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In my acupuncture Bethesda, Md., and northern Virginia acupuncture practice, I use a model of change that has been proven to be helpful with many of my clients who are looking to improve their health and level of wellness.  The following is an overview or an outline of the main points in the model.

— Awareness of a problem, a deficiency or lack, pain or conflict.

The status quo is unsettled.

— Preparation phase:
Gradually or suddenly come to the realization that something
needs to change, yet we cannot see the outcome.
Motivation is required — knowing we have the power to
change the status quo.
Conflicting motives arise, such as apathy or lack of direction.
Commitment is required — willingness to spend time, money, energy and effort.

— Exploration phase:
Exploring the sources and factors that maintain the problem.
Insights, inspiration, intuitions may emerge; meaning is uncovered.
Interplay between discoveries and reflection;
experimentation with the new ideas and behaviors.
Success in recognizing limiting patterns, not yet successful in
stopping patterns.
Working on aspects of self:

— Working through phase:
Further experimentation and work with restructuring of patterns.
Work on applying insights, learning to embody new patterns of behavior, feelings and thought.  As we attempt to let go of the familiar, habitual coping patterns that maintain the status quo surface.  Significant others may not be comfortable with our changes.
Letting go of the familiar.  Habitual coping patterns that maintain the status quo counter attempts to let go
of old habits.
Growing tension develops between the desire to change and the desire to stay the same.  Out of the conflict change occurs.  If successful, we are now more aware of the limiting patterns and can be successful in stopping them and trying something more adaptive.

— Elaboration and integration:
Successful and permanent change requires activity over a period of time, in different contexts and even under stress.
Changes have to be integrated into daily life.

— Context of conditions for change;
Supportive relationship(s).
Reducing inhibitors to change.

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. can be reached in his Bethesda, Md.,  northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. acupuncture office locations.