Acupuncture is Like House Cleaning

I was cleaning my house today. Well, I got through most of the kitchen, anyway. So I was scrubbing grout with the toothbrush (which makes it sound like my house must be really clean, but it's not), and thinking about how meditative labor is. Doing a simple job, shutting off the intellectual commentary.

Just like acupuncture.

Allow me to explain. I'll have to back up a few days first.

I belong to an acupuncture alum list. It gets a lot of action. A few days ago, there was a post about how critical it is for acupuncturists to study Chinese medicine as deeply as possible, as a lifelong pursuit. I think someone said "...you have to live Chinese medicine." How intimidating!

So then I had to consider this: the strong suggestion that it will be hard to grow as a practitioner and give worthwhile care without first: really studying the classics and working very hard to put together a complete diagnosis (including, of course, the possible root cause and all the mechanisms that led to the current problem).

Is it true? While I was scrubbing the grout, I was cracking myself up. "What is that yellow stuff? Was it always yellow. or did it start out more orange, like maybe it was juice?" and "Who did it? My man's always knocking stuff over...of maybe one of the kids... Maybe I did it and forgot! If it is a real stain, maybe I should get out real chemicals...or maybe it's a recent spill, and I could just get a rag and wipe it right up...what if someone spills something again? ....is my cleaning a waste of time??...how can I track down the truth so I can fix it once and for all??"

Are you still here, reader? Thanks! The POINT is: when I clean, I shut my mind off and clean what I see. No need to get into the history of the dirt so much.

My goal when I treat is to shut my mind off and treat what I see. Where does it hurt? OK, great...that's pretty much all I need to know. Or, oh? Stess? That's pretty much enough right there. This is NOT to say that I can successfully turn off my mind and know intuitively every time, just exactly how to treat. But meridian therapy has been around for a long time, and acupuncture does best using meridians. Where's the problem? How do the channels connect up in a way that I can treat that problem, even if I can't stick a needle in the local spot? So here's what I'm going to do. I am going to keep referencing the books on meridians, and Acupuncture is Like Noodles, and successful point "formulas," and Dr. Tan and Master Tung and practice, practice, practice.

In other words, moving in the opposite direction of the really dedicated chinese medical doctors. Because instead of devoting myself to the classics, and learning the language, and refreshing zang fu theory, and modifying herbs...I'll be over here in a community acupuncture clinic trying my very best to get good at acupuncture.

Where's the junk that needs cleaning? Let me just grab a toothbrush...

This story was posted on September 6 2009 by obnicole.
Tags: intuition

Comments

  • September 7 2009 at 9:50 AM
    Nora writes:

    Nicole, you are cracking me

    Nicole, you are cracking me up - I think if you think about acupuncture when you’re scrubbing the grout, you ARE “living the medicine”!  I’d go to you for acupuncture anytime. :^)

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 1:06 PM
    KevinCampo writes:

    Perfect

    What a great blog-you hit it right on.  It’s like the PhD program-y’all can go study for a few more years I’ll be here treating thirty people a day.  Let me know the theory of what I was doing when you get back.

     

    Not that theory isn’t great and amazingly helpful, but I’d rather be DOING something.

     

    Anyway, thank you for your insights.

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 3:49 PM
    melissa writes:

    Ditto

     

    we were always told in school that none of it makes sense until you’re really in practice, with actual patients, and then they create more ways to keep us from being in practice, with actual patients. is it because people who run schools have mostly made their living running schools?

     

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 4:02 PM
    Skip writes:

    Wax on, wax off

    Wax on, wax off

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 4:04 PM
    melissa writes:

    thanks, nicole

     

     

    i love this post also! i, too, have been in the midst of deep cleaning my house—getting into all the dusty corners, getting rid of all the unnecessary junk. and it’s that wonderfully liberating feeling of being surrounded by clarity, isn’t it? it’s clear, it’s juicy, it’s got momentum. i always feel jazzed after i’m through with it.

    it inevitably leads me to the internal reflection as well—the mental/spiritual housecleaning—and sometimes that gets a bit heavier. especially when i take a CAN break and run into the Milwaukee thread! and it’s all part of it. i’m really grateful that i came to CAN once others had already done the first serious deep clean of the profession an dcreated the model. i suppose we’re coming up on another as well (Ann and Lisa’s recent threads) and that’s feeling like a good thing.

    we did a little talk this weekend to some patients from out of town—threw in some on the five elements. and as i was preparing, it just kept coming back that i’ts a continuous cycle—how can you even really find the beginning? one of my professors had a great way of looking the five elements  by focusing on the most “untended” element and use that as a starting point to getting it all back in balance. it got me thinking about CAN and how that may be part of what we are doing—tending the untended elements of the population and the prefession, and that we need to exercise the virtues of all the elements to make it all work: the juicy creative fire, the nurturing earth, the orderly metal, the reflective water, the ambitious (sometimes angry, but not stagnant!) wood http://www.pocacoop.com/images/blog_uploads/smiley-wink.gif

     

    happy cleaning!

     

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 4:31 PM
    Lisafer writes:

    I’m never going to look at grout the same way again.

    Also, to extend your metaphor a little, dirt is neither a complex nor individualized phenomenon. What we suffer from, is mostly like what everybody else is suffering from, and mostly, it’s not hard to figure out.  Some of us might wish for unique and special grime, but most of our problems are common…as dirt. I don’t know, that tends to make me feel better about things.

    I can’t wait to hear more about what you think when you’re scrubbing things with a toothbrush, this was totally entertaining. smile

      0 likes
  • September 7 2009 at 11:45 PM
    Kristin writes:

    Love it!

    That was great Nicole!  Ah my…...we are on the same alumnae forum and I’ve been reading the same…..your reflections on that, whilst cleaning the grout….and  just what I needed to hear! Thanks.

      0 likes
  • September 8 2009 at 11:46 AM
    Darlene writes:

    Excellent analogy! The more

    Excellent analogy! The more I learn about acupuncture, the more I resent people trying to over-intellectualize it. Thanks for the blog!

      0 likes
  • September 22 2009 at 4:18 AM
    sacha writes:

    Love it!

    That was great!! And SO true! Thanks for the inspiration:)

      0 likes

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