Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life changer

I didn't quite realize that by deciding to become an acupuncturist, I'd be changing my entire lifestyle. I've never been required to change my personal habits for my job before. Now, I am now my product and service: I'm the one deciding where to put needles into a patient and I'm the one actually handling the needles. A lot goes into those two things! This means that, for this career, I've committed to:

  • A lifetime of learning. Not only am I required to get continuing education credits; there will always be something to learn about this medicine. I have a teacher who's been practicing over 30 years and still goes to study groups! This means a major investment in books. I may start recommending acupuncture books at my book club.  
  • Acting like a hand model: I need my hands and wrists intact and my nails kept short. No slamming them in doors, no skiing accidents. I'm investing in super padded oven mitts. And maybe all kitchen gadgets that are hands-free...peelers? knives? graters? Hand lotions, sanitizers and warmers are staples.
  • Keeping my hair and jewelry out of the way. No more giant clocks around my neck, and I can't even consider a Justin Beiber haircut.
  • Keeping my garlic intake to a minimum...or investing in powerful breath tools. No more overdosing on Indian food right before an afternoon block of appointments.
  • Working on my posture. There is actually a way to stand, hold and insert a needle that requires my entire body. 
  • Flat shoes. At least for now. No teetering necessary with a needle in hand.
  • Paying attention to my own health. I now need to be actively mindful of practicing what I preach. Diet, exercise, sleep, water. And I now have the excuse to have regular massages and facials.
  • No more drama. Mary J, be my witness.
  • Being an avid listener. If a patient comes in 10 months in a row telling me about how they stub their toe on their cat's litter box every day, I promise to stay interested (and honest...I might tell you to not come back until you've moved the darn thing).
  • And more...
Why am I willing to rearrange my life for this job? For you. Spending my days talking about what matters in life to my patients is why I'm doing this. 

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