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Acupuncture Today – February, 2016, Vol. 17, Issue 02

East Meets West

By Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large

Gung Hay Fat Choi. Welcome to the year of the Monkey. There will be fireworks for both January and February this year. What great celebrations. As the fireworks began in other countries on January 1st and as the ball dropped in New York city and as the sky lit up around my home, I realized another year had passed and 2016 was here and will bring many new ideas, possibilities and events.

Early morning on New Year's Day, I turned on the television to watch the Rose Parade. I have gone to this parade many times, both standing on the street and sitting in the grand stands. This year, it was the TV.

It seemed as if the parade of bands, horses with their colorful riders and magnificently designed flower encrusted floats were more colorful and beautiful than ever.

This year's theme was "Finding Your Adventure." These words, the ideas and execution of the theme from the companies, cities and charitable organizations that sponsored them, got me to thinking about all of the possibilities and opportunities we have available to us here in the United States. As the sweepstakes winner passed, the words on the float read, "East Meets West." This stunned me. I realized that the world was looking at this as a process of cultural change. This is exactly what is happening in the health care arena within the United States and also around the world: Acupuncture and Asian Medicine meet Western Medicine.

Now is the time; and the winner in a Southern California event, the Rose Parade from Pasadena, California, said it simply to the world. The Rose Parade is the biggest and most watched parade around the globe and this year they reminded us all that the East is meeting the West. This is an opportunity for the profession to step into, talk about and take the reins of the leadership position in East meets West, you just have to add the word medicine.

True Integration

year of monkey - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Clinics and hospitals want to do this. We are not just meeting – we are integrating. The question now is where do we go from here? How do we continue? Who do we need to tell? How do we tell it? Let's start with the individuals we know. Who is in your sphere of influence? Share the news with your family. Share with your friends. Share with your patients.

It is like we want to shout it from the rooftops. East is meeting west. Our medicine is beginning to take its rightful place alongside Western medicine. Each paradigm has an important role to play in healthcare. As you write your goals for 2016, please give thought to what to say to your patients and others about this medicine. Make it a goal to share the message about this medicine to everyone you meet and talk to. Talk about East meeting West, talk about how fast this medicine is growing in the United States and around the world. Talk about health concerns like chronic pain, the side effects of cancer, diabetes, and stress. And share how this medicine can help make a difference in the quality of life for so many.

Every practitioner wants good patients. Good patients are created. Each acupuncturist can create good patients. The word doctor means teacher. You, as the acupuncturist, must educate your patients. An educated patient who understands how this medicine has helped them, can become another voice in support of acupuncture. Our slogan is Education, Education, and Education. In Real Estate it is Location, Location, and Location.

There are individuals and groups who are telling the acupuncture story. The Acupuncture NOW Foundation is helping to spread the word. By creating a set of diagnostic codes, credibility is established. The public relations campaign of NCCAOM in 2016 helps the public learn about this incredible medicine.

You can help to spread the word. Support your local group of practitioners, your state association and each other in this endeavor to integrate Eastern and Western medicine in 2016.

Click here for more information about Marilyn Allen, Editor-at-Large.

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