When I first came to AOMA in Austin to attend acupuncture school, I was thrilled. Yet, I have always been anxious about this day - I am about to go into my first clinic as a treating acupuncture intern. I am writing this only a few hours before I go into clinic. I am nervous, excited, and slightly nauseous. I've finally arrived at the day that I will meet a complete stranger and put acupuncture needles in them! This is what all oriental medicine students have been waiting for!
My only hope is that I can help someone. It is all a little nerve-wracking to have patients' care in my hands for the first time. Everyone in my cohort has been praying this week to only get patients with local qi and blood stagnation because it is supposed to be the easiest to treat. Please, please don't let me get a chief complaint of cataracts or really anything to do with someone's eyes. I don't know if I am ready treat such a sensitive area, although, I guess when the time comes I will have to be ready. It’s a good thing there are supervisors and residents there to assist me.
For those of you who are observing in clinic right now you might notice that some of your interns are doing their best but are very anxious. And you know what? That is perfectly alright. It is okay if you have to double check your school materials. I am going to have to do that plenty myself. Chinese medicine is complicated after all. Let's not forget that acupuncture is an art form; there is no one right way. If you don't happen to remember where a point is located or what energetics it has, don't fret too much. As acupuncture students, we are supposed to be learning right now. Mistakes will happen, but don't think it's the end of the world. The great part is, even if you don't do everything right, you are still making a huge difference in the lives of your patients. At least that's what I am telling myself right now. Wish me luck!