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023 A Gap and An Opportunity- Using acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the military • Jennifer Williams
Episode 2320th March 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 01:17:15

Shownotes

Using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are helpful modalities in the treatment of veterans who have served our country and suffer from injuries and the aftermath of trauma. 

But, treating veterans is not as simple as treating what we see in the clinical setting. There are aspects of military life that are invisible to the average civilian. And while acupuncture increasingly is being used by the military and the veteran’s administration, it has its own flavor and protocols. 

In this episode we speak with an acupuncturist, who is also a veteran. We get a look not only at the current opportunities for how acupuncture is used to treat the soldiers and veterans of our nation, but also glimpse into the challenges involved in working within the military.

Listen in as we explore how acupuncture and Chinese medicine are used in the treatment of military personnel and veterans. And learn about the various credentials and certifications that will allow you to work within the system and help those who have served our country.

Head on over to the show notes page for more information about this episode and for links to the resources discussed in the interview. 

Transcripts

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The medicine of east Asia is based on a science that does not hold itself

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separate from the phenomenon that it seeks to understand our medicine

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did not grow out of Petri dish experimentation, or double blind studies.

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It arose from observing nature and our part in it east Asian medicine evolves not

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from the examination of dead structures, but rather from living systems with their

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complex mutually entangled interactions.

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Welcome to qiological.

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I'm Michael Macs, the host of this podcast that goes in depth on issues,

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pertinent to practitioners and students.

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Of east Asian medicine, dialogue and discussion have always been elemental to

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Chinese and other east Asian medicines.

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Listening to these conversations with experienced practitioners that go deep

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into how this ancient medicine is alive and unfolding in the modern clinic

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Hey, before we get into today's show, I want to let y'all know about a special

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mini series coming up here on qiological in may, I'll be covering the sports

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acupuncture alliances conference.

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So mark your calendars for may 18 through 20, as I'll be bringing you

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several interviews each day with speakers and participants of this event.

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If sports acupuncture is your thing, you can get more information about

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this conference by visiting www sports acupuncture, alliance.com or just

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pop on over to the qiological show notes page and click on the link.

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Listeners of the show can also get a discount.

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If you want to attend this conference, that's dedicated to sports acupuncture.

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Whether you're keeping ballerinas and basketball players flying

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through the air or looking to ease the aches of the weekend.

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Gardener, this mini series from the sports acupuncture alliances conference is sure

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to be of help to you in your clinic.

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And if you're looking to connect more deeply with the community of

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sports, acupuncturists, then plan on being in San Jose for the conference.

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This coming may.

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All right, now let's get into today's show.

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My guest today is Jennifer Williams.

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Our topic today is going to be on using Chinese medicine.

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For treating veterans.

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Jennifer has a background in doing this and a service record.

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She served in the military in various capacities.

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She currently has a PhD in counseling and in recently,

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uh, got herself, a transitional doctorate in Chinese medicine.

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She has a private practice in green mountain, North Carolina, way out in

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the mountains where she practices.

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And today our subject is treating veterans using Chinese medicine,

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getting some insights from someone who's been right at the front line.

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So to speak both of the battles and in the treatment of veterans.

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Jennifer, welcome to qiological.

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Thank you, Michael.

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It's a pleasure to be here.

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I'm really looking forward to our conversation here.

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Let's begin.

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Tell us a bit about your background and what drew you to

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Chinese medicine and accurate.

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Certainly when I was younger, about eight years old, I recall first learning

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about the Chinese culture and being very intrigued, not just intrigued, but it felt

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more normal than where I was growing up.

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And my culture that's rounded me at the time.

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So I kind of lost and caught up in a lot of the Chinese ideas.

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So it was interesting when I had children, I was not quite

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well when I had my children.

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I had full-blown eclampsia with both of them.

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And the second one came at 25 and a half weeks.

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And I say 25 and a half weeks because legally in the state of Colorado,

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doctors are not supposed to resuscitate.

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The babies are 26 weeks, but my guy was a fighter and he did phenomenally

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well, but initially the doctors didn't have a whole lot of help.

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The prognosis was not good.

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He was supposed to be in a wheelchair, his whole life and our breathing machine.

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He couldn't breathe on his own.

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And I couldn't do a lot of things on his own.

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And immediately my mind went to Chinese medical herbs, and

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I had said botanical herbs.

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And I was fascinated with that when I was younger.

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And I knew I would go into some sort of medicine.

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I liked internal medicine.

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So knowing what I thought I knew about biomedicine, it was interesting to

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me that there was continual walls.

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In other words, the doctors would say, there's nothing else we could do.

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There's nothing else we can do.

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We just have to wait.

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And in my mind, I knew there was a plethora of things that could be done.

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And I immediately turned to Chinese herbs without having any formal education.

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I went to libraries and started looking up information where I could find it.

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And it led me to exactly what he needed at the time.

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And I was sneaking it in through my breast milk because the doctors

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weren't going to have anything of it.

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And I don't blame them.

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I can understand their perspective.

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They're responsible for this small little life.

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Um, even if it didn't last, they were still responsible.

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So it was amazing the results that happened so quickly and, uh, efficiently.

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So of course, um, once he was two years old and he was fine and perfectly

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healthy, I thought, okay, really?

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I'm going to have to pursue Chinese medicine, but I didn't think that I

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could do it so quickly, but you know, the universe leads us to where we need.

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Yes.

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Well, you know, it's amazing too, when I'm going, I'm just sitting here and listening

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to your story, a little drop trod.

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You already practiced some Chinese medicine before you ever went

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to get your formal education.

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I did.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And it was amazing too, to realize.

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And it was actually, uh, my older son was taking some classes at Berkeley

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university, um, in California.

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And I started going to the Berkeley acupressure Institute.

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And that's what I realized this isn't really so esoteric

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as it seems from the outside.

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It's really very scientific.

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And so, um, I really latched on to the, what I think is a more scientific

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aspect of Chinese medicine just because I like science in general.

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Yes.

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You know, let's jump into that just a little bit.

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I love that you used the term.

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Scientific with Chinese medicine, because so often the public

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perception is that it's not science.

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And I think even on our, in our own field, we might not notice

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that it's a kind of science.

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It's not a Western science, but it's a different kind of science.

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And I'd like to hear a little bit more about your thoughts, about

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how our medicine is scientific.

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We're often accused of it not being so right.

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Yeah, because there's this concept that is very esoteric and there

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are esoteric components to it.

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In fact, it can bleed deeply esoteric in a very meaningful way.

