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Acupuncture Cultivation The practice of practice

The Sunset of a Practice • Charlie Braverman • Qi172

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Our medicine teaches us that all things move through cycles of generation, flourishing, decline and disappearance. It’s the way qi moves through this world and so not a surprise that at some point there is an end to the practice that has sustained us and allowed us to help others along the way.

In this conversation with Charlie Braverman we discuss the sunset of an acupuncture practice. The opportunities that arise while you still have time to learn something new. The importance of having a kind of support when beginning that goes beyond getting the diagnosis right, and how success sometimes means it is time to move onto something else.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • What got Charlie’s attention that it was time to wind down the practice
  • Criteria for retirement
  • The magic of a letter to patients
  • Becoming an acupuncturist at 46
  • Not good at sales, but good at communication
  • Another “now what” moment
  • Lessons learned as a real estate agent
  • The importance of support and supervision after graduation
  • Knowing for yourself what success means
  • Getting comfortable with ambiguity

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Experience isn't Expensive, it's Priceless


I retired in July, 2020, after practicing for 20 years in Albany, NY. I treated the wide range of issues (and their patients) that present to most acupuncturists. I specialized in treating chronic pain, digestion issues and herpes zoster.

Like so many of us, I combined parts of several disciplines and modalities to create a practice that was uniquely my own. (1) Japanese palpation and pulse, to diagnose (in addition to conversations that would, ideally (but not always), clarify the main complaint and reveal things essential to knowing and treating the patient). (2) Japanese ion-pumping-cord EV treatments as a first, balancing step. (3) Dr. Tan’s Balance Method, an imaging system to treat pain. And (4) for the last 18 years, 80% of the time, the go-to workhorse modality I used was Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy.

Every treatment ended with The Explanation and The Expectation: I made sure my patient knew what we had done that day to move us closer to their goals. And I told them what gains to look for: pain that lessens or shifts or becomes more localized. This was to direct their self-observations and to mitigate their unexpressed expectation of complete relief.
I asked my patients to partner with me. and I would often take a few minutes to simplify and trim back complicated exercises that a physical therapist, or similar, had prescribed.

My belief was that doing some exercise was better than doing none (which was often the amount they were doing when the first came in). And doing a simple movement correctly was better than doing a more ambitious one incorrectly.

 

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Links and Resources

I relied on 3 books over the course of my practice: Alon Marcus’ Muscularskeletal Disorders: Healing Methods from Chinese Medicine, Orthopaedic Medicine and Osteopathy, which expertly connected Asian and Western perspective on the same pathology.

Microcurrent Electro-acupuncture, by Darren Starwynn. And Acupuncture Point Combinations, by Jeremy Ross, which is my most dog-eared text. ACP is a comprehensive acupuncture text: the work is organized by Western pathologies, yet each disease is described in TCM terms with clear point combinations. It has a glut of single page summary tables, including Combinations for Burnout (p 449). My personal burnout syndrome was #4.

 

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Fillers

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Categories
The practice of practice

The Challenge of Ethics in a Healing Relationship • Laura Christensen • Qi167

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Ethics is never a simple black and white calculation, but rather the inquiry into proper relationship in a world filled with variability. It’s about considering the relationship with self, other, and society. And it’s a way to check ourselves for blind spots and to consider how our actions affect others, as well as ourselves.

In this conversation with Laura Christensen we explore common ethical issues that all acupuncturists are likely to run up against. And you might be surprised to hear about how when considering ethical modes of practice we not only need to consider our patients, but our selves as well. Not operating our businesses in a sustainable way can also be seen as an ethical issue, as we put a burden on our patients when we are overburdened.

Listen into this conversation on some surprising ways you might want to reconsider some of your ethical stances, and why there are situations where crossing ethical boundaries might be of benefit to the patient.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The opportunity to witness ethics mistakes
  • Appropriate boundary crossing can help to establish rapport
  • Learning and practicing
  • Without proper boundaries we cannot be in service to our patients
  • Keeping the patient’s interest in mind
  • Practicing in a way that we don’t harm ourselves
  • Anger at patients might be a sign we’ve transgressed on the therapeutic relationship
  • Recognizing that we have more power in the relationship, and our responsibility in managing that properly
  • Being attentive to where you derive your sense of self value
  • There is a difference between “paying to do acupuncture” inside your practice and outside of it
  • Some issues to consider with offering discounts
  • Power imbalance in the therapeutic relationship
  • Issues of authority and taking responsibly for the inherent authority of our position as a medical expert

