Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day!

Hello again!

I am finally back on the continent and I am thrilled to be home! I've begun to plan for my next business venture here in Portland with the hopes of hanging up my shingle within the next month.

I quickly wanted to let you know about a documentary film called "9000 Needles." You can learn more about it and watch the trailer here:,000_Needles/Welcome.html.

While on the ship and even during my internship, I successfully treated many victims of stroke. I have seen firsthand the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For this reason, this documentary highlighting the efficacy of Chinese medicine in the treatment of post-stroke sequella is very close to my heart. Unfortunately, screenings are quite selective but I trust that the trailer will be enough to raise awareness and hope for stroke victims and their families.

If you'd like to learn about how you can promote Chinese medicine today and in the future, check this out:

In health,


Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello from Alaska!

Whittier/Anchorage...view from a Portland-ish cafe! Love it!

Hello everyone!

No, I haven't jumped overboard yet! The ship life is indescribable...really, there are no words to express it. Rather, there aren't enough internet cards to buy in the world that would give me enough time to type it all up.

It is at once exhilarating and overwhelming. I find myself working way too much (15 hours a day average) and sleeping way too little. The pressure is tremendous to make someone feel better (at least 50% better) in 45 minutes. Yet, I have incredible opportunities to change hundreds of lives every month. Two cruises ago I treated a woman who had polio since she was 15 years old. Now she is 75 and doing great after a series of treatments. Acupuncture took away a man's back pain that he had since 1976. Last cruise a man said that he felt like someone had poured gasoline on his leg and lit it on fire. I nearly cried. But, that night after the treatment and since then, he hasn't felt that pain again.

So, there are huge rewards and huge costs. I am out in the middle of the ocean, away from my loved ones and friends. I am missing you and wanting to be there for you as well. But I hope that I am doing good and important work. I hope that I am making a difference.

My Slovakian friend, Jana and I at our spa party!

Oh, and I have to tell you a few other exciting things. I am the first acupuncturist in history to offer qigong classes on board (1-2 per cruise). It's been amazing to feel the group energy and see the ocean just outside the windows. And, I'm the #2 acupuncturist out of 80 this month. Just thought I would let you know and congratulate you all for supporting me in this crazy endeavour.



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ships Ahoy!

Sunset outside of Panama City!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm safe and sound on the Coral Princess! I'm working harder than I ever have in my life but having a great time doing it!

Here on the ship, I've been treating patients for many varied conditions such as Parkinson's, back pain, and allergies. I'm fortunate that this is a 15-day cruise because we're making great progress so far! My patients are coming in for courses of treatments and coming in as frequently as possible. This is how the medicine is supposed to be practiced! The only problem is, I'm having trouble with patient compliance when I prescribe herbs. Any suggestions on how I can stress the importance of herbal medicine? Anyway, I have two treatment rooms that face the ocean and on any given day I will treat 5-14 patients. It's been a very busy week!

One of my treatment rooms!

In terms of living situations, I have my own room which is bigger than I expected (thank god!) and I get to eat in the Officer's Mess because I'm considered an Officer! How great is that?

You can follow me on the Coral Princess website for my itinerary...I'll be heading to beautiful Alaska in May!

Monday, February 8, 2010

More from Zhong Guo!

Photos from in and around Nanjing...

Where the Treaty of Nanjing was signed, making Hong Kong Island a crown colony of the United Kingdom

The entrance to Xin Jie Kou, my favorite underground shopping in Nanjing...I've never felt so trendy!

Our wonderful translators, Wendy and Helena, helped us bargain!

Blue skies over Nanjing were rare but very welcomed!

We crossed this river everyday on our way to clinic...and I lost my bike pedal here at least twice!

More from the hospital...I have so many fond memories of the kind, knowledgeable, and gracious staff, nurses, and doctors!

The new campus for TCM in Nanjing...

We kept taking pictures of the was amazing...even the library was huge! How exciting to have seemingly unlimited resources for learning and treating patients!

We even got to see a dorm + dorm mates! Check out the girl's shorts, second from left: it's Che Guevara-lego-ized!

