“they were more like therapy sessions sometimes.”
This is an excerpt from some Facebook feedback I received at the start of the year. I think it gives an accurate picture of how acupuncture treatment provides a useful ‘pause’ in our lives to reflect and figure out some of our ‘stuff’.
One of the first lessons we learned at college was to listen.
Pretty easy. Not.
Think about it.
How often do you listen? All the time I hear you say. However, do you:
- Listen without judgement?
- Listen without forming an opinion?
- Listen without the intention of forming a reply?
- Listen with your eyes?
- Listen to understand an emotion?
- Listen and focus your concentration fully on the speaker?
- Listen to diagnose a voice sound?
Maybe it’s more complex than it first seems. ‘Active listening’ is the first step to learning this skill and Five Element Acupuncturists do it so often it becomes second nature. By googling ‘Active Listening’ we learn that it is a ‘communication technique used in counseling, training and conflict resolution. It requires that the listener fully concentrate, understand, respond and then remember what is being said’.
I’ll fully admit I struggle with the ‘remember’ part!
Listening truly forms the bedrock of a traditional acupuncture treatment. Providing time for expression, questioning, reflection, discussion, suggestion, emotions and healing is essential if acupuncture is to help us all move forward with our lives. It is, to a great extent ‘therapy’ or counseling.
Five Element Acupuncture is strongly rooted in treating the emotions and so it follows that these treatments may feel like a ‘therapy’ or a ‘counselling’ session. For this, I make no apology. Responding to the needs of the patient with whatever is on their mind at that particular point in their day is crucial.
So, as I’m sure you can imagine, an acupuncture treatment can focus on pretty much anything! It is not all aching knees and bad backs. Something for which I am grateful. This offers me such a challenging and rewarding career.
Each acupuncture point has a physical, mental and then a spiritual level. Sometimes the point is chosen for purely the physical outcome, other times for a mental level treatment. Often I use them for a deeper, spiritual outcome, when a patient needs to make a shift in life or help them take up a new perspective. This was quite a challenge for me whilst training. In fact, for sometime I couldn’t get my head around what spiritual even meant! I thought it was something to do with religion or God!
I have come to understand that it forms part of our core; it’s almost like the blueprint of our souls, the most fundamental and precious part of us that makes us tick. It makes us feel and show love, passion, courage, determination, intuition and often makes us heroic.
This makes each treatment a real privilege and a whole lot of fun.
Recently, it has also led me to offer a new, longer treatment option. In light of my previous blog on challenging our everyday patterns to keep our lives, work, thoughts and actions relevant and meaningful I have decided to introduce a two-hour acupuncture treatment.
The thought occurred to me today, whilst working with some serious topics with a patient in my clinic. One hour simply was not enough to cover our conversation, reflection and then include the needles. So, I happily now introduce to you the ‘Two-Hour Treatment’!
I recognise it is not appropriate for everyone. However, it is now there for when it is needed.
Time to talk
Time to reflect
Time to retreat
Time for you
See you soon!