Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thoughts About the Conference

Well, I now have my very first professional conference under my belt. And to say it was an amazing experience would be an understatement.

I left feeling very encouraged that I can be successful. This wasn't because the speakers got up there and gave raw-raw lectures (they didn't). This is because I understood what the speakers were talking about. Now, could I spout off everything they said, or go analyze an x-ray? No, but I understood the big picture, and I know that with time I will be able to be successful.

The thing that really struck me was something a speaker said. He said every single one of us is a NUCCA athlete (of course this resonated with me). What made Kobe Bryant amazing at basketball? Was it his raw skills? No. It is the fact that he practices over and over again. The speaker mentioned that many people go to the conferences, go home, and don't practice what they learned. And they aren't as good as they could be as a result. I don't want to be that person. I have made goals to go over certain steps and practice regiments so I can start to develop the skills now. Yes, it will be annoying at times, but so is shooting a bunch of free throws for Kobe Bryant. Yet look how it has paid off for him. And for me I will be a much better doctor.

I walked away excited for my future career. I have the goal of working with other health practitioners (which NUCCA highly recommends so we don't confuse our patients, but build a healthy relationship with other medical professionals). I have the goal setting aside the time to practice how to analyze x-rays and performing the technique during week now and throughout my career. I also have the goal of taking meticulous notes and setting up some type of way of gathering information so I have a template of symptoms I have treated, how long it took to clear up, and what what were the lasting effects. I want to do this so when I have a patient come in for a certain symptom, I can give them honest advice about what their expectations should be. I also want to help contribute a lot of information to the research side of NUCCA, as it is very important for the growth of the profession.

I chose the right profession.

Some interesting side notes:
Recently there has been 4 case studies with the effects of NUCCA on cancer surviving patients and boosting their immune system. The American Cancer Institute was contacted to see what tests need to be done to accurately determine cause and effect. All four case studies showed vast improvement. So much so that the American Cancer Institute wants to work with NUCCA and do further studies. This is not as an alternative to cancer treatment, but more to help boost the immune system for patients in the post cancer treatment stage.

NUCCA has been working very closely with the National Institute of Health to see what NUCCA needs to do as an organization to have their research findings be accepted in more peer reviewed journals. The NIH stated that they need to verify through studies that their methods of assessment (leg check, hip check, and x-ray analysis) are accurate and show a positive correlation; then have the studies accepted in peer reviewed journals. Once NUCCA's methods of assessment are shown to be accurate, then the studies they produce after that for scoliosis, migraines, blood pressure, etc will have a lot more clout in the medical field and will more readily be accepted in peer reviewed journals. NUCCA has had some studies verify their methods of assessment are accurate and have a cause/effect relationship, but the studies were done in the 60's and were in a non-peered review journal. NUCCA is currently getting the new studies underway.

A head figure outside the chiropractic field (I wasn't able to write down the name/title of the individual) stated that NUCCA has the best infrastructure and technique/analyses of any of the chiropractic techniques to produce quality studies, which will help chiropractic care in general be more accepted and validated in the medical community.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The TIme Has Come...DUN DUN DUN!!

Tomorrow I leave for my first professional conference. I honestly can't wait. It makes all of the intense studying and difficult classes worth it. Why? It will help further cement in my mind why I am going through this difficult schooling; light at the end of the tunnel if you will. And right now, that feeling is very welcomed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Taking Upon Us the Cross of Christ

So, those of you who follow my blog are probably catching on by now that almost every Sunday I am posting a new thought I had, or comment I heard in church earlier that day that I think is worth noting. If this gets annoying, I'm sorry. This blog is my public journal though, and I like to keep tabs of these sort of things for my own reference. I also hope maybe someone out there in the vast wide world of the internet might stumble upon it and like it as well.

Today in Sunday School in the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we were discussing the book of Matthew in the New Testament, chapters 15-17. In chapter 16 verse 24, Jesus Christ says, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." In footnote d of that verse, it states that taking up our cross means to give up any ungodliness, every lust, and keep Christ's commandments. Basically we must give up our own will, and follow Christ's will.

