New MATCM Assistant Academic Dean Named

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:05+00:00 October 16th, 2017|Administrative Staff, Alumni, Community, MATCM, News, Students & Faculty|

The Yo San University Administration is pleased to announce that Ashley Wren, L.Ac. will assume the position of Assistant Academic Dean effective immediately.

Ashley graduated from Yo San in 2013 and has served as a Clinical Teaching Assistant in our clinic since her licensure.

Please join us in a warm welcome to Ashley!

Brady Chin, L.Ac., Dipl.OM
Dean, MATCM Program

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Yo San Alumna Pens Article In Acupuncture Today

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:05+00:00 June 8th, 2017|Alumni, Alumni Acupuncturist, News|

Doctorate Alumni Dr. Nadiya Melnyk published in Acupuncture Today

Yo San University Alumna, Dr. Nadiya Melnyk (DAOM, ’16), has penned an insightful article titled, Sex & Estrogen, which appears in the July edition of Acupuncture Today.

Dr. Nadiya Melnyk has a master’s in Oriental Medicine and bachelor’s in Nutrition from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine. She obtained her Doctorate degree from Yo San University of TCM. Dr. Melnyk specializes in women’s health and cosmetic acupuncture. She also treats clients for pain therapy and rehabilitation.

To read the article, please follow this link:

If you’re interested in becoming an Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, check out our programs or give us a call at [phone-link location=””].

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Yo San University Partners with Kaiser Permanente on National Cancer Survivor Day

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:06+00:00 June 28th, 2016|Achievements, Alumni, Integrative Clinical Education Program, MATCM, News, Students & Faculty, YSU Community Clinic, YSU in the Community|

Cancer offers a unique insight into how individuals, families, and even communities rally together for life during what can be the most uncertain roller coaster we might ever ride. Fittingly, June 7 each year, National Cancer Survivor Day, is not only about the struggle to defeat cancer but is a true celebration of life.

That’s why this year YSU was invited to join Kaiser West LA in raising awareness of the benefits of healthy living and what TCM has to offer all of us in the prevention and combatting of Cancer.  YSU alumni and students participated by staffing a booth for patients and families to visit, and Dr. Lawrence Lao was a featured speaker during the annual event.  His presentation on acupuncture’s effectiveness in integrative cancer care was well-attended and received by all taking advantage of the insight and tips on offer.

At the YSU table, student-interns Pam Murphy and Tara Das were busy providing ear seed treatments and demonstrations to the many attendees who curiously stopped. They also took the opportunity to pass along information on the benefits of acupuncture as a treatment for both cancer and the neurotoxicity caused by cancer treatments. Plus, all were invited to the YSU Blount Community Clinic to review their options for integrative care. By the end of the event, we reached more than 250 people and each left with a flyer or brochure!

For those who were unable to make it to Yo San University, or who wanted a provider that accepted Kaiser Insurance, we were joined by professors John Barber and Ed Sullivan. Professor Sullivan provided information on support groups and medical Qi Gong groups that could take care of patients in the San Fernando Valley while Professor Barber offered his services as an approved acupuncturist for Kaiser’s insurance program.

While this event was a success for YSU and attendees, it is just another example of how the YSU Community and our partners are cultivating understanding and transforming lives by providing the community with information and integrative medical services.

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Alumni Spotlight: Cari Schaefer, L.Ac

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:06+00:00 January 22nd, 2016|Alumni, Alumni Acupuncturist, Community, MATCM, News|

Yo San University is proud to produce alumni that are movers and shakers in the healthcare field. We recently had the opportunity to interview YSU alumna Cari Schaefer, L.Ac., author of the The Food Solution, Amazon’s #1 New Release in its Genetically Engineered Food Nutrition department. Cari shared her insights on TCM and nutrition, her experience at YSU, and tips for becoming a successful practitioner.

Could you tell us what inspired you to write The Food Solution

I have been in practice for 16 years. Over those years, I saw time and again that if people were eating a diet that was low in nutrition and high in chemicals, they healed slowly, if at all, and that they were more likely to develop another health problem in the future.

And likewise if they ate a nutrient-dense, low in chemicals diet, they healed more quickly and the results lasted.

