I just want to be their acupuncturist. And not even the super-involved one who takes on every issue the patient might have, and considers all the angles I know of, or have ever heard of, or can call someone about, to give the most comprehensive possible care.
That sounds bad, but it’s not. It’s good for me and good for the people who get acupuncture at BCA. That’s because I have boundary issues. I am not proud of that. It’s ridiculous. I’m a 38-year old woman with a family for pete’s sake. No reason to get in people’s business too much or think I can fix what’s broken. These boundary issues probably contributed the most of all to my impulsive life-changing decision to study chinese medicine (the decision was not all for the better…wow, that was a long time studying lots of ‘not acupuncture’ and piling up debt). There’s a fixer in me. And community acupuncture helps me to get it right. Be here, right in the moment, figuring out the most helpful place to stick needles, and sticking them in. It helps to keep the relationship more appropriate. Offering more than acupuncture crosses the boundary. Not necessarily in a harmful way, and sometimes I do it anyway a bit, but it’s something I’m mindful of.
This came up today because a new person came in and we talked and she said she got the most well with her last acupuncturist after she finally started running blood panels and prescribing a special animal organ and it helped so much…and I thought, wow! Huh. Darn it. It gave me pause, and made me wonder if it’s OK to just keep on trying to use needles to balance out the body and get the hell out of the way. Maybe I’m doing people a disservice by not thinking harder about how they got to their current place and unraveling the mysteries, and offering more solutions. She went on to say that she has a new practitioner, and he’s so great because he has private rooms and does this massage after every treatment that feels so amazing…and do I ever do cupping?… and I will confess. I got a little tired. Of course I don’t think it hurts people to get extras beyond acupuncture. I mean, who hates a neck massage? Still, this is someone who needs more from her acupuncturist than I’m offering. And I was fine with that as she walked out the door after enjoying one free treatment here. More than enough people will benefit from good, basic acupuncture.
It’s not good for me personally to get too involved. I know that–I’ve always been the one who holds eye contact too long and makes all the murmuring sounds, and starts right away to think about ways I can help. I could benefit from codependents anonymous. Ask my husband.
One person can’t give you everything…they even say that about love/marriage.
Community acupuncture, at least the way I’m doing it, has shown that this is OK. People who stick around just rave about how something so simple can have such profound effect.