I hope everyone is having a nice week. I hope you had a chance
to try the meditation from last week's blog.
This week's blog is what I originally had planned for last week.
As you may remember, one of the focuses in AOM is pediatrics. As a
result, I have been researching a prominent childhood disease
called hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). I was inspired to
research this subject because it is a very common childhood illness
in this area. Local MDs report many cases in the past few months;
several have been severe. After interviewing a number of
pediatricians and researching the disease, it appears there is no
treatment (Tx) targeting the virus through biomedicine. There are
many ways of managing the symptoms (sx), such as fever reducers,
painkillers and ointments, but nothing that targets the virus. In
AOM understanding, biomedicine is treating the branches of the
virus--the resulting sx, but not the root--the actual disease.
If you are not familiar with HFMD, according to the CDC, HFMD is
a virus caused by a group of viruses that belong to the Enterovirus
genus. The Enterovirus genus includes the viruses: polioviruses,
coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. The most common
cause of HFMD in the United States is Coxsackievirus A16.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is also a form of HFMD (more predominate in
the Asia-Pacific region). HFMD occurs most in children and infants
under five years of age. Adults can also acquire the disease, but
that is rarer and may coincide with an underlying immune
deficiency. "There is no specific treatment for hand, foot and
mouth disease. However, some things can be done to relieve
The most common initial sx of HFMD are fever, general malaise
(fatigue) and a sore throat. About two days later, blisters inside
the mouth and throat appear accompanied by rash and/or blisters
around the outside of the mouth, on the feet, hands, elbows, knees
and genitalia. Abdominal discomfort and loss of appetite may also
occur. As a result of these sx, the child may stop eating and
drinking. Severe sx of dehydration can quickly occur. Recently,
local cases in the area have lead to dehydration and cause for
Fortunately, AOM has many treatments for HFMD. Many
research studies show AOM is successful at treating the root and
the branch-virus and the resulting sx, of HFMD. One of the main
reasons AOM is successful at Tx HFMD is because it looks at the
individualized pattern diagnosis for each patient. While the AOM
practitioner understands the biomedical element of HFMD, the
practitioner focuses on the patient's entire health along with the
new symptoms. As a result, the patient is treated holistically,
resulting in both viral and symptom treatment.
As discussed in previous blogs, pediatric massage called Tui Na
is very beneficial in treating many conditions, especially
pediatric conditions. Acupressure and acupuncture have also been
shown to create significant results in the Tx of HFMD.
The most prominent form of AOM Tx of HFMD is the application of
herbal formulas and pastes. Research has shown significant results
using the application of oriental herbal formulas, both
biochemically and in clinical trials. Since AOM views each patient
individually and treats the patients diagnosed pattern, not the
diagnosis of HFMD, there are several recommended formulas.
Additionally, each formula can be modified for each individual
case. For example, if the child is having difficulty drinking and
eating due to pain, herbs to help express and heal the blisters and
reduce the pain may be added. If the patient is having excessive
itching, herbs to minimize the symptom of itching can be added. In
theory, these herbs aren't added symptomatically, but instead
through a differential diagnosis that takes both symptoms and the
patient's current and underlying constitution into consideration.
This is one of the many benefits of oriental medical herbs. This is
also the reason patients should only take oriental medical herbs
under the care and direction of an oriental medical herbologist.
Great consideration must be given to every herb advised in order to
create a beneficial, harmonious result.
"Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)."Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. N.p., 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 3 July 2012.
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.
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
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
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
As I blogged about previously, a very unique aspect of being an
AOM student at NUHS is the ability to be a resident at Stroger's
Hospital. I'm a resident at Stroger's and am finding it to be a
priceless experience! Learning within a high paced hospital setting
is invaluable. I am discovering a variety of ways to offer patient
care that are not found in many textbooks.
Our clinician, Frank Yurasek, PhD, MSOM, LAc, shares many
treatment strategies with the residents that he learned first-hand
by ascended AOM and TCM masters from China.
Mary Thuermer is also a resident at Stroger's Hospital. This is
her second rotation at Stroger's. Additionally, she is graduating
this trimester. Since she is nearing graduation, she has been a
part of many educational experiences and resources offered by NUHS.
From what I gather, she feels her residency at Stroger's has been
monumental in her NUHS learning experience.
In addition to the information Dr. Yurasek shares with us, we
are learning a great deal of information and clinical skills
through our patients. Since this is a fairly new program at
Stroger's, we feel extremely fortunate to have new and recurring
patients trust us with their AOM care. This is a very new
experience for most of our patients, so it feels very rewarding to
be able to be a part of this journey into holistic medicine,
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
A valuable aspect of being a NUHS student is the integrated
health care programs at our school. Our school has master's degree
programs in acupuncture and oriental medicine, doctoral degree
programs in chiropractic and naturopathic medicine, and a
certification program in massage therapy. As a result, some
students choose to dual enroll in a couple health care programs.
