Body Language

There are as many different styles of acupuncturists as there are artists. We all have our own way of treating, our own personal flair, our own way of doing things. Some of us are more Western-minded, and likely to explain your treatment in scientific, technical language. Others choose to discuss the concept of qi and energetic blockages and all that good stuff. Does it matter what one believes in when they come in for a session? Not at all...but it is important to stick with someone you feel comfortable with. If you enjoy engaging in chats about the mysteries of life, you would probably prefer someone with a more esoteric style. If, on the other hand, you are of a more skeptical bent, you'll probably prefer someone more into theories of endorphins and chemical activity in the brain. Before I graduated, I started going to an acupuncturist that I adored...I still do. He is fantastic at what he does, and incredibly intuitive. The only reason I stopped going to him was because the drive to see him sucked. I despise traveling through Harvard Square, and every trip there brought out my worst, road-ragiest side.

Along with being an awesome acupuncturist, this man was also something of a mentor to me. We would often have long discussions about qi and technique and all sorts of topics that they didn't cover in school. He once told me that one of the best ways to start diagnosing patients was to simply sit somewhere quietly and watch people. If you watch people long enough, he explained, your intuition will begin to open up and find patterns of imbalance, without asking a single question.

I found that he was right...you just need to be discreet so as not to creep people out. We are so used to getting information from people through questions that most of us have lost our ability to just be silent and listen to our intuition. I can tell so much about patients before they utter a single word, and there is nothing magical about it. It's simply about being silent and trusting your instincts.

These days, we always seems to be on data overload. There is so much information coming at us, non-stop, that we don't need to seek it out-it's everywhere. I think this is why we've become so tuned-out to what is directly in front of us. We're unused to reading people's body language, because why should we? If someone is angry, or upset, or lamenting over a breakup, we can read all about it on facebook. We have lost the simple art of focusing on the messages that people's bodies are sending. We are all wrapped up in our little comfy oblivious cocoons, and can't seem to see past the insides of our own heads.

This week, learn to listen without asking. Take a few moments to just clear your head and focus on getting information about someone without firing off a single question. Trust me, it's good for your soul...and there's nothing better than the feeling of knowing that someone is wholeheartedly paying attention to the messages that you are se