TCM: Confidence

IMG Credit: Michael B Jordan

IMG Credit: Michael B Jordan

Confidence.  Where does it come from?  Maybe a more important question is where is it found in the clinic setting?  I believe there are three keys to confidence and they all feed back into each other.  Whenever I feel my clinic is low on numbers, or patients just aren’t improving as much as I think they should, I point the finger right back at myself - even after all these years.

As I outline in my digital download Better Bedside Manner for a Better Business, attitude is everything.  I wave and smile to everyone.  Nod my head when passing a stranger in the street.  I get asked how many smiles and waves are reciprocated: not many.  But that’s not the point.

When a patient meets me for the first time, I must quickly figure out where their energy lies and give them back the same amount, plus a few notches higher. If a patient is really low, it’s likely not a good idea to be too bubbly.  The same idea applies to someone who is mourning.  However, being an uplifting human trying to deliver a positive experience is what I am all about, so I look inside and picture how I think the patient would want to see me.

In the clinic, we must, must, must keep our energy in check.  It must be something someone would want to come back for, even if acupuncture wasn’t involved.  This not only is for the patient.  The feedback loop that is sent to us increases our own energy and wellbeing.  When we directly affect our patient with only our smile, tone, and body language, this brings us confidence to face any life situation with a similar attitude.

When we go to Chinese medicine school we meet our instructors and hang off every word.  We put our faith and trust in them - for they are the vehicle by which the medicine is transmitted.  Sometimes this faith and trust is broken.  Sometimes we feel we are lacking in a certain area.  While nobody is infallible, I do believe that we are all responsible for our own learning to some extent.

My goal for creating online learning tools and digital downloads was borne out of wanting others to feel confident in what they’ve learned.  If we feel a lack of what we’ve been taught then this will feed back into the clinic setting in a negative way.  I want to show everyone that they know what I know and I get results.  I want to show everyone they can put trust in the skills they were taught.  Everyone has the ability to close those gaps they feel they have.  Everyone gets 409 standardized acupoints to use.

The last piece of the puzzle, and what a positive attitude added to a trust in skills equals, is, ultimately, trust in oneself.

This is built up over time.  This is a process of becoming.  The trust in oneself is a culmination of projecting an uplifting persona and refining one’s skills.  The definition of Kung-Fu is a skill attained through hard work over a long period of time.  And the reward is the ability to have trust in oneself - to know how oneself will act in repeated situations.

First it is the physical that we become proficient in treating.  Back pain, headaches and Bell's Palsy become old hat.  Then, mental-emotional concerns become mastered.  Managing patient's emotional well-being within the patient-practitioner interactions become an art unto itself.  And, finally, a practitioner is able to let go and flow without effort between diagnostics, treatment, and conversations deep or small.

Confidence comes from a positive attitude influencing the treatment outcome.

Confidence comes from experiencing the right result for the practitioner over and over influencing the attitude.

Confidence comes from a mastery of acupuncture and conversation skills influencing the attitude and treatment outcome.

Wu Wei

Kenton Sefcik