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When I use that framework in Western medicine, what I think about is

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how Western medicine and its own paradigm is very into recognize the

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importance of spirituality in medicine.

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And in, in people.

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And so that's coming into mainstream on its own with nothing to do with

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Chinese medicine or Arabic medicine, it's just developing naturally.

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And I think that there's a lot of gaps in Western medicine because this

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kind of concept is, is newer to them.

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And I think it was avoided because it wasn't scientific, but I think

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they're seeing the importance of it.

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So now we can go to Chinese medicine and go, oh, well, we already have

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this model and we can help you fill the gaps using Chinese medicine.

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And not that it has to be exclusive, but it can help that

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development in, in Western medicine.

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Um, but I think that, you know, eventually the, the two converge and

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I think we see this in physics and in other areas of science that, uh,

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you know, if we look at strength.

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We start to realize that, you know, these molecules don't behave.

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Like we expect them to behave and there's some, uh, very unknown, but when the

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biophysicist are really looking closely at, okay, how was it that all this

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information can transfer so quickly?

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Um, they, they have to kind of open up their own minds and they can't explain

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everything scientifically, but I think, I think eventually that scientific

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ideology and what we consider esoteric at the moment will converge in all models.

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Yeah.

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Become a little less materialistic as it's been chill.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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So you basically saved your son's life with breast milk

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that was infused with herbs.

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You, you took the herbs.

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No.

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I'm glad that you asked for that clarification.

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What I was doing was decocking the herbs and I was actually

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adding it to the breast milk.

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So it would come in looking orange.

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I was being very aggressive with this.

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And the first or by use was actually not a Chinese medical orb.

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It was actually Rubis, which comes from South Africa, which

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is high-end calcium, magnesium, and very calming for the stomach.

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My son could not tolerate any milk of any kind.

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They tried a plethora of things.

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So that was the first challenge and adding just the Rubis into.

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My breast milk directly, they called it liquid gold.

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And how did I get away with it?

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You might ask.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Um, it was interesting because a quick little story, my brother-in-law was

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juicing carrots, so intensely that his skin sort of turning, turning orange.

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So I used that idea and I said, oh, I've just been juicing carrots.

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And this is what's happened.

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I have no idea.

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And they bought it well time.

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I thought of a lion.

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I thought it up quick.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Well, we do what we need to do in the moment.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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But it worked.

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And, and from that, um, I just targeted one challenge at a time.

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He was going blind in one eye.

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For instance, he had gastro reflux, kidney reflux, all these challenges

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that prevented him from coming home.

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Um, and quality of life is really where I focused.

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And I was also coming in every day.

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What I now know as infant Tuohy.

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Now at the time, I did not realize what it was.

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Although a lot of the books I was reading said, oh, you know, with children, you

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need to rub their feet because that's the area of the kidney and development.

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And at the time I didn't have a context for it, but I had a lot of faith.

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Yeah.

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Well, something in you, something was guiding you on this.

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How, so then, how did you find your way to acupuncture school?

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And I'm curious, was the acupuncture school before or

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after your military service?

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It was after I joined the military when I was in college to help my cousin through.

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So I started the military very young, but I enjoyed it.

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There were so many opportunities.

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Uh, things I could learn that I wouldn't have gotten in college.

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In fact, I was frustrated in college because I wanted

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to learn computer science.

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I wanted to take my, I was an art major and I was ready to get into graphic

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art at a much higher, deeper level.

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And I was, oh no, you have to wait.

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You have to wait.

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And I thought, wow, I'm just spending my own money, spinning my wheels.

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So being in the military, suddenly I was, you know, the world was my oyster.

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I could really take a, so many different classes and learning

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experiences, journalism and writing and develop technical writing.

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So, um, I thought it was a great experience, but I recognize

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that the military had a huge deficiency in, in medicine.

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And that was that, you know, there were so many, there's so many other ways these

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soldiers could be ready on so many levels and, you know, right wrong or indifferent.

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Our military is very important.

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Um, it's really, you know, and I, I see the military as

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a global peacekeeping mission.

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I, I try to look at that positive aspect and there's corruptions in all areas.

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And I don't think that we've made the best use of our military, but

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that's a whole political issue.

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My thought is, you know, physically, mentally, we, we can be better prepared.

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And I think that's where Chinese medicine has not stepped in, but you know, maybe

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10 years from now, we'll see it because as a lot of this conversation will go

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is right now, the doors have opened up for us to help veterans, which is of

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course where we are in our medicine.

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We tend to see people who are operating at 50% or less, but really the

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medicine is designed for prevention.

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So you see a possibility in the future that Chinese medicine would be much

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more integrated into the military.

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Uh, on an everyday basis.

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Oh, absolutely.

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Oh yeah.

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Especially when we're talking about diet.

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And so, and I'll go back to your question about Ashley getting into acupuncture

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school, but, you know, as a, as a side note, when I was in the military, I

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would go in and help with the kitchen.

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I would crack up on the eggs and cut the vegetables and we'd prepare these meals.

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Now, everything comes in freeze, dried bags.

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Uh, the food quality is so low.

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The nutrient level is so low.

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And, and so one thought as well, you know, that's a big obstacle for healing when

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there's no nutrients for, for the blood.

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And there's, kind of owns what goes into the military basis.

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In other words, you know, the, the, the military we've got the veterans affairs.

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And then of course, you know, each branch of the military has

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their own major organizations, but insulation management command control.

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What's going on, on all the bases and AA fees, which is a private

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industry has control of most of the food that's coming in.

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And I've seen generals go almost to court with a fees, trying to get something

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like Chipolte he's into the basis.

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If he's won't have it.

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And like I've said many times to military leadership until our

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soldiers and veterans health become more important than profits.

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We're going to continue seeing these health crisis in our soldiers.

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I suspect this is something having been on the inside, so to speak and

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being more connected to the military and knowing the ins and outs of it.

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These are things you see that us civilians, we would

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really have no clue about it.

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Doesn't show up on the news.

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It doesn't show up, you know, an investigative journalism or

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anything, at least that I know.

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About, uh, you know, how our soldiers are fed and cared for that way.

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True.

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And I haven't thought about that, but you're right.

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And it is conversations we've started having on the inside.

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So I am actually on faculty at Walter Reed and I teach pain

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skills to 'em during conferences.

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And this is where the VA leadership army Navy air force come in and

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they learn different aspects of how can we do better pain management.

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And I've been trying to teach them about herbs and the relationship of

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nutrition and really opening up this door.

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And last year I was working with an officer who was actually in

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charge of nutrition for the Navy.

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And we had a long open conversation about that because this is something

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that the Navy is recognized and the Navy is working on.

