Today we met with our complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. My group (Emily Kleffman, Ben Knupp, Olivia Shell, Samantha Wilcox) investigated Chinese Herbology, and we met with Dr. Low at the Institute of Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Chinatown!
Note added by Dr. Kerr – Other modalities investigated this year included:
Aromatherapy with Karlel ‘Ewalani Crowley (Love My Oils!): Mia Davis, Airi Hounsve, Mckinlee Miller, Ally Ruff & Lily Summers)
Reiki with Jaquelyn Otto (Honolulu Reiki): Julia Bauer, Stacy Buchner, Ambria May, Kennedy Meloy & Elizabeth Mudiandambo)
Ho’noponopono with Francine Dudoit-Tagupa (Native Hawaiian Practitioner at Waikiki Health Center): Morgan Drath, Maddie Novotny, Margaret Pavlik, Alex Peterson & Gabby Tsarouhis
Naturopathic Medicine (Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, Steelsmith Natural Health Center): Jake Garcia, Duke Harms, Sophia Lesman & Shannon Murphy
Before visiting Dr. Low, we visited a restaurant in Chinatown where we enjoyed honey lemon tea, coke with lime, and condensed milk toast.
When we arrived at the Institute, Dr. Low showed us a stock room full of the herbs that he prescribes to his patients. We were able to try an herb called Gan Cao, better known as “Chinese licorice”, which we learned tones the Spleen, augments Qi, expels phlegm, stops cough, and resolves toxicity. Dr. Low explained that some herbs are quite difficult to attain and they can even be more valuable than gold! He stressed the importance of just how powerful these herbs can be and how patients should consult with Western medicine practitioners about which herbs they are consuming, especially before surgery. He showed us a document that Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital sends to patients before surgery to avoid adverse interactions between medications and Chinese herbs.
After visiting Dr. Low, some of the group decided to explore Chinatown and visited a few of the grocery stores. In one store, I was able to find a few herbal drinks and candy which related to what we had just learned with Dr. Low!
After returning to the hotel, I met up with some classmates at the beach and tried an ice cream treat made out of bananas called “Banan”! I am dairy free so finding this delicious alternative to ice cream was super exciting!
After the beach, Lily, Olivia, and I decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. After dinner we went shopping and stumbled across an amazing street performer! We stood and listened to him play guitar for an hour and a half! When I returned to the hotel, my roommates shared about their participant observation experiences! I was excited to hear that they also had very positive experiences with their CAM practitioners. I am glad we were able to experience these different modalities, and maybe one day incorporate them into our own practice as healthcare professionals!