We are fortunate to have you joining our CAM department...Thank you for teaching medical students. Rosanne H. rofessor and Chair Dept of CAM John A. Burns School of Medicine at University of Hawaii
The Department of CAM wants to thank you for your excellent teaching to the senior medical student regarding to integrative holistic medicine. They love your office in the middle of a beautiful valley which is very calming. Noe A.MD, PhD, Dept of CAM, JABSOM
In my varied experiences I had an especially unique opportunity to spend time with Elizabeth Christenson, MD, LAc, at her private office, designed around the classical concepts of Feng Shui, and located within the beautiful valley of Ko’olau Mountain Range on Oahu, and also as a student in her Qi Gong classes held at Castle Medical Center. Dr. Christenson discussed with me her background and evolution towards her current integrative medical practice in which she commonly incorporates her skill as a practiced harpist with her training as a licensed acupuncturist to bring holistic healing to people at the mental, emotional, and physical level, while especially acknowledging the interconnectedness of these facets of the human person. In her own words Dr. Christenson described herself as a former “non-believer” of medical practices considered non-traditional to modern western medicine until experiencing a frustrating lack of results with western surgical and pharmaceutical solutions in the face of stubborn chronic conditions during the early years of her career as a physician, and thereafter finding deep satisfaction and practical outcomes in the art of healing through Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is rooted in the mind, body, spirit connection. It was very inspiring to see how someone trained in allopathic medicine artfully combined the acuity of western medicine with the grace of eastern traditions in such an appropriate setting.Sean C.4th-year medical student
…In becoming acquainted with these various healing arts I started to notice a pattern of practitioners seeking harmony and balance for their patients, and in doing so becoming vessels of this harmony and balance themselves. I believe this is an ideal healers of all modalities should find root with. Just as an esteemed chef cannot serve what he has never tasted, so too will a physician ultimately be unable show his patients to a state of health he has never known.
I had a really great time at the Qigong classes and the talk with you about acupuncture was very enlightening. The Qigong class was really relaxing. All the class participants were wonderful and welcoming. I am not sure I am really a believer in the concept of healing through Qi, chakras, or energy fields, but your discussion did an amazing great job of trying to relate the energy concepts into biological processes. I think that sort of a conversation is crucial as CAM use gains popularity in media outlets such as Dr. Oz. Our patients will be actively using it or asking about it and being able to speak about it knowledgeably and in a biologically/physiologically grounded way helps us communicate with them more efficiently. I really liked that the discussion was very grounded in sensibility and used CAM as a complement and an adjunct to traditional medicine rather than attempting to use it as a replacement. I also enjoyed listening to your story of how you got to where you are with acupuncture and establishing an outpatient family practice. Who would have known you could do your medical education in Italy? and end up in Hawaii? I think a discussion like the one we had at your Kailua office would be a great lecture for medical students at JABSOM. I know that they are exposed to more CAM practices in their medical educations than most medical students. If they had a discussion like the one we had with you on integrating CAM and traditional western medicine, it would be a great tool to have in their repertoire (especially as many of them will continue on to practice in Hawaii where CAM use is very popular). Thank you very much for the time you spent with us. The harp music was beautiful. I hope other students will be able to learn more about CAM and participate in your Qigong class in the future. HelmiSenior medical student
Your Qi Gong class was wonderful. I felt great after every class. It gave me energy and made me feel healthier. Your home/office is AMAZING! I love the location, ambiance, I could just melt away in nature if I was there longer. Thank you for all that you taught us and for the book. Also thank you for playing the harp for us. That is my favorite instrument and someday I am going to learn how to play. This CAM course was an eye opener. I felt I learned so much especially about lifestyle change. I really enjoyed every part of it and wish I would have done it sooner. I don’t know of one thing I would change about it. You wanted feedback, there it is, keep it going you are changing the future of medicine one allopathic student doctor at a time. Thank you, Morgan E.Medical student OMS IV
I just wanted to touch base with you and thank you for inviting us to your Qi Gong class on Monday mornings. I really enjoyed participating in your exercises and meeting with you at your office to discuss your therapy. I also appreciate the time and knowledge that you passed on regarding business and how to handle our money as we become older. I am realizing the importance of that every day now. I was surprised by your ability to play the harp and found it very relaxing and therapeutic. I am glad we had the opportunity to visit with you as I believe it added to the value of this elective. Overall I feel that I was exposed to a wide variety of alternative treatments and I appreciate all of the time you and the other teachers have invested in us. Thank you for your time and I hope that we can stay in touch in the future. Take care. Zeporah S.