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Ethics is not about answers– it opens up bigger and more painful challenges.
Really Thinking is not the same as getting answers. And it’s not a google search. ​


Laura Christensen, L.Ac

I never planned to be an acupuncturist. My participation in this medicine evolved from curiosity about how to use safe and natural methods of healing to help people. Various events, people's comments, my own curiosity, and inner wisdom have brought me to where I am now, running a general practice clinic with an emphasis on orthopedics and pain, in Iowa City, IA. I also own a multi-practitioner holistic clinic attached, where I can refer folks for other helpful therapies. I was the first professionally trained acupuncturist to establish a successful practice in Iowa, beginning here in 1992 before there was licensing. I call myself the old lady acupuncturist of Iowa.

Back in '95 a patient told me that I was working “like a blind acupuncturist in Japan.” I was amazed, and curious to learn more. That lead me to study Japanese acupuncture in some depth and end up in a lineage of blind acupuncturists, using palpation as my main tool. I'll say that being trained as a cellist was very helpful in developing those skills as well. I'm now revisiting the Master Tung acupuncture, and beginning training with Dan Bensky and Chip Chase in their Engaging Vitality course where we integrate cranio-sacral principles with acupuncture, and I'm pretty much lost. Which keeps me inquiring, experimenting, trying to understand this incredible medicine that we are so blessed to practice. I love the fact that I work in a medicine where I can come to work and face a new challenge every day and keep learning. I'm afraid of thinking I've got it figured out. I know that leads to bad outcomes for our patients. We must continue to question ourselves, stay curious about the medicine, and be honest about our mistakes and shortcomings.

Enthusiasm is wonderful, but now that I am an older practitioner I find more comfort in curiosity and not knowing. This makes some other practitioners uncomfortable, but I know that each health journey is unique. A big challenge is actually patient education and managing their expectations for treatment. I work hard to help patients become owners of their health journey and help them stay focused on what they can do for themselves with my assistance. As a profession we still have a huge amount of education to do, to help our patients and future patients understand what to expect from our medicine and how to gain the most from what we do.

 

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Links and Resources

This has been part one of a two-part on-demand podcast course.
For details and to purchase this course which will get you 2 NCCAOM PDA's for ethics, visit this page.

 

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Classical Medicine in the Modern World

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Categories
Acupuncture The practice of practice

Self-Publishing for Acupuncturists • Oran Kivity & Sean Sumner • Qi147

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These days pretty much anyone can have their own media outlet. The gatekeepers who used to control access to the airwaves and printing presses are pretty much gone. If you have something to share, especially something that focuses on or services a niche market, then this is the best time to be alive. And here in the midst of Covid-19 this just might be the perfect momnet to work on that book you’ve been noodling on as a “some day” project.

Digital technology has been disrupting the various communications industries for a few decades now. The downside is anyone with a computer and some gumption can get their message out to the world, and that can make for some pretty lousy content. The upside is that anyone with a computer and some gumption can get their message out to the world, which means you can contribute the crowd you want to serve. But you’re going to have to learn to use the tools of digital publishing properly, and be responsible for the workflow and design. It’s not so much of a DIY, Do It Yourself project as much as it is a MIY, Manage It Yourself enterprise.

In this conversation with Oran Kivity, author of Moxa in Motion with the Ontake Method and Sean Sumner, a consultant on self-publishing, we explore the basics of the brave new world of digital on-demand publishing.

Listen in and find out why there has never been a better time to publish your own book.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Common challenges people run into with the publishing process
  • Staying motivated and on-track
  • Some things people don’t think about
  • Why it’s help to read your book out loud
  • Main steps, broad over view
  • What's a launch team
  • Launching to a niche market
  • The power of title and subtitle
  • Using your book as a gateway to other services and business
  • Oran’s biggest surprises
  • Top three things people should do when working on their book

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The best advice I can give to anyone that is thinking about writing and publishing a book is to start with a plan. Schedule time in your day just as you would for your job, then make it a priority not to miss that time. Map out your chapters just like you would if you were giving a speech on the topic and you wanted to create a slide show for it, then go back and fill out the chapters one by one. If you have a message you believe in, then it is your job to get that message out to other people and a book is the best way to share your message. 


