The rare sight of me moving around early in the morning has been spotted this last week. I’m normally more of a night owl than an early bird but I’ve been asked if I can help man the shop run by the Tibetan Buddhists on the high street while Rinpoche is away. I am free most mornings and it is probably better promotional work for me to talk to people in the shop and meet the other therapists who drop in regularly than it is to be giving flyers to people who don’t know me so I’m quite happy to do it.
The real secret behind promoting yourself in a new areas seems to be to get known in a few places well. Every thousand flyers you distribute is probably only as good as one or two people that you can actually get to see or speak to regularly and answer their questions or discuss their doubts. I think it would be the same with the martial arts clubs if I could find some that I can do every week. A guy who turns up once no one will remember. The guy who is there every week and you know as a training partner is ideal to call on when an exercise hurts your back or sprains your ankle. I suppose it is just the same as I would be. If I knew an acupuncturist I’d probably book them at the first opportunity because the main awkward part, visiting someone you don’t know and explaining your background to them, is already out the way. There are also quite a few conditions that can respond to acupuncture that many people don’t seek treatment for because they don’t know it can help but when you see people regularly they inevitably eventually get around to discussing what you do and if they have thought about it before.
In other news my BAcC application creeps ever closer with references requested as well as some extra notes that I am gathering. I cannot wait for this to be over. It is extremely stressful having people looking at everything you do and knowing they have the power to make or break a career you have worked years to build and yet Chinese medicine, being a somewhat subjective and controversial discipline with some really quite strange people attracted to it, it is hard to know exactly what they are looking for or what they might fail you for, rather like the man in Kafka’s The Trial. What if the examiner just decides my qi feels bad? I have met people like that in acupuncture, it could happen. So I have a sense of dread every time I see a letter with their name on. Part of me wishes I could just have a doctor assess my needling skills and hygiene protocol then say “you are safe – the rest is art” but I guess having the big name on my cards would be a bonus worth jumping through a few extra hoops for.