Welcome to spring! The time for rebirth and awakening is here again. The rain-washed colors of spring flowers and the new growth of shrubs and trees help to nourish our spirits and replenish our souls.
Just as new leaves have begun to appear on the flowers and trees, signaling new stages of growth after a period of dormancy, so are acupuncturists beginning similar stages of growth. Acupuncture is experiencing worldwide acknowledgement and acceptance. It is almost impossible to read a newspaper or periodical without seeing something about Oriental medicine, acupuncture, herbal therapies, tai chi, qi gong and so on.
The profession is also moving into new areas of helping patients, creating political liaisons and sharing information with others in the profession. One new way to share information and network within the profession is to contribute to Acupuncture Today. Licensed professionals; students preparing to graduate; school personnel and faculties; and other allies of acupuncture - you are our eyes and ears, and we welcome your comments, observations and opinions.
Events great and small are taking place on a daily basis within the Oriental medicine profession. Acupuncture Today's goal is to report on those events in a timely and professional manner, and you can help by contributing to the publication in the form of letters to the editor, news items, opinion pieces and so on.
Acupuncture Today is described as an "open forum" publication because it is willing to accept and publish information from a broad spectrum of perspectives and philosophies. This forum, however is only as "open" as those who are willing to take that extra step: to go forward and send a fax, write an article or provide the information they feel the rest of the profession should know.
In the three short months since Acupuncture Today debuted, many acupuncturists have shared stories with me as to how an article has helped them inform their patients. Last night, for instance, I met with a gentleman doing some work at my home and learned that his wife works in the workers' compensation division of Kemper Insurance. I gave him a copy of AT to share with his wife. It may not sound like much, but who knows what that one small step now could do for the acupuncture profession years from now?
So how does one contribute to AT? The easiest way is to write a letter to the editor. If you see something in this publication that interests you, write a letter and send it in.
Another way to contribute to AT is by writing an article. An article can be long or short, informative, opinionated or research-oriented, so long as it pertains to (and is of interest to others in) the profession. As we learn about what others are doing, we begin to empower each other.
There are advantages to being a published author. With publication, your credibility as a health care professional will be stronger. You will become more recognized and respected in the field of Oriental medicine. And the fact that your works are reviewed and published in a newspaper that reaches the entire profession makes a great statement on one's curriculum vitae.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are in a period of renewed growth and education. We are education the entire insurance industry. Just two weeks ago, I was at a faculty meeting at a school in California. One of the teachers explained how students learn about herbs by creating stories about an herb's name, properties and functions. Certain things are easier to remember in story form. While this may seem anecdotal, I'm sure many people are interested in learning this information and/or sharing it with others.
You are also encouraged to share what you read in Acupuncture Today with others. Feel free to send articles to friends and other advocates of the profession. If you see an important article or news item, cut it out, copy it and share it with your patients and political representatives.
When you work with your patients, you are sharing your knowledge, technique, experience and information to help educate them. As a patient's knowledge grows, they are able to share that knowledge with their family and friends. Similarly, it is important that members of the profession share their wisdom and experience, and the best way to impart that knowledge to a large percentage of the population is through Acupuncture Today.
To facilitate your contributions and further the growth of our profession (and this publication), I have included the telephone number, fax number, e-mail address and mailing address for Acupuncture Today, giving you several options for submitting information. I look forward to working with you, talking with you and meeting you at upcoming seminars, meetings and conventions.
Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.