Oran Kivity, L.Ac
I’m a British acupuncturist living and working in Malaysia. I graduated from a TCM college in the UK in 1987 but after about ten years I retrained in Japanese acupuncture methods, namely Manaka-Style Acupuncture and later, Toyohari. Dr Manaka’s work introduced me to ideas about meridian frequencies and studying with the blind acupuncture teachers of the Toyohari Association opened my eyes (and hands) to the information stream from channel palpation.

In 2009 I got introduced to a very simple moxibustion tool in Japan, a piece of bamboo stuffed with moxa, and this triggered a Eureka moment, integrating all my previous disparate learnings and setting me on the path to become that Ontake guy, balancing channels with meridian frequency moxibustion.

Japanese acupuncture is usually very light, meaning treatment is minimal and palpation is soft. I take this lightness literally. While it’s important to be present when people are in pain, it’s also important to be make sessions fun, where appropriate. This is also true of teaching. People should enjoy what they learn and enjoy what they teach. I’ve had thirty years of fun practising acupuncture. I’m looking forward to thirty more.

Sean Sumner, PT
I am a physical therapist and best-selling author who has been able to find a new career in helping other health professionals like myself get their message out to the world through self-publishing. I have been practicing as a physical therapist for over 15 years with most of that time as an orthopedic clinical specialist working as the lead therapist in one of the nation's top Spine Centers. I have been lucky enough to be featured in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks, as well as speak on stages for both authors and medical professionals and I am happy to be a resource and help anyone that I can with the knowledge that I have gained.

As a family man and father of two beautiful girls, I spend most of my off time now coaching their sports teams and trying to stay as involved as I can. This includes everything from volleyball, soccer, softball, and even downhill skiing where I recently became a certified USSA Alpine Ski Coach so that I could help coach them down the mountain on the ski team. 

 

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Links and Resources

Oran's book Moxa in Motion With the Ontake Method is an excellent example of what you can do with self-publishing and it's a terrific method to bring into your clinical work.

To learn more about the process that Sean used to get his book and that he uses to help others, vist selfpublishing.com for more information and some informative blog posts.

 

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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All Fruiting Body, No Grain Filler

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The practice of practice

Put Your Best Voice Forward- Tech for Telemedicine • Michael Max • Qi143

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We are used to lousy sound quality that we don’t realize how it stresses our nervous system and gets in the way of clear and effective communication. I often hear people complain about how they don’t like to look at the computer, but I suspect the issue is more that we don’t like to listen to the computer. The poor quality sound you are listening might be normal, but that does not make it optimal.

If you are teaching classes online or doing telemedicine, this short 20 minute episode will give you the basics of improving your ability to communicate over the Internet by significantly improving your quality.

You don’t need to be technically proficient with sound, just use the simple basics that will help you to sound like the professional you are.

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A simple headset microphone is an inexpensive and effective way to improve your voice on the Internet.


Michael Max, L.Ac
I find it rather funny that I spend 10 years doing high tech as I couldn't write a single line of computer code if my life depended on it. But what I discovered in those years was that you don't have understand code to use technology. You just have to know how different pieces fit together.

In much the same way, I'm not an audio engineer. But I've learned through years of podcasting that there are certain basics that if paid attention to will greatly enhance your sound quality in the digital world.

Now more than ever we are gathering on the Internet, and yet the level of sound most people use is of amateur quality. If we are going to move to doing our work online, then we should look and sound professional.

Tech does not have to be intimating or difficult. Any of us can sound professional online with a upgrades to our sound kit and an ear toward what will be helpful to the people who are listening to us.

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Categories
The practice of practice

Copywriting for a Googlicious Website • Iselin Svalastog • Qi140

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Maybe you were one of those people who learned in English class that you weren’t very good at the standardized form of writing they were trying to teach. Perhaps you thought you weren’t a good writer. And you might want to reconsider that, because copywriting is a lot like talking. And it is about being expressive.

In this conversation with Iselin Svalastog we explore the importance of putting your authentic voice on your website. And how there is a way to write that is persuasive , informative, connective and honest.

