Acupuncture Blog

Like A Bartender; Alexa Halsey is writing about acupuncture

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In addition to the terrific writing of MAS' own Elizabeth Ropp, POCA Tech's Lisa Rohleder and our own little Needles book, another colleague is currently offering topical writing we think is worth your time.

Alexa Halsey's Substack posts are short, thoughtful, insightful and honest.  Her care for the people whom she writes for comes shining through.  If you knew Alexa personally, this would come as no suprise.

We've reproduced one of our recent favorites here to share.


Like A Bartender

Dear Patient,

Sometimes I feel more like a bartender than an acupuncturist.

A bartender has their regulars. I do too.

A good bartender knows their customers’ preferences. I know who among my patients hates ear needles, or loves the point between the eyebrows, or always flinches when I needle the top of their foot, or probably will want two blankets.

A bartender never stops moving during a shift. Same.

A bartender has to wake up drunk people who have passed out on the bar. I have to wake up relaxed people who have blissed out in a chair.

When a customer comes in and pours their heart out, the bartender listens, reflects back, and offers the comfort of a cold beer or a shot of whiskey. I offer needles.

Years ago I realized my success as an acupuncturist was in no small part because I act more like a bartender than a doctor. It’s more comfortable for me this way—acting like a doctor felt inauthentic, like wearing an ill-fitting white lab coat. Now I’m just me, Alexa, your acupuncturist. I enjoy my work a lot more and I get better results.

It makes me wonder how many people out there in their working life are trying to play a role they aren’t suited for. Do you need to shed your ill-fitting white lab coat?

Love and gratitude,

Your Acupuncturist



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