A note from Susan C
Rachel Naomi Remen is a doctor who has written much about her experiences with healing and what she has learned from a life in medicine. She is well worth reading (Kitchen Table Wisdom, My Grandfather's Blessing). I like this comment from her:
"Living in one piece is important for healing; in other words, knowing what your deepest values are and living by them, so that there is a coherence between who you are and how you live. If you believe one way but live another, that can be more damaging than any external stress."
Years ago, I was going to be a "doctor" and started down that path with my education. During those years I was an EMT in Middleton and working for an acupuncturist in Madison as well as going to school. There was a lot of opportunity to compare different ways to practice medicine. Slowly I realized that I was fascinated by all of it but really at home in the acupuncturist's office, where people came in happy to be there and left relaxed and sometimes transformed. Our allopathic medicine is an amazing, valuable part of our culture and does much good. But the difference from a student's perspective was that the allopathic medicine was fighting disease while the oriental medicine was incorporating the healthy aspects of a person to work with eliminating the disease. So, as much as the science of medicine appealed to me, the practice of it did not. Working with acupuncture felt similar to gardening; yes, there is a time to pull weeds and get rid of bugs, but most gardening involves coordinating all the different needs of the plants that grow together and affect each other with the rain, sun, and soil conditions. Oriental Medicine/acupuncture must take into account the whole person, including the systems that are healthy as well as the symptoms of disorder, in order to achieve optimal results.
Emergency care was where allopathic medicine really excelled. There, miracles happened, lives were saved and nothing could compare with what the combination of practitioners' skills and the technology of our times could do. To this day, I admire the good doctors, PAs, emergency workers, nurses and all the others who are in our communities doing the best they can every day for their patients, but after all the years still am sure becoming an acupuncturist was the right choice for me. It is coherent with my way of living, my values and the way I prefer to interact with the world I live in. Every day, I'm thankful to be able to offer a service and skill that allows me to live coherently and practice in a way that supports that which is healthy while treating the 'dis-ease'.
Be Well, Be Happy!
Susan Cushing C.A.