It's that time of year again. No, I'm not talking about the start of fall (although it is one my favorite seasons). I'm not talking about Halloween, either (although it is one of my favorite holidays).
I'm talking about Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, which will be celebrated October 24. Haven't heard of AOM Day yet? Then take a seat, dear reader, while I regale you with a brief history lesson. I'll also offer a few suggestions on how you can celebrate AOM Day in your area.
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day was created a few years ago, when representatives from associations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico got together to discuss ways to educate the public about the benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The first official Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day was celebrated in 2002. The response that year was somewhat small, but it has grown tremendously over the years. In the past few years, dozens of governors, mayors and city council members have signed proclamations recognizing the importance of AOM Day to their cities and communities. Many newspapers have published articles about local events related to AOM Day. It's also starting to attract attention by some of our national media sources. In fact, last year, it's my understanding that many Fox News affiliates ran brief stories about AOM Day on their news broadcasts.
This year, AOM Day happens to fall on a Monday. Not everybody is a big fan of Mondays, but as the saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. This gives you a perfect occasion to turn what could otherwise be just the start of another work week into a three-day, weekend-long event for your practice and our profession. Go ahead and turn that Monday into a "fun-day."
So, how can you get involved with this year's AOM Day festivities? Here are a few suggestions.
Get in touch with your local media - your town newspaper, radio station(s), television station(s), etc. Tell them about Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day and what your office is planning to do to honor the event. If you're contacting a newspaper, ask to speak to the person or persons who cover local events, and see if they would be interested in doing an interview or receiving a press release from you.
Have a proclamation created that declares October 24 as National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day in your city (or, if possible, your county or state). Proclamations are created by government officials, who can usually be contacted by telephone. The procedures for creating a proclamation and having it signed vary from city to city. In some cases, you may need to complete a form and present it to a state or local official. In other cases, you may also need to provide the text of the proclamation before it will be reviewed and signed. (Fortunately, I have written about proclamations in the past, and you can view some sample text here). Once you complete the proclamation and it is approved, it will be printed on official letterhead, which looks great when framed and hung up in your office. (It also makes for an interesting conversation piece, and could be used as a starting point for getting in touch with the local media, which I mentioned in my first suggestion.)
Make plans to host an event at your office commemorating AOM Day. Having an "open house" some time on the weekend just prior to the 24th would be the perfect occasion. Invite as many people as you know. If you have a mailing list of patients, send out a flyer telling them about the event, and ask them to tell their friends and family members about it. When they arrive at your office, have a brochure or other type of literature that talks about your practice and all of the benefits acupuncture and Oriental medicine have to offer. Depending on your budget, you can consider providing free or discounted treatments, and offer refreshments that relate to your practice. And make sure to have extra business cards printed so that you can hand them out during your open house.
In addition to the suggestions above, I also encourage you to contact us and let us know how you plan to celebrate AOM Day. You can do so by sending an e-mail to
. Make sure the words "AOM Day 2005" are included in the subject field of your e-mail, and tell us the dates, times and location for your event. Beginning October 1, we will include your information on a "Celebrate AOM Day" page that will be linked to the front page of AcupunctureToday.com. It's our small way of letting the public know how important AOM Day is and how they can benefit from what acupuncture and Oriental medicine have to offer.
Best wishes to you, and Happy AOM Day!
Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.