When I tell someone I am an acupuncturist, I get a few different responses:

“That is so interesting! I really believe in that!”

“I don’t know about that, what is that?”

“I don’t know what to say next…”

The first response is the most common. When I hear this, I delight. How great is it that I spend my days doing interesting work? Fantastic, I can tell you! While this response does not exactly have much to do with the system of medicine I practice, it is a welcome point of departure and I happily receive it. I field this response with a charming wink and say, “The best part about acupuncture is that it is not a religion. There’s no believing or not believing about it. It’s physiological and the results are tangible and measurable in the body.”

Patients are likely to find that they wish to address two or three complaints with acupuncture treatment and end up addressing four or more. To use a personal example, I started treatment in 1999 for back pain. Not only did my back pain decrease, I also benefitted from less anxiety, better sleep patterns, and increased energy. With this in mind, I always ask new patients this question: “If acupuncture could help you with any three things, what would they be?” Once the patient tells me the three things they’d like to address with treatment, we talk a little about how acupuncture treats the entire person—body, mind, and spirit. I remind them about how they can seek treatment on any and every level. Their treatment picture immediately broadens. It is my experience that when people get a glimpse of how many things can be positively impacted on all levels through acupuncture, numerous new possibilities are realized.