Among the keys to
the success of any organized structure—whether it’s an association,
corporation, or even a club—is communication between its members. The old
cliché about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link applies to the
concept of information sharing. Without it, the organization suffers at the
precise point where communication stops.
This is the first
in a series of newsletters designed to communicate to and with you and
others on matters of importance to your profession. The purpose of this missive
is to discuss information, advancement and yes, even problems, openly, through
communications. To quote an unknown author, "Sunlight is the greatest elixir.”
In this case, s/he was referring to benefits of transparency, the panacea that
leads to the success of all organizations.
In my short
tenure as your new executive director, I’ve become increasingly aware that
while acupuncture and Oriental medicine is a valuable science whose benefit to
millions has been recognized for centuries, it also presents an interesting
As you well know,
acupuncture is around 3,000 years old, based on the carbon dating of turtle
carapaces carved by the Chinese in order to record their knowledge before
inventing paper around 100 BCE.
The science may be even older than we realized. Ötzi the
iceman, found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, reportedly had acupuncture
tattoos on his body that corresponded to points that would be placed to aid
And yet, even
here in the west, where acupuncture has been known for hundreds of years,
(Benjamin Franklin received acupuncture treatments in the 1700s), the question
remains "Why is this centuries-old eastern science still not universally
combined with western medicine (the dichotomy I mentioned earlier)?"
In part, the
answer lies in communication. Those who revere acupuncture and who already know
its benefits must do a better job communicating its values to those who’ve
yet to realize the lengthy list of maladies this science helps and heals.
This is where the
AAAOM comes in. One of our most important goals—to educate consumers,
policymakers and insurers of the benefits of acupuncture—is definitely
achievable. However, it takes communication, and much of it. We have a much
stronger base of supporters than even we
realize: those who depend on acupuncture to assist with their healthcare;
physicians and healthcare professionals who already know the benefits of
eastern medicine, and even some policymakers who, either personally or through
family members, are proponents of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. Added to
this is our never-ending need to partner with other organizations. This, too,
can only be achieved through communication. We must continually communicate
with them and with each other in order to achieve our goals.
I look forward to
communicating with you and I hope you’ll communicate back to me so that
together we can make the AAAOM’s voice even stronger than it is.