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And so I think that there's an awareness and there are steps

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being taken, uh, to, to rectify it.

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But you know, the Navy doesn't have that same challenge as, as

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the army, when it comes to food.

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Because if you ever go to a Navy base, you'll find there's actually some

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decent, healthy choices on there, but in most army bases, there are not.

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And what's the reason for that.

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This may, this may seem just a little off topic, but it's kind of interesting.

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Why would those be different?

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Why is the Navy got better child?

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The Navy, because the Navy has recognized the problem with AA fees.

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And again, this is the army air force exchange and the army air

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force is army air force, not Navy.

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So it's the army air force exchange system, which is a private organization

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that continually challenged.

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When installation management command leadership wants to open

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the doors to healthier options.

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So was one of those examples.

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So we were lucky to that, you know, Starbucks was able to come in and not

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that Starbucks is a healthy choice, but that's probably the healthiest option

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they have besides the commissary.

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And the commissary does have sushi, but it's a pretty horrible

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pseudo sushi deliverance.

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That's still very, very expensive.

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And one argument that APS has is, well, the soldiers are not going

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to pay $10 for something better.

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And I'm like, well, first of all, if you go to Chipola, is it's

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more like $6 and second of all, yeah, they're paying $10 for some

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pretty crappy concept of, of sushi.

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And it's, there's no raw, healthy fish in there for the most part

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it's, um, overbooked and old.

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And it does not taste very good at all.

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But, uh, people will pay the money for it because they're desperate

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for something that's better quality.

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All right.

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So, so there's some real issues on the inside.

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Um, and in terms of basic nutrition.

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Oh, yes.

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Yeah.

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And again, even working in the hospital, I worked at the hospital on Fort

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Bragg for two years and the cafeteria.

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I mean, I think they're doing the best they can at all comes

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down to budget and money.

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And so again, you know, there were no fresh eggs.

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There were no, um, I mean maybe there were some, there were some hard boiled eggs,

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but all of the salad bar items, everything would have come into a plastic bag and

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the stuff was just pre done pre cooked.

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There, there wasn't anything that was prepared, fresh, everything came, you

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know, frozen or in a bag and it was cheap.

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And I think it, people just hasn't haven't realized that you pay now or you pay them.

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And I think that our soldiers have significantly paid, but there's no

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limitation of alcohol and cigarettes.

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Uh, in fact, the barracks, there are vending machines for beer and

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cigarettes right there in the barracks.

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So you have these young kids coming in and here's something that, that

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might get you thinking a little bit.

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So you have these young children who come in and maybe they've grown

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up with a semi-healthy love style.

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Let's, you know, um, and they'll come in and they're young and vulnerable

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and under a lot of stress now because it's a very stressful environment.

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And now they have right outside of the door, alcohol and cigarettes

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and vending machine, which I think is ridiculous, but not just

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that, but in the work environment.

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Um, if they, if they don't smoke, then they don't get a break.

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So in other words, if you're working with five people and you're all working

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on the same mission and three of them are out smoking, you know, um, every,

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every hour they leave for 15 minutes, then you're the one stuck doing the work.

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You don't get a break.

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And I have to wonder to what extent that's an antique design,

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you know, back when you know, big tobacco was trying to encourage you.

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So we know they did and that's, you know, not faulting anything,

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but it seems interesting that that concept is still in place.

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You, you generally don't get to take a break unless you're a smoker.

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You know, this is it's interesting.

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You should bring that up.

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I, I don't treat a lot of people who want to stop smoking mostly

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because I found most people don't really want to stop smoking.

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They weren't acupuncture to make them stop smoking, but in the work that I have

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done it, I, what I've noticed is smoke.

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Has some really positive side effects or, sorry, I shouldn't say side effects,

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but positive benefits for the smoker.

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And one of them is five minutes of don't mess with me right now.

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Yeah.

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This is not to be underestimated.

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If you don't have that ability to take a break without having

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to have a cigarette in your hand, then you don't get your breaks.

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Exactly.

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Yeah.

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So, so what I'm hearing from you is there's all kinds of things that are sort

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of structural in the military at this point, that lead people to have certain

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vulnerabilities in nutrition, you know, maybe some lifestyle sorts of things.

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It's the same time the military is, is on the cutting edge.

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It's I mean, it's brought acupuncture into some of the veterans associations, right?

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I mean, there's jobs for people to do acupuncture.

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Have a background in Chinese medicine and a background with the military.

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And what I'm hearing from you are some really optimistic words about

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how this is going to get integrated into military maybe before it gets

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integrated into our regular everyday life.

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Yeah.

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It's, it's, it's been interesting because again, as a, as a veteran,

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I wanted to step in and help.

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The VA actually contacted me when I had a private practice in Fayetteville,

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North Carolina and said, Hey, can you come over here and work?

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And then the army had a job opening about the same time, which was kind

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of exciting and who, who would've known, but the army said, yeah,

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but over here you can do herbs.

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And I was able to do a little bit with herbs, but not as much as I, I was hoping.

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And so from an optimistic standpoint, here's this opportunity.

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They're now hiring licensed acupuncturists to work in the VA and.

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The Navy and the army and the air force and all this is ramping up to work in

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integrated pain management clinics.

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So the first thing we noticed is, okay, this is all related to pain.

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Um, they haven't opened it up in other areas at that time.

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And that certain to, to maybe change what's happening in the background,

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what was happening in the background was there's, uh, a civilian physician

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who saw an opportunity and a gap.

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So if you're going to hire a licensed acupuncturist, who's going

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to monitor this, you know, what, what medical profession is going

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to monitor what we're doing, or try to understand what we're doing.

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And so this individual came up with this military, um, or medical acupuncture

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training, which I think was a great idea, but unfortunately this individual

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doesn't have an actual accredited Chinese medical training background

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and the translation of what was.

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Was not only quite different, but quite limited.

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And it resulted in these medical acupuncture as being what pretty

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much looks like a technician at best.

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So they walk out of this.

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What's supposed to be 300 hours of training doing the handful of

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protocols for pain, which don't make a whole lot of logical sense

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from either a Chinese medical standpoint or a biomedical standpoint.

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And, and they think that they're getting a better education than a

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licensed acupuncturist, but they don't know what they don't know.

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And they've got this incredible medical background.

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What they learned about Chinese medicine is a mostly incorrect and B um, not

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even 10% as a matter of fact, uh, the, the way they learned to diagnose.

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Is to ask the person, what color, the thinking of, what color

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are you thinking of right now?

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Are you thinking of the color blue?

