Archive for tag: family

Sending Love

Originally, I was writing this week's blog about AOM's ability to treat hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). I have chosen to post that in a future blog. After the events that occurred 7/20/12, the shooting in Colorado, I feel pulled to blog about this instead of HFMD. I didn't personally know any of the victims, but my heart has hurt for them and their loved ones. I have no interest in blogging about the man who committed the heinous act, but instead, the desire to support those whose lives have been shaken as a result of the evil act.  

I cannot begin to understand how the family members of the victims feel at this time. I cannot imagine how the girlfriends' of the men who died saving their lives feel. It overwhelms me to think about how the parents and loved ones of the children who died feel. I am unable to grasp how any of the victims struggling for life and their loved ones feel at this time. Every life in this world counts, regardless if another deems otherwise.


As President Obama stated in his address, this event reminds us life is fragile and to hug our children and loved ones a bit tighter tonight. Sadly, the families and friends who lost their sons and daughters, spouses, best friends, and more cannot give that extra hug we are so fortunate to do today, and for many days to come. I feel in addition to giving our families extra love, we should also send loving energy and prayers to those hurting. 

In AOM, we are taught a form of medicine called Qi Gong. An aspect of Qi Gong involves meditation. In one of the meditations, we are guided to go up to Universal energy. For some, Universal energy means God, the Dao, Divine Spirit, and so on. One's underlying belief system can be personal to them and should not act as a barrier to participate in the meditation. The important thing is to go into absolute good Universal energy and meditate in it. While meditating in this energy field, we are taught to think the word or image of love. Once our whole being and meditation space is filled with love, we are taught to project this love to a specific area for the purpose of healing. I believe it would be extremely beneficial for all of us to do this meditation daily, sending the loving energy to those suffering from the effects of the Colorado shooting. Since love is infinite and limitless, we are taught we can send love to all those it is the highest good to receive. 


If you're open to it, please give this meditation a try! I believe, even the smallest ripple affects the waves that move the ocean. We can each be a ripple that unites for the good of humanity! If you have any questions about the meditation, please email me at


Penny and AlThis week has been an important week in my family's life. After 39 years of being an HVAC engineer at the same location, my dad retired. My dad's retirement has come almost exactly two years after my mom retired from being a nursing professor at a college. My mom instructed for 30 years. Being a part of the celebration of these events has taught me how important it is to choose a career path in life and put 100% effort and dedication into that path.  

Over the years, I've watched my parents love their professions, through the easy and difficult times. My mom experienced being a lead person in a union strike while my dad was part of many company changes. I think one of the most profound impacts observing my parents and their careers has taught me is to stand in your dream and stay loyal to it. My parents fell in love with their intended career path from the moment they were in college. Funny enough, that is also when they fell in love with each other. In a couple weeks, my parents will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary! 

I feel very thankful to have been modeled by two driven and dedicated parents that base much of their morals on trust, love, faith, and loyalty. As a result, it has taught me to do the same. While AOM is my second career path, I feel my first career was leading me to this path. It was the doorway to this career. I just had some other paths to walk before being able to realize this role, fully. In addition to being heartfelt role models, my parents are by far, my biggest supporters in my education and goals.

After learning my dad retired, I also learned he took another engineering position at a new location. After 39 years of dedicated engineering, he still desires to continue in his career path, even when he clearly has the ability to stop! I find this very impressive! My mom also took on a new job after retiring, but it is 100% volunteer work! To me, this shows there are always more dreams and goals to create.

2012-06-26_penny Al2

It has been very moving to be in the midst of these endings and new beginnings for my parents. It is making a powerful impact watching my two lifelong role models venture into new chapters of their lives. Additionally, it is very interesting to watch two people finish more than a 30-year career path in one direction while I am surrounded by NUHS students preparing to begin their paths. I wonder what the future holds for all of us. I believe it will be influential and adventurous!

My Dad, My Patient

This past week, I had the opportunity to present my dad as a case study for my Senior Seminar II class. It turned out to be a transforming experience!

Before he came to class, I performed an intake and case history with him. I learned that when working with family, it was a little difficult to stay objective, as I know him well, so I had a different perception of certain things than he. With a patient at clinic, there is usually no outside reference point, so the information being given is the only information the intern and clinician learn. With family, we know what they eat, their health history and their moods, but their perception and ours are not always the same. I think I was supposed to let the patient be right in this case, but since it was my dad, I found an area of grey for us both to agree on when we saw things a little differently. I think this was a great learning opportunity for us both.


When my dad came to the clinic, it was an interesting experience to step back and listen to the clinician and other intern ask him further questions and gather additional information. It was both difficult and motivating to see my dad fully as a patient at the clinic. Since he is my dad, I have always looked up to him, but at the same time, would do anything for him.

Once we decided on a treatment plan, we advised my dad to go into the treatment room and prepare for his treatment. He was a very cooperative patient. He is rather needle-sensitive and very in-tune to the "qi sensation" (energetic response of the needles), but handled it very well. He informed us of how he was feeling during the needling aspect of the treatment once we had placed all the needles. I felt this brought an added educational benefit.


My dad reported a positive response to the treatment. He continued to feel the benefits of the treatment the following days. In addition to my dad's benefits and the educational aspects of this case study, this felt like a bit of a milestone somehow for my dad and me. It felt a bit peculiar at times to have our roles shifted as patient and intern, but at the same time, it felt like something expanded between us by doing so. If you have read my previous blog from last trimester, you know that my dad and I are very close and he joined me at the AOM pinning ceremony. Having a moment in time where we were patient and intern instead of dad and daughter was rather intriguing.

Family Life in AOM

A fair amount of students in the AOM program have families. Some students are married, some have children, and some are single parents. Whatever the situation is, having a family while being a student is usually viewed as extremely rewarding, but also a juggling act at times. Being in school with the motivation of family supporting you, or for single parents, to support your loved one(s) is such a root source of motivation from my perspective. 

This week I interviewed one of my best friends and fellow students, Cynthia, who is a single mom in the program. I think she is extremely inspiring and motivating.  She is a nurse, RN, in the AOM program. She is also pursuing her nurse practitioner degree and working two part-time jobs while raising her son. Within just a few minutes of meeting Cynthia, it was clear that her source motivation for pushing herself so hard was to make the best life possible for her son. She also has a heartfelt passion to help others, which I think is rather clear from her career choices.


From Cynthia's Perspective:  

"Being a mom and going to school requires a lot of multi tasking. I am cooking while doing my homework as well as helping my child while he does his homework. My work is never done. I feel like I spend most of my time in my car with dropping and picking him up from school, dropping and picking him up from whoever is the sitter that day, and driving back and forth from school. It's exhausting and I am always drained, but I never quit working towards my goals even though sometimes I want to. I know it's temporary and my reward in the end will be great. My child further increases my drive to better myself because I know his life will be better as well. By the time I'm done with school he will have been to 3 or 4 of my college graduations!"


I think Cynthia summarizes how many parents in the program feel. At times, being a parent, husband or wife and a full-time student may feel overwhelming, but that overwhelming feeling is fleeting. It cannot compete with the overall satisfaction that will come when we have accomplished our goals and are out practicing the medicine. We will be able to offer help to others to the best of our abilities while having complete peace of mind that our families are being supported.