It is never good to ask a patient to tell you how they feel at the end of a treatment. A question such as this is usually a sign that we are looking to the patient to reassure us that we are on the right track. Patients are not there to reassure us; we are there to reassure them that we know what we are doing. What a practitioner is really hoping with a question like this is that the patient will tell them that they are feeling marvellous.
In any case how can any of us put into words how we feel if
we are asked? There is so much involved
in our feeling anything, particularly something like the result of an
acupuncture treatment, when we are not sure what we are supposed to be
feeling. Being asked is therefore also
likely to worry us to different degrees depending on the kind of person we
are. I know that when I have been asked
this by some of the several practitioners who have treated me over the years,
the question has always thrown me. Being the
person I am, I try to be helpful to whoever is trying to help me, and
therefore I will think that I ought to say something complimentary as a way of
thanking them for their help, however untrue this may be. Other patients may think they ought to be
feeling something, but cannot detect any change at all, and therefore leave the
practice room disappointed.
A practitioner is the one who at the end of a treatment
should be observing their patient so closely that they will be able to judge if
the elements have responded in some way, always a sign of a good treatment (see
my last blog about this).
We are there to help our patients, not puzzle or worry them.