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Acupuncture and Being

August 28, 2015

Last Friday night, as I left work, I was considering the art of medicine, especially as it pertains to my practice of acupuncture. Over the years, I have become convinced that not only is proper diagnosis and treatment necessary, but the very Being of the acupuncturist is also important in healing itself.  From our interactions with our patients, our presence with them, to our very quality of Being itself, the very Being of the acupuncturist is an important agent in the healing process. Who we are as human beings and the inner work we do as we strive for authenticity and individuation are critical to a truly holistic practice. Just sticking an acupuncture needle in the body does not mean that we are practicing holistically. If we are not present, if we lack authenticity, if we are not doing our own inner work, our practice will never be holistic.

As I discussed this, another acupuncturist commented on the difficulty of consistently maintaining that level of Being in practice, and that doing so could be draining. Upon reflection, I answered that I think that quality of Being only comes from one’s own consistent inner work. If it comes from that, it is uncontrived, wu wei. If it’s contrived, it will be inauthentic and will be draining. Or if our own inner work is inconsistent, it will be draining. Being is not something that we do. It is not an act that we put on; it is a letting go of the act — a dropping our “act.” Being is not rooted in doing. But if our Doing is rooted in Being, there will be a quality that approaches ineffability. Authentic Being is in unity with the transcendent. The key is to be our authentic selves; and to realize that our own Being is as important as the needles in we use our acupuncture treatment.

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