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.
December 30th, 2020 — Power can get confused with control, and bodies don’t respond to control. Thinking they do creates unsafe conditions for treatment.
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.
May 7th, 2021 — Inspirational leaders make other people want to do things that those people were otherwise not motivated enough or not confident enough to do on their own. They get people to transcend their own self-interest to serve a bigger vision. That’s wonderful, right? Yeah, no, not really.
May 9th, 2021 — “I know we decided to follow the CDC guidelines for COVID in the workplace, but now that we have something we need to follow them ABOUT, what if they’re WRONG?” This is when you need Edna Mode.
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 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.)
February 27th, 2021 — No, that's *not* always obvious.
November 4th, 2022 — Successfully managing pain requires not fighting pain, because fighting pain involves focusing on pain, and focusing on pain makes pain worse. Resisting pain amplifies pain. Successfully managing pain, as a practitioner, means helping people focus instead on incrementally reducing their pain and incrementally increasing their quality of life. But the focus has to be on living life, not on fighting pain. And this requires leadership skills, because for most humans, the default setting is to fight pain.