Have You Been Hibernating?

It was a cold day – below zero first thing in the morning and in the single digits later in the day. The sun was stubbornly hiding behind a dense layer of low hanging, steely-grey clouds. I painfully pulled myself out of bed and made it out of the house to each of my commitments that day, but not without a struggle and a grumble all day long.

“What am I doing out and about?!” my body screamed at me – “This is the time for hibernation! Go back to bed already!” I laughed it off and continued on with my day with a light hearted grumpiness.

But that part of me had a point.

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The Oath of the Acupuncturist

As a graduate of the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture,
as a practitioner and ongoing student of this medicine,
as modeled by my teachers and mentors,

I promise to follow the way of the great physician.
I will serve to live in harmony with nature and
teach my patients to do the same.

I will stay calm and completely committed while treating.
I will not give way to personal wishes and desires,
but above all else hold and nurture a deep feeling of compassion.

I will be devoted to the task of seeing people
not only as they present themselves in illness,
but as they would be in perfect health and balance.

The goal of my treatments will be helping people live
in full discovery of their true nature,
unique in body, mind, and spirit.

I will cultivate the virtues of the Five Elements:
benevolence, propriety, integrity, appreciation, and wisdom.

I will strive to maintain a clear mind and be willing
to hold myself to the highest standards.

I will not be boastful about my skills and
not driven by greed for material things.

Above all, I will keep an open heart.
As I move on the right path,
I will look forward to great happiness as my reward.

(adapted from The Great Physician by Sun Simiao 581-682)