Archive for tag: formulas

Getting Down to Business

This week the AOM Student Association held its speaker event. Every trimester speakers are invited to come present to students from the AOM program and any other NUHS students interested in attending. This trimester they invited NUHS alumnae Barry Hinman (MSAc '09) and Kathi Wotal (MSOM '13), to present on "How to Start an Acupuncture Practice and Work with Insurance."

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Their presentation was fantastic; they shared the trials and tribulations they experienced starting their practices, as well as insider tips on everything from marketing and insurance to social media and logo design. AOMSA couldn't have found better speakers for the topic -- they're both insightful, detail-oriented, have had broad work and life experiences, are dedicated to their practices, and devoted to their healing professions. I'm very grateful that they took the time to put such a nice presentation together!


Finals are coming up and I'm once again up to my ears in studying and working on final assignments for all my herbal seminars. In spite of my anxiety with trying to regurgitate so much info in such a short period of time, I am excited to have an herb-only shift in clinic next trimester! Yes, I get to dedicate one of my clinic shifts to putting together patient formulas! As interns we don't usually have the time to dedicate to putting together formulas, so this shift is really key to learning them well and getting used to doing formulas on our own. Eek!


Amidst all the chaos of finals, the AOM program will be getting the first glimpse into ATHENA, the new electronic records system being implemented in the clinic. After months of waiting, the days of writing SOAP notes are now over! We still compile the general SOAP information, but will no longer have to suffer from carpal tunnel after speed-writing 4 patient notes in a shift or worry about crossing out and initialing errors or writing addendums. The DC and ND programs will also start using the system in the coming weeks.

Formula Constitutions

2016-06-03_bookI'm currently taking the herbal course "Classics of Chinese Medicine" with Dr. Xie. At first, I wasn't sure what the "Classics" referred to since most of the Chinese formulas that we learn as students are based on the classics.

The herbal classics embody the essence of Chinese medicine and the wisdom and knowledge of the classical medical conceptions of the human body. As it happens, this course looks at classical Chinese herbal formulas from the perspective of Dr. Huang Huang and is based off his work, "Ten Key Formula Families in Chinese Medicine."

Dr. Huang, a TCM practitioner and professor at the Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China, approaches classic Chinese herbal formulas as formula "families." This categorizes them by their chief herbal ingredient and formula presentations. These presentations are also described as "formula constitutions" that represent certain signs and symptoms in a patient. For example, a patient may display a Gui Zhi Tang, or 'Cinnamon Decoction' constitution. This would indicate that they tend towards having the signs and symptoms related to a formula family, which could therefore make them more vulnerable to certain pathologies. But their constitution would also make them well suited for treatment with a Gui Zhi Tang family/constitution formula. This is similar to our body's affinity for certain foods.


This may sound confusing to those not familiar with Chinese herbal formulas, but for herbal students it's pretty revolutionary. Not only does it simplify the way we learn formulas, but it also gives us a new way of diagnosing and treating our patients.


On the extracurricular side of student life, I wanted to include some photos of the absolutely gorgeous Memorial Day holiday weekend weather.... The warmth, sun and cool breezes could not have been more perfect for planting veggie and flower seeds in the community garden, lounging (and studying) lakeside, and watching Cubs games -- an ideal balance for my constitution!