I think one of the greatest liabilities of having practiced acupuncture for 25 years is that I don’t remember what it is like not to know what I know, feel like I feel, live like I do. It takes some deep reflection to presence the person I was on the day in 1986 when I first visited an acupuncturist.
I make the mistake of believing that times have changed and everyone eats cleanly, has a meditation practice, is able to exercise, communicates clearly, loves their work, and is respected by their family and friends.
In the midst of my full practice, in three locations, I may believe I’ve provided qi gong stretching exercises to someone whom I haven’t.
I may be worrying about how to explain constrained liver chi and misting phlegm that I may overlook explaining that acupuncture might initiate changes in their whole way of being, not just their pain.
Sometimes I forget to tell them how important rest and sleep hygiene are to their well being and to the success of their treatments.
I may not remind them that the time of the treatments needs to work for them so that they do not rush; getting to one’s acupuncture treatment should not be an additional source of stress.
I, from time to time, don’t take time to review the principles of clean eating, pointing out places in their diet that are full of artificial additives, sweeteners, and coloring.
I neglect to find out their place of worship and to support their engagement in a rich spiritual life.
I might focus on the physical pain instead of the history of traumas, like death, violence, bankruptcy, which impact their ability to heal .
I forget to remind them to wear a seatbelt.
Not all the time, but sometimes.
What I NEVER forget to tell them is that without them my work would be for nought and that I am grateful for their trust and patronage.
Victoria Taylor, Licensed Acupuncturist lives in southwestern Virginia. She and her husband own Yellow Sulphur Springs which was a healing springs resort during the nineteenth century and has been the site of her home and practice since 1997.
Victoria has a bachelors degree from Harvard University. She graduated from the Mandarin School of Chinese Medicine in Jacksonville, Florida in 1990. While her Masters training was primarily five element constitutional acupuncture her practice style includes Dr. Tan’s Balance Technique, community acupuncture, aromatherapy, the Wise Woman herbal tradition, patent herbs, and qi gong. Additionally she has been working with Addiction Medicine since 2002 and supervises the Acu-detox programs at both a nearby hospital and the local Community Service Board.