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  • Writer's pictureKelly Kempter

First Year Medical Students Visit Kaizen

As part of the University of Michigan Medical School program, first year students spend a week in September visiting local practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). This year I had the honor of hosting three first year med students for an afternoon. We spent the first hour in discussion. They were enthusiastic and engaged as I spoke about the theories behind Thai massage and Shiatsu. They asked relevant questions as I explained how an initial appointment might look and how I determine a treatment plan. Although none of them had received bodywork before (except one student, one time), they were willing recipients when I offered to give each of them a mini session so they could experience the effects first hand. Each of them had their unique presentation and I was able to tune into the issues in their bodies/lives and affect a small change in their energy, while demonstrating diversity of approach and technique. The students were able to give feedback on what they felt during and after the session. I also spoke about how choices in our lives impact our health and how poor choices, even small ones, are cumulative. This experience was not only engaging for me, but I think it provided them a valuable and concrete reference point for how a practitioner can take the whole being of a patient into consideration, rather than breaking a body down into smaller parts. I hope I inspired them to consider alternative ways of approaching health, not through the lens of treating illness, but through the lens of supporting health in all aspects of our lives.

For a more detailed discussion on this program please visit

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