Merging with community

Usually when I need acupuncture I treat myself. So much for relaxation….Typically I’ll lie on the floor as I needle the usual suspects. This past week, out of the blue, a wind invasion hit me like a ton of bricks. I still hadn’t even considered coming to our clinic until I remembered that my business partner had come in the day before. Hmmm….What a great idea!

What better nurturing experience then having somebody ask what’s about you and treat you with acupuncture? It’s so easy to forget how great acupuncture can be when you give it yet don’t receive it. Doing it to oneself just doesn’t cut it. After the placement of Yin Tang I felt as if a collidascope of worlds were swirling inwards as I slowly lost consciousness. It was a great experience. I can see why these people come back every week!

I woke up to the sight of feet propped up in reclining chair and I felt better. On our busy days we have people rushing in when we open the clinic. I am always happy to have people to treat. It’s a good thing to remember how great it is to have someplace to go when you are not feeling like yourself. Community takes care of its own.

One of my patients commented to me the next day that he had seen me sleeping on one of the chairs. I think I thought it somehow unprofessional for me to be on the receiving end in my own clinic. I think another thread of a western belief system has been unraveled within me.

One of the things I think the community acupuncture model does well is to break down the barriers between patients and practitioner. This past week I was invited to a party at one of my patient’s house. It’s a patient that I really enjoy treating. With her, everything I do is great. Still I wondered whether I should or shouldn’t go. Ultimately I decided to go.

I told her later at the party of my quandary. She said was a little nervous about leaving a message for me at the clinic about her party. We talked about there not being a real hierarchy with our roles as patient and practitioner. And I wouldn’t want there to be one either. As I’m treating at the clinic I usually see myself in the role of an artisan. I am glad that I didn’t let my preconceived ideas of how I should act stop me from having a fun afternoon as well as the possibility of forging a real friendship. It seems like the meaning of Community Acupuncture seems to expand more and more as I deepen my practice.

Author: Joseph

Moved to Portland from Albuquerque, New Mexico where I graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College in August 2006. Originally I co-founded Brooklyn Community Acupuncture and in May 2009 I joined forces with Working Class Acupuncture to open their second location. Prior to my studies in acupuncture I pursued the fine arts as a sculptor.

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  1. great post

    I’ve heard so many acupuncturists say that they themselves can’t afford to get acupuncture — which is really an extremely depressing reality to contemplate. What a lovely alternate reality you are showing here.

  2. Another kind of recliner!

    Wow, that almost looks like one of ours, except for the sound and light cancelling globe.  I often wake from a nap completely ignorant of where and why I am, so I can’t help but wonder how it would be for me to wake up in one of those.

    I’m so looking forward to having another acupuncturist in my clinic, so I can do what Joseph did.