Sunday, January 8, 2012

A few simple tips to make a five element acupuncturist's life easier

Don’t hurry!  Don’t worry!
  • The first rule is to have compassion for your patient.  Compassion means to “feel with”.  The more you can feel what your patient is feeling, and therefore can understand them, the more quickly you will be able to discover which element is directing their life.  Unless we allow our own hearts to resonate with our patient’s feelings, we will never understand which of the five elements guides their lives.
  • Do not be in a hurry to diagnose the right element!  The elements will wait for you to find them, and show their faces more and more clearly with time.   And all elements will enjoy the kind of focused attention they receive from simple command-point level treatments. 
  • If you are not in a hurry, you can relax and learn to get to know your patient better.  All of this will give you time to observe whether there has been any change from treatment, and show you whether or not you should continue treating that particular element.
  • Don’t think that your patient is necessarily expecting a quick fix.  Patients appreciate the care and deep concern their practitioner shows them, and return again and again for that.  This is usually unexpected and rare, compared with the impersonality of doctors’ surgeries and hospital waiting rooms.  Patients are usually only too happy to give the practitioner all the time they need.
  • The most important aspect of any treatment is not the amount of time spent on the actual physical procedures, but the time it gives you to understand your patient, observe them and help them get used to you.  Patients won’t be counting up how many points you needle, but they will be assessing how interested you are in them and how concerned you are about them.
  • Think of each treatment as asking a question of the elements.  The practitioner’s task is to try to interpret the answers the elements give.
  • Do at least three treatments on any element you choose.  If you are treating once a week, then this gives you at least 3 weeks in which to observe an element’s responses.
  • Don’t confuse the elements by changing from one element to another after only a short time or in the same treatment, if you are not sure which element you should be treating.
  • Don’t judge any change in your patient simply by using the criteria of changes to physical complaints.  Get used to assessing change in the patient as a whole, particularly  in the patient’s spirit and emotional balance.  It is by getting better at noticing what can be even very small changes in a patient’s behaviour or physical appearance that we begin to see whether our treatment is directed at the right element.
  • If in doubt, simplify, and do the least number of points possible.  Don’t judge the success of treatment by the number of points you needle.  If you aren’t sure where you are going with your treatment, don’t add to your confusion by haphazardly piling point upon point.  Try to clear your mind by just doing one pair of command points, preferably the source points.  This helps you focus your attention directly and deeply upon an element.  Then let the elements answer you.
  • Don’t spend too long trying to diagnose the major blocks (possession, husband/wife).  They are much more difficult to diagnose than you may think.  It doesn’t matter if you miss them to start with.  They become more and more obvious the longer they remain untreated.  An expert practitioner may see them straightaway;  a less experienced practitioner will inevitably take longer to recognise them.  There is a risk that a newly qualified practitioner will over-diagnose blocks because of the excitement of doing them!

    1 comment:

    1. Dear Nora

      Much as I enjoy reading your Blog entries, I do find this one lacks an appreciation of the real world where patients are paying for costly one-to-one treatments and they aren't prepared to keep coming for sessions on the off-chance that the practitioner may be able to help them. They want some form of measurable result within a reasonable timeframe, not an open-ended exploratory adventure.