Open Letter To The Folks I’ve Treated In The Last 2 Years

Thanks for telling me where it hurts. Thanks for keeping your skepticism about acupuncture intact until you feel the proof in your own body. Thanks for your WTF face as you suddenly raise your arm over your head for the first time in 6 months.

Thanks for sleeping through sirens, loud delivery people, dueling mastadons aka garbage trucks in the back parking lot, and the #99 bus when it stops right outside the clinic and rattles every pane of glass in this elderly building. Thanks for creating a bubble of peace for me to work within. You have no idea how much I relied on it to carry me.

Thanks for believing me when I say “Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better – our teacher says 'Any change is a good thing!'” Thanks for continuing to come for acupuncture, for giving it a chance to work.

Thanks for coming for treatment throughout your pregnancy. Thanks for telling me how active the little one gets when the needles go in. Thanks for calling to let us know that the labour went well and that everyone's exhausted, healthy and happy. Thanks for inviting me to the wake when your babe was stillborn, for hugging me while I sobbed about that.

Thanks for bringing your partner, your friends, your children, your parents, your cousins, your coworkers, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles for acupuncture. Thanks for getting excited about Bring-a-Friend-for-Free days, for spreading the word about Poke and making our lack of attention to advertising a non-issue.

Thanks for the incredible learning curve. Thanks for the opportunity to try out Dr Tan's latest gems, right away, each time I return from studying with my teacher. Thanks for showing me that I can treat pretty much anything that you throw at me. Thanks for coming in on time, every 10 minutes, and making my work day flow so smoothly I'm mildly surprised to notice my shift is over. Thanks for arriving five of you at once, and showing me that I can handle that just fine. Thanks for helping me develop enough confidence to open a Poke Community Acupuncture on the other side of the country (and come see me in Guelph if you're there.)

Thanks for coming in grumpy and out-of-sorts and leaving lightened and smiling. Thanks for teaching me, a hundred times over, that someone who seems “grumpy and out-of-sorts” is just in some kind of pain. Thanks for helping me develop in patience, curiousity and kindness.

Thanks for not putting me on a pedestal. Thanks for not batting an eye when I'm having a good cry in a recliner during someone else's shift, thanks for healing alongside me. Thanks for booking in with the other 'punks when I'm away at a poetry festival. Thanks for continuing to make community qi in here long after I leave. Most of all, thanks for teaching me about dignity and resiliency, for reminding me again and again and again how much better we can be when we're together.

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