On Toy Trains, Drugs and Global Justice


On good days at work, which really are most days, I feel like my grandson Zach’s favorite storybook train, Thomas.Thomas is happiest when he feels really useful, and being a Community Acti-punctur-ist * definitely gives me that feeling.I feel way more useful than I did for 10 years of conventional practice.Beyond that, I feel useful to folks who, due to class status, income or age, have fewer options.


On the less good days, I worry how I will ever learn to treat faster than five patients an hour while making sure folks feel cared for and attended to, and yet feel that the clinic’s ability to be really financially stable in the long run may depend on me doing just that.


In other news, I have some excellent books to recommend.“MountainsBeyondMountains”, the true story of Dr. Paul Farmer, describes the life work of a man who continues to bring health care and justice to some of the poorest places on earth. This guy is just about my age, and can take personal credit for some of the world health policies that no longer write off folks with Multi Drug Resistant TB in Peru or Haiti as “too poor to save”.


Another great book is “Our Daily Meds” by NY Times investigative reporter Melody Petersen.Turns out a lot of the Medical Journal articles that doctors rely on to learn about new treatment options are written by PR firms hired by the drug companies.  It may be kind of depressing, but it beats not knowing.


Which brings me back to feeling useful.I love bringing a drug free, affordable option to my community.Even if I don’t feel powerful when it comes to getting my government, or my health care system, or my insurance company to listen to me, in our little clinic, I am mighty indeed.  Cool



*Actipuncturist:an activist acupuncturist

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="https://www.acuforall.com/">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. Go Thomas


    Keep on chugging up the mountain little clinic that can (Diana), and running on Pure Chi which, like trees, sucks hydrocarbons out of the atmosphere, transforming them into oxygen and community justice.

    At least the story book Thomas lives on, untainted by the ugliness of the world (the Mattel toy Thomas trains manufactured in China had lead paint on them until recently). 

    The stories in the media – like the PR firms, whether for the drug companies or presidential politicians, twist the truth into pretzels until the average person can’t discern reality.

    Glad my living as a Community Actipuncturist doesn’t depend upon spinning lies and polishing fools gold. A few words exchanged, a brief but dedicated period of listening, a few needles, and then it’s on to the next mind-body garden. 


    Cynicism is a smokescreen for laziness and fear. Clear light mind awaken! Pierce through all layers of doubt and delusion! Inspire me onwards in ceaseless waves of selfless activity.