The extraordinary situation

Is the Corona virus a black swan (an unexpected event that comes as a surprise and has a major effect)? No, it isn’t, it has long been predicted by the emerging infectious diseases field and is not the first of its kind. Nevertheless, the people, the economy, the logistics and our communities are in turmoil and suddenly there are new rules in place, our lives are regulated by the government, those policies are enforced by police and we are no longer allowed to do what we want. Except to stay home.

Opposite this surreal reality, we find money being handed out in extraordinary amounts by our government and we are asked to stay at home. Suddenly, we are in the same space as our families (children and pets included) and suddenly need to change our rhythm. Slowing down and staying put. And we experience ourselves being in the same boat as the entire planet.

All the questions you are asking yourself

I have been asking myself everyday: What will be coming out of this? I am naturally an optimist, so expect us to change and make a better planet, a better life for everyone as we transition out of the crisis into a new world. I know, not everyone thinks that way and there are many lessons for us to learn first.

What questions are you asking yourself? How can we save our clinic in times where we can’t meet our patients face to face anymore and there is strong and speedy run to telehealth consultations? What if you are an acupuncturist and perhaps don’t offer many other modalities, what are you going to do without acupuncture?

What if you are an herbalist but you always use the pulse as your first and primary indicator for prescribing your herbal formula?

Is telehealth really for you? How do you conduct your telehealth appointments? Does your personal indemnity insurance cover you for advising patients via the internet? Do you know how to handle personal information and data? What security and safety measurements do you have in place? What if you don’t like talking on the computer or have a natural aversion to IT equipment?

So many questions right now that will keep your mind occupied to a) your immediate actions to keep your job and b) what does this mean for the future. Not just for your future, but for the future of our community, industry, country, continent and planet.

How can be contribute to a better future?

It’s a good time to re-assess?

I can’t answer all the questions that bother you right now and I have seen platforms and organizations giving advice on how to conduct telehealth consultations. But sadly, this is not the only topic on the table right now. As an industry, we are strong but at present, we might be more disconnected than ever.

I feel this time is a great opportunity to re-asses where we are at with our lives and how we might incur change in our own families, environment, jobs and communities. This is a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with what we want for our future. Most colleagues I know want a more mature profession with respect and more intense collaboration. It’s easier said than done because there are still many mechanisms at work that we have to overcome. Essentially, it starts with the self.

We can’t expect anyone else to do the work for us, it’s us – you and me – who have to do it.

Communication and Marketing of your services to your patients

I have digressed as I wanted to talk more about the communication with our patients and prospective clients. How do you effectively convey messages (and what messages) to your patients? Do you have a database to send information to? As I am a big believer in change (which has suddenly been brought upon us), perhaps it’s a good time to question your patients about what they need.

Chinese medicine has been notoriously overlooked as a registered profession in Australia (and elsewhere) and suddenly, we are faced with reports coming out of China praising the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicines? Should we have anticipated that, knowing intimately that Chinese herbs are a powerful medicine for many conditions?

But wait, our global critics will not want us (and our herbs) to be popular, so they start to campaign against it. In the past few days, one good report has been destroyed by media picking up the voices of the critics and smashing the good.

I feel it’s a good time now to connect with our patients to find out what they need from us at this point of time, rather than pushing information down their throats. We can give them explanations about how we see a virus in the CM theory and how would approach at treatment, but perhaps this is not what they need right now. I don’t have the answer, I am thinking of ways on how we can stay connected with our patients and prospective clients.

A variety of platforms are available, you can simply call them, send them an email, an SMS or gather them on an online platform. This is a great opportunity to find new ways by receiving information from the horse’s mouth. Ask your patients first!

From here into the future

We are in a moment of great opportunity to make life better for all of us. And at the same time, make consciousness and well informed decisions about the future of our planet and communities.

To use the words of Prof. Yuval Noah Harari:
‘Humanity needs to make a choice. Will we travel down the route of disunity, or will we adopt the path of global solidarity? If we choose disunity, this will not only prolong the crisis, but will probably result in even worse catastrophes in the future. If we choose global solidarity, it will be a victory not only against the coronavirus, but against all future epidemics and crises that might assail humankind in the 21st century. “

You can read his article here.


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