39 Days to Go

Oh my gosh, I just counted the days to graduation and it leaves me with two feelings--a feeling of dread and one of joy. Dread, and I am not going to fib, because next few weeks are going to be tough with so much studying that has to get done between my six clinic shifts. Joy, because after six years of schooling (undergrad and master's), I will be able to share with the community everything I have learned by applying it to my patients.

At the same time, as goes with most graduates, I wish I had a year of residency to follow a master in my field. In the next few weeks I will be on the search for someone whom I can shadow once a week to increase my skills, especially in herbal medicine and needle technique. I have spoken with a few of my instructors and they have done something similar and found great useful knowledge from their master herbalist or acupuncturist. I know there is one acupuncturist in California, whom I might contact, that specializes in the pulse. His name is Jimmy Chang, but he does charge a fee to follow him, so I'm keeping my options open.

Naturopathic Medicine

As a student at National, you have the option to use the DC, ND or MT clinics at a low cost or for free. I advise going to see the other medical students in their clinics so you can see what their patient visit consists of, as well as what they treat and how they may benefit one of your patients. National prides itself on integration and prepares students on how they may incorporate it into their practice.

I began to see an ND student at the beginning of the trimester to help me with a cleanse. She gave me advice of what to take and eat and what to eliminate from my diet, but she has also incorporated some constitutional therapies for me, one of which is hydrotherapy.

2011-07-13_StudentFellow ND student helping me with treatments.

Hydrotherapy is the use of alternating hot and cold water to bring about homeostasis to many bodily functions. My intern has specifically tailored my treatments to boost my immune system and increase my parasympathetics to reduce my feelings of stress. The treatment usually lasts an hour and consists of alternating hot then cold towels over the chest then the back. Usually, during the cold phase, electrodes are placed on certain areas of the body. The patient is then wrapped tightly for a certain amount of time. The time is chosen by the intern to meet the patient's individual needs. After my treatments, I am extremely relaxed. I believe they have helped me manage my stress and keep my immune system high so I can better fight off any colds during this extremely busy trimester.

Trust me, I love acupuncture and know it is great for relaxation and boosting the immune system, but I also know there are other options that can be explored, like naturopathic medicine or Tai Chi or yoga, etc.

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