A Conversation with Lumiel – this Lady isn’t just “making a living” – She L i v e s! (or why we won’

I asked Lumiel a question privately, she responded. Her answer blew me
away. Feeling her heartfelt inspiration shining through the words on the screen, I knew it should be shared, and she
consented…so here it is.

From: “Jordan Van Voast, L.Ac.”
> Hi Lumiel,
>
> So Julie Johnson (Pin Cushion) and I are getting ready to give a talk at
> Bastyr Univ and we want to represent CAN and the CAN model well, and we
> had a chat today to go over what we wanted to emphasize and pretty much
> the first order of business seems to be to define Community Acupuncture
> (a lot of people use the term in very loose ways as you know)…and it
> seems that CAN does not encourage “hybrids”, or even condone discussion
> of them on the forum.
>
> So what is a hybrid? On first glance, your clinic might seem to be a bit
> of a hybrid, but perhaps not if you make a clear separation of the
> practices (separate time where you only see patients for non-Community
> acupuncture services)? Or do Skip and Lisa just tolerate you because you
> are so endearing to everyone? So please, set me straight on this as we
> want to help these youngsters about to face the ice cold bucket of water
> in the face which is called “life after graduation”. 

Lumiel Kim-Hammerich wrote:

Good Morning, Jordan!
When I began my
transition to a CAP, I had a hybrid, but not much of one.  Essentially
there was only one holdout, an elderly woman in her 80’s.  It took over
a year, but I eased her finally into the community model, and she
doesn’t mind it at all now.  In fact, she even goes to Sarana CA across
the bay, now!
The other “private”
sessions I offer are Somatics and Foot Reflexology, which I really
don’t encourage at all.  The last time someone tried to make a FR appt
with me, I was shocked to see how I actually discouraged her, by saying
I didn’t have any openings convenient for her.  I very rarely do these
sessions, and the last time I did one at all was about 4 months ago. 
But these are modalities that I like because they are very powerful,
effective, and sometimes better than acupuncture.  So I like to keep
that door open.  The last time I surveyed my home page, I found myself
wanting to downplay those modalities.  So I asked my husband to make
their letters smaller.  I find that doing CA is more stimulating and
satisfying than working for a whole hour on one person, so I guess I’m
naturally gravitating toward a community approach.  I see patients
often who need Somatics, but can’t afford a private session.  This is
quite a challenge for me.  Right now I am teaching Chinese med. in a
college as a no-fee class, and I’m trying to insert Somatics into my
classes just so these people can get these lessons, but trying to do it
in yin-yang terms, so it fits into TCM philosophical underpinnings. 
It’s weird, I know, but maybe that’s one low-cost way to get that
information out.
I don’t really see my
practice as hybrid because I gave up the private acupuncture sessions a
long, long time ago.  I won’t see a patient as a BA practitioner.  If
that’s what someone wants, I refer out to a BAP. I love the idea of CA
more and more, as I grow into a more socially-conscious person, and
that’s important to me. 
I don’t think there’s a
place for hybrid clinics in a successful CA practice, mostly because of
the mindset involved in both styles.  I used to think more that way in
the past (conflicted subconsciously) and could accept both styles then,
but not anymore.  There are plenty of BAPs around to refer to, and I
won’t try to change their thinking.  Many of them are quite successful
and happy with their lifestyle and practice.  And many of them are
really good people.  In fact, some of them are friends of mine.  But
for my personal journey, CA is my path.  I’ve become so much more
conscious of myself as a part of the planet (people and all living
beings), I need to have a practice that welcomes a larger segment of
society.  it makes me feel more complete.  I’ve become more grateful
for all that I have.  Every meal I sit to eat, I reflect on all the
folks who would go miles for what I’m about t o eat, even if it isn’t
anything “special”.  The variety and quality of food that I enjoy is
something that could be taken from me gradually as the economy
worsens.  I am thankful for what I have today.  And I thank our
brothers, the trees, the  birds, the plants, even the insects, for
making it possible.
Our CAN fellowship is a
precious thing.  I have felt my heart fill and expand since becoming a
CANer.  It is also a mission in which I feel like a foot soldier, which
adds to a sense that when I leave this body, I will have done some
worthwhile things.
You and Julie are about
to do something really important: address a student body at Bastyr.  I
hope you will be able to reach a few truth-seekers who will join us.
CAN isn’t for everybody.  I see it as a fit for those of us who walk
the path asking: is this real?  Is this what I want out of life? 
Neti-neti, not this, not that.  For the students who want to identify
with MDs, they’ll forget your talk.  But acupuncture attracts a lot of
folks who love the medicine, want to serve, and don’t separate
themselves from the rest of humanity.  They will hear your real message
of love and truth.


Aloha,

Lumiel

river Jordan
Author: river Jordan

After graduating from the Northwest Institute of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine in 1997, I had a hobby practice for a few years before moving to Northern India to study Buddhism. During this time, I volunteered in a local clinic, giving acupuncture to Tibetan refugees and Indian nationals. <p> Returning to the U.S. in 2002, I started a typical insurance based acupuncture practice catering to the upper middle class. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered with <a href="https://www.acuwithoutborders.org/" target="_blank">Acupuncturists Without Borders</a>, using community style acupuncture to treat trauma victims in a natural disaster setting. </p> Inspired by the power and efficacy of acupuncture in a post-disaster setting, I began to contemplate issues of socioeconomic class. What could be done to make acupuncture accessible to everyone and still provider a livable wage for an acupuncturist? After attending WCA's first conference in October of 2006, I had found the answer to that question. In January 2007, together with my partner Serena Sundaram, we founded <a href="https://www.communichi.org/" target="_blank">Communichi</a>, Seattle's first dedicated community acupuncture clinic. <p> As a Buddhist, I believe that healing begins in the mind. As the positive qualities of wisdom and compassion are cultivated in the mind of a practitioner, this...

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Responses

  1. You’re right, Jordan. What a

    You’re right, Jordan. What a treasure Lumiel’s response is. Thank you both for your commitment and fierceness and poetry. Good luck with the presentation.

     Korben