Each freshman class must go through one year of military training. It didn't look too bad though: most students were texting/marching!

They take hot pot seriously here, folks!

Has anyone ever ordered a bucket of rice before?

Street scenes...

Photos from Mochou Lake: it was right across the boulevard from our hotel!

I haven't been able to find motorized two-person carts here in the States! ^_^

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Valentine's Day Edition!

Remnants of our celebration at Bonneville Resort & Spa

Hello Everyone! I hope that the new year has proven to be a healthy, happy one so far!

I've got some exciting news! After much deliberation and a few years of research and correspondence, I went down to Los Angeles for an interview/training with Steiner Leisure Limited. Steiner is a beauty and wellness company based out of London who owns and operates many spas on land and at sea. They offer an acupuncture program called Point of Well-Being on over 71 cruise vessels on eight cruise lines. While in LA, I was offered a position to be the acupuncturist on one of their ships, the Coral Princess from the Princess Cruise line! I will be leaving for the cruise on March 22nd for the Panama Canal.

The Coral Princess

What's more is that my wonderful boyfriend, Dave, took me to California and gifted me with a trip to Disneyland! We had an amazing time at the Happiest Place on Earth! My top three rides were:

1. Indiana Jones: watch your head
2. Space Mountain: it's dark so you can't watch your head
3. Splash Mountain: don't watch the people in front of you (they may embarrass you)

Later that day, Dave took me to the Pirates of the Caribbean restaurant...very romantic, very much in the bayou! I had a delicious portabello mushroom entree and Dave had the jambalaya, which unfortunately fared better than Dave did.

At a cafe in Portland, two sisters insisted on sitting next to Dave

So, while I'm here in Portland I have been preparing to leave (what I lovingly call, "getting my life together") by doing all those things that I've been putting off since school, like:

1. finishing my boards
2. getting licensed
3. taxes!
4. fixing my teeth (please, don't bite your fork! Root canals are uncomfortable and expensive!)
5. and best of all, spending time with my loved ones...

Dad, Dave & Vivian

My sister's boyfriend Eric, Dave & Lily playing Rockband

Every Monday and Wednesday, I've gotten to volunteer at my niece's school (Abernethy Elementary) and we've signed up for Girl Scouts as well.

Chef Lily made a delicious meal for Dave & I

I've gotten to hang out with the littlest edition to the family and even give her baths and change her diapers (sans gloves and face mask as I had with my first niece).

She loves to eat, just like her Aunty!

Vivers, looking like her mom!

Dad & I finally got to babysit!

And finally, I've been able to spend oodles of quality time with my most supportive and loving best friend, Dave.

At the Blazer game!

At the Phoenix show, Dave's favorite band!

In terms of the Valentine's Day Edition of my post:

Today, I had the urge to look at the news, which is rare you see, because rarely do I not find it somewhat depressing. However, I took the plunge and opened up the New York Times online. I scrolled down all the way to the bottom and read something that caught my eye. No, not the best commericals of Superbowls past (however entertaining that would be). I found a video titled, An American in Congo: Lisa Shannon's Run for Women Brutalized by War.

I have always wanted to be able to help the women of Congo but I never knew how until I saw the video of how Lisa Shannon, a Portland, Oregon native, was able to help through the simple act of running. How does this tie into Valentine's Day? Well, I think that if you are like me, we often want to bring more meaning into the holiday dedicated to love. Maybe we want to do more than buy those flowers or that card (however meaningful). Maybe we want to show our love to the global community. Maybe this is overstepping my bounds as a blogger but I just had to share this inspiring tale. So, today or the next day or the next, I challenge you to go to this site:, Women for Women International and see what you think. One person can make a difference. You all have made such a huge impact on my life. Let's see where that can take us.

So, that's it. The reason why I chose to talk about Women for Women was simply because I know that we are all intentional, giving, wonderful people who are always looking for ways to help. Please don't feel obligated. Please do feel hopeful. People like you are out there making a difference.

What did you do when it snowed? Me & my honda got cozy by the fire!