I love the analogy Christ gave of taking up our own cross and following Christ, because Christ had to take up his own cross and follow the Father. Now obviously this analogy was stated before Christ was crucified, but I am guessing that Christ knew how we was going to leave this earth. In the night before Christ is taken by the Jews, he is in the garden of Gethsemane praying to Heavenly Father. Christ says, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done" (Luke 22:42). Christ, before he literally took up his cross, choose to succumb to the will of the Father. Was it easy? No. Nor is it easy for us to give up our will to Christ.

Lets face it, we all have, or have had, sins that we don't want to get rid of. Leaving some of these sins may even cause us to go through great spiritual pain and work. It isn't easy, and the road ahead looks daunting and difficult. Now, Christ never sinned, but reading the record of the last three days of His mortal existence lets us know that His tough road ahead was the most difficult anyone could bear. He knew what he was about to go through during the last three days of his mortal life. He knew how much pain, suffering, and ridicule he would face. Christ was probably scared and overwhelmed; and rightly so. Yet he took the leap of faith and followed the will of our loving Heavenly Father. After the experience, and everything was all said and done, I think it is safe to say that Christ (and all of God's children) is very grateful that he bore His cross and followed the will of the Father. So will we if we walk the hard road, shed ourselves of all ungodliness, follow the will of Christ, and take up our cross. It will be hard, and probably painful; but it will be worth it.

The version of the New Testament that was used was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints King James version

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's Official: I'm a Geek

Now, I know that many of you are thinking when you read the title to this blog post: "It's official? Umm, when has Darin not been a total geek? I thought his blog post on what Wii games to buy automatically enshrined him into the 'Geek Hall of Fame!' " Well, I am here to say that it wasn't official then. I was close, but not quite up to snuff to really get the honor of being classified as a true-blue, bona-fide geek. Heck, even my sister-in-law posting in the comments section of that blog post that I needed to go get a girlfriend didn't even do the trick. There was still some work that needed to be done.
(Editer's Note: I wrote the post reviewing the Wii games as an answer to a request from my brother-in-law Jeff. I didn't actually write that post just because I wanted to. That lost me some "geek" points that I am now just making up.)

Now, lets do just a quick synopsis of why I was almost a geek. Read multiple 800+ page fantasy novels with magic and dark, evil creatures involved? Check. Didn't stop playing with action figures until I was a teenager? Check. Watched super hero cartoons as an adult on multiple occasions? Double check. Fantasize about being the hero from multiple video games ? Check. Wikipedia the heck out of the video game I am playing just so I can spout off random useless facts? Check. Same goes for movies and comic book heroes? Triple check. Occasionally zone out in class and day dream about kung-fu kicking the snot out of bad guys? Check. Wish "Star Wars" was real? That I could fight crime with Batman? Or that I had an arch-nemesis who I could fight with super powers of my own? Check, check, and CHECK! You know, this is a pretty good list. I even think it would prove quite a convincing case in "Geek" court. But as my defense would be spouting off all of these facts, there would be one item that the "Geek" plaintiff would bring up that would totally unravel my case: I don't own any comic books.

Owning comic books are key and essential to being a geek. Until you actually own one, you are nothing more than just a poser. Deep down I knew this, and it killed me inside. But, given the fact that comic books have been around for decades, I didn't even know where to start. How on earth could I even keep up with all of the characters, their stories, and what is going on today?! I felt overwhelmed. So I would resort to cartoons, movies, and wikipedia; hoping to make up for this huge character flaw of mine. I thought I could go on through life like this and be okay. Yes, I would have some break-down moments, but then I'd watch my super hero movies and all would be well. That is, until last week.

