It's kind of amusing how many misconceptions are held about people involved in alternative medicine. I suppose that is the case with any field of study that is a bit out of the norm. And I guess I'm lucky in the respect that I am laid-back enough to not let it bother me when people are perturbed that I'm not Asian. Let's lay this first misconception to rest right now, okay? NOT ALL ACUPUNCTURISTS ARE ASIAN. I'm still really good at what I do, despite my Italian heritage. And when you come into my treatment room saying, "You seem nice, but I was hoping for a REAL acupuncturist, you know, a Chinese person," well, it's not the best way to start the patient-practitioner relationship. And speaking of this patient-practitioner relationship, we can't have one unless you are honest with me...and you won't be honest as long as you see me as some all-knowing figure of judgement, one who has never tasted meat or the evils of dairy. I will not throw you out of my office if you confess to being a smoker. And don't look so ashamed admitting that you aren't a vegan. I know this is going to be a shock to you, but I eat meat. There, I said it. And not only do I eat meat, I LOVE meat. And cheese. And alcohol. So there.
On a last note, please don't come in thinking that I am some chanting, mystical tree-hugger. I'm about as far from that as you can get. With all due respect to practitioners who prefer to engage in more esoteric styles of acupuncture, you will not hear any chanting from me in my office. I am not psychic. When you come in I will make a diagnosis based on questions and observation, not from reading your tea leaves or palms. There will no sacrificing of virgins in my office (even if I could find one these days), no bloody rituals or worshipping of goats. I promise this is not what I was trained for.