Sometimes this thing I’m doing seems crazy 🤪!!
“I’m a full time Acupuncture student” doesn’t give proper encapsulation to what’s entailed to BE an acupuncture student, living 171 miles from the school and being a single mother of 2.
6 years ago I went back to college 📚full time to complete my associates degree, plus another 2 semesters to reach the minimum pre-req level of 78 undergrad hours before starting the 4 year Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine.
Academically, it’s challenging of course 🤓 but that’s not what makes it feel crazy. Leaving children and romantic partner and pets at home once a month for 4-5 days to go immerse in higher learning for 10-11 hours per day- that’s the challenge. Now that we’re in our 4th year, my cohort and I are no longer trekking to the NC mountains once a month- now it’s every 3 weeks. Not 3 weeks in between, mind you. 3 weeks from the start of one shift to the start of the next, so we’re home for 2 weeks and 2 days in between.
🔥The first week of school, the Dean of the college gave us an inspiring and terrifying speech about the sacrifices this journey would entail. He predicted we would lose 1/3 of our classmates by the end and told us “you’ve got to want this like a man on fire wants water”. 23 of us sat in that room together the first year and now 14 of us remain as 4th year students, interning in the clinic. We lost 11 students and picked up 2 awesome transfer students along the way.
💪🏽The sacrifices are many. The rigor is intense. The expectations are numerous. My children have given up so much, to allow this education to happen for me. I could not have continued without the support of my mom, of my ex husband and his wife, and of my romantic partner.
Perhaps this is why I wince when I hear people say “yeah my PT does dry needling, so you could say I’ve had acupuncture before”. I fully respect PTs, but I have not spent 4 years learning the intricacies of Chinese Medicine and put my family through hell to be undermined by a non-acupuncturist using a needling technique they learned in a weekend CEU course.
Dry needling is a flattering attempt at Acupuncture but there’s a fine line between flattery and mockery. My classmates and I spent a semester learning orthopedic tests- perhaps we should advertise that we offer physical therapy. We would never- but perhaps you can see the analogy. I digress...
👩⚕️👨🏿⚕️🩺 Next week my cohort and I will spend 5 10 hour days in the clinic. Then 8 more months and we will have treated more than 250 patients each!! Helping patients overcome serious illnesses, recover from physical setbacks and heal from crippling emotional pain makes practicing this Medicine feel drenched with purpose.
👩🏻🎓🧑🏽🎓When we walk across the graduation stage in summer of 2023, it’s going to be so sweet I can taste it!! Then we will pass our board exams and become licensed Acupuncturists. We’ve come SO FAR, and there’s a stretch of road left on this journey. Reminding myself and my family of the goal and how close it is, keeps me going.
Maybe this IS a crazy thing I’m doing. Maybe I’m crazy. All I know is I feel called to be a Chinese Medicine practitioner and I want this like a Woman on fire wants water 🌊.