So work wise, 2013 has so far been dire. Not many patients have come through my door at all. It makes me laugh and cry a little inside when people talk about how the worst is behind us, economically speaking. I fear the worst is yet to come. Ordinary people, those with crippling negative equity and with small mouths to feed, are being squeezed again and again by a government that only manages to impress in one foul way-its blatant disregard for the hard working honest man or woman it continues to abuse.
Hence once the increased car tax, health insurance, house insurance, grocery bill, mortgage ( and let’s not forget the impending property tax and water charges) have been deducted from the dwindling pay packet there’s not much extra left over at the end of the month for luxury services like acupuncture. I firmly believe that acupuncture with its emphasis on treating the root of the problem rather than simply addressing its symptoms a la Western medicine is what makes it far superior to its mainstream counterpart in combating many, but obviously not all, aches and pains.
Not everyone feels the same way and why should they when they have been raised in Western society with only a doctor available in the role of healer. Thus part of my job is to educate people, to answer any queries they may have about acupuncture and see if it is right for them as it’s not for everyone. As such I used to many enquiries about my services by phone and text, which usually spike just after I have run an advertisement.
One such spike in enquiries occurred this morning just after my most recent advertising endeavour. The ad in question was published in this week’s Galway Independent,in the Classifieds section under Health & Beauty so it has been in circulation now for approximately 6 hours. In that time I have received 4 phone calls and 2 enquiries by text message. So what’s the issue I hear you ask? The issue is that those who have read the ad have decided that acupuncture is some kind of code word for ‘sexy time’. The first call was from an elderly gentleman who was wondering would acupuncture help with his cold feet. Cue me enquiring as to the nature of the problem as a good therapist does-was it the result of an injury?How long has this been going on for?How is his diet and lifestyle in general? The conversation proceeded in this vein for nearly ten minutes. He then began to enquire about my fee and location and then asked me a question which instantly set off alarm bells-
“Do I offer any extras?”
I played dumb-“Extras, sir?”
“Yes,” he replied, “Sex.”
I couldn’t believe he had just er, come out with it so to speak and mumbled a shocked, “I’m hanging up now, do not call again.”
The next call was from another elderly gentleman who didn’t waste quite so much time in getting to the reason he was calling-after the standard what are your fees/location questions, it was straight into “Would acupuncture help with ejaculation?”
The two texts, again from men, were a combination of an enquiry as to whether I offered a “naked massage?” -note there is no mention of massage in the advertisement- and a request from a charming individual called Ian to do acupuncture on his bum. This last one I have to admit caused a brief smile to flutter across my lips before the blood once again began to boil. It’s an advertisement in a newspaper, people!!One that offers acupuncture and reiki not happy endings!!! I am appaled to have been treated this way by perverted men who somehow think it is acceptable to treat a professional woman offering theraputic services by reducing her to little more than a whore.
Or is it my own fault for placing an ad in the Classified section? I know massages can have a different connotation for some twisted individuals but there is no mention of massage in my ad. It is obviously much cheaper to put an ad in the classifieds than to take out a placed advertisement in the main body of the newspaper. I don’t have a huge budget for my marketing and advertising. On the face of today’s “results” however , I’ll be avoiding the Classifieds section and advising other hard working female therapists to do likewise. Maybe I’ll get a legitimate enquiry from this ad but the abuse I’ve had to face is something no one should have to deal with in order to make a living.
Here is the infamous ad-thankfully I only paid for it to appear in this weeks edition. Looks pretty harmless, no?