I wanted to tell you about some of my thoughts about my rotation over the last four weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed the last four weeks in the CAM rotation because it gave me a completely different experience and look at medicine. It taught me so many different things that I never would have learned in my traditional medical school curriculum. From TCM, I learned so much about herbal medicine, got a chance to see acupuncture, and learned a little about feeling pulses and reading tongues which we definitely don't do in Western medicine. I also enjoyed going to Qi Gong because I've never done anything like it before and it was a completely different experience for me. …One of the things that I liked the most was the music therapy. The music therapy sessions that we attended were with dementia and autistic patients and we also had a lecture. The therapists played a variety of instruments and had the patients play the instruments as well. I have to say though, that when you played the harp, it was so beautiful and it felt instantly relaxing. I wish we had had more time to listen to you playing the harp because that was truly wonderful and you have a real talent at that. Thank you for taking to time to talk to us and allowing us to take Qi Gong. I know you shared many valuable life lessons with us (especially about finance) and I appreciate it. This was a great rotation and I wish everyone in my medical school class could take it to get exposure to this side of medicine because so few get exposed to it, yet it is so important to learn about because patients explore this side of medicine every day. Thank you for sharing it with us. Sincerely, Kelley C.
Thank you for all your informative teaching in CAM this month. You have opened my eyes to see other ways of practicing medicine. Initially I was skeptical but after this month of exposure to all different modalities including your Qigong class, acupuncture practice, integrating the East and West Medicine, spirituality in medicine, music therapy etc... now I realize I need to know them so I can be prepared to face the world of CAM. Best, Eric L.4th year medical student
I met Dr. Elizabeth Christensen today at her office in Kailua. She is the first alternative medicine practitioner I am meeting during the rotation, and is also an M.D. which is great because I am interested in integrative medicine myself. The office is located right next to a lush foresty area, and I imagine it to be a very peaceful and calming place for patients. Dr. Christenson gave me an overview of the different forms of alternative medicine that she is familiar with and practices. She talked about chi energy and meridians. I very much believe those things exist, and am looking forward to learning more about them and their application in real life. Dr. Christenson also talked about the interesting concept behind harp and music therapy: to guide a person’s consciousness or energy or internal rhythm to a healthier state through music. That concept also sounds reasonable and logical, and something I’d like to observe or experience for myself. The last major idea that Dr. Christenson introduced me was to EFT (emotional freedom technique) in which one can affirm oneself with positive thoughts and bring about a positive, healthy energy by combining those thoughts with the tapping of 12 energy points on the body. I know from experience and observation about the power of positive thinking. I personally don’t need any confirmation that it works, but I’d still be interested in looking at any research trying to study this. Dr. Christenson also lent me a good, basic, and broad book about alternative medicine and referred me to several websites where I could learn more about other, less well-known areas of alternative medicine. Overall, I thought this was a fruitful visit and an excellent introduction to the world of alternative medicine; a perfect start for this rotation Student
I attended my first Qi Gong class today. I had a lot of fun. Qi Gong is a way to open the meridians and help good chi to flow freely throughout the body. For many of the participants there – who were all women, by the way – it’s a great way to start their day. We concentrated on our thoughts and breathing, and engaged in many specific movements and postures. I found out I am pretty stiff, heh. I’m sure I need a lot of practice before I get all of the movements right and really start to feel the full effects of Qi Gong. Still, I *did* feel that I was doing something good for myself and perhaps I felt a little bit of the positive energy increasing and aligning within me. At the very least, I felt I was starting the day on the right foot with positive energy. Student