One World Health Project

22 Apr 2014

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International medical mission opportunities for acupuncture students and graduates

By +Emperor’sCollege


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Acupuncture: OWHP

The world is your Mu Li (oyster) when it comes to what you can do with your acupuncture skills.  Just ask Emperor’s College graduates and founders of One World Health Project Sarah Nargiso and Meghan Miller.  In September, Sarah and Meghan lead a group of acupuncturists and clinical level students to Sri Lanka and India on their fourth international medical mission to treat those affected by poverty, disability and inadequate healthcare access.  I got a chance to sit down with participant and 2012 Emperor’s College alumni, Maureen Alexander to dish about her experience.

Tell me about where you went, what you did and who you worked with:

We spent a week in Kandy, Sri Lanka and a week in Mumbai, India. While we were there we worked in jungle villages and local clinics to treat all sorts of local people;  many of the patients suffered from high blood pressure, diabetes and pain.  We treated stroke victims, patients with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

In addition to our relief work, we spent time working with Open University in Columbo where Sarah and Meghan led courses on auricular acupuncture for local healthcare providers such as physical therapists and nurses.  Auricular acupuncture is a safe and effective way for these non-formally trained practitioners to help treat patients.  One of the goals of the mission was to develop protocols for establishing clinics to sustain our work after we left.

How has this experience changed your view or practice of this medicine?

I got great experience purely through the volume of patients we had to see.  Some days there would be 80 people who would come to us for treatments and with only three acupuncturists available, we were definitely busy.

I had never realized just how reliant my diagnoses and treatments were on my patients’ ability to explain their conditions in specific detail.  Although we had translators available, the language barrier forced me to rethink my methods – I had to rely on palpation and intuition to fill in the gaps.  It improved my non-verbal communication tremendously and taught me to really watch my patients’ faces for feedback.

We also got exposure to other traveling volunteers – mainly from Europe.  It was really interesting to see and compare their style and methods to our own; their tactics were more aggressive, and they did more freehand needling as opposed to using guide tubes.

Why do you think this type of medical mission work is important?

I really believe that every acupuncturist should be donating something and giving back in some way – it just aligns with the mentality of this medicine.  It was an incredible experience all around.  The people were so open and receptive, even though many of them had never been exposed to acupuncture before.  The people were innately inclined to try to please us, no matter how intense the treatment needed to be to help them they were thankful and gracious.


Emperor’s College Passport Stamp

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of these world-traveling Emperor’s College alums, you don’t have to wait until you graduate.  In fact, Sarah and Meghan not only allow clinical intern level students, it was here at Emperor’s College where they got the inspiration to found OWHP – like we said, the world is your Mu Li here!  If starting your own NPO sounds ambitious, and you simply want to travel the world instead, here’s how:  email Sarah to receive information on annual upcoming missions and local fundraisers for OWHP.


Nervous about relocating to one of the top acupuncture schools in California?

11 Mar 2014

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Here’s why one student thinks you should stop worrying and start doing.

By +Emperor’sCollege

How many times in life do you get to make a decision that pushes the envelope, challenges your comfort zone and changes your life for the better? If you’re like most people, probably not that often. But then again, you’re thinking about pursuing a career in natural medicine by going to one of the top acupuncture schools in California. So you’re a little different from the corporate-minded world around you. You dream big and want to make a profound difference in peoples’ lives. We love you for that and are here to encourage your passion.

But telling you to “just do it” seems a bit superficial. In fact, we actually want you to explore all the top acupuncture schools in California. Doing so will help you identify the type of Oriental medicine practitioner you want to be and select the academic environment you resonate with most. In the end, you’ll be a better practitioner for it.

Bottom line(s):

  • Not all acupuncture schools are created equal.
  • Many of the best acupuncture schools are in California.

Here’s one student’s journey through exploring the top acupuncture schools in California, how he made the decision to attend Emperor’s College and what has surprised him about his new life in Santa Monica (LA’s beachy, outdoorsy cousin).

Q: Daniel, tell us how you went about researching acupuncture schools and why you choose Emperor’s College.

A:    Well, I began my school search online. When I narrowed down the schools I was most interested in, I started visiting them. I visited 4 schools in total. I’m from Colorado so I visited one school there and the rest were acupuncture schools in California. From school to school, I began to see the differences in emphasis of study, community and classroom environment. I felt that the culture at Emperor’s College would most meet my needs and the Santa Monica campus location resonated with my lifestyle. Deciding to go to acupuncture school is a big commitment, so I wanted to make sure I chose a school and a city that would support my quality of life.

Q: What was your experience finding housing? You have a dog too, right?

A: In my experience, finding housing in Los Angeles is really no big deal. Truly! It’s a dynamic city, there are always people coming and going, so there are plenty of places to be found.