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Oh, well then you have a preponderance C towards a kidney issue, and I'm sure that

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your mouth is hanging open right now.

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Um, I'm not kidding.

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And so what happened was we came along, we licensed acupuncturist and sort of doing

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our own thing and people wanted to see us.

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They didn't want to see them.

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We were making these incredible strides with people in so many areas of life.

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And the medical acupuncturist felt very offended and hurt and they wanted us gone.

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And, um, they got rid of the licensed acupuncturist that were working for the

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army or for the Navy and the air force.

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I think they all pretty much got terminated and the VA, and so the VA

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was trying to hire me, but it couldn't because suddenly they weren't allowed

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to privilege licensed acupuncturist.

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And that's what happened with the army.

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And so I didn't go into the army.

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Not knowing what was going on in the background.

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And this is something that people don't understand that that's happening.

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And the licensed acupuncturist that remaining, that weren't driven out

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through a lot of harassment and toxic work environment, the ones that remained were

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actually downgraded to a technician, uh, because people, the license acupuncturist

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weren't really on board with doing what they had learned, their handful of things,

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because aid doesn't really work and, and B it just as a limited scope and

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they don't learn differential diagnosis.

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So, oh, you have back pain, here's the treatment for back pain.

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It's all the same.

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Um, but we know that you and I both know that, you know, sometimes back

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pain can be from a digestive problem.

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I mean, or a shoulder pain can be because you've got a gallbladder attack.

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And, and it's just amazing that all that is just kind of left out of the mix, but

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in any event, uh, yeah, the, the lice of the handful that are left are now.

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Downgraded to a, to a technicians, they lost four grades of pay.

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And basically the medical acupuncturists are supposed to get credit for

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they're doing, although that's not really happening yet, but so

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that's the, that's the bad news.

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The good news is the VA shorted recognizing, and a lot of

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the higher leaderships, whoa, this medical acupuncture.

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Isn't really the acupuncture that I get when I go to my licensed acupuncturist

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on the side and I'm paying for it.

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Um, what's going on.

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And the VA recognized that when they were sending the veterans out for contracted

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care, that if they were seeing like physical therapist or a physician or a

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chiropractor who didn't have the board certification or the state licensure,

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like, like, like we do is licensed acute.

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The results just weren't the same.

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And they, the VA stopped that a couple of years ago.

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They said, yep, no more.

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If we're going to source this out, it's only going to be

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to a licensed acupuncturist.

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And the demand for our services has an increased exponentially to, to the

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point where, um, there are just so many opportunities for contracted care, but

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I think what's happening is there is the think tank of people going, okay,

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uh, we're gonna go ahead and have to hire a licensed acupuncturist and get

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them privileged again, like we used to and, you know, and have them on board,

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not only for pain, but for other areas, because we can work in fertility.

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We can work in internal medicine.

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You know, we, we can turn breech babies.

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I did this actually for one of the anesthesiologist who said, yeah,

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I really don't want the manual.

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Turning over my baby, but I really don't want to have a C-section can you help me?

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And, uh, and I did right through our stockings.

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I mean, just, you know, quickly, and we couldn't use mocks in the hospital, so

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to use heat lamps on, on both of her feet on the UBE, 67 and really stimulated and,

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um, you know, and sure enough, that baby turned and she had a natural delivery.

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So there became an interest for the anesthesiologist to learn how to

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do this, as opposed to the manual turning of the baby with all that,

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that really got her attention.

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Didn't it?

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It really got.

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Yeah.

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And, and, and so actually there, the person who was leading the

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anesthesiology department, who said, can you develop training on this?

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Can we do this?

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And I thought, well, why not?

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It's just, you know, one point it's, you know, it makes sense.

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It's, you know, it's a limited scope, it's safe, it's safe.

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And do you know, of course, Paula.

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Uh, got in the way and that's, that's the big problem.

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Politics always gets in the way and the politics that got in the way

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where the medical acupuncturist going.

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Yeah, we, we don't wait.

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We'd never learned this and B you're making us look bad again.

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So you need to stop that.

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Well, you know, w one of the things about being an acupuncturist that I really like

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is that I don't have to follow protocols.

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In fact, protocols don't really make sense to me.

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No, they don't.

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And, and, and so much of, of our current Western medicine is very

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much in love with protocols.

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And of course, many systems be it, the military or hospitals or

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insurance companies, protocols are, you know, they like protocols, I think

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because they're easy to understand.

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They're easy to teach and you can have a sort of standard of care based on them.

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It may or may not be effective, but.

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They're easy to institutionalize, whereas the handcrafted medicine that

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we do, that's a whole different story.

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You're right.

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And that's one of the challenges that we have in the, in the military right now.

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So, um, there's a lot of money out there, you know, uh, being spent on the, the

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medical acupuncture aspect and these protocols, which aren't necessarily a good

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value and I'll, I'll make a, a comparison.

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So the nada, the national acupuncture detox association,

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I think is a great protocol.

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I think that's an example of a, of a good protocol.

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Why?

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Because it's not really limited to us as, as acupuncturist we can

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use it and it's, and it's great, but it also allows counseling.

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To, to learn that and use it in the office.

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And that very limited scope.

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And there are literally over a thousand pieces of information

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on pub med on the NATA approach.

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So we know that it's effective and we understand both what's happening

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from a Chinese medical standpoint.

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And actually from a biomedical standpoint, there's research out there

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that shows when the lung point of the ear is stimulated, that there's an

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effect through the vagus nerve that satisfies the nicotine receptors.

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So, and this is a neurological research.

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And so we can really start to identify how this is working on

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many levels and we there's plenty of randomized clinical trial.

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That show the efficacy.

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Now, if we take that model and then compare it to battlefield acupuncture,

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which kind of looks like the same idea of not it's five points, it also

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uses the Shen men point on the ear.

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When we look up the research on pub med, it doesn't exist.

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There's a handful of articles about it.

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And it's really just the handful of people and actually Helms, who does the

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medical acupuncture for the military, um, and names Al the one who developed

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this battlefield acupuncture and they kind of work in cahoots together.

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And the VA there's, um, an organization that seems official,

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but it's not really official.

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It's a VA organization that does a lot of, uh, research and it

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kind of manages these pockets of.

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That that are going out, um, which I find very interesting.

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And, um, our medical acupuncturist are kind of intertwined in there

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as well and this organization, but this, they, they, they spent a half,

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a million dollars of our tax dollars to train people within the VA.

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I'm talking 26,000 and that's on their website.

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And so, uh, DV sebum, actually, this is their acronym.

