Archive for tag: swans

Intern Skills - Physical Therapies and Manual Manipulations

Hi, everyone!

I thought that, starting this week, I would share a bit about the therapies and skills required of each Intern before graduation.

This week, since we here at NUHS are historically a chiropractic school, I will start with the obvious requirements of physical therapies and manual manipulation (or adjustments) skills.

Physical therapies are any therapy for the body including soft tissue (muscle, tendon, fascial) therapies, ultrasound, cold laser, phonophoresis, or massage. These therapies can range from treating ganglion cysts, scars, sprains, strains, swelling or tissue damage.

Manual manipulations (adjusting the skeletal structure) include manual adjustments of the spine and extremities (arms and legs). We are taught a tremendous amount of physical medicine while here at NUHS and the training came in handy as one of my first patients as a ND intern required both physical medicine and manual adjustments.

I have been fortunate to complete all of my physical medicine and manual manipulation requirements after only fours weeks into 9th trimester. The opportunity to get this much practice with physical medicine prepares me thoroughly for understanding the proper feel of a patient's musculoskeletal structure, based upon their age, activity level and level of injury. I feel that this will give me a competitive advantage versus other NDs in the marketplace, based upon the scope of practice in the state where I settle.


I have shared another pic of the swan and duck families who have grown and thrived on Lake Janse this past summer. Soon, the ducks will migrate south and the swans will return to their winter lodgings to rest and get ready for another year of scaring away the flocks of geese that attempt to invade our little campus on their migrations.

Next week, I'll share more about the skills that naturopathic interns need to master prior to graduation. Until then, enjoy the newly birthed autumn season

The Present

This week I'm just sharing a few words to reminisce and look forward to the next chapter in my life and career as a doctor. As the weather has been very mild for this time of year in Illinois, along with a good amount of rain, I have had the opportunity for many long, brisk walks and bike rides with my "significant other."

As we sat down under the willows to study this past weekend (she prepping for Botanical Medicine and Homeopathy classes while I was finishing up research for a patient in clinic), I started thinking about my time under these willows studying for the same classes she was now learning. I thought about our first conversation together a year ago, as she was taking a bike ride, stopped to chit-chat over books, and ended up staying for two hours under these willows--not very productive for study, yet the most fulfilling for getting to know a wonderful woman!


I thought about the friendships forged, the laughter, stress, and some tears shed under these very trees. I thought about the planning process for the Naturopathic Student Gathering. The spot underneath these two giant willows was the birthplace of the Talking Stick of the Naturopathic Student Gathering. These willows gave shade and solace during that time; they shared the concept of the willow and even gave of themselves for the opening ceremony and its trappings, after some fierce storms came through town last summer. 

During our small adventures around and about DuPage County, just outside of Chicago, where NUHS is located, we would talk about our times here at school and plans for the future. Where will she practice; where will I practice? What about our specialties, communities, how much of our training we will need to brush-up on, modify, or grow to meet the needs of the town or towns we settle within. We talk about licensure, legislative efforts and growing our profession on a national scale, and the responsibilities that come with being a part of the growth of naturopathic medicine. We talk about educating the public in a sensible, concise manner on exactly what naturopathic medicine is and what we can accomplish for our fellow human beings' health.

Finally, as I was sitting under the tree, thinking about my life before naturopathic medicine, the journey here at NUHS and the career that lies ahead, our Mama Swan and her three new cygnets stopped by the table under the willows. They were reminders that each passing year brings new rewards, new challenges, new people in our lives, and hope for the future. Each new year brings hope for health, hope for success, hope for joy and fulfillment; hope for the ability to provide for others and ourselves. My sweetheart looked over, asked my thoughts and why I was smiling. I took in all the symbols of past, present and future around me, the willows over me, the Mama Swan and her little ones behind me, my lady next to me, the patient research in front of me, the wind whipping the willow branches, and mixing all together, I replied, "Just enjoying the present, babe."