"Healing--remembering who we were made to be despite all of our
life tragedies/trials, and allowing ourselves to feel unconditional
love, which consists of compassion, living without fear,
forgiveness, and a deep experience of peace that leaves you with
joy and stability." Dr. Anthony Godfrey.
NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The
Opening night of "The Gathering" at the Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was amazing as
Dr. Godfrey eloquently discussed his interpretation of the "vis,"
the CORE of naturopathic medicine. It almost seemed as if Dr.
Godfrey was speaking directly to my heart as he made his address
during the opening of the conference.
Sidney and I with Dr. Godfrey.
"The Gathering" is an annual event hosted at different
naturopathic schools. It was originally created as an event FOR the
students. "Elders", experienced and successful NDs from across the
country/world, assemble to provide inspiration, wisdom, and hope.
The weekend was definitely packed with tons of sessions where the
elders had ample opportunity to penetrate into the hearts/minds of
everyone around them.
Dr. Paul Epstein and I.
Dr. Paul Epstein is a very well known ND who studies the
connection between the mind and body. He also happens to be the
classmate and very good friend of our amazing clinician, Dr. Julie
Martin! Dr. Epstein was able expand upon Dr. Godfrey's opening
message. It made me realize how powerful and strong our minds,
past, stresses, etc., have on our health--short- and long-term.
Throughout all the hustle and bustle of getting through classes
and studying for board exams, it is hard to focus on WHY we chose
this profession in the first place. Anyone and everyone who chose
the ND route but can only think with their mind and not their heart
will end up failing in practice. "The Gathering" was a place of
rejuvenation and revival for me, and I know that is exactly what it
was for my colleagues who are also in clinic. Through all the
botanicals, homeopathy, diet changes, etc. that we recommend to our
patients, we lose sight of the root and core of our medicine which
is the vis--the healing power of nature!
Dr. Louise Edwards and I.
On our campus, Dr. Louise Edwards is our Dr. Godfrey and Dr.
Epstein. She has been a beaming light and continues to carry the
torch for what defines us and green allopaths. She is such an
amazing person that has done so much for our new program; and after
"The Gathering," I have learned to really appreciate her more! When
you start the program, make sure to soak in as much goodness from
her as you can just like I have. She will be a constant reminder
for you of the physician you SHOULD be when you become a
Overall, I had the most unforgettable, inspiring, and
life-changing experience and it was worth the 9-1/2 hour drive,
getting through Toronto traffic, and the lack of sleep! :)
Blissor: "The Gathering." Thank you for changing my life!
CAM Day was a huge success!! CAM stands for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine, which represents all the degree programs
offered at National. I am an executive board member with the
Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA), and in past
years, we've had SACA Day with vendors, raffles and speakers to
honor chiropractic and give students a chance to take a break from
classes. Well, since our school is more well-rounded in terms of
offering so many different degrees that actually help with viewing
health more holistically, we changed the name so that we can honor
alternative medicine in general.
The team that I worked with also consisted of members from the
AAAOM Club and the SUN, the naturopathic club. We worked on getting
vendors such as biofreeze, chirotouch, Douglas Laboratories,
Metagenics, etc. The administration also supported our efforts and
gave excused absences to all the attendees after noon. We had
Cynthia Vaughn come in to speak about National Health Reform and
our profession in general. Cynthia Vaughn is a chiropractor from
Texas, which was one of the moving components involved in getting
chiropractic care in the VA hospitals!
It was an all day event that all the students responded
extremely well to. We expected maybe 100 to 150 students, but we
had over 300 students come to learn about multiple products, eat
lunch with us, and listen to the speaker! We also had raffles that
took place for the people that visited all the vendors. I was so
proud of the team I worked with, and although the process was hard
to juggle alongside school and life, it was well worth
This week, I want to discuss the topic of getting involved with
school beyond playing the student role. There are many clubs to
join that help with studying, adjusting techniques, community
service, and help you join in a bigger cause for the profession
like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club. SACA (Student American
Chiropractic Association) helps with relaying the information that
comes from the government into the school.
Viewing your place in your profession simply as just getting
through school is very ignorant. Unfortunately, it's not that
easy...even though getting through school is extremely difficult.
You have to prepare yourself for the REAL world. All the simulated
patients, practicing, having clinicians help you with diagnosing
and treatments in clinic, etc. are only the beginning. But
alternative medicine is something beyond the techniques that we use
to treat our future patients. All the professions at our university
suffer from scrutiny from the public and unfortunately from the
government. Getting involved in clubs like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM
club brings those issues to light and you can take part in pushing
your profession further. That is why I have been involved with SACA
for more than two years now.
