Welcome to autumn! Even though I do not see the leaves outside my house turning to magnificent reds, oranges and golds just yet, I know that fall is here. The beginning of school is just around the corner, the football season will start soon (and the baseball season will end), and acupuncture patients will need their treatments for prevention.
I have always thought that a regular program of Oriental medicine treatments is the best plan of prevention. It seems that the change of seasons is a naturally right time for patients to make regular visits to their acupuncturist for prevention and wellness.
There is a poem that seems to illustrate this point quite well. It is titled "The Dangerous Cliff."
T'was a dangerous cliff as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its edge was so pleasant.
But over its edge had slipped a duke,
And it had fooled many a peasant.
The people said something would have to be done
But their projects did not at all tally
Some said, "Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,"
Others, "an ambulance down in the valley."
The lament of the crowd was profound and loud
As their hearts overflowed with pity.
But the ambulance carried the cry of the day
As it spread to the neighboring cities.
So a collection was made to accumulate aid
And dwellers in highway and alley,
Gave dollars and cents not to furnish a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.
For the cliff is all right if you're careful, they said,
And if folks ever slip and are falling;
It's not the slipping and falling that hurts them so much
As the shock down below when they're stopping.
And so for years as these mishaps occurred
Quick forth would the rescuers sally,
To pick up the victims who fell from the cliff
With the ambulance down in the valley.
Said one in his plea, "It's a marvel to me
That you'd give so much greater attention
To repairing results than to curing the cause,
Why you'd much better aim at prevention.
For the mischief of course should be stopped at its source;
Come friends and neighbors let us rally.
It makes far better sense to rely on a fence
Than an ambulance down in the valley."
"He's wrong in his head," the majority said.
"He would end all our earnest endeavors.
He's the kind of man that would shirk his responsible work,
But we will support it forever."
Aren't we picking up all just as fast as they fall,
and giving them care liberally.
Why a superfluous fence is of no consequence,
If the ambulance works in the valley.
Now this story seems queer as I've given it here,
But things oft occur which are stranger.
More humane we assert to repair the hurt,
Than the plan of removing the danger.
The best possible course would be to safeguard the source,
And to attend to things rationally.
Yes, build up the fence and let us dispense
With this ambulance down in the valley.
Upon reading this poem, I immediately thought of Oriental medicine and its place in the medical system today. Just think how many people would benefit from what we have to offer if Oriental medicine was used at the beginning of care for those in need of treatment instead of the end.
The benefits of acupuncture and Oriental medicine are growing in value to the population of this country. The profession has a responsibility to educate new patients about the benefits of this medicine and how it can be used to prevent health problems. Wellness is a concept that is becoming more and more sought after. Practitioners must ask themselves, "What am I doing to educate my patients and the people in my community? Do I share information with everyone I meet? What can I do to help my patients refer more often?" Patients want to show and tell what their acupuncturist does well, but many times do not know what they do or how to share that information with their friends and family. The practitioner must help with information that can be passed on from one patient to another.
Now, go out there and tell the public what you do and how you can make them well. Better yet, contact your local media. They're always looking for newsworthy items ... and what's better than telling people how they can feel better safely and naturally? Go out there and make a difference!
Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.