In Spring 2015, Yo San University awarded two faculty scholarships to its Doctoral Program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients. I started my studies in May and will graduate in 2017 with the degree DAOM, specialty in Longevity and Healthy Aging. I chose this specialty because of its broad application to every single person on Earth, including people with such chronic diseases as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and neurodegenerative conditions.
The program is interesting in that it provides a lot of variety in the ways to fulfill the requirements. For example, I completed 40 hours of observation and consulting at the Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy, where I learned from homeopaths, naturopathic doctors and pharmacy students, and helped customers with Chinese herbs. I have attended two conferences on aging, where I learned about mind-boggling cutting-edge research presented by geneticists and biologists. I will spend some time observing with a Chinese medicine doctor whose practice is 50% oncology. And I am spending time in the Yo San University specialty clinic in Healthy Aging, treating patients and being supervised by some of the most experienced and prestigious doctors in the nation.
We meet once a month for a three-day weekend of classes, and in between, we write papers, prepare case studies for presentation and read, read, read!
One of the most exciting aspects of this program is the Capstone Project, which is a research study that each candidate designs based on his or her area of interest. Given my interests in herbal medicine and oncology, I am planning to research the safety of using the Chinese herb Astragalus membranaceus to treat the side effects of cancer chemotherapy, such as fatigue and nausea. I hope to show significant evidence that we can relax the current fears of herb/drug interactions with one or more common cancer chemotherapy drugs.
I will keep everyone posted about the progress of my research.