I love surprising people. That is part of the reason why I adore my career so much. First-time patients hardly ever get what they expect when they come into my office. They are constantly surprised by how much better they feel in one treatment...or that I can palpate their abdomen, find an area of pain, and make it disappear with the insertion of a single needle...or that those needles don't feel like anything at all. Once people try it out for the first time, they're usually hooked. The hard part is getting them in the door. I find it amazing that I offer so many deals and coupons and sometimes even freebies, and there is still resistance. Those who have never tried it have visions of long needles and discomfort, and won't come in unless they have actual pain. They just don't get it. While this can be frustrating, I choose to look at it as a challenge. My challenge is to educate as many people as I can about the truth behind this medicine, and what really goes on behind the treatment room door. This is why I talk so much, and write so much, and give out free treatments at times. I want people to understand that this is nothing like what you think it will be.
A few weeks ago I went home to visit. My family is very excited about my career, and they support me all the way. However, they are the last people you would expect to see in my clinic. My mother is very open-minded and fully believes in what I do, but she has a terror of anything clinical and hates even the sight of a needle. However, she also responds incredibly quickly to treatment. My sister has the lowest pain tolerance imaginable, and she's a screamer. My father and 23-year-old brother are typical blue-collar guys, very suspicious of all this wacky, new-agey crap. Despite this, they still talk me up and are always cheerleading for my business.
While I was visiting, my brother asked me for a treatment. I was kind of surprised, since he had never asked before. I happened to have both my needles and my portable table with me, so I was happy to oblige. It wasn't the ideal environment by any means; he was in the middle of the living room, the TV was on, and everyone was talking while he was lying there. I expected him to feel better after the treatment, but I was sure he wouldn't get into the "acu-stoned" state that is the most enjoyable part of the session. However, after a few minutes he stopped talking. When I finally removed the needles, he said that he felt as if he was halfway between sleep and waking (even with all the distractions!) He described a number of other sensations, and seemed surprised that the energetic flow was so palpable. The next day my mother called me to tell me that he said he felt amazing and wished that he could get daily sessions, and also, when was I coming back? Could I bring my needles with me? I should add that my brother is perfectly healthy, with no pain or other issues. And just like that, I had created another acupuncture addict. Sometimes I just love being a pusher!