Episode 1: Introduction
Since the fall semester of 2013 began in September, my entire life has been fully immersed into acupuncture and Chinese medicine. There really isn???t a single part of my life that has anything to do with anything else right now. There isn???t one day of the week that goes by that I don???t hear the word ???acupuncture??? said aloud, and if it???s not, then I???m saying it in my head all day long because it???s related to a vast majority of the thoughts running through my brain.
Even though the point of acupuncture is to heal the body and combat diseases, I???m allowing these concepts to take over and control my life, just like a disease. Luckily, I???m fascinated by it and want to know everything there is to know, so I don???t really have many problems with this. Aside from being a full-time student at the Eastern School of Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine, I work part-time at City Acupuncture as well as Alternative Bodyworks, an acupuncture clinic in New Jersey. Balancing these three aspects of my life is difficult and basically leaves me with no free time at all, but I don???t see any other way around it.
I???m now finishing up my seventh week of school and I???m just starting to feel like I???m able to manage everything and still be human. Up until this point I???ve felt like a hamster, incessantly running around its wheel, exhausting myself and not really going anywhere. This is the first week that I???ve stepped back and taken a look at all that I???ve learned so far. Although I???ve been working for City Acupuncture for the past two years, and was a patient here for a year before getting hired, I really didn???t know much about acupuncture at all. I knew that I liked how acupuncture made me feel and I knew that I loved the people I work with, and felt inspired to know what they know, but I really didn???t know much about the very basics of acupuncture theory until now.
Aside from trying to memorize all this information about the 14 meridians, the concepts of yin and yang, qi, blood, and body fluids I???m simultaneously trying to master understanding the business aspect of an acupuncture clinic by taking over the medical billing department at City Acupuncture. Learning to be an acupuncturist takes at least three years and is a complex system of medicine. A lot of people may not also know that learning the ins and outs of dealing with the insurance companies is probably just as difficult to do, and might even take just as long to understand in order to work the system properly.
In terms of balancing my education at the Eastern school and what I???m learning while I work at City Acupuncture, I just have to look at it like an acupuncturist, and understand that these two aspects are necessary in order to exist together, much like the concepts of yin and yang. The theory of acupuncture is necessary in order to treat patients and help them get better, but knowing how to successfully run a business is also important because patient care would not be available without sustaining the business. I???m so grateful for the opportunity that I???ve been given at City Acupuncture and I don???t think I???d have the confidence to pursue a career in acupuncture without it.
Every week I will be posting another episode from my life as a student and intern here at CANY. Feel free to leave comments below, and subscribe to get automatic updates! If you want to know more about how acupuncture works, check out Robbie’s most recent post here.