My Last Fall Trimester

As I was getting ready to write my first blog post for this tri, I realized that this is going to be my last fall here at NUHS. I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that next fall is going to come sooner than I thought and I will be a licensed acupuncturist!

Romania1Bucharest, Romania

Until then, I'm back to my regular schedule with clinic shifts, classes and some work. Break has been of course, too short, and I am already missing home and my parents but at least I got to see them.

Romania2Bucharest, Romania

Can't really say I took time for myself or relaxed because I worked on my family and friends; I was just happy to see again what a difference acupuncture and herbs can make. Being far away from all the people that I love has never been easy for me and I'm actually starting to research if there's a way I can legally practice acupuncture back in Romania. Even if I might not do it right away, I would still like to know that there's a possibility if I decide on it.

Romania3Bucharest, Romania

I am excited to start studying herbal formulas and also preparing for Biomed board exam. This trimester is probably going to still feel like a roller coaster with so many herbal classes plus senior exam, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that a good diet, herbs, acupuncture, and hopefully more exercise will help me through all of it.

Romania4Bucharest, Romania

I am not part of the AOM club anymore since I don't really feel I'll have the time, so if any of you are interested in joining and helping out you can email me at iulianalixandru@student.nuhs.edu

I wish you all an easy trimester and good luck with exams!

Functional Endocrinology

Last weekend I attended another Apex seminar this time focused on Endocrinology. We had two full days packed with a lot of information, and by the end of the second day I think everybody was tired and our brains needed a break.

What I love about these seminars is that in each of the instructors do a great job of going back into Biomed and explaining everything in such a way that I can put everything together and understand it much better than in a clinical lab class or any other Biomed class. The material is very well structured, you also get a lot of case studies, and by the end of the weekend you definitely feel more confident about working with patients and being able to pinpoint exactly what's happening with them.

Brain Image source: britannica.com

This was my last seminar for this trimester. Now I'm back to finishing papers and studying for finals and then some cleaning and packing before flying back home to Romania.

I feel summer went away too soon and I didn't even have the chance to enjoy it, but I am happy with what I was able to accomplish and I'm looking forward to fall and one less board exam.

I hope you'll make the most of this break and I'll be back in the fall with more about my journey into becoming an acupuncturist. If you have any questions you can always find me at  iulianalixandru@student.nuhs.edu .

Two-Year Milestone

Not sure how time flies away so fast! I've been in school for almost two years and it seems like yesterday that I was sitting in Dr. Wang's "Introduction to Oriental Medicine" trying to understand what he was talking about.... I remember having no clue about anything and just studying as much as possible, so I don't hear Dr. Fan saying in my Points Location exam, "I think this point should be one mm this way." :)

Now, two years later, everything is on fast forward and each day comes with a new challenge. I absolutely love my clinic shifts, but not so much some of the classes. Last week I was writing my resumé for my Business class, and I was honestly surprised when I looked at all the trainings and certifications I managed to do in just 2 years. Until I saw everything put on paper I didn't really perceive all these trainings as something so important, but looking back I can only be thankful that I was able to attend them and learn so much more.

People always ask me, "Is it worth it?" "Do you need trainings aside from school?" "Why would I do something like that when I don't even know all the things we learn in school?" I can't speak for everybody but if everything comes easier to me now it's also because of all these trainings. If I seem to understand or know more it's also because of all the money and time I invested.

I know that there will be enough continuing education for us to take after graduation, but I preferred to take some classes now, not only because I wanted to know more, but also because most of the seminars have a discounted price for students.

It also depends on what you plan to focus on in your practice. If you don't necessary want to specialize in something, maybe you don't need other trainings. If you want to practice only TCM and nothing else, maybe school is going to be enough to get you started.

For me, it was a little bit different because I was interested in Five Elements, Japanese Acupuncture, Functional Medicine, and so much more. I envision my practice as an integrative one, so I wanted my training to be an integrative one, even if I'm not pursuing the ND program.

So here I am trying to sprint and finish my sixth trimester with 5 more papers to write, 9 clinic shifts, 6 exams, and one more training next weekend. Wish me good luck!

Registration Time

Three more weeks and I'll be flying to Romania, seeing my mom and dad, playing with my dog, and just taking the time to breathe, relax and remember to enjoy life. Bought my ticket, did some shopping, started packing and I'm counting the days. I plan on resting as much as possible, needling my parents, meeting with friends, and just giving my brain a break so I can come back fresh and ready to work on my patients and learn some more.

Varios -03-150ppp -01 Image Designed by Freepik

Until then I still have six papers to finish, finals, clinic shifts, and one Apex training in Functional Endocrinology. I already registered for next trimester's classes and my schedule is looking a bit better than this trimester: 7 classes with just one weekend plus 3 clinic shifts, meaning just 21 credits. Most of the classes are herbal ones, and I figure fewer classes are going to be better with all the herbal formulas that we have to memorize.

Everything is piling up and most of the time I end up turning in papers right before class, but I'm doing my best with all the things on my plate.

I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed and getting headaches so I got some homeopathic remedies from the ND clinic. I also gave up on everything else so I can have time for 2 infrared sauna sessions per week, and I've got to say I love that sauna! Not only does it help detox your body, but I always feel so relaxed and almost fall asleep.

If you haven't have a chance to try it yet, don't miss it. I wish I had the time to do it three times per week and get the most benefit, but I still need my acupuncture session.

Empathy or Compassion?

The other day we were discussing in our Doctor and Patient Relationship class how to deal with all kinds of patients. How do you handle the chatty ones? How do you establish boundaries for the needy ones? How do you keep yourself in balance and don't feel drained at the end of a work day? How much compassion or empathy do we need in order to help our patients? How do you not get involved, attached, or start judging?

I learned the hard way that working with people can be exhausting. Ten years ago, after my Reiki attunement, I worked for the first time on a cancer client and I ended up very sick. When I realized how much "junk" you can pick up, I gave up on Reiki, and I stopped using it with clients. I didn't give up on energy healing but I researched other methods and chose the ones that kept me in balance and also much faster than Reiki.

Time has passed and I learned that as long as I stay neutral, I can actually help clients much more. Empathy or compassion might seem a must but from my own experience, it is more important to be there and help the patient, and this might not happen when you get too emotional. Your emotions combined with all your clients issues are a combination that you don't want to work on. If I'd get emotional whenever a patient starts crying during a session, my life would be miserable and I would think I'm not in the right profession.

I'm not saying be cold and don't listen to the patient. You can still be warm and "fuzzy" (if that's your style), but keep yourself centered and don't get caught in all the things you hear from the patient. The target here is to help them and not just offer them a shoulder to cry on. There are moments where they might need your shoulder, too, but keep it short and simple. Acupuncture will offer them relief anyway, so there is no need to waste time or dwell in complaints.

It takes some time to get used to dealing with people on a daily basis, but after some practice I can honestly say I actually enjoy seeing clients and helping them. I know I'm not perfect and I also realize that not every patient likes me but that doesn't matter. What matters is that I do my best for patients regardless of their problems or my own emotions, beliefs, issues, etc. As long as I keep reminding myself what's important, I can stay neutral, be there for my patient, and help them feel better.

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