Happy New Year! As you may know, this is the year of the Wooden Horse.
I received a wonderful gift for Christmas. It is a beautiful glass sculpture of a horse, by Luili Gong Fong, a Chinese artist. With every piece of her art is included a small red folder telling about the art piece. This piece was entitled Little Young Pegasus. The following description was included:
Flying horse across the skies
I have the most ideas
Swift horses take initiative
I lead with infinite possibilities
I am a Horse and I believe this is the year for the acupuncture and Oriental medicine profession to follow the lead of the Horse and gallop confidently toward the future.
This profession has some important questions to answer and issues to work on this year. There are many outside forces, both national and international that are both supporting and helping to open doors for this profession. There are also groups challenging this profession. We can choose to participate or not. By not choosing to participate as a profession, we leave the door open for others to enter and this could have serious consequences.
This medicine will survive as it has for centuries. Why? Simply, because it works. How do we win the battle? Let's look toward some of the Horse characteristics for help and guidance.
Look at your own practices. Find their successes. Write a case report or study. Let's gather them from across the country by working with David Riley, MD, practicing integrated medicine and John Fennell, DAOM, from the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas.
A large number of case reports would help to create more national recognition both from other professions and government agencies. In many states as well as nationally, the profession is looking to pass legislation. The year 2014 is an election year. Who do you know? Do you know your federal congressperson, your state senator and your state assembly person? If your answer is yes – great. If the answer is no, now is the time to support the elected officials. Do not be concerned with party affiliation; look at how they will support the medicine.
Meeting your elected officials in their home districts is more effective they trying to meet them in either the state or national capitals. Find out who is running in your district. You are their constituent.
If your elected officials are incumbents, then call their local office and introduce yourself and tell them you are their constituent and a small business owner in their district. You can ask some questions about their knowledge and positions about acupuncture, Oriental medicine and complementary alternative medicine. If you talk to a staffer on the phone you will need to educate them also. You have to become a real person to them. You can become their resource for information about your medicine. The next step is to volunteer in their upcoming campaigns. Buy a ticket to a fundraiser or volunteer to help with registration, send out invitations, take tickets, keep records, etc. You can also work in their campaign offices to help them get elected. This includes stuffing envelopes, making "get out the vote phone calls," making yard signs or walking the precincts.
Please remember the number of votes is what counts and you have the power to vote and influence voters because you are active in your own community. Acupuncturists joining together can create a powerful force across the nation.
I took the liberty to paraphrase the famous words that challenged the country in the inaugural address of President John Kennedy, "Ask not what your profession can do for you but what you can do for the profession." One person does make a difference and you are that one person.
Be like the Horse and pursue leadership in 2014.
Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.