By Mary E. Sullivan AC6096
The inner aspects of my personality are continually communicating and interacting with each other. As I pay attention to my inner life and notice who inside me is speaking, I ‘m more able to decide who to pay attention to and who to ignore. As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, I run this information through my 5 Element grid. Am I coming from a place of fear? If so, I take a look at how my Kidney Qi (Water Element) is doing. I do not want to act from a fear based stance in any aspect of my life, so I work to cultivate Trust and a feeling of safety even if circumstances in my life would likely elicit a fear response in me. I do what I can to balance out the emotions and any physical symptoms that may accompany them. I feel the emotion of fear and connect it to my Higher Self.
My Higher Self is the one I would like to see running my life. This part of me, who I think of as the Real Me, trusts and feels safe. She also is compassionate, loving, kind and forgiving . These qualities signify a balanced Wood Element. Actually, all her elements are in a healthy positive state because each element either nourishes, controls or overacts on all the others. The healthy part of me then has a balanced Fire Element and so feels joy, bliss and harmony. Her Earth element gives her peace of mind and her Metal element contributes an acceptance and surrender to life. I know that when I am not feeling balanced I need help. If I cannot help myself balance my own energy, it becomes increasingly difficult to help others in my life, whether they be patients, family or friends. So I always start with myself and bring awareness to my attitude and my emotional body.
Unbalanced emotions become a vehicle for increased awareness. Instead of pushing these emotions into the closet and simulating a balanced persona, I use this information to help me learn to interact with others causing them no harm and hopefully helping them. There is no place for controlling or bullying others in a healthy psyche. If I find myself in a situation where someone is seeking my help, I try to bring awareness to how my body and mind are feeling in their presence. I breathe, relax and listen to them. Many times, especially with my patients, the person in front of me is seeking help and wants to be free from pain and to heal. This person has freely chosen to come to me for the expertise she feels I have. It is my responsibility to do all that I can to help this person.
Some people want to be fixed. At the outset I inform my patients that we are partners in their healing. I will do all that I can within my scope of practice to balance their body/ mind systems. It is up to them to heal themselves. The level of their commitment and their comfort zone are strong factors in determining how successful the treatment is. I educate my patients as to what they can do in between sessions to ensure optimum results. If I notice that I am becoming impatient, frustrated, sad, fearful and worrying in this situation, I take a look at it. I notice whether it is appropriate for me to continue treating this patient . I have to decide how to let them know what I think is the most therapeutic thing for them to do . I do not want to become a bully. Bullying comes from inner frustration, anger, sadness, fear and pain. As I was writing the word “bullying” I noticed that the two words Bull and Lying make up the word bullying. It is not appropriate to lie to myself or my patient. It is a sacred relationship that requires honesty from both people. It is not necessarily an equal relationship as it would be with peers or friends. The patient has sought me out, wants something from me and is paying me. So I am the one who is required to be responsible. What I say to the patient she remembers and follows. In all my interactions in my works I must put this thought foremost . It is very possible for me to manipulate the situation in my favor if my motives are not totally ethical.
My integrity is the most important part of my practice. I direct the treatment and the behavior of the patient so it is my duty to pay close attention to her comfort and to read her unspoken signals. I must have an unconditional positive regard for this person and to be present with her as I listen, diagnose and prepare my treatment plan. I tell her what I plan to do and ask her permission. I do nothing that she does not approve. She respects me, sees my credentials and licenses on my wall and feels that I can help. This kind of situation need not be very different from interactions with family, friends and people we connect with as we move through our daily life. To bring awareness to our mind and emotions in our dealings with all people is actually a precious gift to. When we see ourselves in a situation where we are bullying or being bullied, we can train ourselves to notice the red flags . Our breathing may shift, our coloring may change, our heart may beat in a different rhythm. Once these signals come up, we have a choice as to how to respond. If someone cuts me off on the freeway, I notice how I feel. I can lash out and escalate the situation or I can feel the emotion and connect it to my Higher Self. I can use the tools I have learned over the years and apply these tools to every situation. Many times it takes time and I don’t notice that I have reacted in a way that doesn’t serve me or them until it’s too late. If so, then I forgive and ask for forgiveness. Then my Liver and Gall Bladder are balanced again. This human condition is an opportunity to make use of every occurrence to take as closer to the place we want to be as practitioners with integrity as well as loving, responsible citizens, friends and family members. As an acupuncturist I have a lot of training in Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong and western medicine. This training gives me the privilege to have a license and to serve people. It also carries a big responsibility. Those of us who have trained for many years for this privilege do not want to do anything that would harm another in any way.
Copyright 2009 by Mary Sullivan AC6096