Blog 2007

Flying Yaks and Other Versions of Reality

2007. Yes-terday, I was at my glorious work place (yes I love my work), CommuniChi, fixing a chair and as I stood up, suddenly my trick knee went out. “That’s the way the meniscus cookie crumbles”, I later remarked to a friend in a moment of lightness. Still, the habit of self pity is deep and my wife had to remind me – “Maybe it’s a good thing.” Perhaps you’ve heard the Tibetan story about the nomad boy who finds a wild horse. “Oh how lucky” everyone says, except for the wise elder. “We’ll see” he says, calmly...

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Taking and Giving

Six years ago, Serena and I launched CommuniChi, our vision for affordable community acupuncture in Seattle. Intentions are powerful, but only if we remember to feed them. Storytelling is one way to remember. In July 2006, I left Seattle for my third trip to post-Katrina New Orleans. I had been captivated by the vision of a ragtag group of acupuncturists calling themselves Acupuncturists Without Borders. It was there on July 4, 2006, on the corner of Decatur and Barracks in the French Quarter that I met “Voice”, one of the survivors of what had been called the largest natural...

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Earth Medicine

Six years ago, I wrote a blog urging people to drive less and consider the needs of the Earth and future generations that will inherit it, trumpeting the fact that I had given away our one family car. Now we are back up to a one car family again and I realize how difficult it would be for most families to exist in this society without one. Groceries, work, school events for the children, home maintenance projects, volunteer work, and the occasional hiking trip outside the city – there’s always something and although I’ve seen some pretty cool bike trailers in Seattle’s ever expanding bike...

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Journey to the Operating Room and Beyond

[This blog was originally posted in the fall of 2007.] I had knee surgery yesterday. The night before taking the bus to the hospital, I reread my courtesy letter explaining when I had to stop eating and drinking. I reread the notification that the hospital was required by law to ask about whether I had any advance health care directives. So I pulled an extra copy from my files, tossed it into my bag and walked to the bus carrying my crutches. Soon I was in the pre-surgery waiting area, a small windowless room, stripping naked, putting on my surgery gown and staring at an enchantingly...

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First Relax and Release Your Mind

As a community acupuncturist, I have the privilege of trying to help people with their health problems. But as I’ve often commented, I try not to see myself as a Helper – a medical professional reeking with the white coated doctor syndrome. With his superior intellectual knowledge, he stands on his ego pedestal looking down at you. Not very empowering or healing. A good acupuncturist or doctor is a good listener first and foremost, so if any of what I have to share – and I do like sharing a lot – rubs you the wrong way. Feel free to ignore it, delete it, or otherwise forget it. Several years...

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Community is the Heart of Health

Our motto at CommuniChi is “Community is the Heart of Health”. For six years atop Beacon Hill in Seattle, we’ve offered many thousands of affordable acupuncture treatments. Sometimes our ten recliner chairs are simultaneously full of people, half of them snoring peacefully. The record is somewhere around thirteen, with people also being treated in the waiting room. A community acupuncture clinic full of people receiving acupuncture is a bit like a chapel, or a meditation shrine room. There’s a powerful locus of calm and peaceful energy which builds up over time. Many people have...

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