Archive for tag: students

Acupuncture - Essential Health Benefit

As mentioned in previous blogs, I graduate this trimester. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at NUHS. I have felt privileged and thankful to have the opportunity to write this blog every week. Next trimester, there will be a new AOM blogger. The new blogger is Dia Pfleger. She is an amazing and inspiring woman! 

Dia Pfleger with President Winterstein at the White Coat Ceremony for AOM students

Dia Pfleger is a married mom with five wonderful children. She has also worked well pursuing her studies at NUHS. In Dia's words: "I became interested in alternative medicine three years ago when my son Mykael, now age six, was diagnosed with severe/ADHD autism. My interest also led to my career change from a corporate human resource manager for the past 10 years to pursing my master's degree in AOM."

In addition to being a busy mom and career woman, Dia is involved with many volunteer activities, and is also pursuing additional degrees and certifications. I hope you find Dia and her writing as motivating and insightful as I do! I have known Dia since her first trimester at NUHS and have felt inspired by her from the first day we met!

From Dia's perspective, "I have always believed that one person can make a positive impact in another person's life, but we first must begin with our 'self.' " I hope you take the time to read Dia's weekly blogs starting in January. I believe Dia has a lot of wisdom and awareness to share!

Petition for Change

Dia recently wrote a very interesting article regarding making acupuncture an essential health benefit. Since this week is election week, I thought it was very pertinent to share her thoughts. Since she wrote it, some changes have occurred to the website. You may find additional information about acupuncture as an essential health benefit at You may also sign the petition to help make acupuncture an essential health benefit via a link on this AAAOM website.

Dia wrote:

The Future of AOM May Be Threatened In Illinois

It rings true that one person can make a difference and we can make a difference here at NUHS. There are many issues active right now that are dramatically threatening the future of acupuncture practice in Illinois and nationally. The top topics that may have a future impact on AOM students and current AOM practitioners in Illinois are:restrictive dietician laws that could influence your ability to practice herbal medicine and give nutritional advice based on traditional Chinese medicine.The third topic in Illinois is the process of determining which services will be included as Essential Health Benefits under the state's insurance exchange. Acupuncture and licensed acupuncturist services immediately fall under the following 10 ten categories of ACA health benefits: ambulatory patient services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, rehabilitative and habilitative services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.I want to note that this petition regarding the state's insurance exchange will be presented to Governor Quinn and the Health Care Reform Implementation Council if we areable to generate more signatures.

Recently, organizations like the ILAOM are currently working to oppose this bill and also include Acupuncture and Licensed Acupuncturist services as EHB's in Illinois' Essential Health Benefits (EHB) Benchmark plan. If you have not already, please take a look at the petition below from our partner, the National Health Freedom Coalition, and sign and share. (Information provided below)

I want to encourage students and faculty to sign the online petition and write to the National Freedom Coalition. It only takes one person to make a difference and there is strength in numbers to oppose this bill. Acupuncture as an Essential Health Benefit: The petition has reached over 1,000 signatures and we need 3,800 more signatures!

PLEASE SHARE AND SIGN! We want to show the legislature how Illinois citizens feel about this issue. See (works best on Safari and Firefox). 

Action Needed in Illinois
Oppose Senate Bill 2936 as written and
request health freedom exemption amendment!

OPPOSE and AMEND Illinois S.B. 2936, the Illinois Dietitian Licensing bill! Illinois' current monopolistic dietitian law is scheduled to be automatically repealed in 2013 and Senate Bill 2936, introduced in 2012, is attempting to extend the law until 2023. The Illinois Dietitian and Nutrition Services law is one of the most restrictive monopolistic dietitian laws in the U.S. and needs to be repealed.

National Health Freedom Coalition
PMD 218
2136 Ford Parkway
St. Paul, MN 55116-1863

AOM Student Body President

Being an AOM student at NUHS offers many options of participating in scholastic programs. This week I interviewed Cynthia, the AOM student body president. Cynthia is in her second year at NUHS. She has been dedicated to her studies as well as many extracurricular activities since becoming a student at NUHS. Cynthia has had previous educational and career experiences. She is dedicated to continuously furthering her education and ability to positively impact others. Her video explains her journey to NUHS. It also highlights how she feels about being a student at NUHS and what her involvement is on campus.

