Let me tell you a story…
Twenty years ago, I pondered the idea of becoming an acupuncturist. I had 8 kids at the time. When I realized how long it would take me to get through school, I gasped and froze as I thought to myself: “I’ll be 40 years old when I graduate college.” In my mind, that was OLD. Could I really start college, get a Master’s degree in Chinese medicine, and begin a new career at the age of 40???
I discussed it with my husband and friends, all the while trying to get someone to jump on my bandwagon. “Forty is old, right? It’s probably not a good time to begin a new career, right?” I sat at an extended family dinner gathering and told them what was on my mind. My brother-in-law chimed in, giving the BEST advice ever.
I’ll never forget his words. He said: “What are you afraid of? Regardless of what you do, you are going to be 40 anyway. Why not go back to school? Why not get an education? Why not do something you are passionate about?”
It was at that moment that a lightbulb turned on. I made a decision to bravely walk into the next phase of my life with purpose. We told the kids… “Mom’s going back to school—and we are moving to San Diego, CA.”
About 20 years ago I began recognizing the value of looking at my life in 10 year chunks. Do you do that too?
Well, here we are—it’s 2020. It’s a new millennia AND the beginning of a new decade! I’ve done two of those 10 year chunks since then. So have you.
Can you believe it? Here’s something crazy… I’ve been working for Miridia Technology for 10 years! That’s a milestone.
The best way to learn the value of a 10 year chunk is to look back and reflect.
There we were… 10 Years Ago
Ten years ago, I sat with Dr. Larsen and completed my very FIRST yearly review with Miridia Technology. That first review was “the beginning” of the Kimberly you know now.
Here I sit 10 years later, feeling a bit nostalgic.
A lot has changed since that first review…
- I was a new practitioner with only a handful of patients. I was young, eager and excited to jump in with both feet. I had goals of creating a successful practice.
- I didn’t REALLY believe in AcuGraph (GASP!) yet.
- I thought the TCM I learned in college was the BEST way to do acupuncture.
- Needles and moxa were my only tools.
- My patient education consisted of teaching TCM concepts.
- It was my GOAL to teach the world how to think in terms of patterns and seasons.
At the end of my first year as an “Acupuncture Research Analyst,” the seeds for the new Kimberly were planted and beginning to grow. It was after that first review that I began writing. If you want to get a giggle, go back and read my very first blog post: AcuGraph: One Year Later.
My confidence with AcuGraph was just beginning. Dr. Larsen gave me a new challenge. I was asked to begin writing, sharing case studies and clinical insights. The thought of writing blog posts and teaching all of you terrified me! To be honest, I hated writing them because I didn’t feel confident.
And here we are… 10 Years Later
This year’s review was a bit different.
Can you believe it? I’ve been working for Miridia Technology for 10 years. That’s a BIG milestone. As Dr. Larsen and I sat to reminisce about this 10 year chunk, we both shed a few tears of gratitude. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel. A lot has happened since I joined the Miridia Technology team in 2009.
Ten Year Overview
The opportunities for personal and professional development I’ve experienced are immeasurable. If I were to make a “simple list” of some of the growth opportunities I’ve encountered since that first yearly review, it would look something like this.
- Writing many, many blog posts
- Hundreds of hours of continuing education
- Writing for Acupuncture Today
- AcuGraph development
- Auriculo 3D development
- Graph analysis
- Social media
- A book: Move Blood and Stop Pain
But by far, the best part of the last 10 years was getting to know all of you. I’ve traveled the world, met many of you face to face, and I’ve developed the most amazing relationships. YOU have helped me learn so much.
Of course, after discussing the past, Dr. Larsen asked me what I had learned since our last review. The year 2019 will go down in the books as a major milestone in my life-journey.
This is the year I became Dr. Kimberly Thompson.
I’m so glad to be DONE! It was a long and grueling journey. Along with my responsibilities at Miridia Technology, my family, and my personal clinic—I did a LOT of writing, studying, researching, analyzing, sitting, reading, and learning. And okay, yes… if I’m going to be REALLY honest, there was a fair bit of whining, crying and complaining in there too.
Here’s the condensed version of what I learned from the doctorate program. It’s important to share because it affects me and YOU.
First, I’ll tell you what I did NOT learn.
Believe it or not, I did not learn NEW acupuncture skills.
What I really learned in the doctorate program is how much the acupuncture world has changed since I became a practitioner and where it is going in the future.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) colleges have expanded their training. No longer are they emphasizing TCM as a stand alone medicine. We have changed from alternative to complementary medicine. Creating a complementary medicine standard of care allows for expansion and growth for the acupuncture field.
- Clinical research is key. We learned how to analyze current research related to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The next level involves creating more clinical research that fits the parameters of our medicine with the goal create more viable peer reviewed scientific evidence to create a standard for evidence-based acupuncture.
- Interprofesional relationships are necessary. Acupuncturists are being taught to hold onto the essence of TCM while learning to speak the language of Western medical doctors and western-minded patients. Communication is key. If we can communicate what we do in a language that others will understand, we can expand our areas of influence throughout the world.
By the time I reached the conclusion of my doctorate studies, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I recognized the importance of ‘my’ role in the future of OUR medicine.
I’m kind of already doing it. And guess what? YOU are already doing it too!
Do you recognize that you are a part of something REALLY big?
AcuGraph has paved the way.
- Research already exists (rydorakuresearch.com).
- We are already communicating with patients in Western terminology via the Report of Findings.
- Western doctors already love AcuGraph.
- Acugraph is the EASIEST way to explain our medicine in simple terms.
I tied nearly every paper I wrote in my doctorate program back to AcuGraph. I did demonstrations to prove how AcuGraph is viable a key component to any evidence-based modern acupuncture practice. And—proved that using AcuGraph as a communication tool to for interprofesional communication is an amazing way to generate referrals from your western medical colleagues.
We are all a part of something really BIG and amazing and important. Here is my projection…
“Evidence-Based Acupuncture—The Future is NOW!”
Mark my word, YOU are in a position, right now, to reap the benefits of the progress that is happening, and will continue, in our field of medicine.
My brother-in-law was right. One solid truth remains. The next ten year chunk is going to pass no matter what. If you own AcuGraph right now, you are in the perfect position to reap great rewards in the future. Are you ready to be a part of something big?
So What’s Next?
Once again, Dr. Larsen has challenged me with new responsibilities and opportunities for growth. This year I get a NEW job title and a NEW job description.
Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Technology Clinical Educator
I’m excited to help develop more opportunities for practitioner education. It is my goal to help YOU and many more acupuncturists around the world become more successful. Based on the wisdom of past experience, I’m predicting that a LOT is going to change in the next 10 years. I’m excited we have the opportunity to walk through it together.
Hold on for the ride. The world of acupuncture has changed…
To be an acupuncturist in this millennium, even this decade, is a privilege and an opportunity which those before us did not have. I hope you recognize the opportunities that are before you. Ten years is going to pass anyways. Why not do something amazing?
AcuGraph is the Key
If you’re not an AcuGraph User yet, that’s okay. But we’d sure love to welcome you into the family. AcuGraph is the key to an evidence-based practice that appeals to patients and Western medical doctors alike. You can learn more about AcuGraph by clicking here.
You’ll hear more from me soon….
P.S. Just in case you are wondering, I received my doctorate degree from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, which has recently changed its name to Pacific College of Health and Science. And yes. It was a great experience and I highly recommend it.
Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Technology Clinical Educator