The love of money is the root of all evil.
- I Timothy ch6 v. 10; cf Proverbs 606:45
I have always been supportive of however an acupuncturist wants to make his or her money. Coming from my background working for the AOMAlliance I was instructed from my first moments stepping into this community that we have to be tolerant and respectful of everyone's beliefs, even when they are not respectful of ours. We, of course, weathered the storm of to doctor or not to doctor by saying it should be a personal choice, same with insurance. Some find it more comforting and better business to take insurance and some prefer to stick to what they feel is their roots - an unconventional and grass roots movement of medicine. And I support everyone of those people because what should really matter to any of them should not be how they make their money but how they treat their patients. All acupuncturists whether they wear a white coat or birkenstocks are healers and that's what they should be first.
So what's inspired this preachiness from your newsy editor? Two things:
This article printed in Acupuncture Today:
Money Is Qi Is Money By Felice Dunas, PhD
Do you want to be rich? Do you aspire to make millions as an acupuncturist? Great idea! I am all for it. Let's make money, invest money and donate money. Let's retire early and be of service to the profession with all that spare time. Prosperity is one of the great universal principles of our work, so get out there and create an abundance of qi, blood and money!
And this response from The Community Acupuncture Network:
An Open Letter to the National Leadership of the Acupuncture Profession in America
The 1980s are long gone; it’s 2007 and the US is in the middle of a health care crisis. There are national epidemics of pain and depression, both eminently treatable with acupuncture, and yet most acupuncturists are severely underemployed, and the fastest growing acupuncture “specialty” is facial rejuvenation. We are in desperate need of leadership that is both timely and accountable -- accountable to the majority of acupuncturists who are not making a living practicing acupuncture and to the majority of patients who cannot afford to receive acupuncture. We need more than self-interested guild politics; we need more than the creation of yet another regulatory board. “Money is Qi is Money” makes light of a sycophantic amorality that embraces acupuncture as medicine by the rich, for the rich, but many acupuncturists would have trouble distinguishing the author’s whimsy from the reality in which we find ourselves.
I don't want to try to make sense out of any of this for you. I'd rather you make up your own opinions and minds. But I would like to ask everyone out there: when did making money and belonging to any organization or teaching and being recognized by name, face, and deed become more important to any acupuncturist than being a good healer and friend to one's patients? Without money we wouldn't have our capitalist society but neither would we have our compassionate conservatism. When did acupuncture have to become so big and so about everything except the patient? When did money become so damned important?
I want to say again thanks to everyone for choosing this profession and becoming a servant to the public. You don't have to be an acupuncturist to belong to this community but you do have to care about the bigger picture. I just wonder if we've forgotten what that bigger picture really is.