February 4th, 2021 — The phone rings in your clinic. When you pick it up, a patient says, “Hi, I need to talk to you about something. I think that last treatment made me worse.” What do you do next? Here’s an outline of how to create a positive outcome, i.e. make some safety, from this stressful and unavoidable situation. If you treat enough people, you will certainly get this phone call at some point!
March 27th, 2021 — Just like with needling, the more invasive/aggressive you are and the more territory you cover in verbal communication, the more risks you’ll encounter. Choose wisely.
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.
January 4th, 2021 — A veritable cornucopia of misunderstandings, stray needles, and boundary issues.
January 26th, 2021 — Boundaries and empathy don’t have to be in an either/or opposition to each other; creatively making safety (even out of bad situations) allows them to be both/and.
December 30th, 2020 — Power can get confused with control, and bodies don’t respond to control. Thinking they do creates unsafe conditions for treatment.
April 7th, 2021 — Psycho-emotional triggers aren’t listed in the Clean Needle Technique Manual as an adverse event related to acupuncture, but according to our AERD data, they’re more common than fainting (which is listed).
March 31st, 2021 — Or, what I learned about boundaries by having an internet fight with Peter Deadman.
December 31st, 2020 — This post is the first of a series about lessons we learned from dealing with COVID that also apply to acupuncture safety in general.
May 5th, 2021 — Treating sexual complaints in a community acupuncture clinic requires an active, intentional approach to creating social safety. There’s no one right way to do that, and doing it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to treat everyone.
May 14th, 2021 — Safety requires transparency, and transparency requires that we actively and intentionally disengage from the role of Guru in our patient relationships.
May 21st, 2021 — Approaching safety issues from a structural and a trauma-informed perspective requires significantly more effort and more communication than the approach of “something scary happened, let’s find somebody to blame!”
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.)
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.
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.
September 20th, 2021 — Or, “Why is a member of POCA Tech’s Advisory Board doing a conference presentation titled ‘For the Medicine to Survive, the Profession Must Burn’”?
August 9th, 2021 — We can’t make good individual decisions about risk unless we have better collective conversations about safety.
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.
July 13th, 2023 — So many safety issues arise in the gap between how patients experience receiving a treatment vs. how practitioners experience giving a treatment. Also, mind those Apple Watches!