Many people think that advertising and marketing is about manipulation, but the most effective marketing is about communicating in a way that is connective, respectful and helpful. Listen in to this conversation on creating compelling content that will make you show up more often in a Google search. And better yet, have people call you for an appointment because they connected with what they read on your website.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Copywriting was not really on the radar, psychology and neuroscience was
  • How to frame a sentence
  • Keep your audience in mind. What do they want? What are they looking for? What do they like?
  • Old and new marketing
  • Copywriting is easier than you think
  • Commonly seen big mistakes with copywriting
  • Bernadette Jiwa
  • Helpful questions to get into the mind of the person who is looking for your website and service
  • Copyhackers is a great resource
  • Call to action vs call to value
  • Own your value!!
  • The 10/90 rule
  • The tighter the niche, the higher the impact
  • Writing with integrity
  • Make your writing about them, not about you
  • The six P’s: Principles, Purpose, People, Personal, Perception, Product

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Iselin Svalastog

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I like to think that we each have an inner force that guides us towards our best life. I was introduced to copywriting when I was beginning a new chapter of my life.

I now make my living as a freelance copywriter, specializing in the medical and holistic health industry. I never intentionally set out to pursue copywriting; the profession found me. I discovered copywriting during a time when I needed to take charge of my career. When I studied content marketing and copy, there was something about it that resonated. I’ve always been a strong writer. My background in psychology and neuroscience lends itself very well to communicating clearly and slipping into the minds of the target audience. That inner force within me gave me a little nudge – as if to say, ​go for it. ​I love the work I do, and I haven’t looked back.

When it comes to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I feel amazed – almost bemused – by the power it can have on the body. I had a very profound experience with acupuncture a few years ago. I once struggled with severe adult acne. (My doctor even told me point blank that my skin would never properly heal). When I finally tried acupuncture, I was astounded. Within 6 months my skin cleared, and it’s remained that way ever since. That experience fundamentally changed the way I perceived health and the human body, and it also influenced my decision to work with holistic health practitioners as a copywriter. My goal is to support acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners to promote their beautiful profession through content marketing and copywriting. I truly admire and respect the work that you do. With effective copy, you have the power to protect the integrity of your profession, educate the public of your specialty and promote the​ value​ that you bring to healthcare.

 

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Links and Resources

Get in touch with Iselin by visiting her website

Recommended reading:
Difference: The one-page method for reimaging your business and reinventing your marketing
Everybody Writes: Your go-to guide for creating ridiculously good content

Websites:
Bernadette Jiwa, The Story of Telling
Copyhackers, How to Edit for Clarity
Copyhackers, Three Essential Copy Techniques
The Copywriter's Club: Podcast

 

Here's fill-in-the-blank exercise that Iselin finds to be helpful:
My one reader is __________, who wants to _________. They came here expecting _________ . I want them to believe ___________ so they take action.

 

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The practice of practice

The Essence of Our Work: A Heartfelt Inquiry Into Knowing What You Have to Offer Online • Mary Beth Huwe • Qi138

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″ custom_css_main_element=”.widget{|| margin-top: 20px !important;||}||”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” custom_width_px=”1730px”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ background_position=”top_left” custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_audio audio=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/qiological/The_Essence_of_Our_Work__An_Exploration_on_Knowing_What_You_Have_to_Offer_Online__MB_Huwe__Qi138.mp3″ title=”The Essence of Our Work: A Heartfelt Inquiry Into Knowing What You Have to Offer Online • Qi138″ artist_name=”Michael Max” album_name=”With guest, Mary Beth Huwe” image_url=”https://backend.qiological.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Grammas-Pie.jpeg” _builder_version=”4.2.2″ background_color=”#702a04″ title_font_size_tablet=”51″ title_line_height_tablet=”2″ caption_font_size_tablet=”51″ caption_line_height_tablet=”2″][/et_pb_audio][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_structure=”2_3,1_3″ _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”2_3″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”intro to show” _builder_version=”4.2.2″ text_font_size_tablet=”51″ text_line_height_tablet=”2″ header_font_size_tablet=”51″ header_line_height_tablet=”2″]With Covid-19 knocking the bottom out of our practices, there is a call from experts in the field to “get online.” Which isn’t bad advice as it does provide a channel to our patients in a time when we can't put our hands on them. But, and this is important, many of us don’t know what we would do online.

Somehow the idea of teaching acupressure leaves me completely cold. And as to helping people with their nutrition, well, most people I see don’t have much of an interest in that anyway. Add on to it, the fact that there are some things I know in theory, but from an embodied understanding I don’t have much to say.