It has been a requirement in my practice for many years that each client do a diet consult with me. After years of my clients requesting that I write a book so they could share this information with their family and friends, I decided to listen. The Food Solution is my way of sharing

A central theme of your work is using nutrition as a healing tool.  How did your education in Traditional Chinese Medicine inform your views about food and nutrition?  

It informs everything I do. Chinese nutrition identifies the affect a food will have on the body; whether is warming or cooling, whether it is moistening or drying, which organs will benefit from eating it. This takes the mystery out of eating. Although my book is not about Chinese medical nutrition specifically, I am unable to view any substance we eat or take without these principles as the foundation. I think every nutritionist and/or herbalist would benefit from learning the principles of Chinese Medical Nutrition. I cannot imagine practicing without this foundational understanding.

You have been a successful natural health practitioner for over sixteen years.  What advice do you have for our students and alumni who wish to successfully bring the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine to a broader audience?

It is all about practice management. I have watched so many really talented practitioners fail to thrive because they did not know how to properly structure a practice. Some of the big mistakes I see practitioners making is that they do not properly educate their clients.

I find that doing a report of findings (ROF) with a patient is an essential key to success. ROF’s do several things: they give the client a clear understanding of how you see their case; what markers you will be using to follow-up on their progress; they educate clients as to what is expected from them, and how long will be needed until a follow-up revaluation of their case can be expected. When a client knows what is expected of them, and that the practitioner has a clear plan, they can relax into the healing process.

I also think it is essential that practitioners have a system of monitoring a client’s progress other than symptoms. Sometimes by monitoring symptoms for progress it sets an expectation in the client that symptoms should be changing.  It is my experience that symptoms can be the last thing to change. It is important that the practitioner informs the client of how they are doing on a regular basis based on the markers they use.

I believe in the initial healing phase, it is inappropriate for a practitioner to ask a client when they would like to come back. I have seen this happen so many times. Clients do not know what is necessary for their success.  That is the practitioner’s job.  It is for the practitioner to guide the client as to what is needed for them, the practitioner, to help the client to heal, not the client’s job. Every practitioner has a different style: some see clients several times a week others once a week, some even once a month. It is the job of the practitioner to know and communicate what is needed in order to help the client.

I have watched time and again as practitioners implement simple changes like these and their practices completely change for the positive.

How did attending Yo San University shape your views on natural health? 

I believe Chinese medicine is a fantastic foundation for understanding how the body works. I remember, as I learned the medicine, my view of health, and life itself changed and broadened. Without this understanding, I cannot imagine what it would be like to attempt to unravel the complexities of human health.

Why did you choose YSU? 

I chose YSU because of the Qi program. It is what made it stand out from the other educational programs I researched.

What are the benefits of attending YSU?

YSU did an excellent job at combining a strong Western foundation with an exceptional Chinese medical program. I transferred to YSU from another school that thought teaching Western medicine was not necessary. YSU’s program integrated the two, which felt more complete to me. Also, the nutrition program at YSU is what initiated my love of nutrition as a healing modality.

How do you feel your training at YSU has given you an edge?

Having a strong medical background allows me to easily interface with other healthcare providers in a way that helps build mutual respect and provide a better level of integrated care.

What is your overall feeling about your experience at YSU? 

YSU provided me the solid foundational understanding of Chinese medicine that I needed to succeed, not only at passing my Boards, but also to continue to succeed and grow as a successful healthcare provider.

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Alumni Spotlight: Denise Cicuto, L.Ac

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:06+00:00 January 8th, 2016|Alumni, Alumni Acupuncturist, MATCM, News|

Yo San University’s Veronica Manz recently had the chance to catch up with 2007 YSU alumna Denise Cicuto, L.Ac, to chat about her experience at YSU, life after school, and more…

When I first reached out to Denise, I immediately felt a warmth from her. Though we’ve only ever spoken over Twitter and Email, I always feel comfortable, and as though I’m talking to an old friend. Denise, who currently practices in San Francisco and the East Bay, agreed to let me pick her brain and interview her about her experience at Yo San.

Why did you choose Yo San University (YSU)?

