It’s on now! Yesterday I completed number two out of four NCCAOM board exams. It was the Biomedicine section. My background is in biology and I may have put too much pressure on myself to do well on it simply because I have a whole Biology degree.
I’m so close to being able to share my Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine gifts with everyone. A year ago I was still in Chinese Medical school and I was so worried about the very board exams that I am taking now. I thank God for deliverance from the fear and for guiding me. Since graduating in January 2019 I have grounded myself and remained focused because this isn’t just for me. I recognized that by refining my gifts I have a responsibility to bless others. I just cant keep this one to myself.
My biggest goal in becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist is to assist people with finding the best health and wellness plan for them. There is so much information available, and people don’t always have the guidance they need to do what is best for their individual needs. My main concern is how nutrition and the sources of our food play the largest role in how healthy we will be. It’s my passion to integrate Western and Eastern medicine to provide a functional approach to the human body. I want to give my patients the attention and care they deserve, and if you are reading this I pray that I can help you too.
Photo by Ruediger Theiselmann
Study time is winding down for me. I am very close to the eve of my final board exam. The overall theme is to not overthink this one. It’s something about doing the last task or the last step for something so important to my life that makes every part of me want to come undone. This time around studying and focus have been the hardest for me. It has been a challenge to want to do anything else but study because I feel so guilty about not studying. Most of my study sessions have been late at night. It seems that my optimal brain power is after everyone else has gone to bed. I’m just going with the flow of this testing cycle. However, I still believe in the God power in me and that I will reach my goals. It’s happening for me not to me! God is Good! Thanks to Andrew Johnson for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 🎁
Happy 1st day of 2018!! God truly LIT my path in 2017. All I had to do was listen and pay attention. There were some unknown territories I discovered about myself on this journey through acupuncture school. A lot of days were good and some days I just wanted to throw the whole thing away, but I made it.
My #1 goal of 2017 was to pass all my clinical entrance exams and start internship by January 2018. Well I did that…let me tell you I DID THAT. I am beyond thankful for overcoming that obstacle. I also kept my sanity by regular trips to the gym as I have discussed in my last post.
Let’s see if I can list 17 things 2017 taught me:
- If you don’t make moves someone else will do it for you. It’s kind of like going to Luby’s and you’re trying to figure out what you want from the line, and the people behind you already know what they want. The servers will look to them next and skip over you until you know what you want. I learned that I need to have my mind centered on exactly what I want, and I will get what I desire.
- Be ready for whatever. Shit is not going to go the way you want it to….period. Be ready to change and transition.
- Positive affirmations are fuel for your goals. My best friend’s mom taught my childhood Sunday school class. She always gave us positive affirmation sayings. I haven’t forgotten them. This year made me use them more than ever, and enough to know that I will never stop using them.
- If you want it to happen write it down. Everything I asked for this year that I wrote on my vision board happened…EVERYTHING. NO LIES TOLD.
- Writing is therapeutic. I forgot the joys of writing. I’m never going back to keeping all this shit in my head again.
- Speak life into others.
- I can write my own destiny.
- Being Black in Acupuncture is similar to being a unicorn.
So I played y’all, I really didn’t have 17 things to talk about, but this is the bulk of what I’ve learned. It’s pretty simple, STAY POSITIVE. I’m not talking about that fake mess when you try to get through the day and you’re really dissatisfied AF. I’m talking about gratitude, and finding something to be grateful for in each day. Even if it’s just the fact that you like the way your toothpaste tastes, shit, write it down. Eventually it will get better. I had a really negative period in my life a couple years ago, and I told myself that I would never let myself see that again. It wasn’t right, and it was dangerous. I wasn’t allowing myself to see the simple joys God had put in my life and the path that was being prepared for me. I was too busy thinking about what I didn’t have, and what I needed to get. Never again! God is good and has always been. I’m back and I will not be stopped.
“Read, read, read, never stop reading, and when you can’t read anymore…WRITE” —– James Baldwin
Tell me, what did 2017 teach you?
Tuesday marked my 21st day of consistent workouts. Studies say that it takes 21 days to form a habit so I feel low-key accomplished! Small victories lead to big victories right? I told myself I couldn’t be both broke and fat. Being in school has caused me to be TEMPORARILY financially challenged, but be not dismayed your girl will be back in commission in 2019. Acupuncture school consumes so much time to study and sit in classes that I am only able to work part-time. The best solution to this problem was for me to change what I could change immediately, and that was my health.
