Special Edition: Alumni Journey: Newsletter, August 2021

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If you want to be a professional, you have to continue to study and improve your skills. Love what you do. Then do what you love.

— A video captured in Summer 2016, when Dr. He talked to a group of our students in the Risk Management Seminar held in our San Jose campus, sharing his insights on the qualities and actions that make a good doctor.

We are pleased to interview our sports medicine professor and alum of Five Branches’ doctorate program, Dr. Frank He, LAc QME DAOM, on August 19th at 5pm.

Whether you are an acupuncturist or part of the general public, sign up here to enjoy this “Alumni Journeys” webinar for free!

Frank He has taught at Five Branches for decades, completed his Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree in 2012, and is a Qualified Medical Examiner (QME) in the state of California (one of just a few actively practicing Acupuncturist-QMEs among over 10,000 acupuncturists).

His expertise has been sought for numerous local and national publications – particularly in the areas of sports medicine, stress management, and seniors’ health. You will get a chance to ask both Dr. He and alum Marc Velez, LAc QME, questions about what made them choose Chinese Medicine, challenges they face in hospital practice versus private practice, and tips for thriving as a professional.


Exercise During the Pandemic to Alleviate Depression, Says Harvard

As we continue to monitor the spread of Covid-19 across the globe, there are many aspects to be optimistic about (acupuncture can relieve post-Covid fatigue; the vaccines have proven nearly as effective in the real world as they are in clinical trials). But this month, the disheartening news of variants’ transmissibility has been particularly painful to reconcile after such a difficult 1.5 years.

One overlooked option for depression is low-intensity exercise sustained consistently for at least several weeks before re-evaluation, as this can actually improve nerve function in the brain.

Harvard assistant professor of psychiatry Dr. Michael Craig Miller explains, “In people who are depressed, neuroscientists have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain—the region that helps regulate mood—is smaller. Exercise supports nerve cell growth in the hippocampus, improving nerve cell connections, which helps relieve depression” (Harvard Health Publishing. “Exercise is an All-Natural Treatment to Fight Depression.” Mind & Mood, 02 February 2021.

Dr. Miller goes on to state that exercise is not enough for someone with severe depression, but in mild instances can be as effective as SSRI pills. After 3 to 4 weeks you should feel improvement, but he also emphasizes that this is ongoing and not a one-time fix. “Pick something you can sustain over time. The key is to make it something you like and something that you’ll want to keep doing.”

Read in: Chinese