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And so well, including that 26,000 people that they've trained to

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do this battlefield acupuncture, we're talking clerks, we're talking

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to people who really have no background, no plea deal technique,

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no concept of what they're doing.

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It's a simple protocol.

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It's a simple protocol, but with teaching people to do this quickly

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and, uh, And, uh, so that the translation wasn't very well.

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So when you see it executed by, uh, an allied practitioner or, um, you

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know, a nurse or actually saw what a pharmacologist had, had done it,

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the points are totally off and they start getting very, very creative.

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Well, I think I'll just look at the chart and I think I'll go over here

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and hit this other point instead.

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And so the, the overarching points I've making is that in our

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medical model, it's very focused on evidence-based and efficacy.

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So benefit acupuncture.

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There is no evidence-based that it's working.

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So we basically just used our military as kind of a test ground for something

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that it was never really understood.

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And if you look at names Al who developed this, there was one

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article that he wrote, and he said about the mechanisms of how this.

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The paragraph has maybe three or four lines and something to the effect

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of, well, the best I can figure is these areas are indicated when there's

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chronic pain is areas of the brain.

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So therefore we're going to use the cingulate gyrus, and

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we're going to, you know, use.

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So the guy just kind of pulled this out of his hat and threw it out there and can't

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even explain why or why it may not work.

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So what's interesting is one of the things the military is looking

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at is glial cells, which will go down a whole pathway of that.

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But basically these are neurological cells that we thought

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were, were injured initially.

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And now we see them involved when there's chronic pain.

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So the problem is we now understand that in the prefrontal cortex, when, when we

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meditate, when we relax, we can increase the activity in there which decreases.

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So names are apparently used some, um, at Andrews air force

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base, he used the functional MRI equipment to test his own protocol.

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And he said, oh, so in the prefrontal cortex, when I use the cingulate

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gyrus point, it calms everything down.

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Well, we know now that when there's chronic pain and a dysregulation

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of pain that relaxing, that area actually increases pain.

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So basically he proved that using the battlefield acupuncture for chronic pain,

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especially when there's the peak, the background of PTSD and stress involved.

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It's one of the worst things we can do and battlefield acupuncture itself.

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When you kind of look at it from a Chinese medical open minded standpoint,

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it's like, oh, that's not a bad idea.

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And I, I did see it working for people.

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Chronic pain was that not chronic pain with acute pain, but now they

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want to use it for everything.

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Okay.

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So let me just make sure I'm following this, using that singular gyrase point.

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It sounds like it has an effect on the glial cells in the, in

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the, in the prefrontal cortex.

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This might be more useful for acute pain, but not so helpful

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for chronic pain, right?

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Yeah.

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And I think, I think for acute pain it works fine, but while they're really

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using it for his chronic pain, especially when there's stress and we know that

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that model fits well with nada, but with the battlefield acupuncture, the

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one point we know, according to names, I was research calms down that area and

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they're produced in the prefrontal cortex and in turn actually increases pain.

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And so what we find now, Oh, even before I figured this out.

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And the reason I was trying to figure this out is because soldiers or veterans

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who have chronic pain and stress, which usually goes hand in hand, want

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to rip these things out of the hate.

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It it's, it's torturous for them.

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They can't stand it.

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And so here we are spending so much money, half a million dollars to train

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people on something that we never looked at to see if it made sense or B was

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even effective, you know, uh, or w there was no evidence base for using this.

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And now we have evidence to show that this was real.

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This is really a bad idea.

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Well, it's helpful to have evidence.

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And, you know, so often this is the way knowledge and understanding

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moves forward is, you know, something seems like a good idea.

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We, well, we often have lots of good ideas.

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This seems like a good idea.

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And then you try it and you look at the results and you

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go might need to modify it.

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Yeah.

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Well, so, so then you have to ask yourself, why didn't we just use nada?

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We know it works.

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We know it's effective.

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It wasn't going to cost anything to teach this to nurses and

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other allied professionals.

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Right.

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And so then, you know, you just, so, so basically you start to wonder,

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okay, why has something that we know can be so largely effective in so many

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areas of medicine become limited to, to a handful of people just trying

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to make money off of it and deliver something that's not so effective.

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And so that's the unfortunate thing that's happening in the background.

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That's, that's, uh, a struggle that most people aren't aware of, you

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know, I think eventually once that's more elucidated and eliminated that.

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It'll it'll give way to what we're doing in this medicine and start really then

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going into deeper areas of medicine.

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And I can really see Chinese medicine changing our Senate of care because

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a lot of times, well, you know, it's a battlefield acupuncture.

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Isn't, isn't evidence-based, but it's a standard of care you're coming in.

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You have pain, everyone's busy.

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They, they can't help you.

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So they do the battlefield acupuncture, right?

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Well, standards of care.

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Um, I mean, I see patients all the time in my clinic that have either not been helped

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by the standard of care or injured by the standard of care from Western medicine,

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but because it's the standard of care.

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Well, you know, it's the best we got, what are you going to do?

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Yeah.

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So if we look at a common problem, we have with the veterans in the

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military, And even in the civilian population are, is neurological pain.

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And let's take an example of Parkinson's and Parkinson's is really just a diagnosis

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of Arvin trembling for two years.

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Therefore you have your diagnosed Parkinson's right.

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Isn't it a little more complicated than that.

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It's like trembling for two years and respond to certain drugs.

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Ah, I'm glad you said that the drugs are all experimental.

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There is no drugs that actually, yeah, there's there's herbs, herbs.

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There's medicines.

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We gave a standard of care, but they're more expert ex experimental.

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There's nothing.

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I mean, we take an aspirin, we know it's going to work, but there is no drug that

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actually can treat Parkinson's well, don't they control it with L-DOPA or,

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or I should say, attempt to control it and that's, and that's the point.

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And when that.

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They try something else and they try something else.

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Did you know that Parkinson's is one of the most lucrative diagnoses?

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No, I didn't.

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Yes it is.

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And so, and, and I'm not faulting anyone, I'm just, I'm looking at

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there's, there's a standard of care.

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There's that model.

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And it's an easy one to compare because, you know, we can look at cases of like

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denia and the person has hypersensitivity because that neurological condition

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has continued on for so long and none of these drugs were working.

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And so then we can go to Chinese medicine and go, oh, okay.

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Well, we kind of understand what's happening from a biomedical

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perspective, which I think for me really helps me because then I can

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go, okay, well, what do we see it?

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We see it as B syndrome.

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We see this external pain condition and the swelling and

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the swelling harassing the nerves.

