Archive for tag: seminars


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.

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.

Seminars and More

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Wow, it's only three weeks into the trimester, but I've been to a weekend seminar each week! This weekend I went to an advanced insurance seminar given by the American Acupuncture Council (ACC). When I signed up to be an acupuncturist, I guess I didn't think about all the work that goes on behind the scenes to actually make a successful practice. As I have said in past blogs, my husband and I are planning to open our own practice and as you can see we are trying to gather as much information as we can so we can be as successful as some of our counterparts.

I have to give props to National and Dr. Hodges, our business planning professor, for giving us a firm foundation on how to start, manage and market a business.  However, there was a lack of billing and insurance information given to us. I suppose the lack is because in the state of Illinois, we as acupuncturists cannot bill many health care insurance plans and expect a refund. However, each state is different because they each have different Scope of Practice Acts for acupuncture and therefore may have better reimbursement. Also, if the health reform act is passed, we will have more benefits such as equality in patient visits, but don't quote me on that. That's how I understood it coming from the presenter of the seminar. The presenter Sam Collins gave a great presentation. He is a chiropractor and on staff of the AAC. He is knowledgeable of our medicine and wants us to succeed.

As Sam said, many of the attendees will go home after the seminar and re-bill many of their rejected claims because they now have the correct codes and when to use them. As it was explained, the insurance companies may reject a claim only because a four-digit code should have been a five-digit one, or a date or signature was missing. As a student, I was aware that acupuncturists cannot give a diagnosis, but what I learned was I needed a diagnosis code to bill. Therefore, the patient must have a previous diagnosis, which in Illinois would be from their PCP, before I can bill.

The seminar also clarified subjects such as worker's compensation and personal injury cases, and when and how we should expect to be reimbursed without being taken advantage of by lawyers, patients or insurance companies. Sam also made us aware of free websites and other tools to receive the proper reimbursement.

Well, I don't want to bore you with all things insurance, but as I have said before, as a student we should be going to as many seminars as we can and often we receive a discounted fee. Oh, and it's a great meet-and-greet venue to exchange business cards. 

Knowledge is power!

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!

School and Seminars

Hey there, it's that time again, the first week of school. Wow, those two weeks flew by! I spent one of the weeks on my honeymoon in Kauai. Oh what a wonderful place and such awesome weather. The island was hypnotic, such lush green foliage and amazing waterfalls and enormous waves. I completely forgot I had a life outside Hawaii and I definitely did not want to leave. We went on an ATV trip that toured us around areas where Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones were filmed, we went hiking along the cliffs of the ocean and we swam in waterfalls. But all good things must come to an end and I had to leave the beautiful island.

Back to School…

This trimester is going to be a busy and intense one. I am taking Patent Formulas and Herbal Formulas as well as Imaging, OM Nutrition, Neurophysiology, and Senior Seminar IV - plus my clinic shifts. Some students asked me why I was going to study when it's only the first week back, but if you don't want to fall behind you will keep up with your studies.   


I did take Sunday off to go to an all-day Tung's Seminar. Dr. Tung Ching has been referred to as "the greatest acupuncture master who ever lived." He was born in the Shangdong Province in Northern China. When the Communists occupied China, he moved to Taiwan. He was a traditional Chinese physician famous for the miraculous and spontaneous results he would obtain by using few needles. The acupuncture points and techniques he used are unique and only a few are similar to the Traditional Chinese Acupuncture points. His points number over 700 and cover the whole body including head and ears. From 1953-1975, there were over 40,000 patient visits in his clinic. Master Tung's Points were a treasured family secret, handed down and refined over generations. He was the first one to break his family tradition and began to teach his acupuncture system to outsiders. He selected all his students, 73 of them, without any charge. He even offered boarding for those students if in need. Dr. Chuan-Min Wang is one of the 73 students that gave the lecture I attended. 

Elizabeth -acupuncturist

We received a course in Tung's acupuncture taught by Jia at National. I tried some of the points in clinic and received good results so I decided to expand on the knowledge. At the seminar, we learned to observe the spine, palm and face to look for signs of excess or deficiency to help with our diagnosis. I really enjoyed the class and I am excited to use the tools I learned, especially for gynecology and pain syndromes of the shoulder and knee.

Tip:  As a student, I recommend attending as many seminars as you can fit into your schedule because they are often offered to students at 50% off!