuck in the transition and never take the jump to make the change. I think the fear of the jump is usually bigger than the actual leap of faith.

I know countless students have expressed feeling this way trying to decide whether to begin the AOM program. Since it is so different from what many people have grown up to understand in a conventional medical society, jumping full force into AOM can be a big decision. I know it was for me. I finally just had to jump and see what happened. I think that holds true for me in most areas of my life. I can spend all day philosophizing on the "what ifs", and thinking about all the possible outcomes, but that's where it's so easy to get stuck and never take a leap of faith. I've learned that jumping, after a healthy level of transition and decision-making, is the only way for me to follow my dreams. 

In the past I have jumped and realized it was a path to lead me to another path. This time, with AOM, I have realized this jump was the one that lead me to where I belong. I think had I kept thinking about all my fears and "what ifs" a few years ago, I would still be living the life I had then and missed out on so much. 

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In acupuncture, we have a treatment called the Buddha's triangle. It is a set of three triangles that create a very grounding effect. This treatment is often used in clinic when a patient is in a place of transition and seeking help with direction. Through the acupuncture energetic response, patients tend to gain more clarity in the paths they seek to take. One of the triangles is shown in picture above.

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Years ago, a mentor of mine constantly told me "change is good" during a very difficult time of my life. The optimist in me desired to believe her, but at that time, those words were very hollow. I was also young and had little proof of this reality. She explained to me how everything had to change in order for new growth to come. She showed me just as new buds must sprout out of the ground to someday make flowers, we, too, must have the courage to allow ourselves to blossom into who we are meant to become. Little did I know then, how true her words were and how much I would grow to believe them. They are also a core belief in AOM, showing the ever-flowing change of yin into yang, and yang into yin. They are the Universal and internal changes that move us into new beginnings.

AOM Pinning Ceremony

This week was an exciting week for AOM students. For the first time since the AOM program began, acupuncture and oriental medicine students were given a pinning ceremony.

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From my perception, the pinning ceremony is much like a rite of passage acknowledging the students' advancement into the NUHS clinic. To me, it signified the authenticity of our medicine and the honor we must hold in it while administering it to our patients. I felt very fortunate to be a part of this ceremony.

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My dad came to watch the ceremony, which meant a great deal to me. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I am very close with my family and having my dad there was very special. My mom was at a conference in Hawaii so she was enjoying sun and sandy beaches instead.

I think it is beneficial when NUHS holds these types of events. These ceremonies allow us to include our family in the development of our education, which helps bridge understanding in what we are learning and accomplishing.

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The ceremony was very nice. There were three speakers, James Winterstein, DC, president of the university, Frank Yurasek, PhD (China), assistant dean of AOM, and Bruce Hodges, DC, associate professor of clinical sciences. Hyundo Kim, PhD, the chief AOM clinician, and several professors including Hui Yan Cai, MD (China), PhD (China), and Jia Xu, MSOM, LAc, were also at the ceremony. It was a privilege having these faculty members at the ceremony on behalf of us and our program. 

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I felt very motivated when I received my pin, shook the president's hand, and then wore the pin on my lab coat for my dad to see. I felt motivated to continue to study hard, honor my patients and their well being, apply myself to AOM, and apply AOM to my patients in the best possible way. I am not sure how to explain how a pin can help enhance these feelings, but somehow, the pin is filled with inspiration.