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You know, when we start applying a Chinese medical approach to this, we

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can get results very quickly using scalp acupuncture, electric acupuncture,

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using herbs, using so much in our arsenal and luster and medicines over

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here kind of spinning their wheels.

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And so I'm hoping that eventually through case studies, we can go, oh, okay, well,

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here's the biomedical understanding.

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Here's the Chinese medical understanding and we can use both models to

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build a different center of care.

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Yeah.

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You, you mentioned Parkinson's are you treating Parkinson's?

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Um, I treat a lot of neurological conditions conditions, but I, I treat

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Parkinson's, um, quite effectively.

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But it's because I I've developed kind of an understanding of what's happening

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and that's only because I've had to look at pain, um, from both the biomedical

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and a Chinese medical perspective.

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I think that looking at both, um, both mechanisms have helped to

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develop a, uh, a way to not only treat, but a way to communicate to

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the, to the Western counterparts.

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Like, oh, okay.

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Well, if you start considering the fact that most Parkinson's also has

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an internal condition, which is, you know, um, because we know in Chinese

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medicine as Parkinson's is usually an external and internal condition,

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it's not just limited to the exterior.

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Can you give us an example, maybe a case study that illustrates.

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Well, actually, you know, one of the things we're probably going

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to talk about, and this is, you know, how, how do we address pain

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in general with the sole folders?

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It's so complicated.

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And so with any kind of pain, it's not just pain, there's comorbidities,

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there's trouble sleeping, there's depression, there's anxiety.

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Um, and there's digestive issues.

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Yeah.

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You mentioned earlier on nutrition in pain.

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I remember early on in the interview, you mentioned the words, nutrition, and

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pain, which really rang a bell for me because it's usually not talked about.

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And yet I know in my practice, sometimes people come in, they're

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eating incredibly inflammatory diets, Downing anti-inflammatories by the

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handful and attempt to control whatever kind of pain they've got going on.

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Yeah.

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And we have to remind our patients.

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Tumeric comes in a couple of forms.

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It comes in the root and the tuber one's cooling, one's warming.

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And by the way, if you don't add Pepperdine to that, it's not going

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to serve as the anti-inflammatory.

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It's just going to be a spice for your food.

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That's right.

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Or a little bit of oil can be helpful too.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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GI to help tell, break it down, but yeah, in terms of nutrition,

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cause there's two aspects.

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Um, and we know from even a biomedical standpoint, there's a lot of research

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that says, ah, you know, if a person has had surgery or trauma, um, and

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we'll just focus on the trauma.

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So they know now they know now that trauma requires a lot of nutrients to

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heal because the blood has to get healed.

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And we know from a Chinese medical standpoint, well, of course we need

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good blood to circulate the body.

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But the other thing that, you know, we, we haven't introduced yet to the biomedical

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world is it's not just blood it's.

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Um, most people have a lot of pathogenic fluids, but not a lot of good fluids.

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So when we're talking like neurological conditions and tremors and, um, you

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know, stroke, when we get to the point that someone is stroking out, what

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happens, they froth at the mouth.

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Why?

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Because the body can't can't reabsorb the pathogenic fluid.

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And so when I say external and internal, I'm talking about usually

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like an internal dryness, I mean, to say, um, you know, so if, uh, how

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do I, um, so there's a patient that comes in and there's a lot of swelling

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and edema and pain and neuropathy.

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Um, one of the first things we think of to do from a scientific

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level is go, oh yeah, we need to give them herbs and purge out that.

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And purge out that phlegm and purge it out.

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But actually, um, if we kind of step back and go to the, to the class, it's

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like, um, you know, Lee, Don, Juan, I mean, what did he teach us in the

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earth school that a lot of emotional issues will have an effect on digestion.

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So yeah, there's always kind of this emotional thing going on.

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And again, if you look at pain comorbidities, all of that's,

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their depression, anxiety.

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Um, so, uh, and digestive you'll always see the digestive disorders.

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So when someone doesn't have enough, um, fluids, they're highly

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sensitive, um, and you know, inefficiency, it is inefficiency.

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And so, yeah, there's this external exactly an external, um, And in the

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exterior and internal deficiency, and that's what our neurological cases are.

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And that's all Shannon LUN.

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The Shanghai lawn taught us at a long time ago.

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And that's why the Shanahan LUN is all basically, um, wager tongue

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like a variation of a wager tongue.

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Uh, that's the balanced, and, and if you have a little more excess on the

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exterior, you know, then you're going to add a little bit more, uh, clearing herbs.

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If you're going to have more internal issue, then you're going to have more and

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gendering herbs, more the wrench Shen.

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And so, um, so one of the first things you want to do with anyone

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like with a neurological condition is you want to start with the inside.

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You want to start bolstering, not only fixing the digestion, like right

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away quickly, but you also want to develop bodily fluids because without

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that the body doesn't have enough.

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And that's what a lot of, and that's what we need to explain

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in, in Western medicine terms.

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And this is why the nutrition becomes so important.

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Um, because when you start building up the fluids, which is what wrenchin does,

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which is what our gin scene does, and even Dodds out to a point, and I'm not talking,

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you know, Romania and, you know, things are a little bit harder to break down.

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Just kind of start with the, the, he ran and the wrench in and the, the

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Dodds Allen and build up that fluid.

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And then the body's actually going to start eliminating a lot of

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this swelling and inflammation.

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Yeah.

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This fluid physiology and pathology.

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It shows up in so many places and, you know, it's one of the

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reasons why we can see people that have inefficiency inefficiency,

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and yet a real excess of fluids.

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I'm wondering, are you familiar with Steve Klaviyo's, it's really kind of

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a modern classic, a fluid physiology and pathology in Chinese medicine.

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Yes.

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I have that book.

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You do have that book.

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So is that where you got your ideas for this kind of work, uh,

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working with fluids in this way?

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No.

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I got my ideas from just observing people.

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I work with a lot of neurological conditions and a lot of auto immune,

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and I was trying to understand Sjogren's a little bit better.

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And in developing that model in my mind to understand mechanisms, I went back to this

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idea of, uh, physiology of, uh, or the pathology of fluids and the inefficiency.

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And you've been able to take that and use it in all kinds of places

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here treating pain, correct?

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Yes.

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Because another population we see with pain of course is fibromyalgia

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and a lot of the auto-immune.

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And, and again, just trying to figure that out, but, you know, it turns out we

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have so many different names in Western medicine of the syndromes, but when we

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break it down in Chinese medicine, the same things overlap over and over again.

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And that's this deficiency of good fluids, excess of pathological fluids

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and, uh, generally blood not moving phlegm, that sort of thing, especially

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in pain, we know that just things are not articulating where there's no free flow.