Being an NUHS Student

The NUHS campus is home to many beautiful plants and flowers. The foliage appears infused with life and vibrancy. While looking at them, I feel their energy spark extra joy inside me. I instantly begin smiling when I see them.


These flowers caused me to think about the usage of a flower to symbolize essence in AOM. Essence is core energy comparable to one's genetics. The flowers caused me to think about how we to sprout up from a seed. We have the ability to bloom into so many directions. I then wondered what brought each student to NUHS. What caused them to bloom in this direction? 

In upcoming blogs I will have video interviews of current students. Right now, I want to take a moment to write about what a day in the life of an NUHS student feels like. Since I am graduating this trimester, I have found myself reminiscing on my journey thus far at NUHS.

I have spoken with several students regarding their experiences at NUHS. From the feedback I have received, it seems the first time a student begins to fully feel like an NUHS student is during the Orientation Day prior to the first day of classes. Orientation Day offers students an opportunity to meet fellow students and faculty members. Initially, we are unaware of each student's enrolled program. This offers an easy way to meet each other and ask questions to learn more about one another. During my Orientation Day, there was an exciting energy and optimism in the air.

Typically, the next time the new student is on campus is to attend their first class. While this is often an intriguing time, it can also be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, the new students are able to connect with each other allowing everyone to feel at ease. There are also many upper classmen and faculty members on campus ready to help answer questions.


For many students, I think the first year can feel both demanding and very rewarding. Some students attend NUHS directly from their undergraduate program. For these students, the intensity of NUHS curriculum can be challenging and motivating. Other students attend NUHS for the purpose of a second career or extension of their current career. Many times these students are familiar with the fast pace and high demands, but may have become unfamiliar with daily studying and homework expectations. I think the first year of NUHS classes brings many transitions. Fortunately, these shifts find a balance and yield a high level of satisfaction.

From what I have been told and experienced myself, the first year of the NUHS scholastic lifestyle comes into place with a healthy and comfortable ebb and flow. By the final year of classes and clinic, most students are filled with anticipation of upcoming career opportunities. Many students complete their licensing boards during their final year. Studying for boards while enrolled in clinic and classes can feel a bit intense at times, but it also feels very satisfying. It feels very fulfilling to realize all the hard work has brought the desired outcome of being a licensed health care professional in the chosen field of study.

Being a Rotating Resident at Stroger

As I blogged about previously, a very unique aspect of being an AOM student at NUHS is the ability to be a resident at Stroger's Hospital. I'm a resident at Stroger's and am finding it to be a priceless experience! Learning within a high paced hospital setting is invaluable. I am discovering a variety of ways to offer patient care that are not found in many textbooks. 

Our clinician, Frank Yurasek, PhD, MSOM, LAc, shares many treatment strategies with the residents that he learned first-hand by ascended AOM and TCM masters from China. 

Mary Thuermer is also a resident at Stroger's Hospital. This is her second rotation at Stroger's. Additionally, she is graduating this trimester. Since she is nearing graduation, she has been a part of many educational experiences and resources offered by NUHS. From what I gather, she feels her residency at Stroger's has been monumental in her NUHS learning experience.

In addition to the information Dr. Yurasek shares with us, we are learning a great deal of information and clinical skills through our patients. Since this is a fairly new program at Stroger's, we feel extremely fortunate to have new and recurring patients trust us with their AOM care. This is a very new experience for most of our patients, so it feels very rewarding to be able to be a part of this journey into holistic medicine, together!

New Beginnings

This is my final blog for this trimester. As a result, I decided to write about new beginnings.

For some students, now is the time they are beginning their journey into AOM. For other students, it's time for graduation and the beginning of their journey as practitioners. I was fortunate to receive feedback on how it feels to be in both places of this process from two students: Kari Singh and Mia Davis. Kari is finishing her second trimester at NUHS. Mia is graduating this trimester. I was rather moved by what each student expressed when asked how they feel about this phase of their journey. 

Kari Singh's Journey into Oriental Medicine

When I was 16 years old, my mother's best friend gave me a book on Reiki, Reflexology, and Acupuncture. I remember staying up and finishing the book in one night. Those words resonated with my soul. My spiritual being knew this is what I was meant to is part of the reason I was put on this earth. At the age of 16, though, my rational mind took over and asked who would pay for this, where will you go to school, how would you make a living? I went to traditional four-year college and got my degree in psychology.

