The wheels of the car went round and round as we headed South, with the temperatures increasing by increments of about 20 degrees through each state. I am still in shock that we were able to feel such profound differences of cold and hot within less than 24 hours!
Last week I was able to get away from a bit of Chi-beria’s winter plummet of temperatures, beautiful snow piles, and escape to tropical paradise in Florida. Unfortunately, the only warmth I could bring back was the sunburn I received while jet skiing! Even though we had an amazing time in sunny Florida, my boyfriend and I (both in the MSOM program) being the nerds we are, also brought our books down to study.
We kept one another accountable in preparing to do well for our midterms; we quizzed and tested each other on main acupuncture points, and on “extra points”. “Extra points” are uniquely used in Chinese medicine to treat certain symptoms or conditions. We reminded one another what kind of foods are best to consume in cold, negative degree winter weather vs. tropical, warm, sunny weather. In Oriental Medicine, due to temperature or climatic changes, there are certain foods that should be eaten--or avoided--to achieve a healthy balance in the gut. We practiced our stretches and Tuina, which was very therapeutic after sitting still for uninterrupted periods of time during a long car trip. Tuina is a traditional Chinese bodywork, and includes massage and acupressure; to learn more, click here.
At some point during the topsy-turvey weather differences, our bodies tried to get accustomed to the changing temperatures, and I was the one who needed some TLC. This was my boyfriend’s opportunity to practice mini-sessions of needling to help me remove some food stagnation, as well as aches and pains from our long walks along the beach. Not only did we enjoy our short getaway, but we loved our long conversations about the academic journey we share. And, here's a kicker: we were only 15 minutes away from the NUHS Florida campus! However, due to our time crunch for a family event, we were unable to stop by and say hello. Everywhere we went, it was great to be reminded of the blessings we have, as the people, places, and for a while, the world around us changed.
One of the things I loved most of all was the friendliness of fellow travelers, as we took “rest moments” to appreciate and learn from one another. When we took breaks at gas stations or rest areas, and especially in waiting in line at restaurants, there were always people who were curious as to where we were from, and where we were headed. Some were even amused at my clueless expression encountering grits for the first time, and their culinary importance in the South.
As we enjoyed each other’s company, we met fellow travelers, shared laughter and excitement about the simplest things, and also our passion for our MSOM studies. As Mommy always reminded me, “People can steal your possessions; but no one can ever steal your passion, your will, your determination, your knowledge, or life experiences.”
Her words echo through me with each beat of my heart, and I will continue to learn from, share, and help others no matter where I am on the map.