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There's pain.

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And so we have this, this blockage of things not moving correctly,

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and we have this deficiency and we have these excesses and usually the

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deficiencies are in the internal and the excesses are on the external.

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Although one could argue that bee syndrome is a mechanism in which the

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fluid deficiency is on the exterior.

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Therefore it allowed the exogenous evil to come in.

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Yeah.

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And, you know, as you were mentioning, uh, the Sean Conlin is

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often a great source for looking at these kinds of things, correct?

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Oh yeah.

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Well, I mean, that's, that's what the whole book is about, is really

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about the external internal.

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I think that's how I see it now is these external internal

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conditions and most of the.

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Herbs or the formulas are designed to harmonize the interior and

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exterior and the internal conditions.

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All right.

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So folks get out there and study your Shanghai run.

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I want to shift this a little bit.

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There's so much we can talk about here.

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I mean, we could easily go for hours, but unfortunately we don't have hours.

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What I want to come back to here for the moment is those of us that would

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like to help veterans and don't have the wealth of experience that you have.

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I mean, how can we even, I mean, I think for myself and I have had

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veterans come in from time to time, I recognize that their experience is

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so very, very different from mine.

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Sometimes I don't even know where to begin talking with them.

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Yeah.

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I'm glad that you asked there was a project done under the auspices of area

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health education center through the VA.

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And if one, Google.

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Area health education center or a H E C veteran project slides.

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There is a deck of slides that is free for anyone to use for

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themselves, with the community.

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And it's kind of a headstart to another free offering that the VA has.

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And basically this is focusing on military culture, basic training,

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and actually what the VA has to offer freely is this military culture, core

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competencies for healthcare professionals.

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There are four modules.

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All of this training is.

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Not only is this helpful to start to understand the culture of the

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community, the climate, how PTSD is viewed in this population and how

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this protected population is there.

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The healthcare is evolving in terms of not just soldiers and

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veterans, but also family members.

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And then one can say, oh, I've taken these classes.

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And so then, you know, one is, one is more prepared.

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So I think that more VA positions and more army and air force, I think those

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positions are going to start to open up and having these free core competency

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courses, I think is definitely a boon for those people who not only want

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to work with the veteran and soldier population now, but who would like to

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work in a military treatment facility.

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All right.

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So for those of us that just, we'd like to educate ourselves a little

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more, understand the culture more, we can use these resources and for

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those who might actually be looking for a job, uh, treating veterans and,

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and hopefully what will be, you know, more of, uh, an industry that would

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hire us, it would be important to be competent in these skills exactly.

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Beyond that.

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Well, maybe it's not beyond that, but, but for those who are just getting started

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with this, can you give us just a few pointers, some things to think about

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when a veterans coming in and looking for help from us, what are some things

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that two or three things that we would want to be cognizant of from the outset?

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Yeah.

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And a lot of that goes back to that population and that culture, that

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population, and that culture is very centered on military community.

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And honor, and being there for each other.

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And I think that a lot of times when a veteran comes in and the provider does

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not have a military background, there's a little bit of a, of a wall that's put up.

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But I think if the practitioner can say, yeah, you know, I know that

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I'm not familiar with your culture, but I respect this idea of honor and

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brothership, and, you know, and being there and, you know, and, and I think

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that small conversation can open the door.

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So again, that's why I like those slides from that, that a heck, because

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it really talks about that culture.

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And, uh, in a way in, and you know, there's barriers and

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communication, we know this and we know those, those barriers can.

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Create so many other challenges.

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So I think opening the door on that conversation by just saying,

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yeah, you know, sir, I'm so glad.

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Thank you for, uh, being a veteran and being there for our country.

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And I haven't done that, but I respect where you're coming from

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and I might not be familiar with our culture, but you know, this is,

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this is what I started to learn.

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And it's almost like if you've ever visited a foreign country and you've tried

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speaking the language, even if it's just a few words and you might have it all wrong,

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who are, you know, things like that.

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And, or just a question, you know, where does, who are coming from.

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You know, or, you know, where does this idea of, you know, X?

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And so when, oh, I saw this on, on TV, you know, can you

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explain what this might mean?

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And it's a way to get them to talk about something they're familiar

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with and it also shows a real interest on the provider side.

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Yeah.

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Well, I will make sure that there are linked direct links

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to these on the show notes page.

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So if you're listening to this podcast right now, just know you

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can head over to qiological.com.

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Everything you need is on the show notes page.

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So we don't, we don't have to go into all the details and, and,

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you know, web addresses here.

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Cause I'll have it all in one handy place for you.

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Great, Jennifer, what about in terms of acupuncture for pain

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and for the veterans for pain?

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For pain?

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Yeah.

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Let's start with pain.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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Why?

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Because a lot of the veterans that will be sent to.

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Uh, it will be for, for pain and whether they're sent for anxiety and

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PTSD, which we're seeing now, which is very exciting, you know, pain is

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usually always in the background.

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So I would say really great.

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That's a really great question for a couple of reasons, the soldiers,

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um, the way we fight military campaigns is changing and we're

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sending in more special forces and special operations and civil defense.

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And they all learn how to jump out of airplanes.

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And so not necessarily your typical 82nd airborne people, but all these people are

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jumping, they're jumping out of airplanes.

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Yeah.

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I mean, how many people do you mean?

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It's like, yeah, I go to work by jumping out of an airplane.

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Right.

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Well, you know, and I had to really comb the Chinese medical

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texts to start understanding what I was seeing in this population.

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So it's not only jumping out of airplanes, it's jumping out of vehicles, just

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hitting the ground over and over again.

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And so what the Chinese called this or the Chinese medical theory

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is blood leaving the vessels.

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And what this looks like is the sublingual veins start to bow out.

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So when I look under someone's tongue, um, and not when the tongue is no kind

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of stretched or, or taunt, but just to relax, looking under the tongue, the

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sublingual veins would normally be.

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And, you know, should be kind of thin thinner than, than yarn, but

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when it's thick, like your own, okay, we can start to think, okay,

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this is blood stasis or depression.

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Got it.

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But when that, instead of being vertical starts to bow out laterally, then that

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usually happens when someone's, you know, gained weight or been pregnant.

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But when it really bows out, we can start thinking, oh, um, and, and what

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looks like the vessel used to be full of blood is now a thick vessel, but

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maybe the blood's not there classic, um, blood leaving the vessels.

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And this is what we see when people are pounding the ground, hitting the ground,

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or they're running or jumping out of a plane or jumping out of a vehicle.

