It has been said that there are only two positions in life. You are either moving ahead or standing still. This seems to be only partially true, however. In reality, you're never really standing still; you are actually moving backward, while life and civilization continue to move forward.
This little expression seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy in the world of health care. You're either moving forward (a situation which is becoming increasingly difficult in the information age), or you're struggling not to stay too far behind.
One reason many of us are struggling to stay ahead is the effect technology is beginning to have on our profession. Can you remember a time when there was no technology - no computers, no Internet, no personal digital assistants reminding us of some otherwise unimportant meeting that we're already 15 minutes late for? When I first became involved in this profession, "Windows" meant those nice rectangular panes of glass I used to clean with a bottle of Windex and some paper towels, not some bug-laden computer operating system.
Digging back into my memories, I can remember a time when I was assigning a class project. A student named Al Stone asked if he could create a website as his project. That little project turned out to be acupuncture.com, which became one of the most popular acupuncture sites on the Internet.
Sadly, acupuncture.com is no more. Recently, it was sold to an organization in Santa Monica and is slowly being integrated into a larger site known as www.healingpeople.com. We wish them success in their future endeavors.
The loss of acupuncture.com has left a void for thousands of people looking specifically for the latest acupuncture news and research online. While that site has slowly ceased to exist, the print version of Acupuncture Today has become a source of news, information and insight for the profession in its own right.
It was only logical, therefore, that we try to fill that void by creating a website of our own, and that's just what we have done. Beginning the first part of July, you will also be able to browse us online at acupuncturetoday.com. Among the features you'll find there:
- Archives. Acupuncturetoday.com's archives section contains every article that has been published in Acupuncture Today. Users will be able to browse articles by issue date, or they can conduct a search to find a particular article.
- Discussion Forums. Acupuncturetoday.com has set up a number of free online discussion forums for practicing acupuncturists, students and consumers. This gives members of the profession an online meeting place where they can share ideas, discuss clinical issues, and talk about the latest news and events impacting acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
- Acupuncture Q&A. For those people who have never been to an acupuncturist, acupuncturetoday.com has designed a consumer section to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about acupuncture. Here, prospective patients will learn what acupuncture is, what a patient can expect on his/her first visit, what conditions acupuncturists treat, and other important information.
- Online newsletters. Acupuncture Today is developing an online newsletter that will deliver news to the profession via e-mail. Users will be able to register for the newsletter by submitting a valid e-mail address.
- Meet the Staff. Learn more about the people who write and publish Acupuncture Today.
- Contact Us. Would you like to submit an article for publication? Are you interested in advertising in Acupuncture Today or on acupuncturetoday.com? Do you have any other comments or suggestions on how to improve the publication? If so, visit the Contact Us section to send a message.
Other sections are currently under development. In the coming months, acupuncturetoday.com will expand to include a site map, advertising information, an acupuncturist directory, online classified ads for practitioners and students, and AT Expo, a virtual exhibit hall for suppliers of acupuncture products and services.
Technology has changed how we do things, but not necessarily what we do or why we do them. We still value that personal touch, and we still strive to deliver the best service possible to our patients and students.
With acupuncturetoday.com, we'll be able to deliver that personal touch to millions of people. The profession deserves nothing less.
Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.