The acupuncture and Oriental medicine community has a history of responding in times of crisis. Perhaps it's the compassionate nature of the care we provide, or a reflection of who we are as people.
More than likely, it's a wonderful combination of the two.
The acupuncture profession's response to a crisis situation was highly evident in the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. Almost immediately, licensed acupuncturists converged on the disaster sites, providing compassionate care with every ounce of energy they could muster.
Today, a new national crisis is upon us. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have been displaced, not just from the dwellings they inhabited, but their homes " the family foundation; the place where friends and loved ones came together and felt safe and whole in this all-too-uncertain world.
Acupuncture Today offers its sincere condolences to all those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. As we are a publication, finding ways to help beyond giving money can be challenging. (AT's staff was quick to donate toward the relief efforts, which was matched dollar-for-dollar by our publisher.) Here's what else we've decided to do in this time of crisis:
Acupuncture Today has created a Web page solely designed for acupuncturists who would like to take in a displaced LAc and/or help them find temporary work. If you have a position available; know someone who has a position available; or simply have an extra room in your office (or home), post your message here. While many displaced acupuncturists may not have Internet access at this time, it is hoped that through word of mouth and other channels (e.g., informing the American Red Cross that these opportunities are available), this Web site will serve its intended purpose.
In the coming months, we will do our best to publish as many stories as possible in Acupuncture Today, which we hope will serve two purposes. First, we hope these stories will inspire other acupuncturists who have yet to donate to the relief effort, to do so. Second, we hope these stories will serve as a reminder that while Hurricane Katrina may have come and gone, its effects will continue to resonate throughout the Gulf Coast. Long after the television cameras leave Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, there will still be months, perhaps years, of work to be done to restore these locations to their previous condition and help life return to normal.
The victims of Hurricane Katrina need help, and they need hope. We " the practitioners, publications, associations, and other organizations that make up the acupuncture and Oriental medicine community " can provide both. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and provide some sense of peace, comfort and stability to those affected by this horrible disaster. Whether you offer your expertise, your money, a job, food, clothing, or even a room in your home, the difference you make will positively impact someone's life, and your own.