So the question arises for me of “What in essence, and with integrity, can I share online?”

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  • What is below the service you provide and the tools that you use?
  • The palpable difference between theory and experience
  • Before we can answer the question of what, we have to answer the question of essence
  • Discovering one’s essence is less a process of identifying and more a journey of revealing
  • Non-action is not inaction
  • Grandmas and pies
  • Looking at what you do from the perspective of an impartial observer
  • The importance of polarizing your offer
  • What are the things in our profession that bother you?
  • It’s not that there are things to do on the Internet that are wrong— but rather they might be wrong for you
  • When you are following the path of heart, few doors open, because only the right ones do
  • The opening and enlivening power of questions
  • Revisiting the influences in writing and art that have been pivotal for you in the past

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Mary Beth Huwe, L.Ac, Copywriting Wordsmith

​Part of what drew me to Chinese medicine – and what holds me here – is its endless emphasis on thoughtfulness and presence of mind. There is nothing dull or rote about acupuncture and herbal medicine; they are both at once timeless and spontaneous.

Understanding the universal ways of life – birth, growth, sickness, wellness, aging, death – and holding that knowledge while treating the individual person is a defining characteristic of practicing this medicine.

I love working with entrepreneurs, “makers,” artists, writers, performers, restaurant owners… in short, people whose work demands something particular of them. People whose personal unfolding happens to make a difference.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_text admin_label=”Links and Resources add link to FB page” _builder_version=”4.2.2″]


Links and Resources

Mary Beth Huwe is, among other things, a writer from (and in) the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. Her unique, strategic process helps business owners discover and clearly communicate the essence of their work in the world. To connect with Mary Beth visit marybethhuwe.com

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Cultivation The practice of practice

Listening • Michael Max • Qi137

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Listening is not a skill that I expected to develop. I thought I’d get good with palpation or pulse reading. After all, the masters are said to get what they need with the pause and a few questions. That’s what I was aiming for, however it did not work out that way for me.

I’ve found over the years that there is a way of listening to a patient that has allowed me to both uncover what I need to know to treat them, but more importantly, help me to better understand innate resources they have that they either are not in touch with, or curiously enough think are deficiencies or problems.

Listening is not passive, nor about just hearing what the patient says, it also involves an inner ear to our own experience.

This episode is a solo show in which I share some what my clinical experience has taught about an often overlooked yin aspect of our work— listening.

 

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Talking to podcast guests is just like talking to patients
  • Listening for a patient’s strengths, weaknesses and resources
  • Unpacking 聽 the character for Listen
  • Listening is not passive, to goes both outward and inward
  • Listening is more important than knowing
  • Energetically leaving some space
  • Using your confusion to authentically connect
  • People have a hard time tracking their own experience
  • The power of silence
  • The difference between “you’re right” and “that’s right”
  • Listening patients into their own wisdom
  • Empathy

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There is a big difference between “you're right” and “that's right.” When you hear the former, you've lost the connection with your patient. When you hear the latter, you've touched in on something deep and essential.


Michael Max, L.Ac

I didn't set out to create a podcast show, in much the same way I didn't set out to learn acupuncture.

Those were not decisions that came from a flash of inspiration or childhood longing, but more like how something at the periphery of your vision catches your attention.

More like a hunch or decisive whisper. Those hunches have lead me through learning acupuncture, acquiring enough Chinese to allow me to engage texts in their original language and share some of that with our community of practitioners. And my practice has lead me to the expansive nature of questions and listening.

Listening has allowed me to be of service to patients who are not sure how they got to where they are, or where to go from here. I guess you could say that listening has helped me to find a set of maps that helps me to navigate in clinic and to trust the compass when there is no map. While I crave the certainty of answers, I'm more enlivened by the catalytic nature of questions that's what fuels the clinical encounter.

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The practice of practice

Abundance, Perspective, and Practice • Lamya Kamel • Qi136

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The opinions we have about “doing business” can dramatically affect the kind of practice we have, the opportunities we recognize or are blind to, and how we feel about ourselves as we begin to generate some momentum and success in our work.

Success brings its own issues. And it does not guarantee your insecurities will go away. The more successful you are, the more responsibility comes your way— and there is more to lose if it all comes apart. Sometimes it might seem “safer” to stay small, but our practices ask us to show up with spirit and resiliency.

