Summer Intern Hannah Lufkin ’17 masters needles at Leadville Community Acupuncture, CO

IMG_0050I am currently wrapping up my second summer interning at LCA in Colorado with the Whitman Internship Grant. I am extremely grateful for the time I got to spend shadowing and working with my supervisor Eric Cutlip. I learned more about the medicine than most people get before enrolling in graduate school for this field. I also really appreciate how my major in philosophy at Whitman College set me up to better observe the differences in philosophy between Chinese Medicine and “Western” Bio-medicine.

Halfway through my internship I did a separate 6 week study abroad trip in China to learn the basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine at its source. It was very exciting to compare what I had learned at LCA with what I was seeing in China. It was affirming to see a lot of the same techniques used, but also discover many new ones. I loved returning to LCA in July with an even vaster understanding of the medicine.

During the first half of my internship I narrowed in on learning meridian theory so that I could better identify acupuncture points while watching Eric practice. I was able to memorize most meridian channels and a significant number of important points. Eric also worked with me on the following: identifying particular combinations of points for specific injuries and illnesses, mixing and reading up on herbal formulas, pulse reading, developing confidence feeling bones and muscle groups on patients in order to find discrepancies that indicate where an injuries are located, and learning and practicing cupping and moxibustion which are treatments I am allowed to preform as they are not as invasive as acupuncture.

When I returned from China I knew a lot more about the functions of certain acupuncture points. This made watching Eric do acupuncture at LCA a richer experience. He also continued to teach me what I had begun to learn in China about the technique of needling free-hand. I was able to go deeper with the activities I had learned from the first half of the internship.

This experience has solidified my love for Chinese Medicine. I know that after this internship I will have the perspective and interest to get a lot more out of studying Chinese Medicine in a masters program than I could without it.

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