So Thankful

For the past two weeks I’ve been cleaning and shopping, and for the past few days I’ve been cooking and cooking.  Half of my kids are driving up north to spend Thanksgiving weekend with us.  But most of all I have been thinking thoughts of gratitude.  I remember the “old days” of BA practice when I was so poor that I missed half the showers and birthday parties I had been asked to primarily because I wasn’t able to bring a gift.  I couldn’t even send suitable gifts for my grandsons’ birthdays.  Until community acupuncture.

Being a community punk has enlarged my life in so many ways. But today I will mention only three:  The first is a larger income which enables me to give in ways I couldn’t before: to patients and community (the free or $5 treatments), to friends and family. Another expansion has been the sense of freedom: freedom from insurance billing, from guilt for charging such high fees– from turning away people in need because they couldn’t afford those fees, freedom from the brainwashing of the acronymed overseers of our profession, just to name a few (I’ll bet others here could come up with some great ones!).  And last but most important:

We’ve become aware that success as a CAP doesn’t come automatically with renunciation of the BA model.  Success as a CAP requires a huge adjustment in our attitude AND a ton of work that never ends. It’s a great model, but it’s far from easy.  However, it comes with a perk that cannot be found anywhere else in our profession, that is perhaps even more valuable than a higher income.  I’m referring to our community.  Our ever-morphing community of punks passionate about both helping people and social justice for all.  Our desire to help people get well also motivates us to jump in and help when another practitioner asks for help, newbie or veteran. I love this.  We are so connected to each other; we are thriving from this mutual support and respect and we cheer each other on.  THIS is what I am really thankful for.  I have to cut this short and leave for the clinic now, but this is my message:  A Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you, for we truly do have something wonderful to appreciate.  I don’t post often, but I try to keep up with where you are, and I do think of you often, even those I’ve never met before.

lumiel
Author: lumiel

I earned a B.A. in Hotel/Restaurant Admin, but soon realized that I wanted to do something more meaningful.  Became interested in nutrition and education when pregnant with my first child. Interest in health led me to becoming a foot reflexologist, which led to a massage practice and suddenly discovering the love of my life: Chinese medicine! Practicing for 18 years, Hawaiian/Californian, acu-educated PCOM San Diego/OCOM Portland. Started my CAP in <a href="https://www.communityacu.com/" target="_blank">San Rafael</a>, Marin County, July 4, 2006, even while earning my doctorate at OCOM.  This didn't seem to make sense, but it was my way of comparing the old way of practicing acupuncture to a simpler, truer expression of what I had learned in school.  I love it. And I love being a part of this grand movement to change the world by being true to our conscience. Reopened all over again when I moved to a place where no one had ever heard of me. 3 months open so far, and just beginning to meet expenses. I have no doubt this will succeed and I will be hiring by next year.

Related Articles

Conference Keynote: Breaking the Ceiling

The theme for this conference is “Breaking Barriers”. You know, there are so many barriers to break in acupuncture that it was really hard to choose which ones to talk about for this speech. But since I’ve spent so much time talking about classism as a barrier, I thought it might be fun to shift gears a little and talk about numbers.

Responses

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hear, hear!

    I feel the same, Lumiel, and feel thankful to you for articulating those feelings so well.  Happy day, sister!

  2. Made me feel warm and fuzzy

    Very true- how grateful I am for CAN and I loved your story.  It IS hard work but it’s very rewarding.  I can’t imagine practicing acupuncture any other way.

  3. Thank you, Lumiel!
    I

    Thank you, Lumiel!

    I remember when I thought I couldn’t give free treatments (when I ran a private-room clinic) because it wasn’t “therapeutic”.  

    My favorite part of my life now as a CAP worker bee is that I am no longer afraid of other acupuncturists.  Thank you for this blog.  It’s good to be grateful for my peers, not wishing they would move to another town.

    Jen

    Concord Community Acupuncture