In this conversation with Lamya Kamel we look at how our practices ask us to grow in challenging, yet essential ways. And that while we may not have confidence in the beginning, over time it can arise when we approach our work with integrity and passion.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • Abundance is no joke
  • Letting go of insecurities
  • The higher you go, the further you can fall
  • The importance of accountability
  • We are not in competition with each other
  • Confidence comes from a combination of time, integrity and passion
  • How good is your treatment planning?

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Stay authentic to yourself. If you don't know what you're passionate about or what you want in practice, spend some time figuring it out and seek it out in everything you do. You will weather any storm with that passion as your guiding light.


Lamya Kamel, DAOM, L.Ac

I'm your average Chinese Medicine nerd that wants to spend all of my free time reading and learning more about this phenomenal medicine I'm lucky to practice. Like many folks in this field my route here was circuitous. I majored in physical chemistry and quantum mechanics in undergrad, spent two years in medical school before having my first acupuncture treatment and finding my path.

From the day I graduated from my MTSOM program at Pacific College of Health and Sciences (formerly PCOM) I told myself I would never do any work that didn't move this medicine forward. My future wife Kate and I opened our practice within 3 weeks of graduating, and we never looked back. Soon after I started working at PCHS in Chicago I chose to get my post graduate DAOM to have the chance to reignite my passion in research. I am now faculty in the DACM program and chair of the Department of Professionalism for the Chicago campus.

A year after graduating I joined Aligned Modern Health to become the Director of Acupuncture. At the time we had two Chiropractic focused clinics but we've grown to 17 multidisciplinary pluralistic clinics. It's been a humbling experience to grow with the company and be able to offer full-time roles to acupuncturists all over the country. I'm proud to be a part of such an incredible team of innovative clinicians who practice this medicine with integrity and passion.

 

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Links and Resources

Lamya has these book recommendations  and why she likes them:

Meta Human by Deepak Chopra (audible version) – love his voice, and the concerts are at once mind blowing and tangible

Returning to the Source by Z'ev Rosenberg – a lovely bridge between the classics and our current practice

Energy Medicine by Jill Blakeway (audible version) – a beautiful and tangible way of communicating and understanding the intangibles of our medicine and energy

Sports Medicine Acupuncture by Matt Callison – a ridiculously complete text for understanding, diagnosing, and treating physical medicine

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Become a Qiologician and Help to Support the Show

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Ante Babic's Favorite Journal

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Categories
The practice of practice

The Power of Connection- Business as an Aspect of Community • Qi119

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An often overlooked aspect of running our own business is that it gives us a potent way of connecting with others and serving a community. Sure there are additional responsibilities that come with this kind of an opportunity. But the freedom it can give us, and the ways it will challenge us with personal growth, opens up experiences and opportunities we’d otherwise not have.

Listen into this conversation on how doing business asks each of us to develop untapped potential in ourselves, connect us with a larger community and give us the opportunity to live a life where we get to choose our own responsibilities.

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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • The issues that arise when we don’t feel like we are enough
  • It takes guts to be in business
  • Business as a way to connect
  • Lack of support amongst practitioners
  • Working through our lack of confidence
  • Small steps are important
  • Time does not equal money
  • Value is based on outcome
  • Personal rituals can helps

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After an initial consultation, I will give my patients a treatment plan in writing that summarizes what we discussed, the frequency of treatments and recommended changes to diet & lifestyle or further reading. It’s on a printed form with the branding of the clinic (and contact details) that they can put on the fridge. This way, they won’t forget things and the treatment/consultation continues to remain active (on their fridge) at home.


Brigitte Linder, L.Ac 

I was born in Switzerland and explored Australia as backpacker in the 90’s. I fell in love with this place straight away. By chance, I found an acupuncturist who also ran a college and after my first session of acupuncture, I knew it’s what I wanted to learn. I was mesmerized by the whole experience. After the completion of my course in 2002, I had to return to Switzerland as I was unable to get a permanent visa to remain down under.

I persisted with my plans of migration and was successfully re-accepted into the country in 2008. Since then, my business journey in Australia has provided me with a steep learning curve and plentiful opportunities to connect, share and serve the wider community. I enjoy how I keep my finger on the pulse with my clinical practice – I couldn’t live without it. The connection to patients is powerful and provides so much insight. I use both acupuncture and classical herbal medicines to assist my patients with a variety of conditions.