This summer, there are three movies coming out that I am REALLY looking forward to. They are Thor, Captain America, and The Green Lantern. Since I can't wait until summer for these awesome movies to light up the silver screen, I have been trying to get my fix right now. The past few weeks I watched Superman I, II, and Superman Returns (which makes a lot more sense and is a lot more enjoyable if you have seen Superman I and II). I also watched Iron Man I and II, and The Incredible Hulk last week while I studied. I plan on continuing this trend as every person needs a break from studying just to be sane. Since I have already seen the Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk movies many times, I just put them on mute and had them playing in the background. I had to study, and since I know the movies by heart, just knowing they were on almost gave me my fix. Notice I said "almost."

Driving home from Institute on Thursday, and after having a long week of studying for a big test that I took earlier that day, I did something impulsive; something I thought I would never, ever do. I decided I want to buy a super hero comic book, and I want to buy it now. So I continued on driving straight to Borders. I walked into the book store, went straight into the graphic novel section, and started scanning the hundreds of comics. This was kind of daunting, and I have to admit I felt a little overwhelmed. I wanted my first comic book to be special. I am glad that I was very focused on the task at hand so my previous reservations didn't have time to talk me out of what I was doing. After scanning carefully for about fifteen minutes (not exaggerating), I finally saw what I wanted. It is called "Marvel: Civil War." Basically it has all of the Marvel super heroes fighting each other over a government super hero registration act. What's cooler than that?! Not much. So I scanned the pages, making sure there were no pictures of scantily clad female characters or overly bloody fight sequences. Seeing that it passed my standards, I bought it. I raced home, anxious to start my new hobby. And since I have only one class on Friday, and I wanted to treat myself after taking one of the hardest test of my life, I immediately dived in head first. I stayed up late reading all 200+ pages and finished the epic story of "Marvel:Civil War" that night.

I loved the experience so much that I have now made a "wish list" on Amazon of which comics I want to purchase in the future. I even purchased "Cowboys and Aliens", which will be coming in the mail this week and which the going-to-be awesome movie, coming out in the summer as well, is based off of. After that I will take it slower as these books cost money. My goal is to read at least one story per movie before Thor, Captain America, and the Green Lantern come out this summer. The great thing as well is that I can view the comic book pages online to get a grasp on whether the graphic novels are clean or not. If not, then I just scratch that book off my list.

So now, after many many years, and being ever so very close, I am a true a geek. And I'm okay with that.

May the Force be with me

PS
Here are links to the movies coming out. Watch the trailers. You will be excited too.

Thor

Captain America: The First Avenger

Green Lantern
This one is especially great because it is four minutes of footage that is a lot better than the teaser trailer, which was kind of lame. After watching these four minutes I am MUCH more excited for this movie.

General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The following is a link to hear various leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the semi-annual general conference. The leaders range from the President of the Latter-day Saint Church, President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson is a modern day prophet, just like the prophets in the Old and New Testament in the Holy Bible, who is called by God to be His mouth piece for the people of the world. There are also 12 Apostles who speak, who are called of God just like the 12 Apostles in the New Testament. Other leaders who speak are from the Relief Society, which is the largest women's organization in the world, the General Primary organization, which is a worldwide children's organization, and from the Young Men and Young Women organizations, which are programs dedicated towards helping and guiding the youth of the world.

All speakers are leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All speakers are not paid. And all the speakers individually prayed and sought God's guidance on what topics they should speak on. I hope you enjoy their messages; they will greatly influence your life if you follow their council on marriage, family, living financially within our means, and who we are as children of God here on earth.

The singing by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is amazing as well. The hymns "How Great the Wisdom and the Love," "The Spirit of God," and "More Holiness Give Me" where especially beautiful.

Enjoy the link.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In Case You Struggle to Stay Awake During General Conference...

I have a few things that have helped me out. My conference habits were that I would go to the living room in my pajamas, wrap myself in a blanket, and lie on the couch. I had every good intention of listening. But, to my surprise, I would end up falling asleep at least once during each session. (Gee, I wonder why...)

