I wanted to talk a bit today about why I chose the tagline ‘Transform your Health’ for my acupuncture business. What exactly is transformative acupuncture?
We live in a service economy – 70% of all consumer activity in the world is made up of services – and acupuncture is one of them.
Now for the science-y bit.
The evolution of goods and services goes something like this:
I’m going to argue that a good acupuncturist sits nicely in stage 5.
As an acupuncturist I provide a service where I a) stick needles in people to make them feel better (stages 1, 2 and 3 covered) and whilst I’m doing that I provide a positive experience by: being warm and friendly, making sure my treatment room is safe, clean and welcoming, listening to and validating client’s experiences, showing compassion, empathy and understanding during often difficult times. So hopefully that’s 4 covered.
But what makes Katy Bradshaw Acupuncture a transformative service? How exactly do I ‘Transform your Health’?
In order to become a transformative service I need to do a number of things. I must connect with the community, interact with digital services and connect with other businesses (OK got that covered via this blog, hanging out on social media, giving some free talks, networking with other businesses and generally shouting about how great acupuncture is to anyone who wants to listen). I must also be sustainable, match client wants and needs and empower clients and help them to co-create their experience. And most importantly I need to change the way clients behave in order to create wellbeing and satisfaction.
I’m a HUGE believer in the potential for change. It doesn’t always have to be big change – in fact one of my favourite clinic soundbites is ‘small changes made consistently equal success’. It’s not an ancient Chinese proverb but I think it should be ;)
For me, the ability to change starts with taking responsibility for yourself – your actions, your health and how you respond to the challenges that life throws your way. We can’t stop crappy stuff happening but we can choose how we respond to it.
The beauty of taking personal responsibility is that it liberates us from negative feelings of victimhood, where everything happens to us and there’s nothing we can do about it. Once you shake that off you are totally empowered to change.
I must caveat that last bit because I also hold the passionate belief that we don’t all start from the same place in the race of life and don’t all have the same obstacles and challenges. There is no question that change is easier for some than for others.
Plus health problems do often happen ‘to us’; nobody chooses to have depression, suffer with migraines, arthritis, or cancer.
In practice I can say that there have been many times where a patient has had a transformative experience thanks to the needles alone. This is especially the case when there is a block in someone’s energy, often caused by a traumatic physical or emotional experience. In these cases I would use points that would remove that block and the effect on the patient’s sense of wellbeing and sense of self is definitely transformative.
In other cases needles alone (or moxa/cups/guasha) are not enough to illicit transformational change. It creates change that’s for sure, but not always on a sustainable or life-changing level.
This is usually because the source of poor health is being caused by lifestyle – diet/exercise/stress/work/relationship problems – and the patient must make changes to their lifestyle if the improvement in their health is to be truly sustainable. In this way they co-create their transformative experience.
So a big part of what I do is galvanising patients to make changes in their lives. Now you won’t see any double-blind randomised clinical trials on the galvanising effects of acupuncture points. Sorry. But I’m going with it anyway because I see it happen every day in clinic and as a result I believe acupuncture is a really good tool for doing that.
Why? Because I treat people on both a physical and emotional level so that a) their symptoms get better and b) they feel better in themselves, clearer about who they are and what they want so that they can go and make the changes they need to make. I take the time to coach my clients around their lifestyle choices – how to eat, what exercise to do, how to manage stress and what other services they might benefit from (including talking things through with their GP). I give clients little bits of homework so that the changes are achievable and don’t feel too overwhelming or just another thing to do.
Success for me is getting you to a place where you are well enough to go back out there and continue your journey to good health. A bit like your driving instructor. Except that I’m always here for a top-up should you need one.