Archive for tag: chicago

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is on Monday this week and I have clinic in the afternoon (1pm-5pm) and then class (5-10 pm), so my husband and I celebrated on Saturday. We wanted to try a new restaurant and I had heard good reviews of a Mediterranean restaurant called Reza's. We made reservations and a good thing we did because it was busy.

The food was very good with an excellent variety of vegetarian dishes. We had more than enough to eat with plenty to bring home. Yum! Saturday's dinner was a nice way to end a long day of class on the weekend.  

Strategy Class

This was the second weekend of two that we held our Acupuncture Treatment Strategy class. The class is taught by Dr. HB Kim, who resides in Kentucky. The two weekend hours equal the same amount of hours if we had held the class every week for two hours of the trimester. Those who have clinic on Saturday are excused from clinic for those weekends.

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In addition to his PhD, Dr. HB Kim is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. He teaches both the Acupuncture and Herbal Treatment Strategy classes. National students are blessed to have this class because it is very good preparation for the Acupuncture and Herbal boards. If you memorize everything he teaches, you will pass the boards. Sounds easy enough but in reality it is a review of everything about acupuncture that we have learned in our seven trimesters of school.

Technically the class is a fourth trimester class but I waited till my eighth tri to take it. I figured I would have most of my classes completed and it would be a nice review. The class provides new two point strategies that some might have heard of and I can't wait to use them. Having it in fourth tri might be a little overwhelming for some. However, if a student wishes to wait to take it, they should be aware that the acupuncture class is offered every other trimester with the herbal class offered in the alternate trimesters. If a student is confused on when to take it, I would recommend talking to Dr. Kwon or an upper tri student. 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Belated Chinese New Year (February 3)! It's the year of the Rabbit!  If you are interested in astrology, you can search for your birth year to figure out what animal you are. After talking with one of my Asian professors, I learned that their birthday is determined by how many days it falls from the date of the New Year. Therefore, their birthday may be celebrated on different days each year. How interesting!    

'Til next week. Email me with any questions.

Let It Snow in Chicago!

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Oh boy, did it snow in the Midwest this past week! In our area, we had a total of 21 inches. Even though Chicago was prepared for the storm, it still was a messy cleanup. Needless to say, National University instituted a "snow day" and classes and clinic were cancelled on Wednesday. 

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Endometriosis Webinar

It was unfortunate school was closed because the AOM club had arranged for a webinar to be seen on campus, to which we had no access. The topic was Endometriosis and it was given by Giovanni Maciocia. Dr. Maciocia is a leader in Traditional Chinese Medicine and he has written several books that a student will become familiar with. He has studied extensively in China and is also very affluent in Chinese herbs. Endometriosis is commonly seen in the patient population so as students we were thrilled to learn more on the topic. I recently learned we do have the opportunity to see a re-broadcast. Yippie!

Infertility Seminar

Speaking of seminars, I was fortunate to attend an Infertility Seminar in Chicago a few weekends back. The presenter was Richard Blitstein, a graduate and former professor of Pacific College of OM. It was a two-day seminar that included biomedical foundation of what, why and how infertility occurs - whether it is due to a hormone imbalance, no follicle growth or pituitary related. Mr. Blitstein also included information on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).

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As seen in clinic, many women are combining Oriental Medicine with IUI or IVF. Truthfully, I haven't learned much on the processes of either so this was of much help. Mr. Blitstein discussed the medications women use during the treatment and how they affect the process. Acupuncture methods, diagnosis, and herbs were incorporated into each cycle of the ART process. Other topics discussed were PCOS, also very popular in clinic, autoimmune infertility, and premature ovarian failure. I was impressed with the seminar because he clearly spelled out the Western meds used in infertility. Patients will expect us as practitioners to be familiar with the meds they are taking. It is also our duty to know the impact of the meds they are taking, as well as any side effects.  

Studies have shown Acupuncture to increase implantation of approximately 10% when administered before and after IUI or IVF. Those treatments have a 20-40% success rate, but with acupuncture, it could be as high as 50% success rate or more. Women with infertility like those higher numbers and are definitely seeking out ways to improve their fertility. I would love to be a part of that success.

Rainy Saturday

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Wow, what a crazy weekend!  On a recent Saturday, I awoke to find a river in my backyard and a lake beside my apartment parking. The water was five feet from the 1st floor balcony and a foot away from the transformer box. Needless to say I was a little panicky since I had to go to clinic in two hours. So my husband and I unplugged all of our electronics in preparation for any water damage. When I arrived at clinic, the parking lot was flooded, leaving very few options to park. Lake Janse was overflowing with water almost to the sidewalks. The swans probably loved the larger area in which to swim. Marilyn at the front desk informed me we were closing clinic and re-scheduling patients. However, I still was able to treat two patients.


