Many times last year I got requests I couldn’t accommodate. Chiropractors offering to rent me a treatment room in their office, patients wanting private treatments, acupuncturists and other colleagues asking if I would do home visits. Every time, I had to say no.
It was hard in the beginning. Sometimes I was flattered. Other requests were heart wrenching (the bedridden patient in the nursing home, the woman wanting end-of-life care for her mother).
I found that it became easier if I took the time to explain why I was saying no. it was important to me that people realized that community acupuncture is not just a clever marketing plan; it’s a commitment to my patients to keep acupuncture accessible and affordable. And it’s my obligation to avoid anything that doesn’t contribute to that mission (for instance, curtailing my office hours to drive to someone’s home and give a private treatment, however much they may need it).
As I began to verbalize these thoughts to others, I realized something interesting… I was also affirming the commitment to myself. Telling myself, this is what I do– I treat people in a group setting. I’m a community acupuncturist!