Intention (and how it relates to acupuncture)


I hope this finds you well.

My name is Austin Homrighaus, and I practice acupuncture.

I opened my clinical practice, Lake Erie Acupuncture, in Willoughby in May 2011, and I am a consultant for Enlightened Health Management, a pain management clinic with offices in Willoughby and Youngstown, and Great Lakes Health Institute, an integrative, holistic, patient-centered medical office in Lyndhurst.

Today I want to write a bit about intention, as I believe it is an important aspect of acupuncture (at least how I practice it).

Intention is the thought, aim, or purpose behind words or deeds, a guiding of one's doings with an underlying principle.

It is the intention of this blog, for example, to offer its readers new perspectives and possibilities in regards to living, being, and feeling well. I will be posting entries several times a week relating to everything from how to source locally-grown food, to ways in which one can live in harmony with the seasons. I will be posting entries that educate the public about what acupuncture is, how it works (or better put, how I think it works), and how it can serve them.

It is my intention as a practitioner of acupuncture to serve my patients needs as best I can at the present moment. What does this mean? By having the intention of being truly present in the moment with another human being, I am able to develop a greater sense of what that best service would be. I have no preconceived notions. I am open to things arising as they do. I experience this sense in many ways that I learned through rigor in school: with my senses, through touch, and other specific diagnostic methods, such as taking pulses or palpitating the abdomen. I can check in on what it is I'm sensing with the patient and engage them in the process. I can offer, through words, through touch, through moxa and needles, what is needed in the moment.

Acupuncture is very personal medicine, unique to each person and our interactions. I'll give you an example. A woman comes to see me because she has migraine headaches. From the moment she enters my office, I am engaged in observation. What do I hear? What do I see? What do I feel in her presence? I ask her questions and make sure that I'm correctly understanding her answers. I get to know her, through our interactions, and get a sense of who she is and how I can help. We may discover that her headaches are tied to her menstrual cycle or how she is handling the stress and responsibility of taking care of her elderly mother during a health crisis. How I help her with her headaches is not necessarily the same way I would help another person with their headaches.

I find myself wanting to write more, but it is also my intention to keep these posts digestible, so I'm going to stop here for now. I'll just offer this--if you have questions, please ask, either as comments to this post or private emails. I'll do my best to answer.

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