Editor’s note: The following guest blog is contributed by Noah Goldstein (bio at bottom of page). Noah will be providing sliding-scale community acupuncture at Impact Hub this Thursday, February 27th from 2:00-6:00pm. Learn about Noah’s perspective on healthcare and acupuncture below…
How can you come to work every day and feel inspired, energized, focused, and productive? That is the holy grail of questions, and I’ve always been someone who loves asking questions and finding answers, because questions after all, are the sparks which ignite change.
I believe that Chinese Medicine may have the answer.
First let’s explore modern Western medicine, which has a lot to offer us. It can save lives and help people live longer. However, with it’s power and precision come a high cost and often myopathy, a shortsightedness that often has many limitations. My personal experience of Western medicine was that it lacked heart and soul, it felt materialistic, not just in the sense that money was a major driving factor, but in the sense that it only addressed my physical body. It often feels like doctors could care less about you, that they are mostly interested in your disease. I’m not saying this is true for all doctors, but it is pervasive in our medical system and surely the system makes it difficult for even the most caring people to make time to be with a patient. My father chose to become a nurse instead of a doctor, which was something a bit out of the norm for men in that time, because as he saw it “doctors cure, and nurses care.” He wanted to have the opportunity to connect with people on a deeper level and for them to feel understood and supported while they were being treated.
I suppose I took my father’s sentiment to the next level. While nurses may care, my understanding of Western medicine is that it doesn’t really have the tools or technology to address our emotional and spiritual needs. My first encounters with acupuncture were mostly in the realm of the shamanic – working with me on a soul level, helping me reconnect to parts of myself I had lost or hidden along the way to adulthood. It was an experience unlike any other. I quickly realized that I wanted to share the gift of soulful healing and help other people explore and experience their emotional and spiritual bodies and heal those wounds.
In acupuncture school, I came to realize that Chinese medicine is also a very physical medicine. I remember having an “Aha!” moment my first year of school, when I realized that this wasn’t just medicine for the soul. That people would come to see me for severe physical issues, not just to feel good, and that I would have to cultivate the clinical skills to know when a cough was just a cough, and when it might be cancer. After the initial shock of the true level of responsibility I had taken upon myself, I felt a sense of gratitude – I had found a form medicine that really can meet people where they are and give them what they need.
We live in a time when medicine can be magic and science, it’s not an either-or equation. Acupuncture speaks many languages – we can put needles into muscles and connective tissue to increase blood flow and oxygenation to reduce inflammation and speed recovery, and we can tap into someone’s emotional body to help them release grief they’ve been holding onto for years.
Sometimes I treat a patient with back pain so she can go back to teaching at school and treat the children with more kindness and compassion because she isn’t constantly taxed by her pain, and maybe I never talk to her about fear or spirit. Other times I treat a patient for insomnia who ends up feeling brighter, happier, and more grounded than ever, because for the first time in a long time, he’s had the opportunity to open up and share, discover, and process some of his emotional blockages. That’s what’s amazing about this medicine, it comes from an ancient tradition and we’ve added all of our modern knowledge and understanding of the human body. We can dance whichever dance our patients need and it’s always a dance towards health and wholeness.
So I ask why isn’t healthcare a more integrated part of our daily lives? Why don’t we think of an acupuncture treatment or a monthly massage as a prevention of injuries and chronic pain and a necessity for our health?
That is why I’m creating the Acupuncture Bus – a mobile clinic that offers sliding scale services to increase access to a form of medicine that can work wonders. One of the many beauties of acupuncture is that it doesn’t just prevent and treat disease and pain, it also increases energy and focus.
My hope is to help people – to offer relief from pain, release from the tangle of anxiety, worry, and stress, and to promote the type of health that leads to an engaged thriving life full of creativity and joy.
The Acupuncture Bus is currently being renovated and transformed from an RV into a mobile healing sanctuary. So in the meantime I’m starting here at our Impact Hub.
Join me this Thursday, February 27th from 2pm – 6pm (and again in two weeks), in the SouthEast Conference room at Impact Hub Boulder where I’ll be offering sliding scale acupuncture, and take part in the healthcare (r)Evolution! Together we will find new ways to come to work every day feeling inspired, energized, focused, and productive.
About the author: From his childhood in the lush woods of Tennessee to his teenage years in the dry forests and deserts of Israel, Noah always found himself in love with the natural world which led him to study Biology and Ecology. While traveling later in life he connected to the healer within at the same time that he discovered acupuncture. Noah went on to merge his understanding of ecosystem dynamics with the dynamics of the human body and apply his understanding to acupuncture and herbal medicine.