I’ve been spending some time lately reading various acupuncture blogs, news lists, and forums. (Do you do that too?) There’s lots of great information out there and much to be learned. As you might guess, posts about technology in acupuncture always catch my eye and I especially like to see how other practitioners integrate technology into their acupuncture practices.
After years of watching this topic, I’ve noticed that opinions really fall into three categories. But I’ve also noticed a certain trend about these categories you might find interesting. Of course, this is completely non-scientific and really just my opinion, but I want to know what you think.
So here are the opinion groups:
1. Acupuncture and technology should NEVER mix. These are the purists who not only disagree with the use of modern tools but often are actually offended that such tools even exist. “The ancient Chinese had only pulses and needles, and doggone it, that’s all I need.” (I never mention to them that those needles were stone, and now we use stainless steel. I don’t want to start a fight.) Believe it or not, this attitude is often prevalent among students–I’m guessing because they are so steeped in the basics they’re learning in school. Regardless, this is a group I find perplexing because they embrace technology in all other areas of life. I mostly just consider them devoted, but misguided.
2. Acupuncture tools are really just Toys. This group accepts the “gadgets” as they call them, but only as show and tell items to impress patients. All the serious work is still done with pulse, tongue, and books. Having a few gadgets may help out now and then, and they’re OK to play with, but that’s not real acupuncture. This group gets my attention for two reasons. First, the “gadgets” cost the same whether you treat them as toys or tools. And second, this group tends to like the gadgets and buy more of them, all the while considering them not serious parts of practice. Some of our customers fall into this category.
3. Acupuncture is enhanced by modern technology. This group buys and uses the “gadgets” as tools–making them an integral and important part of practice. This group tends to appreciate and understand the ancient wisdom, but also recognizes the value of modern technology in guiding treatment decisions and making important information more accessible. And this group tends to have a very broad scope of practice to match their broad-minded approach to healthcare.
I’ve Noticed a Trend:
I’ve noticed that the Group 1 people tend to struggle financially, the Group 2 folks do OK, and the Group 3’s tend to do quite well. Of course, there are exceptions, but overall I see this as a solid trend.
Now here’s my question. It’s a chicken and egg sort of thing.
Are the Group 3 people more successful because they use technology, or do they use technology because they’re more successful?
Please comment below with your thoughts!
I really want to know, and I think we can all learn from each other.