GETTING Acupuncture


Do you get acupuncture?I don’t mean do you get those tiny needles poked in your skin to help you digest better, or sleep better, or to have more energy, or less pain, or to keep you from having asthma attacks every night, or to keep you having periods every month….


I mean do you understand acupuncture?I don’t mean do you know what qi is?, or how the meridians work? or what came first the qi or the blood? Is zheng qi more important than yuan qi? and whether the yang ming has more qi and blood than the tai yang?


I want to know WHAT is acupuncture good for? seems to be almost rhetorical… What ISN’T it good for?Traumatic injury?—at least initially—but what if while the blood is still flowing, a paramedics started treatment for shock with a press ball at yin tang as they stemmed bleeding, would it be bad for that?


The question we as a profession should be asking is:

WHO is acupuncture good for?


How about the other 303 million Americans who aren’t getting it?How about soldiers on the battlefield, refugees of wars and floods, how about people who have lost their homes, or their jobs, how about single moms, and underpaid school teachers?Yes, and even overpaid CEOs… and how about you, your family, your neighbors, your neighbor’s family, and their family’s neighbors?  Is acupuncture as good for a high price as for a low one?  Are those who pay the higher price better?  Who gets acupuncture?


And who ISN’T acupuncture good for?Those who don’t get it.


So how about all of those 20,000 some odd people with acupuncture degrees and licenses; do they get acupuncture?Do they understand the incredible power they can wield with tiny needles and cotton balls?Do they understand who their patients are and where to find them?Do they get it?Or are they so wrapped up in thinking and knowing and defending and legitimizing that they are failing to get it?


When we don’t get it it’s hard for anyone else to.


To the wonderful world of CAN, Thanks for getting us IN-volved, RE-volted, and E-volving.



Author: crismonteiro

I've always thought that I would live to be 100 years old and now that I have an actual idea of what it might be like to inhabit this body for a century I want to be damn sure that Community Acupuncture is around to help me through my days and in the end, on my way. In the meantime, I am passionate about getting shit done, and also having fun.

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  1. getting it…

    recently I attended a meeting with three WCA staff and four staff of, um, an organization that is not WCA. It was long, surreal, and I think stressful for everybody involved. After it ended and the WCA-ers walked outside, I turned to them and said, “Well?” “They just don’t get it,” WCA staff #1 said. “No, they don’t,” WCA staff #2 said. We all looked at each other and sighed.

    There’s an awful lot here to get or not get: who acupuncture is for, how it is effective, what the real need is, not to mention everything having to do with the state of the profession. It’s hard to even have a conversation across the line that defines “getting it” from “not getting it”.

    “Do they get it?  Or are they so wrapped up in thinking and knowing and defending and legitimizing that they are failing to get it?”

    I really liked this line, Cris, because it sums up my chronic frustration and also because it makes me think about all of the people who sincerely believe that “advancing the profession” requires those things. It would never occur to them that those things are actual obstacles. Acupuncture is not like anything else. People keep trying to make it like other things, and we all get more and more confused.

    The near future is going to be interesting, though, because I think we are beginning to have a critical mass of people who really do get it. I wonder what’s going to happen next.