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032.6 The Arc of Practice
Episode 3220th May 2018 • Qiological Podcast • Michael Max
00:00:00 00:26:43

Shownotes

What gets you started at the beginning of your career is not what keeps you going in the middle part of your career. And as we move into later stages of life and practice, the questions change yet again. 

Listen in to this conversation between some seasoned practitioners considering the trajectory of practice across the span of decades. 

Transcripts

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Welcome to qiological mini series, dedicated to sports

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and orthopedic acupuncture.

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For the next few days, I'll be bringing you several podcasts a day

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from the sports acupuncture alliances conference in San Jose, California.

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In addition to interviews and discussions with speakers of the

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conference, you'll also be hearing from participants and you'll have

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a special front row seat at a round table conversation around the issues,

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running a sports medicine practice.

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The sports acupuncture Alliance was created to promote the study and practice

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of sports and orthopedic acupuncture.

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I'm delighted that they were willing to partner with qiological to bring

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you this mini series so that those of you who are not able to attend

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the conference could learn from the speakers as well as the participants,

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and to get a taste of what it's like to be here at this special event.

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Please enjoy these discussions and take what you learn here

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and use it in your clinic.

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Well, you just never know what kind of conversations that we're going to run into

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here at the sports acupuncture Alliance.

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We just had a lovely question, answers that.

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With, uh, some of the luminaries, the speakers here about getting started

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with sports acupuncture, how you break into teams and that kind of thing.

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But some of us were talking afterwards and we were, what we were talking about

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was not, how do you break into something?

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Not how do you get something going?

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Because most of us here are of an age and we have enough experience.

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It's more like, what keeps you going in the middle part of your career?

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It's more like after the middle part of your.

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What is the later part of your career look like?

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You know, these are questions that don't get asked so often.

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So often people are like, how do I get through my first five years?

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Great.

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I've been at this for 20 years, myself.

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And my question is, how do I do my next 20?

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I know it's really different than mine.

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First 20.

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So my name is Michael max, and I'm here with my friends.

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I'm Stefan, Mary Jen is Ana, and we just started having this conversation about

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what I was just talking about, how you.

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You're self fresh.

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How do you keep yourself moving forward?

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And Jen's eyes are really big right now.

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So let's hear what she has to say.

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I think what motivates us perhaps at this point is to continue learning

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and to put a lot of emphasis on sharing what we've learned.

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And I know for me, because I came from an athletic training

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sports medicine background and.

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W we were required to spend 1800 hours working in an athletic training

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room for our internship, and I've always wanted to see acupuncture in

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that environment more mainstream.

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Um, so I think at this point I'd really liked to put some energy toward getting

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acupuncture more readily available in high school and collegiate as well

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as professional athletic training rooms and educating colleagues.

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And of course patients, because I think we all want to leave something

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with this medicine that we do, and perhaps not work less, but work in

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a more expensive way, not work less, but work in a more expansive way.

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That's that just really lands, you know, the other thing that, that

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really strikes me about what you're saying, mentorship, teaching somehow

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taking a distillation of, of.

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We've gotten.

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Cause you know, at this point we've gotten something, you know, and

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how to somehow pass that along.

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So it's not lost, right?

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Yeah.

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That's why we're here.

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That's why we're here.

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Stephanie, Stephan, what do you yeah, well, I think we have

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to, well, reinvent ourselves.

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Our life forces us eventually to reinvent ourselves.

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And uh, I'm in this process right now.

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So several years ago, I was, well, several years ago, maybe four years ago, I was

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thinking, okay, how can I get better?

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Had been doing that for a dozen years.

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And, uh, how'd you get better as seminars and readings the do the

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thing, but I needed something else.

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I said, okay, well I need to teach, teach so I can get better.

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I started teaching and I'm still very part-time, but it's disposed

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us of reinvent, redefining my.

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Not as a clinician and as a teacher and a though it is a true that you're

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teaching so that you can learn as well.

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That's what made me make the move.

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At the first point, I was like, I need to more, I'm a perfectionist.

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And I said, I need to get better.

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And the best way to get better is to teach.

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So I have to organize.

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No 12 years of next clinical thoughts that are just not just here and there.

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I can do it in the clinic.

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Can I explain it?

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So I start to organize my thoughts in order to communicate it.

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And then it leads me to a process where, okay, well, am I going to move full time?

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What am, I mean, just reinventing myself and sharing what I've been gathering

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without like, not really consciously.

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I'm hearing a theme of generosity.

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That that at a certain point, we take this distilled experience.

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Like you were just saying Stephan making sense of it.

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I just came back from spending a few weeks on a writing or.

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Mostly to see what do I have here?

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I think I've got some stuff here, but I'm not exactly sure what it all is.

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Right.

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Because I'm usually busy in clinic and I'm just kind of

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doing my thing and enter the day.

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And then, you know, it's the next day, what, you know, what you were talking

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about, where you really go through your stuff and is there a system or

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how do these things hang together?

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Um, I'm glad to hear someone else's doing it.

