medical musings

I have resisted writing a blog since blogs were invented, for a variety of reasons. I try to be protective of my time; I could be caring for patients, or studying, or spending time with dear ones, or really pretty much anything else. But the decades fly by, and while I am so lucky to love my work, I may have more to contribute to my field than just moving from patient to patient and ducking in and out of the rooms that I treat folks in. For me, Chinese medicine is (to borrow from Raven Lang) an improvisational medicine. Each treatment is a lot like taking a solo. For a solo to have integrity, it must relate perfectly to the tune at hand, both musically and emotionally. The same is true for an acupuncture treatment. Each patient tells their story, through their description of their problem (say anxiety) along with unspoken signs and symptoms. The acupuncture treatment is a direct response to their story, composed on the spot, using all the knowledge, experience and intuition that I can muster. The treatment provides a counterpoint to the patient’s issue, and attempts to create harmony.

I find my professional life mirrors my musical life. I have stepped up to a microphone many thousands of times to create an improvised solo, and based on the response from fellow band members and from the audience, I have had some success. Almost no one in the audience will remember the notes that I played; if they remember anything it will be the feelings they had while I played.

This blog will be an attempt to move beyond improvisational work, and more into the realm of composition. I will try to organize what I do in a way where I can sense some of the greater patterns. I have learned from each and every one of the many thousands of patients that I have cared for, and aside from confidential charts there is no record of what I have done for the past 27 years. I will never share any personal patient information in this blog. Any time I mention a patient, know that all personal information has been fictionalized. Gender, age, occupation, etc., will never relate to an actual person.

Ultimately, I am selfishly writing this blog for me, to try and improve on the care I provide, and like a musical composition, to try and reconcile time, experience, and emotion in a unique way. You are more than welcome to join me.