Now don’t get sensitive and upset at me because I’m using “fat”. This extra weight from stress and eating whatever I want has me feeling really jiggly. Last week I was in heels and it felt like I was walking on air. Just a few weeks ago I felt like I was carrying weights around and it hurt to walk in heels. I also feel like I can stay up without a nap, and my neck/shoulder pain isn’t coming back when I get stressed out. From my appearance, it doesn’t look like I am struggling with my weight, but I could feel it on all levels of my existence. I also started to feel bad about myself, and that was a turning point for me to make some changes.
When I workout I make sure to designate a day for each section of my body plus at least 30 minutes of cardio. Since weight-bearing exercise is essential to muscle tone I make sure to lift. I average about 12,000 steps per day or around five miles. My Fitbit has helped me stay motivated with exercising because I usually join challenges with my friends in the Fitbit app. The competitive spirit in me causes me to exceed my step count to try to beat my friends. I sit in the sauna after my workouts, but I make sure to drink plenty of water before and during use. The sauna allows the toxins to sweat from the pores and relax tight muscles (e.g. my neck and shoulders).
I stopped being active after I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease because my heart rate was too high for strenuous activities. It caused me to lose muscle mass and a bit of weight during college which I quickly gained back after taking thyroid medication. I can thank God for helping me find acupuncture because after consistent acupuncture treatments my Endocrinologist weaned me off my thyroid medication. I’ll talk about my Grave’s Disease story more and how I found a solution to my symptoms. I’m thankful that I can work out again without feeling like an elephant is standing on my chest. Now that I’m over Grave’s Disease it is my job to stay healthy. I have a choice to take the time to work on my health or sit down all day and accumulate fat cells. Like my elementary school principal used to say, ” Have a great day, the choice is your yours.”
I work at an acupuncture clinic so I get a chance to interact with all types of patients. Which also means I have to experience the myriad of personalities that come packaged in those patients. Some unpack their “energetic baggage” at once for me to see, and some patients are very easy going.
My job there is mostly at the front desk, answering phones, setting appointments, filling herbal prescriptions, sending out insurance paperwork, following the acupuncturist, reiterating the treatment plan with patients, and etc. So it appears that is all I do with my life. So when patients start asking me if I get acupuncture I tell them I’m a student and that I get treatment every week. Then that’s when the amazement and questions start flowing.
One lady said, “Oh, I thought you were just a receptionist.” Then for a split second I wondered if was because I was Black or was it because that is all she had seen me do. The phrase, “REPRESENTATION MATTERS” rang in my head. I know everything isn’t always about skin color, but that is the reality of being Black in America is. It is the constant thought of “Is it because I am black, a woman, or is absolutely nothing at all?”
A man asked, ” Are you from Africa because Africans usually come to the U.S. to go to college and go back?” Well I politely let him know that I was born here, but obviously my ancestors are from Africa. I laughed because it was like it was unbelievable for him to think that a Black American woman is in this field. Man, we have a lot to learn. It was funny that he asked that, but it still made me wince a little bit. This is what I mentioned in my first post.
BUT like I said REPRESENTATION MATTERS! I’m devoted to educating others about what Traditional Chinese Medicine is and why we all need to utilize it.
I searched for a blog for people like me. I tried to find a place where there are black acupuncture students and licensed acupuncturists that are talking about their experiences in blog format. I did not find exactly what I wanted, but I found a facebook group for which I am grateful. I was always taught to make it myself if I didn’t see it anywhere else.
I’ve experienced some interesting feedback from people of all cultures. My parents and friends get really excited about the prospect of me entering the Traditional Chinese Medicine field (TCM). There are some that don’t get it at all, but they nod and tell me to continue to do my best. Others, some from the Chinese culture, wonder why I’ve considered something like this because, stereotypically, it is impossible to see my beautiful “melanated” U.S. born self in acupuncture. I’ve even been asked if I was from Africa, and I will expand on this in another post. It’s a funny story, but it made me wince inside.
The hope is that you enjoy being here. This is a place to learn about acupuncture, TCM, and follow my journey as I become a licensed acupuncturist. If you have stories about your experiences email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will post them here with your permission.
P.S. Please show mercy on my blog’s infancy. It will develop into the beautiful butterfly it deserves to be soon.