“What do you do?”
The seemingly obvious answer to that question…..
“I’m an Acupuncturist in Portland”
Recently someone asked me what I do for a living. And I understand that it is a place of connection, of filing, sorting and categorizing. However, when I say, I’m an acupuncturist in Portland, I see the recognition in their eyes, (or fear) as they create a story in their mind about “what it is that I do.” While it’s not a bad thing, it also has people that I’m meeting for the first time, completely NOT understand, what it is that I really do.
I have been in practice for 20 years. During this time, I have been incredibly resistant to define a niche, or specialty for myself. Now, as I face the last stage of my career, I got crystal clear on who and how I want to work with my patients. As a result, over the last few months I have been working on clarifying what my niche is and who are the people that I really want to impact.
After being in practice for 20 years I have seen a lot. I have watched the world change and I am very clear on how those changes are impacting health. In a recent publication from The American Institute of Stress, they offer the following STRESS STATISTICS:
• 40% of workers report having a job that is extremely stressful,
• 35% have trouble sleeping because of job stress,
• 29% have yelled at a co-worker because of workplace stress.
The impact is that stress related illnesses, such as depression, and heart disease, can cost businesses an estimated $200 – $300 billion a year in lost productivity. I am one of those statistics in that I have had to attend to my own health needs.
It’s no mystery as to the effects of stress on aging and healing in general;
which is why I get so excited to help women feel better as they get older.
And it’s why there is a more descriptive answer to the question of “What do you do?”
I’m a FOGO Expert
My niche is working with primarily women who feel like they are getting old and are not living life on their terms. I am a FOGO expert. It has recently been defined as: “Fear Of Getting Old”. I would suspect that MOST of the population reacts to this; either consciously or unconsciously. If that weren’t the case, I don’t think the health and beauty industry would be a gazillion dollar industry.
Since I am trained in Chinese Medicine as an acupuncturist and a health coach I approach FOGO from the inside out and opposed to conventional wisdom of the outside in.
So how do I, using Chinese Medicine, deal with both the FEAR of getting old and the addressing the physiological realities of getting older?
In Chinese Medicine, when women get older they get hotter (not just hey baby, baby, but physically). Men get colder. What do you think of when you think of a little old man, with his sweaters on and wrapped around them. Men are mostly Yang and so their Yang energy, or heat decreases as they get older. Women are mostly yin which regulates the cooling aspect of our body and as this decreases with age we experience hot flashes as we get older. Of course there is an end to that, but in general, women tend to get warmer as they age and men tend to get colder as they age.
The “thermal regulation” issue is just one of the things that women deal with that affects how they feel. There is the point in time when you just don’t feel like you used to and you simply realize that you cannot do the things you used to do. That starts to take the joy out of life. We sit and WISH it were different. That is one of the things I help my niche women with is helping you simply feeling more vibrant so that you can go out and live life, live your retirement years with vigor rather than dragging around wondering what happened.
For all you people that don’t specifically fall into this niche, don’t freak out. I will still treat you and make you feel better too. I love all my patients, but I am called to reach out to this population that is so often unseen, unheard, and under-valued.
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