I used craigslist (Westside of LA) and PadMapper almost exclusively when searching for housing. Other students have had positive results with Westside Rentals or by connecting with current students who are also looking for housemates.

Since I knew I was moving to the LA area and had some time, I checked out rent prices as if I was searching for airfare to get an idea of what a good deal looked like. I emailed people off of craigslist who had posted for housemates even if timing was an issue. Sometimes people are willing to wait for the right housemate, but almost always they will at least give up their thoughts on the neighborhood!

Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, I was able to secure a two bedroom, dog friendly condo split two ways for under $900 a month in West LA… Not bad! Prices may go up towards neighborhoods near Santa Monica or Venice, but if you can swing it, it will maximize your time to be closer to campus.

I would definitely say that finding good housing isn’t too tough. There’s everything from $500 a month with roommates, to one bedrooms or studios for around $1000.

My recommendation would be to try and live as close to the school as possible. Neighborhoods near campus are Brentwood, Venice, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Culver City, West LA, Brentwood, Palms and Westwood.

Q: Was there anything that you thought would be challenging about the move that turned out to be easy or rewarding?

A: Challenging? I’d like to say not so much… but driving the i80 through Nevada alone on a hot day with a dog, few gas stations, fewer people, and a highway that screams The Hills Have Eyes?… Kidding, what’s not to love about a good road trip?! Something ridiculous always happens, and it gives you the opportunity to breakdown and rebuild… every time. I’ve moved around a bunch, and every time I do I grow a little bit more, and that always starts on the drive for me. If you’re driving cross country like I did, embrace it and have a great journey! Stop and do things, sleep under the stars, and don’t feed the bears!

Q: What are your favorite things about life in Santa Monica and Los Angeles?

A: The road biking. My time away from school and work is almost completely spent in the mountains. I came here from Colorado, which (strangely) has developed my taste for riding a bicycle up high grade canyons. If you enjoy racing up mountains on a bike, then I can highly recommend the Santa Monica mountain range for it. I realize this is not everyone’s idea of fun, but what can I say… I came from Boulder. I was SURE I would lose this moving to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles. I was WAY wrong. The biking (particularly the climbing) dare I say it, is some of the most challenging I have found anywhere. If you’re into this kind of thing like me, between Santa Monica and Mount Baldy, ah you can really do some damage out here. The hiking is great too!

Think you’re ready to take that leap? (Or at least ready to peer over the edge?)

No matter what stage you are at in your journey, we are here to help.  If you think Emperor’s College might be the place for you, contact an admissions representative for more information and let us know what we can do for you.  If you’re ready to go, get started on your application today.  And if you do come to town, come and visit us  – we’d love to show you around.

How Obamacare Affects Acupuncture

30 Jan 2014

By +Emperor’sCollege

Since (most likely) you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that there are some major changes going on in the world of healthcare and insurance. What you may not be so clear on is exactly how Obamacare affects acupuncture.  The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more colloquially known as “Obamacare,” is certainly changing the game; as of January 2014, complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), such as acupuncture, are now considered “Essential Health Benefits” in the state of California.  Major win? No doubt about it; insurance plans are mandated to cover acupuncture treatments. But this legislative change doesn’t just signify acupuncture’s growing acceptance, it also indicates a more complex structure.

A Detailed Explanation

On August 28, 2013, Marilyn Allen, editor for Acupuncture Today, director of marketing at the American Acupuncture Council and faculty at Emperor’s College spoke to students and alumni about the PPACA and how Obamacare affects acupuncture practitioners and their patients.  Here’s the video recap and handout so you can follow along.

Watch this for the specifics of how Obamacare affects acupuncture


How Obamacare Affects Acupuncture Patients

This healthcare shift validates something we in the field have known for years: Oriental medicine is an indispensable addition to our medical care options. For one, acupuncture and herbal medicine are not loaded with the side effects we’ve sadly accepted as par for the medical course, and, maybe even better, Oriental medicine is built upon the premise of addressing disease at its root cause.

Obamacare makes all of this more accessible and affordable for you. And we know that’s a good thing. If you feel it’s time to let acupuncture help you achieve your health goals, you can find an acupuncturist in Santa Monica, CA here or one in your neck of the woods here.

How to Save $5,000 on Your DAOM Degree

21 Jan 2014

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$5,000 DAOM Degree Scholarship for Emperor’s College alumni ends soon.
Here’s how to get it before it’s gone.

By +Emperor’sCollege


Dear Emperor’s College Alumnus,

We know you never intended on being “just an acupuncturist”. Your dreams are much bigger than that. You are an integrative medical provider who wants to usher in a new paradigm of medicine. That’s exactly what a DAOM degree is intended to do for your career. You’ll get enhanced skills, increased confidence, and the title that earns you the respect you deserve.

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