Staying Healthy

October 3, 2011 at 3:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I’ve made it through the first three weeks of schools in a healthy physiological state of being…for the most part.

I went to NCNM’s health clinic, which is a teaching clinic, to be seen by a Classical Chinese Medicine student and the supervising Doctor three times already. The first time was during Orientation week because I had slipped off a curb and sprained my right ankle while taking my laundry to my car at night (I had done it at my friend’s place while we barbecued and watched a movie). This injury was coupled with a right knee strain (it’s had many small injuries and has a weak ACL) from the previous week that I subjected myself to after a tough weight-lifting workout at the gym. The student doctor, who has training in acupuncture, needled my ankle, calf, and back side of my knee in several places to reduce the swelling. I was a little bit sore from the needles afterwards but a lot of the pain in my knee had subsided; I hadn’t had much pain in my ankle, just slight stiffness, which subsided as well.

The following week I went in for a follow-up appointment for my ankle and knee, which both were doing much better, but also to have my digestive system treated. I’ve had ongoing “issues” with my digestive system for the past 10 years almost. Initially, I noticed that I was lactose-intolerant, then lactose-sensitive, but then perhaps back to lactose-intolerant. Also, I have had some allergies to foods since I was a child that sometimes come & go with the season; for example, bananas, cantaloupe and carrots can make my lips and throat itch; and some beers & wines make my skin on my forearm or lower back itch. Weird, but true.

Back with the doctor, he told me that my pulse was slow and that my digestion was of concern. The doctor instructed the student doctor where to place needles and also devised an herbal concoction for me to take twice daily that would help eliminate the “evil chi”. As soon as the needles were placed in my forearm to stimulate my digestion, my intestines immediately started churning! It was really amazing! The churning subsided as I relaxed until the needles were removed and I lifted my arm to move my wrist (side note: I had sprained my wrist earlier in the week so I was needled in the wrist and forearm…gravity has been rough on me here) and the churning returned! Thankfully the churning only lasted for a few seconds but I was intrigued as to how needling my forearm stimulated my digestive system. So cool!

I took the herbs for one week and they definitely cleaned out my system. A detox at the beginning of a new beginning! The first day off of the herbs was the autumnal solstice so it was a great way to start a new season. I ate as healthy as I could for a week before I could arrange to meet with the “chi” doctors again.

Last Monday, I donated blood for my first time. It was a novel experience to see a large sac of my own blood being filled then several subsequent vials. I stayed conscious the whole time but was drained for the rest of the day and the next. Then, as nature would have it, my cycle began on Thursday. Needless to say I was pretty drained on Friday. Thankfully, I had another appointment at the clinic with the CCM student doctor & supervising doctor. They noted my very weak pulse and styled the treatment as a energy- and blood-stimulating session with little & light needling. They also concocted another herbal supplement to help strengthen my blood during these next two weeks. I’ll return in two Fridays for another herbal concoction that will continue to help to strengthen my blood and normalize my hormones so I will have an easier transition into my next cycles. I’m definitely looking forward to a lessened voracious appetite and emotional kiddie roller coaster ride next month =)

I’m feeling healthier than ever but this transition to Portland has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster…


Permalink 1 Comment

Passed First Exam!

October 3, 2011 at 3:03 am (Uncategorized)

The big excitement this past week, which was the third week of a 12-wk term, was that I had my first exam. It was in my Organ Systems I course, which is similar to a physiology course. The exam consisted of about 25 multiple choice questions. In my program, the courses are graded on a pass or not pass scale with a 70% and above constitutes a passing grade. I passed with room to spare!

Tomorrow is my first Biochemistry exam. I feel pretty good about it and plan to pass this one as well. I’ll keep you all posted =)

Off to get a good night’s rest…

Permalink Leave a Comment

Somatic Re-Education/Ortho-Bionomy

September 26, 2011 at 5:14 am (Uncategorized)

As part of my curriculum, I am required to take 13 units of electives. My fellow classmates and I were told that we did not have to start taking electives our first term but that some of the courses are offered only certain terms because they follow a sequence. I chose to take Somatic Re-Education I this term because a couple of healers that have guided me on my path utilize somatic re-education. The instructor of the course requires that I read The Philosophy and History of Ortho-Bionomy, Arthur Lincoln Pauls, DO. Apparently, the course is more of the philosophy and utilization of the method developed by Dr. Pauls though the school is not allowed to use trademarked names.

