Our Great Pioneers
Recently it was hard not to notice the multiple articles in many major newspapers and magazines indicating that acupuncture has become a household word. These articles suggest that many physicians who used to be antagonistic to alternative medicine in general and acupuncture in particular are now voluntarily referring their patients for acupuncture treatment. No doubt, this is fascinating and amazing. It is also exciting to think about the reason behind this transformation. It is because of a group of dedicated physicians who pioneered the venture into this new field with a burning desire to give their patients the best of two worlds. In the process, they fought multitudes of criticism and even persecution at times. Relentlessly, they continued their magnificent work and efforts with a great attitude until they succeeded in making acupuncture treatment acceptable by both physicians and the public.
And what an attitude! As a matter of fact, motivating oneself and motivating others begins with attitude. Motivation is not something that occurs outside of ourselves; it is not something that happens to others. Motivation of self and others begins from the same spark, the same flame, the same raging fire that creates success in school, success in relationships, and success at work. There is nothing anybody can do if that spark isn't there – somewhere there – first. All anyone can really do is blow on that spark.
That spark is, indeed, attitude – and I want you all to know that it is great to belong to such a wonderful group of professionals who already have the spark, if not the raging fire. No one else could really have done it except you.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to many of us, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. It is well known that it is impossible to change many things in life. For example, we cannot change the inevitable; the only thing we can do is play on the one string we have – and that is our attitude.
With the current political atmosphere and the unprecedented changes in the medical profession, we as physicians and as medical acupuncturists may have a rocky road ahead. However, with this unique attitude that we proved we possess, I believe that we can conquer these difficulties. Our noble cause sets us apart from the rest of the medical profession; we focus on the best interest of our patients by providing them more curative and safer approaches to medical illnesses. We not only face the critique, ridicule, and attacks from the hardliners, but we also face the same dilemmas shared with the rest of the medical profession: higher costs, skyrocketing insurance premiums, and ever plummeting insurance reimbursement. Despite all these difficulties, we never succumbed to these pressures and continued to serve the best interest of our patients.
We are determined to continue our quest and carry the torch of the finest medical practice, the best in medical acupuncture education and research. I say it boldly: it is a privilege to belong to such a distinguished group of professionals. The future of medical acupuncture depends heavily on us and I believe it is safe.
I conclude with the following interesting story: "In ancient times, there was a philosopher who had many disciples. One day, a cynical young man decided to humiliate him by asking him a question he couldn't possibly answer correctly. The cynic put a recently hatched chick in the palm of his hand and asked the philosopher, in front of a large audience, whether what he had in his hand was dead or alive. His intention, if the philosopher said "alive," was to crush the chick to death and show the master to be wrong. If the philosopher said "dead," then he planned to let the chick live to prove the great man wrong. In response to the question, the philosopher looked the cynic in the eye, smiled, and calmly replied, "The answer, my son, lies in your hands."
The same could apply to us. The future of medical acupuncture lies in our hands. Our continued efforts over the next few years will determine how this art of healing – as we know it today – continues to live strong, thrive, and become more popular as we continue to gain the confidence of our public.
-- Nader Soliman, MD, FAAMA
President, American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA)
GUEST EDITOR INFORMATION
Dr Nader Soliman is Director of the Washington Alternative Medicine and Integrated Pain Management Center in Rockville, Maryland. In addition, he is president of Integrated Medicine Seminars. Currently, Dr Soliman is also president of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA).
Nader E. Soliman, MD, FAAMA
1501 Shady Grove Rd, #100
Rockville, MD 20850