The difference between getting involved in graduate school
versus undergrad or even high school is that QUALITY trumps
QUANTITY. Always be sure that the club you are joining is for a
GREATER purpose! Do not join a specific club just to add it to your
resume if you truly are not interested in it. It will waste your
time and other people's time, and trust me, time is something you
NEED. You know yourself more than anyone else so DO NOT compare
your involvement with fellow students. What you can handle may be
too much for someone or not that much for another person. The first
mistake people make here at school is that they become overly
ambitious and forget that they are a student! Your education should
always take precedence over the clubs you choose to be a part of,
so that's why you should only join the clubs that mean the most to
you and in the end, will benefit you as a future doctor.
I hope this helps you decide how to manage and balance your life
here at NUHS. It's really important to not spread yourself thin!
It's even more important to know when to say NO. Have a great week
and unpack those sweaters...the warm weather is gone! :(
The rain is finally going away and the humidity is creeping up.
I hate walking outside and instantly feeling like I've been
sweating for hours! Eww! We had one exam this week but it was a
scary one. Clinical cardio respiratory. It's intimidating because
you have to dig deep all the way from 2nd Trimester and remember
some big ideas about action potentials and all that fun stuff. It
also didn't help that I remain distracted and lack motivation to
After the exam was over, I felt confident and that I ended up
being pretty prepared for it. I was really grateful for Ryan and
some classmates that helped me understand some major concepts. It's
great that we can lean on each other when the understanding isn't
Homecoming arrived and that also meant we got off of school
Thursday afternoon and all day Friday! It was awesome (homecoming
and no school)!
Executive board members of SACA at
I went to homecoming to work the SACA booth on Friday, and it
was great to be familiar with some of the vendors there that are
available for me as a future clinician. I also got to meet with
some doctors and discuss some of my goals and aspirations as a dual
DC/ND. The vendors also gave away awesome free stuff that is always
a plus as a student. I got a sacroiliac belt, some fruit bars,
pens, topical ointments, vitamins/supplements, and free bags! SACA
Day, which is tentatively scheduled for early October, will also
feature some of the same vendors, so stay tuned!
This weekend, Ryan and I were so excited to head to Michigan for
some menu tasting and some relaxation. Ryan also told me he would
give me part I of my birthday gifts! (My birthday is June 26th). I
was so excited because I couldn't guess why he would have my gift
at his house in Michigan.
When we got there, he had me close my eyes, and there was
Delilah! He got me a kitten because I always talked about how we
should get a "Delilah" since we have a Samson. (Samson &
Delilah are from the Bible). I was so surprised, and I fell in love
right away. We both love animals and Delilah is a big ball of crazy
but she's so much fun. We can't wait to add Bernard (St. Bernard)
to our family one day too!
Overall, it was a bit of a stressful weekend because wedding
talk isn't the best relaxation tool. We've been so overwhelmed
lately with the finances, busy work, and time commitment it takes
to plan a wedding from a long distance. I am just trying to keep up
with school, working on our future marriage and life together, and
staying sane all at the same time! Only two months away! I can't
believe it, but I am so excited for the day to finally
Next week: I will include a recipe for an amazing salad that I
came up with about two months ago. It's fresh, tasty, and full of
Tip of the week: Lean on each other. Your classmates can be a
good source of knowledge!
What a whirlwind week for me! From Wednesday on, all I can
remember is being extremely sick. It hit me suddenly on Wednesday
at 3am! I remember it so vividly because I woke up in a crazy sweat
with my head pounding as I felt like my eyes were about to pop out
of my head! Yes, it was that crazy. I had sniffles Monday and
Tuesday but I just assumed with this season that it was my annoying
allergies. I was very wrong.
I tried to go to class but when I got up to walk, I felt a wave
of vertigo and threw up! The next three days, I attempted to go to
some classes but ended up being sent home by professors because I
was not at all in a functional state. Ryan was amazing and took
care of me. He tried to get me to eat, but my fever was so high
(102º to be exact), I couldn't keep food in at all. I was
miserable. I tried to pick up notes to study since I could not go
to class but instead ended up taking sleeping aids to put me to
sleep because at least I didn't have to experience all the misery
of my flu. Yes, I believe I had the flu. Honestly, as I am writing
this, I am still coughing, can't hear out of one ear, and my nose
is crazy, but I'm at the end of it. I do see the light at the end
of the tunnel! I feel one thousand times better than Wednesday
through Friday, but oh my, this is a tough little virus.
Saturday, I had to suck it up and help with our SACA annual yard
sale! We did really well considering the weather was bi-polar, and
I was grossly sick.
So unfortunately, that sums up my week. Now I am somewhat
stressed with all the catching up I have to do! I still don't feel
100% me and healthy, but it doesn't matter. Midterms are
surprisingly near and my blood pressure is rising gradually with
the anticipation. Sixth Tri is full of classes where, well you just
have to get over the embarrassment of "pretending" and just do it
because the professors will make you.