Acupuncture student Kari Singh

At the age of 36, I was going through a rough time in my life. I started receiving acupuncture treatments. My life was at a crossroads. The first treatment was a very moving experience for me. I felt Qi rushing through my body. It was like parts of me that weren't communicating suddenly were. My mind and my heart were one. I found myself and my calling all at once. I wanted to do this. I wanted to heal. After two weeks of treatments, I noticed major changes.

I found National University of Health Sciences shortly after. I started coming to the clinic to be treated by students. I asked a lot of questions about the program and I felt at peace. I knew this was the place for me. I enrolled and started at National in the fall of 2011. The day before orientation I was cleaning out a box and found that book from when I was 16. I had not seen that book in years. It made me smile because it was destiny. I will finish my second trimester this April 2012. I feel blessed every day to be part of this school. Many of my professors inspire and amaze me, daily. My goal is to be able to teach at this institution some day because I want to give back to a student what I receive now.

There are so many things about being a student at National that make this program unlike any other. The professors are so passionate about this program. Many of them go out of their way to ensure students succeed. The program is well rounded and geared towards blending eastern with a solid western foundation. The clinic treats patients from the public for $25. I am currently observing other students treating patients. It is very exciting to see patients with Parkinson's, Crohn's, anxiety, and a host of other conditions report how beautiful and amazing acupuncture and oriental medicine are to make them feel whole. I am excited every day as my journey continues.

I have three treasures. Guard and keep them:
The first is deep love,
The second is frugality,
And the third is not to dare to be ahead of the world.
Because of deep love, one is courageous.
Because of frugality, one is generous.
Because of not daring to be ahead of the world, one becomes the leader of the world.
-- Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)(1)

I feel very inspired by what Kari wrote.  I can feel her passion through her words.  Simply reading her statement caused me to feel excited for her!

Mia also wrote an insightful and motivating statement regarding how it feels to be graduating.

Mia Davis' Journey into the Profession

WOW! Time sure does fly by! It seems like just yesterday I was starting the Oriental Medicine program. These past three years in the program have been so wonderful. It's amazing the amount of knowledge and experience I have gained in that time. Not only have I learned about oriental medicine, but I've also learned about another culture, language, and perspective on health and life.

Oriental Medicine student Mia Davis

My instructors have been supportive and beyond amazing at what they do. The amount of wisdom and caring they have imparted is truly unique and I will always be grateful that I've had this opportunity to learn from them. It feels good to know that I will be graduating with a feeling of true accomplishment and know-how. The friendships I have made here are golden. While my time at NUHS is coming to an end, the gift of knowledge I've been given here will last me a lifetime!

While Kari is entering the interesting world of learning AOM, Mia now has the knowledge and skill set available to soon treat patients as a practitioner. What I find most intriguing is both Mia and Kari seem equally passionate and excited at where they are in their journey. Both students are at the doorway of a new beginning, ready to begin with both feet in and arms wide open! 

Congratulations to everyone graduating this trimester!  Also, congratulations to everyone starting this journey!

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.

Ready for another trimester

Just as we had our first snow fall of the season this week, NUHS had its first week of the classes for the new trimester. The AOM student body feels like it is growing in a positive way with every new trimester. I had the pleasure of meeting the new clinic AOM observers this week. I also have had the ability to meet additional AOM students throughout the campus.  


Every trimester I seem to notice the same thing about AOM students--we love coming to our classes and clinic. Simply by being around my current friends/students and the newer students I met, I could feel the rooms being filled with enthusiasm. This positivity creates such an invigorating energy throughout the AOM department. I find a little extra boost in positivity is always pleasant to be around.

I think some of my favorite things about returning to classes are reconnecting with all my friends, returning to clinic and receiving the syllabi from my new classes. I always feel a sense of excitement during the first classes of a trimester. I find myself filled with a new sense of anticipation when reading each class's syllabus, as I realize within a few months, I'll have a grasp on all the knowledge outlined in it.


While it was wonderful to have returned to NUHS last week, I was rather happy to have the extended holiday weekend the first week back. It has helped with the transition of being on vacation mind-set to returning to a studious train of thought. It has also been very helpful with my schedule change in my home life. From my experience and those shared of my fellow students, returning to school after being on break can sometimes feel like a rather large adjustment for those at home, especially children. Fortunately, this extended holiday weekend allowed for extra time to readjust!