Live Still Points Volume 6, May 2015 - Page 6

Traditional Chinese Medicine

During the 2015 school year LMU-DCOM students have formed two exciting new extra-curricular OMM study groups. The first group focuses on combining aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and OMT. The second is a cranial preparatory group beginning in May 2015 for OMS-1 students who wish to gain ground in the subject before their second year begins.

With the guidance of the school’s new OPP chair, Dr. Douglas Weston, students have begun to learn the intricacies of the TCM diagnostic scheme. By practicing tongue diagnosis and studying patterns of organ disharmony they have learned to further use a patient’s history and physical to guide their OMT practice. This new diagnostic tool allows them to treat in a more direct and effective manner.

As an example, a patient presenting with acute prodromal symptoms during flu season can be assessed based on their tongue. A tongue that is redder than normal with a normal coating would be considered to have the quality of “Heat” and symptoms will most probably manifest as pharyngitis. The treatment indicated would include looking for a restriction in the hyoid along with condylar decompression. If the same patient presented with a tongue that is pale and has a thick coating, this would indicate the quality of “Cold” and a probable manifestation of nasal congestion. In this case, the cranial Cant-Hook technique along with condylar decompression would prove useful by allowing proper drainage of the sinuses as they begin to fill with mucus. These are very simple techniques that would provide for faster patient healing and comfort. As we know, health is something that is always important for the ever-busy medical student.

The students at LMU-DCOM have found small, faculty-lead, study groups to be a very effective style of learning as they allow for open discussion and a curriculum based on student interests. We are very happy to have new opportunities to practice and apply our OMT diagnostic and palpatory skills in exciting ways that mirror our own learning styles. We hope our colleagues at other COMs will not hesitate to start their own small group sessions as a fun and productive way to learn while taking a break from the standard curriculum.

Jared G. Cruz


Chapter Treasurer