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Intro to Boundaries

February 20th, 2021 — There’s no area of safety practice that isn’t impacted by the need for boundaries.

More about Sketchy Guys (and Related Topics)

March 17th, 2021 — Many clinic safety incidents, before they actually happen, include some kind of quiet internal warning for the practitioner -- a sense that something about the situation is “off” or some misgiving or hesitation about a choice that in hindsight, turns out to be a mistake.

Boundaries in Community Acupuncture, Part 1

March 28th, 2021 — Although your relationships with patients will vary based on a number of factors, not least how invested they are in receiving acupuncture, there should be a core consistency in how YOU approach them.

Boundaries in Community Acupuncture, Part 2

March 29th, 2021 — The Chinese proverb “the superior doctor prevents sickness; the mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; the inferior doctor treats actual sickness” is often interpreted by acupuncturists to mean that any illness can be prevented by maintaining mental, emotional, and spiritual harmony, and so a “sage healer” or “scholar-physician” is primarily a teacher or a guide for ordinary people in how to live so that they don't get sick. There are some boundary issues with that.

Holding Space in Community Acupuncture

February 28th, 2021 — For a community acupuncturist, maintaining a patient base is a lot like being the nucleus at the center of a little electron cloud of patients. This is helpful background for understanding boundaries in the clinic.

If Safety Were a Deck of Cards

April 3rd, 2021 — If safety were a deck of cards -- bear with me for a moment here -- I think it would have four suits: organization, communication, boundaries and self-care. Any safety situation could be analyzed by asking what relationship each suit has to it.

Boundaries in Community Acupuncture, Part 3

March 31st, 2021 — Or, what I learned about boundaries by having an internet fight with Peter Deadman.

Altered States (or, the Sketchy Guy)

March 12th, 2021 — Patients and potential patients in altered states represent an interesting category of interactions for community acupuncturists. Altered states are sometimes, but not always, a reason why it might not be safe to offer a treatment to that person at that time.

A Queer Perspective on Acupuncture Safety

December 28th, 2020 — I’m going to argue that all of us need to learn how to think and talk about acupuncture safety in the same way that a lot of people in the queer, poly, and kink communities have learned how to think and talk about sex: without shame, without judgement, enthusiastically and in a lot of detail.

Anatomy of a Safety Incident #3

April 12th, 2021 — There’s always a dynamic tension between safety and access. You can’t treat someone if you can’t treat them *safely* -- which means unfortunately you can’t treat everyone. Even though, as a community acupuncturist, you want to treat everyone.

Billy, Don't Be A Guru

May 14th, 2021 — Safety requires transparency, and transparency requires that we actively and intentionally disengage from the role of Guru in our patient relationships.

"How Bad Is It REALLY to Date a Patient?"

May 26th, 2021 — The practice of acupuncture involves a certain amount of intimacy between humans, in the context of a society that’s just beginning to learn about consent, with capitalism telling us all that there’s never enough of anything good. (Spoiler: it's still a bad idea to date patients.)

Dual Relationships in Community Acupuncture

June 8th, 2021 — What they are, why you can't avoid them if you're a community acupuncturist, and some things to think about.

Practitioner Persona: Cyborg Edition

May 13th, 2021 — What can be confusing about being a community acupuncturist is how personal and how impersonal you have to be at the very same time. That’s why a cyborg is a helpful metaphor for how to be in the practitioner role: it has both organic and inorganic components and they have to work together seamlessly. Your organic components are about you, your selfhood, while your inorganic components are about your decision to serve your community in a (relatively) selfless way.

On Regulars

May 15th, 2021 — The relationships you have with certain regular patients will shape the parameters of your whole practice.

On Realistic Expectations

June 23rd, 2021 — Self-care includes self-compassion, which requires either knowing your limits or being willing to get to know them -- and once you meet them, to treat them with respect.

On Firing Patients

June 27th, 2021 — If you’re treating enough humans to have a sustainable practice, you’re treating enough humans so that every now and then, things will go off the rails with one of them and you will have to end the relationship.

Anatomy of a Safety Incident #4, Part 2

May 22nd, 2021 — Or, the 20/20 hindsight version. This incident clearly demonstrates the dynamic tension between safety and access, and I kind of hate that.

"It's Best If Everyone Keeps Their Clothes On"

February 27th, 2021 — No, that's *not* always obvious.

More on POCA Tech and the Acupuncture Profession

October 18th, 2021 — Because people keep asking about it.

Where Is the Line?

November 15th, 2021 — So many safety issues involve figuring out where the line is, why it’s in that particular place and not somewhere else, and what to do when somebody crosses it.

Mercury Retrograde

January 21st, 2022 — Mercury retrograde indicates a period of “review and reflection”, particularly in relationship to challenges that have come up in the past. We seem to be having a review of past safety incidents -- not all safety incidents, just the epic ones!

Boundaries are for Suckers

February 18th, 2022 — Boundaries are a bitch. But I’m not.