}

Another Membership Drive Post

Hi everybody,

This is another installment in the "How did you get tangled up in POCA series in honor of the membership drive. Today's post is from Laura Berglund, hailing from QiWorks in Salt Lake City, Utah. She wrote her interview responses prose style, I hope you find it as delightful as I did.

Hey Laura, how did you get tangled up in POCA?

    I tried acupuncture for the first time 5 years ago this month at QiWorks Community acupuncture in Salt Lake City. I recently looked back at some of those first treatment notes and found it interesting to read the punk’s description of my responses about my first few treatments. Even though I had noticed little change in the condition I was hoping to treat, I still noticed benefit and just generally liked acupuncture.  For 3 or 4 treatments the notes said something like, “still no change to what she came in for, but she likes it”.  I enjoyed the relaxing naps in the recliners, the warmth of the people who worked there, and the reduction in my anxiety following my treatments. After a just a few treatments, I felt myself being drawn into the web of community acupuncture.
    I was going through a period where I was trying to figure out “what to do with my life”. I wanted to try something new, to find a volunteer position or a job that might help me to decide on a direction or a profession to pursue.  I had a degree in Integrative Physiology and liked the idea of working in some health related field, and I thought acupuncture sort of fit with that.  I liked the feel of QiWorks, so I decided to volunteer at the front desk once a week.
Some of the perks of volunteering there were getting free acupuncture treatments, as well as getting my POCA membership paid for by the clinic.  Really, the biggest perk was feeling like I was a part of a community, like I was beginning to weave myself into their family-like web. I wasn’t just helping out a small business, I was getting to be a part of the healing QiWorks team. I got to interact with patients, the vast majority of them were friendly and super grateful for what QiWorks offered, and by extension, grateful to me and the role that I played at the front desk. 
Not long after starting to volunteer, QiWorks offered to hire me as a paid front desk staff. I of course said yes!  As time went on, the clinic grew busier. They hired a second and then a third punk, as well as more front desk staff.  There were also more shifts for me.  I began to take on more responsibility and felt more and more a part of the community, the “QiWorks clan”.  Somewhere around 2 years in, the punks started talking about what they were reading on the POCA forums about POCA starting it’s own acupuncture school and how radically different and awesome it would be.  It piqued my interest.
I began reading some of the CA books like noodles and reading some of the forum posts. I began trying on the idea of what my life might look life if I went to POCA Tech to become a community acupuncturist and weave myself into the POCA web further.  The piece that I kept coming back to was how comfortable it felt to be a part of the QiWorks community and how appealing the day  to day experience of the punks appeared.  It had been easy to get tangled bit by bit into the web of community there and I felt like I had a clear understanding of the role of a punk.  I was drawn to a profession that offered a way to support people in social justice oriented manner, that was not only effective at easing the suffering of so many people, but that it was also outside of the typical capitalist system in some ways.  I saw a future for myself in which I could earn a living by genuinely helping people and creating a large change in the world.
    For many years, I had felt overwhelmed by the suffering of the world, by the lack of justice, connection, and awareness, and by not knowing how to best make a difference.  I felt stuck and daunted by trying to find “the right way” to apply myself to try to make a positive impact.  By choosing to become tangled in the QiWorks Community Web I was healing on a personal level and was creating ties with a community that was effecting change for lots of people. Wanting to continue to deepen that feeling of connection and power to do something meaningful was what reassured me enough to dive into applying at POCA Tech.  I saw what the end of the road could look like for me after graduating from acupuncture school, and diving in as a well-trained punk at QiWorks.  I was lured in by the punks at QiWorks who told me how envious they were that I would be able to get an education from the radical POCA school and avoid so much of the debt and need for re-programming that they had been left with after they had graduated from their traditional acupuncture schools.  Their enthusiasm and encouragement helped lured me into the web of POCA Tech.
And what do you know, I was accepted into the second cohort at POCA Tech!  During these past 2 years, QiWorks has offered me an incredible amount of flexibility and support as I have become even more deeply woven into the POCA community.  They have been willing to swap and cover front desk shifts as I traveled to Oregon each month for my school modules. They have allowed me to do my observation hours there. They have been interested, curious, and enthusiastic supporters of my educational journey at POCA Tech.  They have worked with me on a project to hopefully be able to offer POCA Tech students from Utah to be able to complete their internship training at QiWorks.  Beyond the work and effort they have put forward to help me, they have believed in me and have been so encouraging.  It still surprises me sometimes how genuinely they trust me and believe in my ability to do good.  They plan to hire me as a punk when I graduate next summer. This close-knit community of caring people really wants me to be woven into their web.
    This ongoing journey of discovering acupuncture and choosing to become tangled in the POCA web has deeply impacted my life. My treatments in the chair and my healing in the safe web of this community have helped to ease my suffering. I feel more resilient, whole, happy, and driven, more rooted in myself, and more deeply connected to others. I am incredibly grateful to be in this web and to continue to weave a future for myself as a punk, who will be able to help support patients for many years to come.

This story was posted on October 22 2017 by teatree.
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Comments

  • October 27 2017 at 9:23 PM
    Naomi writes:

    amazing to read! Happy tangling and thanks for sharing.

      0 likes

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