We Are Not Invisible

Hello friends!

as we round towards the big day for the fpd, i have just wanted to thank you all so much for being part of this organization and for stepping up and speaking your hearts and making calls and writing letters.

by now, many of you may have begun to see why this really is a revolution. and why this network matters so much to all of us.

i’ve been down with an injury these last two weeks and it’s taken me away from the clinic which is hard! but given me some time to read and re-read: what’s class got to do with it, nickel and dimed, outliers, pearls before swine among other. and it’s got me feeling pretty soft and very grateful for so many things:

my life and health, my peeps!–family and friends, loved ones, my patients, my fabulous business partner and friend, YOU! and this organization and  this fellowship. i just think about how, without all of you, i would be an isolated, worried, confused and disappointed individual practitioner, with my soul searching for more. worried and disappointed at why this profession, based on Taosim and it’s many understandings of the macrocosm and microcosm, of our inter-relatedness, is instead focused on competition, status, secrecy and exclusion.

my soul would still be searching for more: a way to practice this amazing medicine that doesn’t make me more or less than any of my patients, that allows me to offer a skill in service of my community and be fairly compensated and feel integrated and useful. a place with colleagues where i can openly express my delight in choosing a profession where i get to be of service, talk about how doing this work actually helps people i know, people like me–working class, regular folks, how doing this work makes me be a better person, more fulfilled and realized. i’d be looking for a place to openly share information, support and learn from others in my field, find other like-minded souls that speak my language, that don’t think i’m crazy, that don’t think they can talk circles around the truth with some professional speak that they think we don’t see right through. it’s a classic power maneuver called crazy-making and without you all, it might be working. i would feel marginalized, insulted, undermined and ultimately invisible.

and i don’t.

i am humbled with gratitude for all that this network is in my life. for finding CA and it’s founders, who have created a way to practice this medicine that makes sense to me, that is the answer to so many struggles around class and access and what providing healthcare really means; for all the practical advice, freely given, to create a thriving community clinic; for the on-going support in every facet of it; for knowing i have a place to come that i can express the ideas and ideals that mean more to me than the hollow prestige and status that may be offered elsewhere; where i actually get to experience yin within yang and yang within yin, not one divorced form the other; where i get to be inspired and awed by your work and your words; where i get to laugh amidst the insanity.  

a place i can come and be absolutely myself


CAN is the place that i can show up, among peers and friends, where i am not invisible. and when we work together as a community, we break down any illusions that who we are and what we say and what we stand for does not matter, because it does.

my new motto is:   CAN: getting better together!

as individuals, as practitioners, as a community, as a profession…

i love you guys!

Author: melissa

Found community acupuncture in my last year of acupuncture school and it was like cool water on the dry desert of aculand. It addressed all those nagging questions of how to make acupuncture accessible and inviting to people like me, in my own communities as well as actually make a living and I knew I would practice this way for the rest of my life. I have learned more (about acupuncture, about people and community, about myself) in the past few years of running a CA clinic and being an acupunk at another BDC clinic than ever before. It's one of my all-time favorite places to be. I am eternally grateful to this community for its welcoming support, its passionate determination and its irreverence for useless sacred cows. I look forward to our continued work in supporting community acupuncture clinics worldwide!

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  1. This is Awesome

    Are you sending this to AAAAAAAAAAAAACAOM?

     it would proabably be lost on them by this point.  I am trying not to think to much on what will come in the next few days.  I am just showing up and doing the work