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Cause I thought maybe I was just being a little bit crazy.

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Oh, you're speaking to my passion.

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I, the writing piece, right in what we're doing, who it is, what it is to

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be an acupuncturist in this culture and the different people who we work with.

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There's so much to say about, um, what it is to work with the body and the

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mind and the spirit and what it is to integrate this ancient tradition into our

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modern lives and the, um, precision of the sports acupuncture, which we've just

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been sitting with really exemplifies.

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That integration and the importance of that integration, I think.

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And, and I see not just the writing piece as a way to sort of communicate

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and share all that we've learned, but I'm also working with, with young people.

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I, um, I have a client whose son is a lacrosse champion, but he's got big

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injuries and he's applying to colleges.

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And so he needs to go out and perform and get into colleges and

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do these athletic performances.

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So he gets his scholarships and goes forward and so on.

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And he's, I'm sure he's one of many, many young people who is moving forward in

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this, in these young, beautiful bodies.

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That they want to, and they're living these incredibly healthy lives and

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they want to perform beautifully.

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And this is a great opportunity for us to both share all of the

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spiritual wisdom and the medical wisdom, and to also then engage this

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whole new group of young people and what this medicine can do for them.

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Yeah, I think I'm hearing a theme here and you know, one of the ways

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that we can go about this as we try to break into the big leagues, right.

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And it, and there's always a big buzz, right?

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Whenever, oh, look, someone in the NFL got acupuncture and all, you know,

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Facebook goes crazy with acupuncture is going hurt, you know, hooray for us.

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Right.

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And.

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Yeah.

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And in a way, yeah, hooray for us, you know, it's like, uh, the swimmer, you

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know, with the cupping and I don't know about you guys, but I, you know, I get

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calls from tourists basically, who, you know, wanted to try it cause he did, but

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that's not the same as a kid who comes in.

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I see some kids that are athletes as well.

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Um, and the same sort of thing they're transitioning from high school

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to college and kids had a really good, already have injuries, right?

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It goes with the territory and these kids are perhaps.

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On a body that's going to work to get them through college.

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Talk about stress.

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Oh my God.

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Right?

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So like you were saying that if we can be in the high schools, if these, you know,

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if these kids come to us and they go, wow, the acupuncture has really helped me.

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They're going to be the ones that maybe talk to their team later.

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Right?

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The next generation.

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Oh, absolutely.

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Yeah.

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Please.

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Um, actually did want to address something about that.

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We've been talking about working with professional athletes in prominent sports

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teams, and I have done my fair share of that, um, and been an athlete myself,

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but I've always felt that athletes are people and the beauty of having an

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athlete come in for this integrative type of treatment is treating them.

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Integratively mind, body, soul.

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And so, because every athlete I have ever treated.

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Um, earlier Matt and others were talking about their Shen being clear, but most

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athletes have some kind of emotional component as well because they're

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human beings and under a lot of stress.

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So to give them that.

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Comfortable safe place to be able to treated holistically mind.

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Body spirit really opens them up to a life of better health.

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And I've always felt working with athletes.

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It's about improving their health bottom line.

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That's going to make them the best athlete they can be.

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And I think we have those tools to best serve.

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And, uh, that's what I'd personally like to grow in this, starting at the

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young age with the younger athletes, because that's where it starts.

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I like what you just said.

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It was, athletes are just people and my same athletes are superstars.

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We all talk to them, but we all see them in the media, but

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they're just normal people.

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And definitely acupuncture has something to help them be their better self.

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The common person as well.

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We, we have the tools and the knowledge not to just fix their problem, but really

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opened the door to their best self.

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They can be at that moment.

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And, uh, yeah, that's a powerful tool that should be spread out more, I think.

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Um, so he just made a connection for me.

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I have my practice.

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Has I live very close?

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I mean, one of my clinics is very close to spirit rock, so there are.

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Spiritual athletes who come to see me, if you will.

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I mean, people who are just at such high levels of spiritual development,

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it really, it blows me away, the conversations and the interactions

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we have in the clinic sometimes.

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And, um, and I really feel that athletes.

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That is their spiritual journey.

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And I think that that is part of why this medicine is so powerful for them,

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because we're really acknowledging and tapping into that and creating a space

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for that, that then may or may not have been able to articulate for themselves.

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And that may or may not be accepted in the culture in the athletic culture.

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Um, because if anything, that's very body, body.

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I mean, it's, you know, we talk about body mind, but, but it's very body body,

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and it's sort of the opposite of your scholars who are always in their head

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and they plopped down on your table.

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And you wonder how.

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They do that in bed with their head at some cockeyed, if you have to rearrange

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them completely because the pillows are making them all crooked and you

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wonder, are they in that body at all?

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And athletes are just exactly the other side of that.

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Um, but, uh, but there's a huge power and, and really bringing that whole body spirit

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together and making that place for them.

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And I think that that's a really special thing that we have with the acupuncture.

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I'm thinking about a, a incredible opportunity.