Well, I have found a solution. Actually, they are not my original ideas, actually a friend of mine did these things and after seeing how beneficial it was for her I wanted to try it out myself.

The first thing I do is that I make sure to have a pen and something to write notes on. For me I have a scripture journal I got for my birthday (which has been an amazing present) that I use to write notes on. It helps me stay attentive and alert the whole time. I have never gotten so much out of conference as I have now that I take notes.

The second thing I do, which I know will not be for everyone, and I only bring it up because it has helped me, is that I dress in my Sunday clothes for all the sessions. As I said, my friend did this last year so I decided to as well, and I cannot even describe how much of a difference it has made. I don't sleep during conference, I don't lie down on the couch and doze in and out of consciousness, nor do I zone out as much as I used to. I am a lot more attentive because I feel like I am actually in church instead of watching General Conference in my living room.

So if you have a hard time focusing, try these things out that my friend showed me. I think they will work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another Reason of Why I Love Coldplay

As many of you know, and if you didn't know, you will now know, that I love Coldplay. I love Chris Martin's lyrics and voice. I love how Will Champion plays the drums, and I love how Coldplay composes their music. In fact I even love that Christ Martin is happily married to Gwenyth Paltrow, which is unique for me because I really could usually care less about celebrities' personal lives. So to say that Coldplay is playing on my ipod 25 hours a day and 8 days a week is quite the understatement.

Well, as I was driving home from class this morning, Coldplay "randomly" happened to be playing in my car. One of the songs that popped up was "Glass of Water." I love everything about this song, and it even so happens to be one of my favorites. This being said, I am about as clueless as a 3 year old toddler in a calculus class as to what the song is actually about. I always just happily and blindly sang along at the top of my lungs, never actually thinking what words I am actually singing. That is, until this morning.

The great thing is, I wasn't even consciously trying to dissect the song. The meaning, at least the meaning according to me, just clicked. And here is what I think the meaning of the song is: don't look for signs or wonders to tell us what to do. Move forward with your life and make things happen.

The first verse talks about a man who heard that a fortune teller can tell the future by looking in the water's ripples as it moves in a glass. He seeks out a fortune teller and asks, "Do you see heaven in mine?" The chorus responds to this event by saying to not look and live your life in the past, don't worry if the glass is half full or half empty, because if you do, you won't get anywhere. And it's true.

The character in the song probably has had a rough life. He feels beaten down and has no hope, so he is going to different means for some guidance in his life. And when finding it, he is hoping that it will tell him that his future will have happiness. He is basically giving up by letting a glass of water dictate how his life will turn out. He has given up accountability and personal choice.

How many times do we do this in our own lives? If we have done poorly in school, been a part of failed relationships, or feel beaten down by bad choices that we have made, we tend to think that it is just our lot in life. Or when a big decision is before us, such as what career choice to make or what school to go to, we hope that a sign will just appear before us of what path we should choose. We may not trust ourselves to make the right decision so we hope some higher being will make it for us. The truth is, and a beautiful truth it is I might add, is that no matter what has happened in our life, we can choose to do our best to make it better. And no matter what hard decision is before us, we must act and make some choice of which direction to take before a higher being, which I know to be our Heavenly Father, will start to guide us. We have the privilege to be able to make choices. As a result we are expected to make decisions and be accountable to them. That is what agency is all about.

The last line of the song, which has after this morning become one of my most favorite Coldplay lines, is Christ Martin asking the question, "What are we drinking when we're done?" To which he answers, "Glasses of Water." In the context of the song, water is nothing special. It's nothing magical or mystical. It's just a glass of water that the man in the song was hoping would give him a sign and direction. It can't give him anything but meaningless ripples and waves.

So according to Coldplay (at least my interpretation of Coldplay's meaning) we must live our lives and move forward with hope, even if we have had a rough past. We must also take control of our lives and make decisions, no matter how scary those decisions might be. For it is not until we take action that things will become more clear. And I happen to agree with them.