More recently, I have started working with other practitioners who are after some guidance or ways to run their clinics/businesses. I love the deep and meaningful connections I establish with my colleagues. Together, we are so much stronger. I want to spend more time making our industry shine.

 

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Spark Kindled? Go Deeper!

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Links and Resources

Brigitte has book on applying the five phases in business. Read an excerpt from it, or check out her business mentoring opportunities.

Visit Brigitte's business Safflower Chinese Medicine Dispensary for herbs.

 

Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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Categories
The practice of practice

Getting Your Finances Right- What the Entrepreneurial Acupuncturist Needs to Know • Beverly Hacker • Qi117

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Money, for many, is the pebble in our shoe that irrates enough to annoy, but not enough for us to make a fundemental change. And if our accounting systems mirror our confusion or conflict around finances, then that adds more one more thing that we’d prefer not to think too much that will undoubtly circle back and be a source of suffering.

A good accounting system, and the basic understanding of the principles involved can save us a lot of trouble. And it’s not that difficult. If you can learn Chinese medicine, you can certainly grasp the fundemental accounting principles that will help you to better understand the financial health of your practice.

Listen in to this discussion on basic accounting for acupuncturists, embracing financial responsibility and why the 80/20 rule is your friend.

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All Mushroom, No Filler

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This Episode Sponsored By:



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In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • A brief history of QuickBooks
  • Set your system up right in the first place
  • Accounting language 101
  • The difference between management information and accounting information
  • Suggestions for when you first start out— keep it simple
  • What to look for in an accounting professional
  • Taking a mess and turning into order
  • Difference between an account and a bookkeeper
  • If you have a clinic, you’re an entrepreneur
  • Solving problems you don’t know how to solve
  • How to get good tech support
  • Getting over the fear of asking for money
  • You need to know your true costs
  • It can be scary to see what a budget tells you about yourself
  • What happens if I make more money than I think I’m worth?
  • Client Relationship Management systems
  • Get your infrastructure right
  • Get the 80/20 rule working in your favor

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Keep It Simple. Track the information that is meaningful and for the things that you can actually control. Most of the time, when I go in to fix an existing QuickBooks setup, the first thing I do is cut down the number of accounts by about half. Just by doing that, it simplifies the processes, eliminates a lot of errors and gives the owner much better information that he or she can really use to help manage the business.


Beverly Hacker

Hi, my name is Beverly Hacker and I'm the owner of BeanCounter.Solutions, a consulting firm that helps small businesses set up or clean up their QuickBooks accounting systems and then teaches them how to make the best use of this powerful platform. I started my career as a bookkeeper, then went back to school to get an accounting degree and becoming a Certified Public Accountant. The timing was perfect, because my joining a small accounting firm coincided with the introduction of personal computers in business and the creation of the original QuickBooks system – that would be in the early 1980s. Since I have a very strong geek streak, I jumped right into the whole idea of doing accounting on computers, and I've been doing it ever since.

I'm one of those folks that did a mid-career switch by becoming the executive director of a community radio station that was operated by a local nonprofit. That meant that I had to use what I knew about accounting and business management and add more skills like fundraising, media programming, and volunteer training. That also sent me back to school for a degree in Media Literacy and teaching media studies at Webster and Lindenwood Universities.

With BeanCounter.Solutions, I've combined all of my interests in computers, accounting, teaching and helping small businesses. One of the things that I've noticed as I've worked with a variety of small businesses and nonprofits is that they very often are frustrated with their accounting systems and feel that not only is it too difficult, but they don't think they are getting any value from the work they put in. I also see that in nearly all cases, that frustration can be alleviated, but finding out exactly how they do business, what kind of information they are looking for and then setting up the system to fit those needs. But that is just the beginning – they also need to learn how to get their information into the system in the most efficient way and they need to know when it's time to call on outside experts for help. So, I use a ‘teach a man to fish' philosophy. My goal is to get folks set up and trained to do as much as they want to on their own and help them when they need it after that. It's a bit of a crazy business model, because if I do it well, I actually work myself out of a job. That's OK with me, because I know that will enable me to help another client in the same way.

 

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Links and Resources

Connect with Bev at www.beancounter.solutions

Join the discussion!
Leave a comment on Qiological's Facebook page.

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