After I told him I was applying to acupuncture school and going to look at Yo San, my Qigong teacher in the Boston area took me into his office and showed me a whole shelf of books written by Hua-Ching Ni. I took that as a sign. Yo San was the only school I visited. The intimacy and size of the school, and the fact that it has family lineage really appealed to me.

What are the benefits of attending Yo San University?

The teachers and staff are great – knowledgeable and friendly. The internships and externships available to students help prepare us for the real life challenges of working with different communities. I loved my internship at the Yo San Clinic and got different things out of my externship at Being Alive. And Vice President of Academic & Clinical Affairs, Lawrence Lau has always made sure that Yo San’s courses more than adequately prepare us for the hardest acupuncture exam in the country; the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam.

How do you feel your training at Yo San University has given you an edge?

When I got to shadow Dr. Dao in his clinic for a few months, I gained invaluable knowledge that would help shape my future practice with a focus on Gynecology. It was more than just what acupuncture points he did and diagnoses, it was watching him relate to patients. Dr. Dao really makes his patients feel like they are his only focus for the short time he spends with them. All of it made me make little notes in my head about the kind of practitioner I wanted to be.

Did your education at YSU any new doors for you? Do you have a success story?

My externship experience at Being Alive in Los Angeles led me apply for work at the Immune Enhancement Project (IEP) in San Francisco. I worked there for a few years both in their main clinic, and in a satellite clinic at St. James Infirmary. The work at St. James was a very fast-paced, kind of a community acupuncture-style setup where I treated 8 people an hour. It was trial-by-fire and I learned a lot. 

The continuing education program in Chengdu that I participated in 2012 was amazing. It gave me a chance to see how our medicine is practiced in a teaching hospital in China. And I also gained new information to take back to my clinics in the Bay Area to help my gynecology patients. Plus it was an exciting trip and I got to spend time with several people who were in the YSU doctoral program.

What is your overall feeling about your experience at YSU?

Perhaps it was fate that brought me to Yo San, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

If you live or find yourself up in the San Francisco / East Bay area, be sure to check out the talented and kind Denise. You can find more information by clicking the link below.


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Alumni Spotlight: Phillip Ward

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:06+00:00 November 4th, 2015|Alumni, MATCM, News|

Yo San University is proud to celebrate our amazing alumni! Each month, you can learn more about our alumni in the Alumni Spotlight, and potentially even find your next acupuncturist!

This month we’re featuring Phillip Ward.

Phillip is a Class of 2015 Alum who is now working at the Health Spot, a Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Studio City.

After graduating and passing the CALE this past spring, Phillip became the Health Spot’s resident acupuncturist. He works primarily with athletes, and has even treated some dancers from Dancing with the Stars! Phillip refers to his position as “a gift handed to me” and is extremely grateful for founder Dr. Greg Vanvakaris, and the Center.

While most patients come to him through referrals from other providers at the center, Phillip says that he is not shy when marketing himself around Ventura Boulevard and is always happy to talk about acupuncture and what he does.

Phillip advises all upcoming graduates to have intention and integrity. “Whether it is passing the CALE, opening an acupuncture practice or anything in between, mindful living with a since of integrity will most certainly assist you in manifesting your intentions. “

Interested in being next month’s Alumni? Contact Veronica Manz at vmanz@yosan.edu for more information!

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YSU earned the highest passage rate among all schools for the August 2015 California Acupuncture Licensing Exam!

By | 2018-06-14T23:54:06+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Achievements, Alumni, MATCM, News, Student Life, University Advancement|

We are very pleased to congratulate the August 2015 California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE) test-takers who have elevated Yo San University to 1st among all schools in passage rate! Our first-time takers led the way among their peers with a 92% pass rate, and YSU was also 1st overall, which includes both first-time and repeating takers.

While this achievement is due to the individual efforts of our graduates, YSU has a long track-record of performing among the top three schools for overall CALE results on a year-to-year basis. I also want to acknowledge the extra workshops our Academic Affairs team initiated to help prepare for the August exam.

Ultimately, our faculty, staff and Board of Trustees have a single purpose: to support individual and organizational excellence. This month, we have been ranked top in academic performance, as well as clinical reputation. We should all be proud to be a part of YSU.

Congratulations to our August CALE takers!  You can review the entire list here.

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