By Nancy Cohn Morgan, L.Ac.
I was called to the study of acupuncture in January 1984. It actually wasn’t even in my conscious mind to study acupuncture, but after retuning from the Peace Corps I wondered what to do next with a degree in psychology. I was conflicted between going on to get teaching credentials or to pursue a nursing program to which I had recently been accepted. A friend had suggested that I go see a Psychic. On a whim I went and while there she had told me there was a third choice that I had not even been aware of and that was acupuncture. As soon as she said that I knew that was my path. By June of that year I was enrolled at the California Acupuncture College in San Diego. Since then there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I have not felt gratitude and been humbled to have had the opportunity to study and practice this form of healing. When I was back in school first at the California Acupuncture College and then at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine I remember sitting in class and discussing with my classmates what it would be like after 20 years of practicing acupuncture? I also remember my teacher Alex Tiberi saying that each patient teaches you Traditional Chinese Medicine all over again. So what have I learned after 20+ years of practice? I have come to know that one does not need to speak Chinese to be an effective practitioner. I think the single most important thing that I know is that it works. Still after 20+ years I can not explain to patients exactly how it works. Sure I can give them the Balancing energy in the Meridians theory or the Western theory of how it stimulates certain areas of the brain and that some studies have shown that the analgesic effect is from the release of endorphins in the brain.
One does not need to believe in acupuncture to experience that it truly does work. I have treated people from all walks of life - old, young, world class athletes, weekend warriors, the disabled, pregnant women, Vietnam Veterans, drug addicts, the dying, and the drying’s loved ones left behind to carry on, the Evangelical Right to the Liberal progressive. Some come wanting to believe that it is going to work; others come as skeptics. And what exactly does it do that I can so unequivocally say it works? Does it cure that woman’s, worn out knee or repair that torn tendon? Does it cure cancer and give that dying person another chance? Does it make the disabled able again? Does it free the drug addict from his addiction? No, it does not do any of these things. I think the one most powerful effect of acupuncture that I have witnessed it do in all patients is the calm and peacefulness that people experience from it and in this stressful, uncertain world, that is enough. I think that when people can relax and let go of what ever they are holding on to, be it stress, tension, pain, emotion, a problem, a diagnosis, then the healing begins. If our world leaders received acupuncture regularly maybe there would not be so much unrest in the world. And so my answer to World Peace is Acupuncture.