Archive for tag: china


As I stated in last week's blog, I planned to interview one of the graduates who went to China. 

A little background: Dr. Cai has connections with one of the hospitals in Xi'an and is friends with one of the hospital directors. More than a year ago, she set up a program for the students. In exchange for a year in China teaching English at Shaanxi University, the students are able to study in the hospital with the other doctors. The students are given housing and paid a minimal wage to teach. They also receive two months off in the summer to travel. Cherlyn, one of the herbal students, left in February to travel to China and is currently on summer break and visiting us. 



As I talked with Cherlyn at dinner, she stated what a big culture shock it is to be in China. They are living in one of the oldest Chinese cities and it shows. There were a few surprises that they have had to become accustomed to, such as the plumbing, but that is such a small quirk compared to the beauty of the city. Everyone is really friendly and like family. Many of the dinners are focused around "dim sum," which is like a big lazy susan where all the food is shared among those at the table. It's like Thanksgiving every night.


At the hospital, where she spends four hours a couple of times a week, she has enjoyed learning new techniques that are not taught in the U.S. For instance, they do a lot of herbal injections into acupuncture points. This could be for menstrual cramps, to induce labor, for Bell's palsy, and much more.

She has also seen them do a lot of blood transfusions. For example, the doctor will extract blood from the cubital vein and then energetically inject it into ST 36. ST 36, Zu San Li , is a very important and powerful point in Chinese medicine. In Chinese literature, it is often said to moxa this point every day to bring long life. 

She has also seen a lot of flash cupping done to the face for Bell's palsy. She said the doctors treat a lot of facial paralysis at the hospital. Cherlyn and her roommate Andrea, also a graduate of NUHS, have put together a website, Jouneys to Healing Medicine, to share their experiences and new knowledge. She says she really enjoys China and all the new experiences it brings her. She also likes the downtime to practice yoga every morning and read books she has always wanted.

2011-07-05_BalloonsHot air balloons at Eyes to the Sky festival in Lisle.

Well, that's all for now, I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July.

Business Shopping

Top -grad

The much needed winter break has ended, and as always I still feel like I need another week - but then again who doesn't. Our winter breaks are usually three weeks long and spring and summer breaks last two weeks.

Office Environment

Three weeks was long enough for my husband and I to do some business shopping. We had the chance to visit an acupuncturist in Oak Park and a chiropractor. Each practitioner gave us different advice but all very helpful. The office atmospheres were completely different.

The acupuncture office was more exotic and peaceful but professional, which I really liked. I think when a patient walks in the door they should breathe a breath of relaxation, which I felt was accomplished in that office. The chiropractic office was very professional and big with lots of light. It was a typical medical office environment and in my opinion not very relaxing.

After listening to both practitioners, it seemed they tailored their environment to their patients' needs and expectations. For my husband and I, it gave us a big clue as to what kind of environment we should strive for.

Community Contacts

We also got a jump on the business ball by stopping into the local Chamber of Commerce, which offered us much help, as well as steered us in the direction of a reputable commercial real estate agent. Even though we are looking a little early, I think it shows our dedication and ambition as business owners to these individuals (who could possibly be future patients). We also interviewed an accountant who offered us loads of information free of charge. 

My advice to you, future students and possible business owners, is to check out all of your business opportunities way in advance of graduation. Talk to as many practitioners in the area in which you are thinking of practicing because they can each give you valuable information as well as warn you of any mistakes they have made. 

AOM Graduation

On another note, the Fall 2010 graduating class was the largest so far for the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Program. Cherlyn, one of our Oriental Medicine grads will be traveling to China in a month or so.  She will be attending the program set up by our Hui Yan Dr. Cai. Cherlyn will be teaching English to students in exchange for room and board as well as attending grand rounds in a University Hospital in Xi'an. We have had two graduates enter the program so far.  I plan to stay in touch with Cherlyn to give everyone details on her year-long trip.

Elizabeth -gradgroup    Elizabeth -gradone

Stay tuned for upcoming weeks in which I will be sharing details of my lunch with a former graduate and the infertility seminar I just attended.

Happy New Year!

Come and Gone

Wow, it's already the end of the first week of classes. Our summer break of two weeks has come and gone and I wish we still had two more weeks. This trimester I am light on classes with only four and three clinic shifts. I guess I am getting a reprieve from the seven classes I took last trimester.  However, I am using my time to refresh on older material and to really study herbs.

I am taking Herbal Treatment Strategy, Western Nutrition, Herbal Formulas 2, and Business. My three clinic shifts are supervised under Dr. Xie, Dr. Fan and Dr. Zhu and Jia. I was especially excited to be under the supervision of Jia because she is emphasizes the importance of palpation in treatment. But enough about school for now, I'll get back to that later.

Top -grad4

The Summer 2010 graduating class was our biggest so far. Four students graduated from the Acupuncture program and three students from the Oriental Medicine (or Herbs program as the students call it, which is acupuncture and herbs together). It was a bittersweet graduation because my good friend Nicole graduated. She is from Charlotte, North Carolina. She also graduated the chiropractic program with her husband in December and they are opening their own business in Charlotte. Not soon after break started, I helped her pack her belongings into her car so she could drive back home. As students, we learn from class and each other and Nicole has taught me many things. I plan to visit Nicole and Andy in North Carolina and I will update you on their practice.

The other "herbal" students that graduated also have big plans. Andrea has left for China. Dr. Cai helped set up a 1yr program for graduates. The students go to China for one year and they teach English a few hours a week and the other time is allotted to follow clinicians in the University Hospital. It is not clear if the graduates can needle, but it is an extraordinary learning experience to see the integration of Western and Eastern in the hospital. The students are paid to teach English and they can use this money to travel on weekends or the two-month break they are allotted.

Margo also graduated from the herbal program and she has plans to go back to her home country of Poland. From what Margo understands, she might have to get a PhD to practice Oriental Medicine, but it is very accepted by the people in Poland. However, the European Union is also very strict in authorizing certain herbs to be used in practice, so she might have to modify her formulas to omit any animal products, however other herbs can be substituted. These ladies are intelligent and great with patients, and I wish them much luck in the future!  

Elizabeth -Cai -plus3

Note: The pictures are of Nicole and Mike (He graduated MSAc and is practicing chiropractic and acupuncture in Naperville, Ill.) and Andrea, Dr. Cai, Nicole, and Margo.