Dear Acupuncture Denver Clients,
Have I told you lately that I love you? I’m quite certain the words “love” and “clients” aren’t meant to be used in the same sentence, and that love letters penned to clients (much less to patients) are entirely inappropriate. But at this stage in the game, I’m less concerned with propriety than truth. So, I’ll say it plain: I love you, Acupuncture Denver clients.
Each of you radiate a particular starshine that is revealed by the light in your eyes, the beat of your pulse, the sound of your voice, and even the liquid heartbreak of your tears. Now that I’m into my twentieth year of clinical practice, I realize that I’ve been basking in the light of the stars all this time. Even though I’m working. Even as I’m learning. Even when it’s hard.
I love you because I love learning, clients. Sure, I’ve gone through acupuncture school and read textbooks and taken courses in every aspect of TCM and Western reproductive medicine and attended Fertile Soul retreats and done internships and passed exams and memorized hundreds of Chinese herbs, but I’ve learned most of what I know about fertility from you, clients. I’ve learned about every possible IVF protocol under the sun; about domestic and foreign IVF clinics; about obscure and experimental reproductive immunology treatments; about when it’s best to time intercourse around an IUI; about the best surgeons to choose for endometriosis or Asherman’s syndrome; about which reproductive endocrinologists have good bedside manner; about how to get that sticky estrogen patch adhesive off the skin; about the best way to take the progesterone in oil shot; and most importantly, about what it’s like to live in a body which carries a soul which endures being poked and prodded and examined by too many hands and has endured too many months of disappointment and in some cases unimaginable losses too, and still, despite it all, glimmers unmistakably with hope.
I love you because you are my tribe, clients, as much as I tried to deny that I was just like you: I was the practitioner, I wasn’t infertile, I wasn’t bereft, I wasn’t brought to my knees by the bottomless pit of longing for a child (right?). It was you who got me through my own miscarriages. Shannon gave me an oak leaf and a polished river stone that still sits on our office altar today, a symbol of fragile vulnerability and incredible strength. Lynn took me out to lunch. Kate, who was adopting from Ethiopia at the time, planted a seed in me that grew into the miracle of my own motherhood and expanded my heart in ways I hadn’t imagined were possible.
These connections have been my lifeline and have wound themselves into my own blood and bones so that I can touch people now with a deeply known certainty: you will get through this dark time, you will survive this, you will be OK.
I love you because I love laughing. And let’s face it, if I wasn’t an acupuncturist, there is a slim chance I could have made it as a stand-up comedian. I love Ellen for making me laugh every time I see her, once so hard that tears were streaming down both our faces: her belly needles bobbing every which way, me leaning over to catch my breath and control my convulsive hysteria so I could get back to business. Who gets to do this at work? It’s amazing.
I love you because I love smart, interesting women and I love learning from them. You have shared your intimate knowledge of so many varied subjects with me, including but not limited to: petroleum engineering, criminal defense law, special education, occupational therapy, kombucha-making, executive coaching, geology, taxes, African safaris, fine dining, political science, film production, marketing, real estate investing, feline psychology, dog training, bodywork techniques, exercise physiology, paleo diets, addiction recovery, world travel, cultural differences, immigration, child development, human trafficking, attachment theory, Freudian analysis, art therapy, Hinduism, Islam, evangelical Christianity, Mormonism, opiate addiction, jewelry making, reiki, shamanism, Instant-pots, corporate consulting, and more. Who gets to learn all day at work from so many experts in so many fields? Again, amazing.
I love you, clients, because you help me remember that I can survive, even when it feels like my heart might explode from its wild beating in the midst of uncertainty and fear. I’ve looked right into your grief-filled eyes and seen grace and resilience there when there just as easily could have been the flat, dull opacity of bitterness instead.
During a recent rough patch of anxiety, when I was committed to facing my fears head-on, eyes wide-open, without the aid of numbing or shutting down, it was you I recalled, dear clients, as if in prayer. I summoned the super-human strength I witness in you, amazing warrior-women: you who have lost babies too soon, you who have gestated such bright spirits that they might just be too beautiful for this world, you who have endured the passing of the beloved from your belly straight back to the stars. To see and touch and feel such strength is a blessing, an initiation, a reminder that I’m surrounded by a constellation of overwhelmingly beautiful brightness and grace and connection. Worthy of a love-letter at the very least. Amazing.