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.
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.
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
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!
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and Happy
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
• What is AOM?
• PTSD Clinic for Veterans
• Pedatric AOM
• Learning Through Clinic
• Journey into AOM
• Hospital Residency
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