When you decide it’s time to choose a dentist, physician or other healthcare provider, what’s most important to you?
Surely, the most important thing in choosing an acupuncturist is to ensure he or she is licensed and in good standing with state and national regulating boards. Safety is number one.
Ok, you’ve checked the credentials – now how do you choose?
Do you look for particular personality characteristics? Do you prefer someone who sticks to the specific matter at hand or someone who asks how things are going in your life? Do you prefer someone who is serious and formal or someone who is outgoing and relaxed? How much one on one time do you like to have with your practitioner? There is no single right answer and only you can decide who might be the best fit for you.
In my acupuncture training, we covered Western biomedicine topics in addition to diagnosis and treatment according to an Eastern medicine framework. Interwoven in our practical studies, my teachers emphasized the importance of rapport.
Rapport is that connection between a practitioner and patient. To me, it means respect, open communication and partnership – and its basis is trust.
In getting to know my patients, their individual needs and preferences, I am able to customize the treatment experience for them.
Just recently, a new client who I had seen for the second time in two weeks told me how much he appreciated that I understood what he sought from the treatment and that I adapted my style to fit his preference.
I make a practice of checking in verbally with my clients at the start of each treatment session. We talk about improvements or any new issues and, often, the conversation turns to what’s going on in his or her life and how they are doing emotionally. My job is to listen. I’ve had many different clients tell me it’s like a therapy session. I remind them I am not a licensed counselor but, yes, it’s a safe place for them to be themselves and shed tears if they need to and know that I care.
I love being an acupuncturist for so many reasons: I get to help people feel better in themselves. I am constantly learning new things about this ancient system of medicine and myself as a practitioner. I get to be my own boss and contribute to my community as a business owner. And so much more.
The main thing I love about being an acupuncturist is the reason I made the transition to this career – I get to connect with people in person, in real time and in a very meaningful way.
I do not expect every client to shed tears or talk about anything they do not feel comfortable talking about. That said, I do see each session as an opportunity for connection. I most appreciate the clients who see our relationship as a long-term partnership. Whether it is for pain relief, health maintenance, or wellness/preventative care, I am so honored to be a part of your team.