Saturday was a scheduled fieldtrip to Chinatown with Jin, my OM Nutrition teacher. We have explored so many new food items in class that she wanted us to have the experience of seeing first-hand what they look and taste like. We went to an herbal shop that had an array of exotic items in big glass jars and even more along the store aisles.

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The most abundant food item was the ginseng. They had American, Korean and Chinese ginseng, both fresh and packaged of different grades. Jin showed us items such as Mu Er, a black fungus that in Chinese medicine moves blood, fresh Reishi Mushroom for cancer protection, deer tendon to strengthen tendons and bones, as well as abalone shell, cordyceps, shark cartilage, black hair moss seaweed, sea cucumber, and the best  - the bird's nest. The bird's nest is the nest of the swallow. The swallow uses its saliva to make its nest in caves in China.  The Nest is used to improve one's longevity and improve youthfulness and complexion. It is very rare and it is sold along with the other very powerful herbs for at least $300 per pound. I guess it is a safer alternative to Botox or liposuction.

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We ate at a Southern Chinese restaurant. Jin selected all of the food choices and we ate Dim Sum style. Dim Sum consists of many dishes that are shared on a big lazy susan among the people at the table. Jin said the Chinese think it's rude to pass the dishes from person to person so they use the turntable instead. Foods consisted of duck, tofu, crab and green veggies, lotus leaf filled with sticky rice and shrimp and veggies and a few others. Each of the foods we have learned about in class has many functions in the Chinese culture.

Herbal Formulas

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Hey there! It seems like there is a family event almost every week in the summer, which sure makes it difficult to study. I must plan my study time accordingly.

First, it was my brother's birthday and the next day I spent the morning with my husband in Chicago. He had an Active Technique Release Seminar and Sunday was his last day in which they were tested on the 104 techniques they learned in three days. He passed!! We celebrated by walking down Michigan Avenue to Oak Street Beach to have an outdoor lunch looking at the water. I haven't been to the city in a while so it was a nice treat.

Back to studying when we arrived back home. My Formulas I class midterm was emailed to me and I started working on it since it's due in a week. A take-home midterm sounds easy enough, but it sure is time consuming. Our class agreed on a take-home midterm vs. a mini multiple-choice test. We all agreed that it would benefit us more by analyzing the formulas and comparing their ingredients and actions. This test is similar to a research paper in that what you learn is utilized in a way that it is put into long-term memory. Cramming for a test only holds the information in short-term memory, which will not benefit us.

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In clinic, I have applied some of the knowledge I have learned from Formulas. I had a patient two weeks ago that usually comes in for treatment for infertility but she had a come down with the "common cold." With help from Dr. Cai, I was able to prepare a formula based on her pathology and underlying constitution.

In Formulas class we start out learning formulas that disperse wind, cold, heat, and damp, and for those with an underlying different constitution, in other words, for different types of colds, flu, bronchitis, etc. Dr. Xie, my Herbs class professor, is a great teacher. He is thorough and relates the information to cases he has had or seen in clinic. He requires us to participate and apply our knowledge of herbs and diagnosis to the herbal formulas we are learning. This is rewarding because it has helped me in clinic and refreshes my memory on things I may have forgotten.

Well, I have a busy week ahead. Wish me luck!

Happy Chinese New Year!

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February 14, 2010, was the beginning of the 15 days celebrated by the Chinese as the start of the New Year. 

Traditionally, on the first day of the New Year, which starts on the day of the new moon and ends on the full moon, people celebrate the "welcoming of the gods of the heavens and earth." Usually, meat is not eaten on this first day to bring long life and happiness. Every day is a different celebration until the fifteenth day. The fifth day is known as the Lantern Festival and is celebrated by hanging red lanterns lit with light. Poems or riddles are read to celebrate the commencement of the New Year celebration. Some common decorations you might find in the household are a candy tray filled with dried fruit nuts arranged in the shape of a circle called "the tray of togetherness." Each piece of candy represents some type of good luck, such as the lychee nut, which is said to bring strong family relationships.  

Fireworks and Dragons

During parades, fireworks are typically blown off to represent sending out the old year and welcoming in the New Year. Dragons are an integral part of the celebrations/parades and represent good luck, good fortune and prosperity. I went to Chinatown for the New Year's parade and celebrated the year of the Tiger with all the other New Year fans.

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Chinatown was packed with many wanting to celebrate, eat from the many authentic restaurants, and visit many of the brightly packed shops. I stopped by to say "hi" to Dr. Cai at her downtown office and visited a few herbal shops to pick up a few items.

This weekend was a nice ending to a nerve-wracking week studying for Lab Diagnosis and Pharmacology. Next up is Advanced Acupuncture Strategies, so wish me luck!  

Tip: Tests can always bring the jitters and a quick visit to the Acupuncture Clinic can help calm them. Anxiety is one of the many disorders the World Health Organization lists as treatable with acupuncture.