This broadens their knowledge base and scope of practice. An
additional benefit of being dual enrolled is that some of the
course credits, such as bioscience, transfer between
In AOM, there are a fair amount of dual enrolled students. One
student, Karen Rejano, DC, is a graduate of the chiropractic
program and currently enrolled in the acupuncture program. She
began the acupuncture program before graduating the chiropractic
program. She is a wife and mom along with all her scholastic
Karen is now in practice as a doctor of chiropractic DC.
Somehow, she finds methods to balance her work, school and home
life. Here is a video of her sharing her experience as a dual
This week has been an important week in
my family's life. After 39 years of being an HVAC engineer at the
same location, my dad retired. My dad's retirement has come almost
exactly two years after my mom retired from being a nursing
professor at a college. My mom instructed for 30 years. Being a
part of the celebration of these events has taught me how important
it is to choose a career path in life and put 100% effort and
dedication into that path.
Over the years, I've watched my parents love their professions,
through the easy and difficult times. My mom experienced being a
lead person in a union strike while my dad was part of many company
changes. I think one of the most profound impacts observing my
parents and their careers has taught me is to stand in your dream
and stay loyal to it. My parents fell in love with their intended
career path from the moment they were in college. Funny enough,
that is also when they fell in love with each other. In a couple
weeks, my parents will be celebrating their
40th wedding anniversary!
I feel very thankful to have been modeled by two driven and
dedicated parents that base much of their morals on trust, love,
faith, and loyalty. As a result, it has taught me to do the same.
While AOM is my second career path, I feel my first career was
leading me to this path. It was the doorway to this career. I just
had some other paths to walk before being able to realize this
role, fully. In addition to being heartfelt role models, my parents
are by far, my biggest supporters in my education and goals.
After learning my dad retired, I also learned he took another
engineering position at a new location. After 39 years of dedicated
engineering, he still desires to continue in his career path, even
when he clearly has the ability to stop! I find this very
impressive! My mom also took on a new job after retiring, but it is
100% volunteer work! To me, this shows there are always more dreams
and goals to create.
It has been very moving to be in the midst of these endings and
new beginnings for my parents. It is making a powerful impact
watching my two lifelong role models venture into new chapters of
their lives. Additionally, it is very interesting to watch two
people finish more than a 30-year career path in one direction
while I am surrounded by NUHS students preparing to begin their
paths. I wonder what the future holds for all of us. I believe it
will be influential and adventurous!
Ge gen is a very traditional and longstanding Chinese herb often
used in herbal formulas. This herb is also referred to as kudzu
root. It is a very common and reliable herb used for a variety of
conditions. It is one of my favorite herbs in Chinese
According to HB Kim, LAc, some of the main actions of ge gen are
to release wind-heat and wind-cold, relax muscles, vent rashes,
clear heat and generate fluids, lift yang qi and stop diarrhea due
to damp-heat or spleen qi deficiency, and treat hypertension. It is
a sweet, acrid and cold herb. Its pharmaceutical name is pueraiae
radix. It belongs to the herbal category; disperse wind-heat (p208,
What this means in more of a biomedical understanding is, this
herb has the ability to treat a common cold from a variety of
causes. It can help reduce body aches caused by colds. It also has
the ability to relax muscle, especially when the tension is in the
upper body. Additionally, it can greatly reduce muscle tension due
Ge gen has the ability to treat rashes. Since it "vents" the
rash, it may first cause an exacerbation of the rash, helping
release the pathogen that has initiated the rash symptom, and then
clear the physical manifestation of the rash.
This herb is very useful in the treatment of diabetes in
combination with an MD's prescribed care. This herb helps to
generate fluids internally, decreasing excessive thirst. Ge gen
also helps in the metabolic function, aiding in the balance of
insulin levels and hunger.
Since ge gen raises the clear yang qi, primarily related to the
digestive system, it has the ability to increase the metabolic rate
and diminish hunger dependent on the root cause. Often patients who
have a slow metabolism and are unsuccessful in weight loss even
when following a prescribed diet plan, benefit from the addition of
Research has shown that ge gen has the ability to reduce
hypertension. It also has a beneficial effect on coronary artery
Lastly, one of my favorite aspects of ge gen, is it is able to
strongly produce these functions as a single-use herb, as well as
in an herbal formula. Many times herbs are best used in formulas,
as the combined actions of the other herbs produce the greatest
benefit. Ge gen is able to produce great benefits and is unlikely
to create any side effects alone, or in the combination of other
While ge gen has many significant benefits, never begin using
this herb, or any other herb until discussing it with your health
Works Cited: Kim, HB.Minibook of Oriental Medicine. 1st ed.
Anaheim: Qpuncture, 2009. Print.
• What is AOM?
• PTSD Clinic for Veterans
• Pedatric AOM
• Learning Through Clinic
• Journey into AOM
• Hospital Residency
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