Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inside an acupuncture point location exam

My last point location Exam was on Friday 18th September 2009 at 11 a.m.

Exam: to answer a minimum of 18 out of 20 point location questions correctly from a choice of 200 points using western anatomical location descriptions of the body. The acupuncture points, although ordered by the meridian they are in, will be randomly called out by an examiner who over views your physical location technique on a partner body in front of you and assesses your verbal location of the point: 90% is needed for pass in ten minutes.

Wednesday night: panicked, got home 6ish. Tried studying but procrastinated till 8. Went to midnight flipping through point location cards.

Thursday: up at 5 a.m. to review cards and pick through what I couldn’t remember. Evening back home 5ish, sandwich for dinner. Went over cards again to 9pm

Friday: Up at 5 a.m. leaving house at 8 a.m. to meet with a friend at 9 a.m. to go over final point info before exam at 11 a.m.The three hours till 8 a.m. whipped by, hardly time for breakfast! Nervous, feel uptight and reactive, didn’t feel like sharing journey on the bus, jumped on my bicycle to ride in to the city. The bike ride in was a nice distraction. Paused in Centennial Park on the way through to uni:so peaceful. Stated to myself would reflect on that moment if things got stressy during the day. Back into the commute through the city and found my friend at the UTS library. Studied, and tried to maintain cool although felt very edgy.

10.30 a.m. made my way to level 12, building 1. Needed space, as any answer I gave that was wrong would tail spin me, so told my friend I would meet them up there! Level 12 and a few people standing around waiting for exam. Chatted and avoided any test questions, maintained calm but insides going crazily at 100 kmph. People in test before came out-looking relieved, my partner turned up and said hi and a moment later we got the call to go in.

11 a.m. Bags down, I thought I was going first for location, but my partner got in before me on the request by the lecturer and I went with it. The disadvantage: I have to wait for her to do the exam first, the advantage: I get a clue of the examiners style, wants, foibles and settle in to the rhythm. Lying on the table my heart was racing, staring up, as any help or notion of assistance is an exam fail. The first five points called by the examiner for the other person I couldn’t concentrate on, then I started remembering and locating in my head. The pauses, the wait, the suffering. The stop start, unsureness, all hang on a sweating ice edge. Then they had finished, congratulations: now me. I have a quick drink of water, and my study body is lying down in front of me, a smile and we are on. I decide to just focus on the points called. Ok confusion, now I have been told to read out my own points. I grab a pen to tick off on the sheet as I go, as the list becomes a jumble of lines in my spinning head. First point down, second: wait, where? Ok count back and forth along meridian-ok. Next and next. Rhythm, good. Conception Vessel 4. This point is above the pubic sympysis. in the area of the lower abdomen. I have learnt it as 2 cun (Chinese inch) above the border of the pubic symphysis. Pause. Lecturer says nothing. Pause. Question:” how many cun is it below the umbilicus?”. Ok ok. What’s the entire measurement again?? Ok I can do this…I place hands on abdomen of my exam body before me, suddenly I am in chaos. Suddenly I am searching with hands in a area of the body which is never usually touched, I realise this and suddenly double panic. OK ok ok what is that measurement from tummy button to the pubic symphysis? Ok 5 cun. Take away the measurement from one direction form the total to give the other measurement. I call out 3 cun inferior to the umbilicus. I learnt it by wrote the other way round! Pause, pause. Lecturer: “ correct”. Next point. After this peak of panic things brushed by. At the half way mark I wondered how much longer to the end. Then final point and I called it and it was good. Yeah! It’s done. Passed. I can’t believe it. Early mornings, late nights, fear and doubt, worry and practice all to this end moment. Complete. I will never have to do one of those again. A week later and it feels as though it was done a million years ago!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The power of tcm and the power of herbs and the power of life

As always so many things are happening and developing that it's hard to keep up. I was very moved by a story I heard during the week from a friend though: it regards cancer and its treatment. The friend told me about a male who was diagnosed with prostate cancer during 2006. After this diagnosis he changed his lifestyle by becoming vegan, eating unprocessed food and taking up meditation through the Gawler Foundation. He didn't take any western medicine treatment and maintained a course of TCM herbs in a heavily modified formula called Huang Lian Jie Du Tang , with the added herb of the following: ban zhi lian. From 2008 and 25 PSA and blood tests later he is in remission. An amazing story unravelled of the male involved. One of courage, determination. He faced off to normal medical convention and confronted his doctors on why and how. He asked one of them to write a statement of his prognosis and they refused. The male involved also stated that his definition of happiness had changed. Happiness now was an attitude of calm, tolerance, sensitivity, compassion and balance. How had he maintained balance? For example he would schedule all his calls to a certain time and not answer his mobile any other time. If demands were made he would assess them logically and allow the right time for them. For example an urgent document needed to be signed that would take all night to read for the next day. He read it the next day and delayed the deadline.
The simple dried grass looking herb above helped him in this quest for balance too.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Where to get lunch?

The lunch question at UTS:answered!
If you head to building 6 you will find smoking types who design. Yes you are in the "design and architecture building". Here the DAB cafe (see quote marks) provides the best salads. Why? The freshness, the variety and the great flavours and great price. Nothing on campus or nearby beats this very friendly and down to earth place. You just have to go up an enormous set of badly designed steps to get there. What a shame...Might try and do a cross promotion with them and the UTS clinic across the road BTW. Stay posted!


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