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Safety in Numbers

December 16th, 2020 — In its narrowest sense, acupuncture safety sounds something like: “Whoa, be careful with the sharp end of that thing!” Mostly, this post isn’t about that part, though. This isn’t about physical safety; it’s about social safety.

Safety and Organization

January 4th, 2021 — In order to create safety, you need to have a certain amount of organization. Safety doesn’t thrive in chaotic environments; it likes structure and stability.

Reflection: Risk

January 26th, 2021 — What we’re aiming for is a neutral, analytical, non judgmental, safety-positive relationship to risk. To get there, it helps to identify what might be in the way.

Anatomy of a Safety Incident #2

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.

Homemade Swiss Cheese: Making (Imperfect) Safety

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.

Leadership and Safety Part 2: "Edna Mode" Mode

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.

Work in Progress: Safety/Risk Continuum for Acupuncture Styles

January 28th, 2021 — As part of encouraging a neutral, analytical, non judgmental, safety-positive relationship to risk, it seems like it’s worth describing a safety/risk continuum for acupuncture styles. There’s no one right way to practice acupuncture AND certain styles are clearly less risky than others.

Why Be an Acu Safety Nerd, Part 2

December 26th, 2020 — Acupuncture is basically safe. It’s so much safer than other forms of medical intervention that you should hardly have to even think about it. Right? Except for the times that you do have to think about it.

Re-Focus: ACMAC Conference Presentation

November 6th, 2021 — Giving a good treatment, whether in a community clinic or in any other setting, is largely a matter of focus. Our tools, our needles, are literally very small, you have to look hard to be able to see them (a fact that you’re reminded of whenever you drop one on the floor). Just finding the points in order to needle them -- that requires a lot of focus too. And then there are all the other skills of a good acupuncturist: paying close attention to a patient’s body language, knowing when to turn the intensity of your needling down or up, making sure the needles are neither too deep nor so shallow they’ll fall out, looking for the subtle signs of pain relief in someone’s face or movements in order to know if your treatment is working. Not to mention, in a community setting, keeping an eye on all the other patients in the room....Essentially, in order to give a good treatment, you have to pay close, close attention to a lot of minute details (and your fine motor coordination has to be excellent as well!). You can’t be a good acupuncturist if you’re distracted or careless. In the treatment room, you have to really concentrate. You have to control your attention.

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!

Your Mom Doesn't Work Here

January 30th, 2023 — Acupuncturists (at least in the US) have a lot of trouble navigating the tension between autonomy and security. We struggle to understand the tradeoffs between the two, and this can result in a weird, tortured, destructive relationship with organizations.