Archive for tag: campus life


In previous blogs, I have spoken about extra webinars or seminars being very beneficial. I was able to attend the AOM pulse club's webinar hosting Jimmy Chang. Jimmy Chang is well known for being an expert in pulse diagnosis. The webinar was an hour long, and since they are free, anyone can watch if they have Internet connection.

Noel, the president of the pulse club, standing next to the webinar.

The webinar was an introduction in how to examine the patient's hand, wrist and arm. These parts can tell the acupuncturist a lot. For example, he spoke of feeling for temperature differences between the wrist and the forearm, the color of the veins in the wrist and forearm, and whether they travel up the arm or not. It was fascinating and I have already started implementing the tactics in my clinical experience. 

Thinking Ahead

I recently signed up for my other three boards. I would definitely recommend signing up in advance because what I have found, is signing up a month before you want to take an exam may not result in many choices of days available. The other option is to drive to a further location such as Chicago, Wisconsin or Indiana.

Speaking of Indiana, a fellow soon-to-be graduate took his Foundations exam and passed. He said the Acupuncture Strategy class we take with HB Kim really prepares the student for the test. There were a few cases of difficult terminology on the test. Different schools, especially the Five Element schools of acupuncture, use different terminology for excess or deficiency and the different pulse positions. But these questions were few and need not be worried about.

I will be taking my exams in the next month and a half. I want to finish as soon as I can because the state application process can take several months. A past graduate friend of mine waited at least three months for her state license. So be prepared, you may have to wait. I am going to try and start the application process and mail as many documents as I can in advance to hopefully speed up the process.

Halfway to Graduation

Holy cow! It's the start of the eighth week and only eight more to go 'til the big day. The weeks seem to fly by. I have already applied for graduation and need to check if I have completed all of my university and community service hours. It is best to start early on in the program because before you know it you will be graduating.

Community service hours are volunteer work done throughout the community, possibly helping with a relay race or at a food shelter. University hours are done on campus and there are many possibilities, such as helping with the recycle program. 

Pulse Club

We have a newly formed Pulse Club, founded by Noel Jensen, the president of the AOM club. They have had two meetings that meet random days to try to accommodate everyone's schedule. It can be hard to find the perfect day because even though all the students have night classes, some have morning or afternoon clinic shifts that are hard to work around. 

In the club, they are listening to a 5-part seminar by Jimmy Chang, a well-known acupuncturist and expert in reading the pulse. The seminars can be taken individually through the Lotus Institute. Weekly free webinars on various topics are great for students. There are a few of these free webinars online, just Google and sign up on their email list to receive weekly reminders. I have watched a few, namely on inflammation and pain, common pediatric syndromes seen in clinic, and a fertility webinar. 

More Good News

My husband recently received his score on the Part 4 chiropractic boards and he did very well. He scored high enough to practice in any state in the U.S. Two states require 100 points higher than the others and he surpassed that number. So now we have a new dilemma of whether to stay in Illinois or move to a warmer state?

2011-06-27_HubbyMy husband and I.

It's usually not until the last few trimesters that students start thinking about where they will practice and whether they will open a practice, independent contract, work for another medical professional, or continue their education. National does provide an Alumni link on our website where other professionals can advertise. Job offers, practices for sale and even equipment for sale can be found. Acupuncture Today, a publication for acupuncturists, has a classified section as well as the state AOM organization. Many possibilities, it's just finding the one that suits you is the hardest decision. Well, wish me luck.

A recent grad that moved to China to teach and intern has made a trip back to Illinois. Hopefully, next week I will have a blog about her experiences in China.

9,000 Needles, Vol. 2

Before I begin to talk about the title of this week's blog, I am happy to announce I did well on all of my exams. Yeah, go me! I try not to freak out before tests, but this trimester is pretty challenging.

The Documentary

As I mentioned last week, the AOM club was hosting the film "9000 Needles" here at the school. The proceeds were to benefit the gentleman, Devin Dearth, on whom the film was based. The movie was offered on two days and I helped with the first day. We had a nice turnout of about 40 people and I think Wednesday's turnout was similar. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported the film and our profession.

The movie was a great way to see how effective Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM) integrated with western medicine could be on an individual who may not have much hope with western medicine alone. The documentary takes the viewer on a heart-wrenching journey of Devin Dearth (a former bodybuilder) and his family's conviction to get the best care and rehabilitation after Devin's debilitating intracerebral stroke. After insurance claims were exhausted, their only option was to continue rehabilitation and pay out of pocket. The catch: it would cost the family $150,000 a month to continue care at the state-of-the-art rehabilitation center he was attending.

Devin's brother investigated other alternatives and came across TOM. A hospital in Tian Jin, China, integrates TOM with western medicine to achieve incredible results. From the day he stepped into the hospital to the day he left 10 weeks later, he received nothing but the best care. Everyone from the doctors to the cleaning staff treated him like family. They gave great moral support and really wanted him to recover. For example, Devin could barely move any of his limbs when he arrived at the hospital and on the first day after receiving acupuncture with electric stimulation, herbs, cupping, and tui na, he was able to lift his right leg four inches off the bed! How incredible to see after other therapies could hardly come close to that success. I quote, "He received more treatment in one day than in weeks in the U.S."  

