Clinic Update and Other Passions

OK, so things have slowed way down the past 3 weeks… how much slower? Say, 30-40%.  I know acupuncture busy-ness can be a cyclical thing, especially in a beach/summer community like ours, but I had expected a boost as we moved into summer, not a cut back.  Combining this with the very high cost of gas is leading to the departure of one of our team —  Antonio.  He is a great acupuncturist, and our staff and patients love his gentle, “straight from the heart” manner.  For seven months he has been driving 160 miles round trip to treat in our clinic.  It has been a gift to have him, and you new CA clinics that are closer to Boston are lucky he will soon have a little free time on his hands, though not for long, I am sure.

So, usually when our numbers drop, my brain jumps in the hamster wheel and starts running, running, running, trying to think of reasons, consequences, solutions, interventions, comforting things, scary things, etc.  Don't laugh, I know many of you do the same.

This time, I am experiencing a bizarre peacefullness.   It will get busy again, or it won't.  The hamster wheel is usually not a helpful place to generate ideas, connect with my power or find community.

So while putting a few plans in place to build our visibility (we're doing a free treatment day for new folk on Saturday the 21st) I am using some of  the down time for my other passion — songwriting.

For a long time I felt isolated as an acupuncturist, and that was very painful.  Now I am delighted to have acupuncture community to share struggles, successes, hopes and dreams with  — that's all of you, and I thank you SO MUCH for changing my life and lowering my therapy bills.  But I am still isolated as a songwriter, and this past week I took a step towards songwriting community, by performing two of my songs in front of other songwriters.

Because I have a song inspired specifically by my love of Community Acupuncuture, I've decided to share it here.  Perhaps if there is a place and time for it at the Boston training, I can sing it for those of you who attend.


 I am free to make it better, I am free to let it flow

to put all my skill and heart in this community I know 

I can wait for them to fix it, I can wait for times to change

If I don't work to make it better now I help keep things the same

Things couldn't feel more broken, we couldn't be more scared

tho' we search for deeper meaning, we're confounded by despair

we can feel the web is breaking that has woven all in place

will our earth be another lifeless marble, spinning through space?

(chorus) I am free to make it better….

They're using every strategy to split us from eachother

the Queer who is your sister, the immigrant my brother

to keep us all distracted from the ways we are the same

when power is the motive life and death becomes a game

(chorus)  I am free to make it better..

What if everything I did made a difference?

What if compromise was just a lie?

If there's a third way, a forth way, a better way

that we hadn't thought to try?

What if each of us holds a fragment

of the change we want to see?

When we gather up everyone's piece of the truth

than together we hold the key 

We are free to make it better, we are free to let it flow

to put all our skill and heart in this community we know

we can wait for them to fix it, we can wait for times to change

if we don't work to make it better now we help keep things the same

when we all work to make it better now than nothing stays the same 

Author: Diana

<p> I had just hit 10 years in practice when I stumbled on the Working Class Acupuncture model in 1995, via Lisa and Skip's "Little red book of working class acupuncture". After reading this 3 times in the first two weeks, I was ready to jump, and two months later I was offering Community Acupuncture part time in my <a target="_blank" href="">Cape Cod, Massachusetts clinic</a>. </p> <p> While my boutiqe style practice had always been enough to pay the bills, I was forever needing to recruit new clients, and the ones I had often ignored my recommendations for a treatment plan, mosty due to cost. This made me feel frustrated and not very effective. The opportunity to transform my practice in ways that better support me, my community, and my values has been life changing for me. While it's all still a work in progress, there's no question that this is what I want to be doing, and helping others to do as well. </p>

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  1. Thanks for the song Diana


    I especially like the lines:



    What if each of us holds a fragment

    of the change we want to see?

    When we gather up everyone’s piece of the truth

    than together we hold the key 


    Also thanks for  talking about downturns.  I was having some growth last month and it kind of dried up suddenly.  I’ve redoubled marketing efforts and have some new irons in the fire that I’m hopeful about.  


    Business is unpredictable.  I’m getting a little more used to it… For instance, a former patient that suddenly disappeared a month ago out of the blue refers his father for treatment, or a patient I gave a free treatment to a few weeks ago who I thought I would never see again called to request an appointment with her daughter.  Or a prospective patient called and sounded anxious to make an appointment.  I called her back twice and never received a response.


    It’s been a challenge to stay positive, and most of all not to judge my worth based on all of these unknown and shifting variables.  In fact, it seems that the only peace of mind has been to keep trudging forward, keep studying, getting a good night sleep, and taking a day off.


    All the best for the coming week.  Thanks again for your ‘water on stone’ flyer too.  I give it out to new patients and its been a very helpful guide.  I’m still learning the art of talking to patients.  





  2. free to make it better


    Thanks for writing about the hampster wheel, and especially, your new way of responding to it.

    We are also experiencing a significant downturn which started immediately after the temperature shot to high 80s one day about 6 weeks ago (never mind that it’s mostly been in the 50s since then).

    Probably many reasons for this downturn – seasonal is obviously one. I think we also have our internal seasons…perhaps we somehow lose the spark a little bit, or get a bit mechanical…who knows? Hampster wheeling definitely doesn’t solve the problem. The spirit behind your song writing does.


    thanks for your passion for healing,





    May all beings be peaceful and happy.

  3. The hamster wheels…

    Good to hear your perspective on the business ebbs and flows.  I have sometimes wondered when the hamster wheels will subside, but then I realize I think it will always be there inevitably, to some degree.  It’s simply part of the challenge of running a business.

    It is great that you are taking time to enjoy that change and do something meaningful to you.  Obviously you are full of creativity and it is great you are getting the chance to channel it into something positive, aside from your devotion to your work and community!  Great job on the lyrics!

  4. Anthem

    Diana sang this for us at the first WCA conference.  We immediately dubbed it the CA anthem.  It’s beautiful.  I’m glad you published it!

     I also appreciate your transition off the hamster wheel. Yes, I think we all know it only too well!



  5. Hi and Thanks for the song!

    Hi Diana,

    You continue to be an inspiration for me. I
    will post the words to your song on our bulletin board. We have a
    couple of musicians we treat and I know they will love them.

    and downs are the name of the game and the gas and grocery prices are
    affecting us all either directly or indirectly. All the more reason to
    do what we do for the community. They need it more than ever.

    Hope to see you soon as I’m heading up that way for a brief stay in the Cape.