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And in that case, those people usually end up having issues

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with their low back space.

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And physiologically, I think, huh?

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Maybe I don't want to do a hot shoe GLG or any points down in those muscles

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because I'm trying to move something that just isn't there, which is

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probably why they're having cramps.

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So in that case was their blood deficient cause their blood deficient and because

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the blood has moved out of that area.

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So, and the funny thing is sometimes all that blood is collected in the upper back.

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And so there's this extreme blood Stacey and blood not moving in the,

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in the upper back and the lower back.

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It's just gone.

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I'm not completely gone, but there's definitely a big difference.

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So I'll start trying to move that blood from the upper back to the lower

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back, which sounds a little crazy.

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But by using the Watu gel G points in the upper back.

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And then some of the UBI points and small intestine points laterally, and putting

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some heat in the, on there, and then going in and doing , um, after about

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20 minutes of the acupuncture and then finding any hyper irritated bands, which

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I usually will find and, you know, just isolating those and going into the belly

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at that point, very, very slowly and gently and letting that gently disperse

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and then doing a little bit too enough can really not only help the upper back

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tremendously, but then start getting that blood to move down to the lower.

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And this is why mocks obstructs become coming very, very

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important in our practice as well.

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And, and evening some, some cupping to try to pull it up and then pull it down.

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And so using that kind of idea, and I haven't found any book that

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talks about doing that, but again, I don't think that, you know, in

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ancient China, we had paratroopers.

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So, you know, I think that we can connect.

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Take these concepts and, and start thinking about how to apply

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them to the whole body in a, in a, in a very different way.

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So in terms of, of acupuncture, initially, I might avoid the low back

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if, if I see, or, you know, if there's an indication that this blood leaving

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the vessels and focus on needling and the, and the top and some heat and

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some moxa, and then pulling it down.

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And then of course, after a while, I can do acupuncture, but, you know,

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again, herbs become very important.

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And I think in our medicine, when we're talking about pain, acupuncture is iconic

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and we have the public has this idea.

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I'm going to go in and see an acupuncturist, but often acupuncture

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a may not be what they need, or, you know, B might be, you know, very

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different modalities than they need.

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So, you know, I think for our public perception, we'll need to start updating.

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Acupuncture and start saying Chinese medicine maybe, or acupuncture

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Chinese medicine, because we really, aren't just doing acupuncture.

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We're doing a plethora of modalities.

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And even if the practitioner isn't really, you know, trained or comfortable

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with herbs, no problem whatsoever.

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Um, moxa is, is not difficult to integrate.

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And there's a lot of CU classes that focus on moxa.

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Um, so I think our practitioners who know acupuncture can easily

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learn and adapt with a moxa as well.

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And I don't know, you know, to what point we've stressed, the

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importance of using moxa in not only painful conditions, but the painful

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conditions with these co-morbidities.

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W what kind of monster do you like to use?

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What do you find yourself doing in your practice?

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Well, um, I.

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I use pole moxa.

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I use thread moxa, and I like using the loose moxa on the, on the needles.

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And then in terms of that fluid path Elegy, where we're talking about when,

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you know, whether there's a digestion and most of my patients always have

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a digestive issue, whether it's, you know, pain or depression or anxiety,

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or auto-immune always digestion.

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So I like using moxa hats, um, or these, these moxa platforms that really get

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the whole digestive system warmed up.

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And so Susan Roberto had explained to me how to use a moxa hat and

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that's almost like a chef's.

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That's put on the belly and there's a little bit of salt and then one might

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use like an abalone shell with the moxa in there of the lot of loose moxa.

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And actually the moxa would be lit outside in the shell.

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And once it all kinds of burns and it's, it's, it's fuming, if you will

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then brought back in and put on top of that salt, that's laid inside of

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this, uh, mocks a hat, if you will.

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But I've also seen other devices where there's, you know, we've seen

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moxa boxes that we can move around.

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And so, um, I, I love using moxa on the abdomen.

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Yeah.

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That, I mean, that sounds delicious.

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Um, it's a cold day as we're recording this, it's a cold day where I live

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and the thought of warm salt and moxa.

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That just, that sounds.

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Really delicious.

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I'm curious, some of us have trouble with moxa smoke or we work in places

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that doesn't really allow for moxa.

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What are your thoughts about using a TDP lamp in place of the moxa?

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How do you see them as being similar or different?

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Well, yeah, definitely.

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I think heat in general was important.

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How are you can get it?

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And I love the heat lamps, uh, and I think the heat lamps with the

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infrared really drives the heat down, um, much like the moxa does.

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So I think that where a moxa is nice is I can focus it on one area.

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Uh, for instance, if there's a numb part of the body, I can lay a piece

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of thin ginger and put some loose mocks on there and light it up.

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But it's difficult to have that level of concentration with a big, huge lamp.

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But in general, um, I'm, I'm a fan and I usually use two lamps on people

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and the upper and the lower, not just to keep them warm, but often, um,

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to really focus in those muscles.

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And I think that moxa and or the ADP lamps can be a treatment in itself.

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Well, in Japan, there's places where they just do mocks or their family traditions.

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You go in and get yourself, mocks it up.

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So, yeah, it's, it's a wonderful modality.

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I find myself wanting to ask you about PTSD, but I'm also

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aware of our time today.

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So what I, what I'd like to do instead of asking you about that is suggests

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that perhaps sometime in the future, we could sit down and do another show

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and jump into that because my suspicion is you've got a lot to say I do, and

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certainly I'd be glad to do that.

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That sounds great.

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Jennifer, anything else that you'd like to share with our listeners

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before we wind it down here for.

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Certainly for those of you who are interested in working with the VA, working

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with the veterans and our soldiers, and are anticipating working in a

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hospital or an integrated environment, I encourage you to get your CA Q H updated.

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And that's that third party verification of all of your credentials and licensure.

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If you're not familiar with it, get familiar.

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Okay.

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We'll have, we'll have a link to it.

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Okay.

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Yeah.

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We'll, we'll have a link to that.

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Um, and then also you can go to the, uh, jobs dot, um, well, I'll, I'll

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send the link to the military, to the federal job site and you can actually

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start building up your resume in there.

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So.

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But say that, you know, you happen to be online and you see a job opening

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that you want, or you hear about it.

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You can already have all of your resume already integrated into that system.

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Um, there's this knowledge based information that requires

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paragraphs of information.

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You might as well go ahead and go in there in your free

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time and just have that ready.

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Great advice, Jennifer.

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Thank you so much for your time today.

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And I look forward to our next conversation.

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Yeah, me too, Michael, and thank you so much.

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