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My Acupuncture Experience

We have just had Acupuncture Awareness Week for 2014 and it set me to thinking about what being an acupuncturist means to me. Most conversations that I have regarding acupuncture with patients, friends and others are spent either explaining that it is effective for more than just pain relief (as useful as that is), or that you don’t have to believe in it, for it to help (the latter frequently opens up a can of worms kind of conversation about the nature of reality; I find concepts in quantum mechanics and the Buddhist view of ultimate truth helpful, though frequently unwelcome at this point).

Sorry I digress, it’s a bad habit of mine, I was thinking about what being an acupuncturist means to me, what I enjoy about being in practice. The obvious answer is that of helping people. It is certainly true; someone comes to see me with a health problem, and hopefully with a combination of acupuncture, dietary, and lifestyle advice I can either resolve it or at the very least sufficiently improve the quality of their life.

There is the “buzz” to be enjoyed in helping a couple achieve a successful pregnancy, in seeing someone come in to clinic in pain and leave without any, in being part of helping someone take responsibility and control of their health, in managing the process of dying with terminal patients. To be an acupuncturist is to witness the “thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to…” to listen, and to help.

Finally, although I don’t “get a kick from Champagne”, I certainly do get one from the problem solving aspect of the discipline that is acupuncture; a Sherlockian world bounded by its own fascinating valid logic and rules. Almost alien to our culture, Chinese medicine is at least as much about wellness as it is about illness, about achieving and maintaining good health, about the journey and not the destination.

It is a pleasure practicing acupuncture, a compelling and potentially rewarding dialogue to have. Have you ever considered how it might help you?