Over 15 years ago, we were a couple of practitioners and TCM students (on the verge of finishing their studies) at a school for TCM in Basel about to close its doors. 6 of us were offered the practice. We chose to accept but we had to move fast; to find a new building, sign a contract for the space, organize moving, set up of the new practice and set up an organizational structure. We spent about 2 months doing this, with meetings almost every evening after work/school. This was the end of 2007, my eldest son was just over a year old, so most meetings would happen at my house with dinner, that I cooked for everyone, since it was my day home and I had time, as well as I could put my son to bed after/during dinner. We would then continue on with discussions till late into the evening. By February 2008, we were ready to open our doors on Falknerstrasse 4. However, evening meetings continued on and still does, just not as often as then. In this same year, my second son was born. So for me personally, ICM is almost like a third child, which needs constant care and nourishment, but also provides joy and sustenance.
One of the challenges for us at that time was the business structure. All 6 of us had this plan of a Healing community; ICM would be a place to support people-patients in their Healing, students of Chinese Medicine on their journey to becoming practitioners and provide a nourishing space to grow for our fellow practitioners as they helped others in their health. One could say we were, maybe still are, idealistic in a world where economics, power and dominance are the predominant doctrines for many organizations. We found this out when we had an idea to utilize an uncommonly-used business structure, a non-profit organization, like "Verein" or "Genossenschaft" in German, for our clinic. We realized the bank and the property management company didn't want to work with us if we chose this structure, I imagine as they did not think we were a "serious" organization if we didn't focus on profit. Thus, we were "forced" into making a limited company. We, as Healers, want to make a living, yet for us profit is not our central goal. Our main focus is to provide personalized care for each individual person, who comes to us, utilizing Chinese Medicine or other Healing modalities as a base, with an understanding of Western Medicine. Thus, empowering each individual to make healthy choices for her/his own life.
15 years down the line, we are now 4 founding members still managing ICM. I imagine some of the ideas we shared at the beginning changed for some of the others; therefore, they moved on to other projects. As we are a community of Healers, many things get discussed as a group. This often takes time and effort, can be frustrating at times, as things don't move as fast as it could, like in a one-person-show. Being community-minded, we support other Healers in their practice of Chinese Medicine and Healing; we are now 6 practitioners of Chinese Medicine and a Physiotherapist-Psychologist, who also teaches Qi Gong and Tai Ji Quan courses (one of the pillars of Chinese Medicine). We also have a collaboration with an Osteopath, who works a few days a week at ICM, and we are open to collaborating with more practitioners of other Healing modalities.
After a decade and a half, our aspiration for ICM is that it will continue providing care and a safe space for Healing in Basel for generations to come.
Image by Elaine