From the syllabus: “Somatic re-education is an interactive approach to human learning that uses touch and movement to bring about improved cognitive and physical abilities. This process addresses awareness, posture and action by verbally and physically guiding the client/patient in the discovery of existing and alternative postures and actions. The guidelines to this work are to offer support through re-education of the client/patient to overal balance, while we encourage their participation in their wellness and health care.”

Once I delve deeper into the understanding of the philosophy and practice of ortho-bionomy I’ll attempt to offer my interpretation. As of now, it’s all very new to my understanding.

“The work relies upon the individual’s system of self-balancing reflexes, and is effective in the release of discomfort associated with structural tension and imbalance…Tense muscles and ligaments may relax as the person is held in a position of comfort. Stress and emotional tension may be released, to be replaced by increased comfort and often a sense of peace.”

Emotion and trauma release/healing is an aspect of overall wellness that I have gained interest by experiencing it myself. I wish to learn more about the ways of emotional healing so that I may incorporate them into my practice.

This term I will be learning Phase IV General Release Techniques, which is the starting point of Ortho-Bionomy’s influence of rebalancing. Phase I includes unconscious postural releases; phase II, cognitive awareness releases attained through yoga, tai chi, etc; and phase III, Spontaneous Release by Positioning by L. Jones, D.O., where the practitioner chooses and guides the movement.

The class includes a hands-on portion that, this week, focused on the neck and shoulders. The instructor spent a brief time showing on a student how to perform each of the 10 release techniques and then we, the students, practiced on one another. Much of the technique is about feeling where the body is restricted in a certain movement pattern then holding the preferred position for a brief time so that the body registers that it has over-exaggerated a preferred position and then the initially-restricted motion registers it’s out of balance and releases. That simple! Or maybe not…

Permalink Leave a Comment

Cadaver Lab

September 22, 2011 at 3:07 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday was my first hands-on experience with a cadaver. There were no labs during the first week of the term; hence, this is why yesterday was my first day in lab. Six bodies were graciously donated at the beginning of this term to the small school of NCNM with an incoming class of ~120 students. At my undergrad university, I recall there only being one cadaver available to the student body of about 20,000 students and it was definitely not recently donated. The professor welcomed the students into the lab and introduced “the stars of the show” and bid us to respect the people who offered their bodies to science by offering a moment of silence.

We, the students, had gloved up, grabbed our checklist, probes, and then went towards the cadavers. The professor did not instruct us as to where we would find the listed muscles, bones, nerves, ligaments, etc, as we were to have studied from atlases of anatomy & our lecture notes prior to attending lab. Thankfully, I and my new friend, Courtney, had done so at the advice of our upperclass mentors. Atlases of anatomy are also present inside the lab so we do not have to bring our own copies in and risk contaminating them.

Between the professor and the two teaching assistants and our own recollection of some of the listed item, we made our way discovering a whole new world…at least for me. It is quite fascinating to see the human body prosected after so many years of learning about the body in books and in action as an active individual, personal trainer, physical therapist aide, and Pilates instructor. The human body is amazing in it’s organized entanglement.

Permalink Leave a Comment


September 16, 2011 at 2:35 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to PranaHealer!

I offer this site to those who wish to learn about the field of naturopathic medicine and to follow my journey of becoming a naturopathic doctor, a.k.a. a Prana Healer. Provided are pages that offer an overview of naturopathic medicine and overall health and well-being. Also, there are links to sites so that you may further your understanding of those aforementioned topics. As I have yet to become a licensed doctor, I can not offer any medical advice though I will gladly refer questions, comments, or concerns to established medical professionals, organizations, or other resources, such as texts, journals, etc.

In health & happiness,



Permalink Leave a Comment

« Previous page