When I say pretending, I really mean pretending. One of our
classes consists of interacting with simulated patients and
pretending to be their physician while they mock symptoms they have
had. That's not the "pretend" part that I get nervous about, but it
always feels weird to have to pretend to be each other's
patients/doctors, and that's another class we have. Not a big deal
but something I still have to get over. It's probably due to my
semi-shyness. I am actually shy! People don't believe me but I am.
It feeds into the lack of confidence I have when approaching these
classes that strip you down so that you can be exposed - exposed of
the weaknesses that might hold you back from being the best doctor.
I am trying to not let my personal comfort zone issues get in the
way of experiencing that.
Other life updates I can fill you guys in on other than health
Our wedding invitations are 90% close to being done and mailed
out! Exciting! However, it seems like there's a new guest being
added every day! Sunday, we met with our future landlords for the
house we found that we're renting, and we are getting closer to
signing some papers and making it ours for the next three years!
It's an amazing vintage house on a ½ acre of land in Glen Ellyn
where we can raise our miniature family (dog and cats) before we
make the final and big move to Michigan where we will eventually
practice. I am so excited for what else God decides to throw on our
plate! I just hate waiting!
Have a good week everyone and fill up on that vitamin C, zinc,
and selenium! It'll help keep those nasty flu bugs away. I
can't wait to be healthy again!
Tip of the week: In school, work on stripping yourself down so
that you can make sure you can soak in all the goodness that will
make you the best doctor for your future patients. Some people come
in NOT confident enough and some people are TOO confident. Find
your happy medium!
Thank goodness the Anatomy exam is OVER! I did great on the
practical, but the written exam had other plans in store for me. I
did not do as well as I wanted to but after my day of sulking, I
realized that I do have time to make it better. I have two more
exams that can make this first exam grade basically disappear so
that is what I am counting on. As if the pressure was not already
there, it is even higher now because I need to erase this grade
that I got.
I talked to many people and not everyone was entirely satisfied
with their grades, which I know doesn't justify my grade at all.
However, it just sets in my reality that everyone has problems and
not everyone is perfect. In the beginning, I struggled a lot with
my insecurities because many people have more schooling and
experience than me. I was afraid that I would not be able to
represent myself positively, but everyone has their weak areas so I
do not focus on what I lack anymore but what I have to work
Studying so much every day and every weekend, I haven't been
able to see my mom. She recently got back from California, so on
Wednesday my brother and my mom came to visit me. It was the best
study break that I took. They brought me food (which is a plus),
filled my car with gas (which is AMAZING), and took me out to
dinner (which is the BEST). I was able to speak my language
(finally!), hug my mom, and just see my HOME through them. I loved
every minute of it but as soon as they left, I went straight back
to the library to continue my life as a student.
Thursday rolled around and the stress of the first Biochemistry
quiz faded as the White Coat Ceremony came. Everyone got all
prettied up and wore their crisp, well-ironed white lab coats. I
did not know what to expect, but it was over all very rewarding.
The ceremony began with the reading of excerpts from different
fellow classmates' essays that were written at the beginning of the
trimester. We all saw each other in a different way. We did not see
each other merely as people trying to survive Dr. James
Christiansen and Dr. Marc McRae's courses, but as future doctors.
It was a reality check that one day we will be able to call
ourselves doctors, and it was an exciting feeling for me at least.
Getting my nametag with my full name that actually fit on a little
nametag was even more exciting, especially after they told us to
put the tags on our white coats to make it even more official.
Thursday night was not productive at all and it was a good
thing. A good friend invited us over to her beautiful home to make
dinner together and hang out and we had a great time. We talked,
laughed, and did not study! It is a relief to be friends with
people who are not uptight people who shun study breaks. It's so
imperative to surround yourself with people that still know how to
have fun beyond all the books.
The fun didn't stop on Thursday night but Mardi Gras Ball
arrived on Friday night and I'm so glad it did not get cancelled!
It was a great time! Seeing people you see every day in a more
relaxed setting was great, because although we're all in medical
school, it definitely does not mean we're boring or do not know how
to have a good time. Friday night disproved all of that!
If you can't tell by my constant rambling, this week was
event-filled with its disappointments and highs but with no
regrets. I learned to take it easy when I need to, but definitely
study hard when needed, too. Education should be kept as a high
priority but do not let it define who you are.
Tip of the Week:
Attend school events (Ex. Mardi Gras Ball). It will make your
experience more rewarding.
Have a great week everyone! Keep me in your thoughts as I head
first into Dr. Christiansen's Cell Phys exam this week! EEEK!
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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