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I had recently, I got a ticket to hear a, uh, Virtru a virtuoso violinist age, 22.

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Amazing.

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I have never been in a room where there was just a violin and a

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piano and a times just a violin.

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I mean, this is, this is the kind of character that we're talking

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about and the music was amazing.

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And then, because life is just the way it is.

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And through connections that I had with friends the next day, I was invited to

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come and talk with this person about.

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Um, their health, they had some questions.

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That's why I had a chance to look at their tongue and feel their pulse.

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And then we got to talk a bit and because I had had the opportunity

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to be in her music, right?

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So I'm thinking musicians and athletes, not so different, right?

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These are people with incredible spirit that drives them to where

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they are and physically they have to be incredibly robot.

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So we can look at the physical performance.

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We can look at, you know, helping people recover and keep their bodies strong.

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The thing that I came away with.

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From this recent encounter, was that with certain kinds of people that are

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there, that are just the kind of people that are at these levels, there is

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an element of their spirit that has gotten them to this place that keeps

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them in this place that gives them the motivation that allows them to practice,

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to train, to do all the things they do.

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And so when we think about mind, body spirit, we really have an

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opportunity to learn something.

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From the athletes from the musicians, from the artists, from the people

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that are really inhabiting that spirit aspect of themselves, because they'll

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come in and teach you a whole lot simply by being in their presence.

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That makes me think of another important role we can embrace,

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which is the aging athlete.

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Um, because when we go for most of us, we don't stay at a high level forever.

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And when we start making that shift, Not able to do as much as we once were able to

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something else needs to be strengthened.

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So already having exposure to mind, body spirit therapies is helpful.

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And I think perhaps more emphasis on that as well.

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Again, because athletes are multifaceted as any human, as any being is.

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Um, so while the sports acupuncture is very rooted in.

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Very precise, musculoskeletal.

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I think we, we really have a wonderful opportunity for the aging athlete as well.

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Aging, musician, aging, anything, anyone that's been a super-low active

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in their field because it's hard going from one mindset to another.

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I really want a second that I have quite a few people in my life and

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in my practice who are in their seventies, eighties and nineties,

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and these are very vibrant years.

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And, um, and we can't, I think that that could be that lure of the

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professional athlete is out there.

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It, it, I have to say it's not my biggest alert, but, um, because, because

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that's just a period in our life.

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Also, most people are not professional athletes for their entire life.

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A few people who've transcended those barriers, but, um, yeah.

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And, and, and a healthy aging.

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I mean, I, I don't, I don't want to die in pain and decrepit and with a

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lost mind, I wanna die fully conscious in a body that isn't doesn't feel like

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it's, it just dissolves naturally.

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And I don't think.

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That happens to most of us, unless we make some conscious

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decisions about our self care.

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Well, somebody was talking earlier this evening about this

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sports acupuncture Alliance.

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It's an Alliance it's and it's really different groups of people

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having conversations like this.

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Right.

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I mean, we just happen to run into each other as we thought were

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going out the door, but we actually sat down for this conversation.

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So, you know, those of you that are listening to.

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Notice the like-minded people around you notice the people

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that you're working with.

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Notice the people that you're lit up.

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You've got this common interest, have these kinds of conversations, because

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this is, this is what makes an Alliance.

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And this is what makes us all better at what we do.

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Right.

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We come together.

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We've got so much to share with each other.

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Um, I, I love technology, you know, an online training is kind of cool

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because, you know, I can be at home, but it's nothing like coming in and

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bumping up against other people.

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I mean, there's really nothing like it.

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It's so worth it to get on an airplane and, and be able to have

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these kinds of opportunities.

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So, um, any closing remarks from the rest of you?

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I would like to say, thank you.

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Making this happen and I'm igniting us all a little bit

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more than we, we made it happen.

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Thank, thank you to all of us for making it happen.

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And I wholeheartedly agree one-on-one or multi being connected in person is

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something I would like us to globally community come back to a little bit more.

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Technology has its place in it is fabulous, but.

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Healing is from the heart and that can happen through the waves and so forth.

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But I think it's important that we connect that we take the time to

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connect personally on a soul level.

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I think connection is a keyword here, uh, in healing and in human life in general.

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Our profession makes it so that we're often isolated within our clinic.

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And, uh, we're not in contact with other like-minded practitioners.

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And I think our perception of reality, sometimes we just diverged a little bit.

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So at Q1, everybody actually lives a similar reality, but we

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think they're different because we only see them from a distance.

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So I think disconnection is super.

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And, uh, yeah, I'm very glad for this opportunity to be here and this weekend

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and here right now, around a stable, um, I'm a young Ethicon acupuncturist, so

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it's been only two years now I practice.

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So thank you.

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Uh, you, you share very powerful message for a young acupuncturist to see that, you

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know, you have so much experience since you want to, um, It's very important.

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And that's why we came to Montreal to hear, you know, to,

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uh, participate in exchange.

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I'm a little bit shy, but I do my best, you know, to, to learn a lot.

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