One of my favorite aspects of the acupuncture profession is its requirement that you be a lifelong student. And because I get excited when I start looking at potential classes, I've somehow found myself anticipating the remainder of my required classes (continuing education units) for the year all in the next month! Of course that doesn't mean I won't take more just for fun...
Last week I attended a lecture on Working With the Heavy Cannabis User with medical herbalist Paul Bergner as there is so much to learn about the effects and side effects of cannabis whether used for medical or recreational use. We set politics and legality aside and just dealt with the cases. I now have a much better understanding of the effects of cannabis on body systems, side effects to watch for and make patients aware of before they consider using it for a given condition, and how to approach weaning off of medical use if side effects become unmanageable. As an acupuncturist I can't prescribe cannabis, but I did feel it was essential that I expand my understanding of the way its use as a medication or recreational substance might affect my patients so we can do our best work together.
Next up this weekend at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in Portland is a hands on course with renowned sports medicine practitioner Matt Callison, L.Ac. I'll be learning and practicing new techniques for Assessment and Treatment of Lower Leg Injuries: knee, foot, and ankle. This is perfect for my athlete patients and for anyone with chronic pain or past injuries. I think it's only fitting that we're starting with the roots of our upright bodies. I plan on continuing this orthopedic-focused training and look forward to future learning to expand my treatment toolbox for the spine, hips, neck, and shoulders. I'm especially excited to seek out classes like this one that integrate the best of Western and Eastern medicine with orthopedic tests, anatomy reviews, and herbal and acupuncture treatment.
And lastly, in late March I'm taking a practical course on The Ancient Art of Cupping with Susan Johnson, L.Ac. here in Oakland. Cupping is such a wonderful modality to both diagnose and address pain and stiffness. It feels like a massage, but works by giving your tense muscles more room to be flushed with fluids rather than compressing them. I can't wait to share new insights and techniques from this class with you!
If there are topics you'd like to see me explore either on the blog or in a continuing education class, I'm always open to suggestions. And if you hear of a great class or webinar coming up, do let me know! I also post community focused classes and webinars in addition to articles about acupuncture and healthcare on Twitter. Please join me there!
Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo