Archive for tag: qi

Another Trimester Comes to an End

This week marks another end to an NUHS trimester! As I've blogged previously, this is a time of endings and beginnings. Many classmates are preparing for the fall trimester. Some students are graduating. Others are deciding to begin a new adventure as an NUHS student! 

One event that happens near the end of every trimester is our clinic lottery. This is the time we sign up for our upcoming clinic shifts. It's called a lottery as it is based on seniority and chance. Groups divided by seniority enter the clinic room. Then, we draw numbers to sign up for our clinic shifts. Being a senior intern, this is a fun social time for me. 

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Signing up for the clinic shifts lottery.

When I began at NUHS, the AOM student population was small. It has grown significantly over the past couple of years. It continues to expand each trimester. As a result, I think the lottery can be a time of luck and chance for the new students in determining their upcoming schedule.

Looking back at this past trimester, I think I experienced a great deal of education in class and clinically. The experiences I had at Stroger Hospital were priceless. I feel the patient interactions along with advancements in my clinical knowledge exceeded my expectations. Being a rotating resident at Stroger's offers a new depth of understanding in patient care and application of AOM. I am thankful to be invited to continue this opportunity next trimester!

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Swans and their cygnets on campus.

I also experienced many increases in responsibilities in my home life. I was stretched by many circumstances. These circumstances helped me learn how to further balance being a student, resident/intern, mom, and more. I find it fascinating that some how everything always comes together. It seems the heaviest weight when trying to balance home life and school is my perception that they will be hard to balance. As I learned in Tai Chi, once I relax into the flow of events, everything comes together. It's when I resist or worry about them that stress prevails. So, much like "push hands," a Tai Chi exercise, when I relax into the flow everything balances each other.

Thank you for reading my blog each week! I look forward to sharing more with you next trimester!!!

Sending Love

Originally, I was writing this week's blog about AOM's ability to treat hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). I have chosen to post that in a future blog. After the events that occurred 7/20/12, the shooting in Colorado, I feel pulled to blog about this instead of HFMD. I didn't personally know any of the victims, but my heart has hurt for them and their loved ones. I have no interest in blogging about the man who committed the heinous act, but instead, the desire to support those whose lives have been shaken as a result of the evil act.  

I cannot begin to understand how the family members of the victims feel at this time. I cannot imagine how the girlfriends' of the men who died saving their lives feel. It overwhelms me to think about how the parents and loved ones of the children who died feel. I am unable to grasp how any of the victims struggling for life and their loved ones feel at this time. Every life in this world counts, regardless if another deems otherwise.

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As President Obama stated in his address, this event reminds us life is fragile and to hug our children and loved ones a bit tighter tonight. Sadly, the families and friends who lost their sons and daughters, spouses, best friends, and more cannot give that extra hug we are so fortunate to do today, and for many days to come. I feel in addition to giving our families extra love, we should also send loving energy and prayers to those hurting. 

In AOM, we are taught a form of medicine called Qi Gong. An aspect of Qi Gong involves meditation. In one of the meditations, we are guided to go up to Universal energy. For some, Universal energy means God, the Dao, Divine Spirit, and so on. One's underlying belief system can be personal to them and should not act as a barrier to participate in the meditation. The important thing is to go into absolute good Universal energy and meditate in it. While meditating in this energy field, we are taught to think the word or image of love. Once our whole being and meditation space is filled with love, we are taught to project this love to a specific area for the purpose of healing. I believe it would be extremely beneficial for all of us to do this meditation daily, sending the loving energy to those suffering from the effects of the Colorado shooting. Since love is infinite and limitless, we are taught we can send love to all those it is the highest good to receive. 

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If you're open to it, please give this meditation a try! I believe, even the smallest ripple affects the waves that move the ocean. We can each be a ripple that unites for the good of humanity! If you have any questions about the meditation, please email me at kimberlyleupold@student.nuhs.edu

Midterm Management

This week is midterm week, so many students are feeling a bit stressed. Fortunately, we have come to appreciate the calming effects of AOM treatments and therapies. During this time of the trimester, we often use points for aiding in the ability to study, stay focused, and remain relaxed.

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Some of these points include si shen cong, which are four points at the top of the head, DU20 at the vertex of the head, and yin tang, a point on the face in the center between the eyebrows. Si shen cong and DU20 are displayed in the picture. A combination of points often referred to as "four gates" is also very powerful at reducing stress that tends to occur during midterm week.

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Auricular points are also very popular for reducing stress. My favorite auricular point for reducing stress, feeling centered, and staying focused is shen men, which is pictured.

Since we study this medicine, we know what points to use and when to use them. We know when they might be contraindicated due to other diagnoses present. The nice thing is since there appears to be an infinite ability to choose and combine points, there is always a way to use acupuncture to reduce stress. 

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In addition to using acupuncture to stay relaxed and focused, herbal formulas are very helpful in promoting stress reduction. Two of my favorite formulas that help reduce stress depending on Chinese medicine diagnosis are xiao yao pian (pictured) and Chai hu jia long gu mu li tang.

In AOM, a big result of stress is a pattern called liver qi stagnation. In short, that means a blockage of qi flow primarily in the meridian (liver) that deals with frustration, depression, or feeling overwhelmed. This can lead to many other problems in other channels. The spleen channel deals with anxiety, so many times it's useful to treat the liver and spleen channels together depending on how the patient presents in the clinic.

Xiao yao pian harmonizes the liver and spleen meridians, among other actions, which greatly aids in reducing stress and promoting concentration. Chai hu jia long gu mu li tang works to sedate and calm the spirit. It also creates a very calming effect. 

In addition to acupuncture and herbs, many of us use Tai Chi, Qi Gong and yoga to keep ourselves centered and balanced. These modalities combine breath, movement, and visualization to promote healthy qi flow. This aids by bringing our mind, body and spirit into a place of balance and well-being.