I don't want to spoil the movie for you, but Devin does make significant recovery and I think it proves that oriental medicine and western medicine can achieve better results together. I hope this film is enlightening for those who are doubtful of our medicine as it proves success.

Top -drsPictured above (L-R) are Dr. Yurasek, Dr. Kwon and Noel Jenson, president of AOM club.

After the show, Dr. Yihyun Kwon, assistant professor of acupuncture and oriental medicine, gave a presentation on stroke. Dr. Kwon, who attended Kyung Hee University for his PhD, wrote his thesis on stroke and has significant knowledge on how to treat stroke victims. Dr. Kwon always wondered why so many stroke victims in Asia have been successfully treated but not in the U.S. Many of the victims are not aware of the benefits acupuncture and TOM have to offer. Dr. Kwon wants to extend his knowledge of how to treat these patients to our students at National. Dr. Kwon, with help from our assistant dean, Dr. Frank Yurasek and other fellow professors have started a stroke case study. We are looking for those individuals who have had a stroke between 1.5 months up to a year ago that would like to participate in a 12-week program.  So please spread the word and contact Dr. Kwon at 630-889-6608, for more inclusion criteria.

9,000 Needles

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All those wondering about the effectiveness of acupuncture should save the date, 3/15 and 3/16 at 7pm to come to National University to see the famous film "9000 Needles." The film follows a 40-year-old stroke victim who after exhausting all of his other options travels to Tian Jin University in China, to see what acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has to offer in aiding his recovery. After the film, one of my favorite professors will be speaking about his experience with stroke. Dr. Yihyun Kwon received his DAOM in China and wrote his thesis on stroke.

So don't miss it!!  The film will be showing in our Student Center. Hope to see you there :)

Psychopathology Midterm

Hey there, everyone, well I made it through my psychopathology midterm.  It was as I predicted, hard. There were 10 questions, three of which were essay and the others short answer.  One of the short answer questions was a seven-part essay with in-depth descriptions in each part. We had two hours in which to complete the task and I, like always, used the whole time but definitely could have used another half hour. I guess I am just a slow test taker.  

Herbal Seminar 4 Midterm

My second test was on Friday and even though I have studied throughout the trimester, I still feel like I didn't have a grip on all of the info, however, the test wasn't that bad. Herbal Seminar 4 also was essay and short answer questions. Essay questions are practical in this part of our education because they simulate a real patient. These herbal seminar classes take herbs to another level because not only do we need to know the function of the formulas (in pinyin), but also we now have to memorize every ingredient and dosage. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining; I am preparing those future herbal students for what is to come.

So much coffee has made it difficult for me to sleep and a few nights I don't fall asleep 'til 4:00am, which is frustrating. So I did my body a favor and went to get acupuncture myself and Dr. Cai helped me modify a few formulas to suit my TCM pattern diagnosis. 

Elizabeth -Granules

Granules are an addition to the herb room. Granules are raw herbs but better because they are already cooked and all one has to do is dissolve them in hot water and drink. So of course, with my hectic schedule I prepared them in granule form. They look and smell so good. A plethora of colors!  But don't worry we still offer raw herbs and patent formulas.

Spring Renewal

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Ahh, spring, what a wonderful season to experience nature's entire awakening after the long cold winter. This weekend was a wonderfully warm one, almost too warm to be called spring. It was in the 90s this weekend and I definitely wanted to enjoy it while I could, in-between studying of course. My husband and I like to enjoy the many parks around where we live. We get to enjoy nature while getting a little exercise by walking around the lake. All of the trees are green and a few flowers are starting to bloom and in Chinese medicine the body is similarly renewing itself.  

Springtime in Chinese medicine belongs to the Liver. The Liver is associated with the element Wind. Wind is fast and free flowing and it is said, "Wind is the leader of the hundred diseases." Many disorders that occur in the spring are linked with Wind Heat or Wind Cold. In biomedical terms, these may present as the common cold, allergies, asthma, and even eczema or urticaria. Each of these disorders may present differently in each person depending on their underlying constitution.

Lisa -Bridge

Nevertheless, one way to support the Liver in springtime is with your diet. Since Liver is in charge of free coursing the qi, we want to nourish the yang qi with our diet. (In Chinese Medicine the Qi is yang and the Blood is yin). We also want to strengthen the immune system because old diseases can be provoked due to the active liver qi in the spring. For example, if one did not eat according to season, they may have caused injury that will manifest itself in the spring. Foods to incorporate into one's diet during the spring include scallion, garlic, chives, and kale; these foods nourish the yang. One will also want to eat less sour food such as pickles, plum and Hawthorne because too much will cause stomach upset. Incorporate foods that are sweet in nature such as yam, fruit, beets, spinach, and carrot. Sweet food does not refer to candy, ice cream or pastries; these foods will lower your immune system and cause damp in Chinese medicine. Also avoid cold foods and heavy or spicy foods that can be detrimental to the Liver and Spleen.

Cleansing may also offer your body and Liver benefit. Currently, National has a Spring Cleanse meeting with support from one of the naturopathic medicine teachers who has given ideas and options for cleansing. I personally have used cleanses and I believe they are a great way to jump start your spring, but I believe they should be supervised by a physician.

National also offers a fresh foods delivery from a local farm that carries organic fruits, veggies and meats as a great way to start your spring off to a healthy start!