This trimester brought me a lot of joy when I started seeing patients in the clinic. I remember how confused I was 2-3 tris ago. I felt like I would never be able to discern a pulse or a diagnosis. I remember practicing taking the pulse in class and how most of us had no idea what kind of pulse we were feeling on the “patient.”
I can only say it gets better. How? Practice will sound old and overrated but it’s still true.
Do I feel more confident? For me, confidence is a combination of so many things! It’s not only the theory that you learn or practice needling. Having a background in healthcare I didn’t felt so overwhelmed in the beginning. I’m also lucky because I have a good memory, so memorizing acupuncture points was fun and easy, and I still remember most of them even if we don’t really use them on patients. My energy medicine background helps a lot on finding the right points and most of the times I can feel empty and full before even palpating a point.
Memorizing Chinese herbs is a different story for another time. 🙂
Most of all, I love working with people and seeing the results! Not only does it gives me confidence, but it also gives me the energy and the motivation to study more and be better. I can hardly wait to get my license and integrate everything I studied for more than 10 years!
What makes it better and how can you gain more confidence? Go with the flow! Each day will build you in a better practitioner. Take the pulse whenever you have the chance; don’t stress too much on getting the exact type of pulse. Stay relaxed and you will discover that when you start seeing patients on a daily basis, you’ll suddenly find yourself feeling differences and knowing exactly what kind of pulse is.
Try and needle yourself and pay attention to different sensations when you needle certain points. Try and feel the arrival of De Qi so you get used to it.
In Japanese acupuncture they say intention is primordial and not needling. So next time you needle, use your intention, too. Japanese say you should be able to get results even when you don’t needle and just touch the skin with the needle. Since it’s all Qi or energy or whatever you want to call it, use it, play with it and make it your ally.