Category: Interviews


Sterling TCM Clinicians, Effective Treatment To The Point.

The twelve-year-old girl who came in to see Dr Julie Zhu at the Five Branches Clinic was faced with not just the challenges endured by all the other girls of her age, she had had the added stress, trauma and fear as a result of things going horribly , horribly wrong.

For many young girls, the arrival of their first menstrual period can be a bewildering and frightening experience which foists upon them a whole range of challenges and changes.

Puberty is a daunting time for any teenager, the way one’s body changes, the awkwardness, the clumsiness, the embarrassment of sexual changes and sexual awakening confuse and challenge their  self image and sense of identity.

The onset of her first menstrual period had been marked by dysfunctional uterine bleeding,  a gynecological condition which had thrown the poor girl and her parents pell mell into a battery of medical tests and gynecological examinations and pharmaceutical and hormonal interventions which, save to mortify and traumatize the young girl and her family, didn’t help.  The doctors were stumped!  Expensive scans and blood tests and examinations revealed nothing abnormal. The family was desperate, the young girl disconsolate.  The ongoing blood loss had lead to anemia , with the concomitant fatigue and the emotional and psychological impact that it brings.

Dr Julie Zhu is one of the sterling team of doctors at Five Branches University clinic, bringing a wealth of knowledge from long years of experience both in China and the United States to what is rated the best acupuncture school in the bay area, teaching students and treating patients with incredibly good results.

After just a couple of sessions the bleeding had stopped, the young girl had begun to recover her strength and energy, the family had hope restored, and within two months thereafter the young patient’s menstrual cycle was normalized and she has since been completely recovered.

Ten months of this nightmare had brought her parents to seek some other approach.  They came, not so much looking for or expecting answers, so much as hoping for something  miraculous, anything, to help their daughter.  They were not disappointed.  The treatment was short, and to the point!


Doctor & Senior Professor Lucy Hu, LAc: A Life Dedicated to Service

Twenty-seven years later, Dr. Lucy Hu is still teaching at Five Branches University and treating patients in the university’s health clinics, her private clinic in Palo Alto, and consulting with Stanford University pediatricians on difficult cases. She is the embodiment of the hero physician, tirelessly pursuing excellence to be of service to so many in need.
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An Interview with Sarah Holloway, ND

For the second installment of our FBU student, alumni & faculty profile series, we sat down with senior Five Branches student and Naturopathic doctor, Sarah Holloway, at Twin Lakes beach to learn what it takes to be an Integrative Medicine practitioner in 2016.

 

“I feel like Chinese medicine gives me a great way to treat patients with chronic and complex illnesses because it provides a strong and scaffolded structure in which to categorize symptoms. When patients come in with conditions where no immediate diagnosis can be given, or a definitive answer of what they have and how to treat the condition, you really have to back up, look at the tissue states, the nuances of the presenting disease, examine whether there is excess or deficiency, hot or cold and start from there. It’s best to begin with just balancing what you see out of balance today, because if you try to fix the whole thing at once it can be overwhelming.”

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An interview with Caroline Wilkerson

In this series, we meet with current students and alumni to get a deeper look into why they chose to study Chinese Medicine at Five Branches and dedicate their lives to being of service to those in need of high quality, holistic healthcare.

[Editor]] Hi Caroline, it’s great to meet with you today and learn a little bit more about you. Do you mind telling us a little bit about your background?

[Caroline] Hi, of course. My name is Caroline Wilkerson. I grew up Illinois. When I was 22, I joined the US Navy as a Crypto-linguistic analyst. I went to the Monterey Peninsula Defense Language Institute to learn Russian and then later Chinese. I moved to Hawaii to further learn Chinese language and culture with the Navy. While studying Chinese language and culture I fell in love with it. So many of my teachers were amazing. That was such a great experience. That was where I started digging deeper into Chinese Medicine and learning more. … Continue reading


The Making of a TCM Doctor

The first U.S. hospital residency, numerous clinical externships, and two university health centers train Five Branches University students to be the best primary care doctors.

“In addition to the clinical training at the Five Branches University health centers, we provide offsite acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments to patients at the Mental Health Client Action Network, to individuals with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C at the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, to elderly patients at the Akiyama Wellness Center, as well as onsite veterans and community clinics. These exceptional clinical externships have prepared us Highland Acupuncture Residents with the skills and training necessary to deal with conditions ranging from colds & flus, pain, chronic illness and degenerative diseases to stress, insomnia, mental health and reproductive health disorders.”

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Faculty Spotlight: An Interview with Janice Walton-Hadlock DAOM, L.Ac

Janice has been teaching at Five Branches University since 1999. She received her Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Five Branches University, and her B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Janice is the founder of the Parkinson’s Recovery Project, a non-profit organization that provides free information about the latest findings regarding the cause and treatment of Parkinson’s disease from the perspective of Asian medicine. … Continue reading


Compassion Connects Medical Practitioners with Those in Need, by Margaret Shao

Volunteer service is a rewarding and profound experience which has shaped much of my life. I began volunteering at the age of 13 for the San Francisco Zoo and continued on for many years as a docent, giving school and public educational tours. Later in life, my love for travel and volunteering, led me to a rural village in northern Ghana, West Africa as part of the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. I received a Master’s degree in Forestry, and later pursued a career in Utah working in Natural Resources management.

While living in Utah, I became a certified Qigong practitioner. My teachers were all acupuncturists and medical arts practitioners; they taught me that the basis of Qigong and Chinese medicine, is understanding Qi.

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“How I Found TCM” with Mary Lyell, L.Ac.

Mary is a faculty member at the Santa Cruz Campus since 2007, practicing Five Element Acupuncture along with TCM. During her time here, Mary also founded the Veterans’ Clinical Externship, which provides complementary treatments to veterans.

“I got my law degree and was practicing law for several years.  It seemed that I went straight from undergrad to Law school and then right into litigation….  In my first job, I was not even working for a month when I tried my first case… Two months later,  the judge made a decision on my  first case, but by that time, I had  been in court so many times that I forgot what my first case was about”… She recalls.  

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