“Using the right tool for the job” may come off as rather clichéd, but it's true nonetheless. Knowing our tools, and that includes our theory, methods and skills is incredibly important. Our tools don't inherently make us better at our craft, but rather facilitate our capacity to help our patients.
Producing our best work as practitioners isn’t about the tools themselves, but rather how we use them and knowing when to use a particular tool. It's about finding what's suitable for a particular conversation – i.e., the relationship between the tool, the practitioner, and the patient.
In this conversation with Mark Parzynski, he shares the concepts and technicalities behind crafting masterful tools for acupuncturists and massage therapists—including the Teishin and Gua Sha tool. We also talk about intention, leaning on the teachings of the Ling Shu, the need to share our knowledge, the importance of simplification, and making room for new ideas in our practice.
Listen into this discussion on tools of the trade, the artistry and technical subtleties behind crafting them, having the right tools for the job, and utilizing them in clinical settings.
In This Conversation We Discuss:
- Mark's journey into Oriental medicine: A curiosity to explore Qi, borne out of personal experiences.
- Nurturing a culture of sharing knowledge.
- An intimate relationship with Spleen 6 (SP 6) acupuncture point.
- Tracking the “Arrival of Qi” (De Qi) – drawing on the teachings of the Ling Shu.
- Interpreting the concept of intention.
- The wisdom that lies in simplification.
- Having the right tools for the job.
- Refining the design and material of the Gua Sha – A peek into the mind of an “acuartist.”
- Thoughts on the different metals, and properly utilizing them in the clinic
- The artistry and technical nuances of crafting a masterful Teishin – “The Teishin needs to match the style you're using.”
- Making room for new ideas and techniques – “Practice what you don't know how to do.”
- Seeking to understand the “why” and the “how” as catalysts of making progress in anything.
- Mark's advice for Chinese medicine graduates
Before you insert a needle, know what change you are trying to make. Be clear in your intention and honest about the results.
Mark Parzynski, DAOM, is a licensed acupuncturist and a faculty member at OCOM. Drawing from his studies in the United States, Japan, and China, he incorporates a wide range of unique therapeutic approaches to create effective customized treatment plans for the individual.
With an undergraduate degree in fine arts focusing on silversmithing, Mark made his first teishin while attending acupuncture school. What started as a desire to create a perfect and effective tool for himself ended up being a creative adventure that continues to this day. For over a decade, Mark has made tools for practitioners worldwide, including some of Japan’s great masters.
Chinese internal martial arts are a vital component of Mark’s acupuncture practice and an integral part of his life. He was a senior student of the late Sifu Gregory Fong and currently teaches Taiji Quan and Yi Quan in Portland, Oregon.