A Letter to the Missed Patient...
I’ve been wanting to write this letter to you for a while now. I have so much I wish I could say to you, so much help I wish I could’ve offered. I’ve wondered what I could have done or said differently that would’ve helped you understand that trying acupuncture just once wouldn’t really be the life changing experience you were hoping or wanting.
I know you’ve been struggling with your health issues for many years now, and you’re willing to try anything, and that’s why you ended up in my treatment room. I understand you were looking for more, but with just one treatment, that didn’t come. I wish you had trusted the process and dedicated yourself and your health to the series of treatments we discussed.
I wish you could’ve talked to the hundreds of patients who have had life changing experiences, how patients have walked away completely migraine free after living with them their entire lives. I wish you could’ve talked to the patients who lived in chronic stress, with disabling muscle tension, plagued by panic attacks, only to live a much calmer and peaceful life after a few months of acupuncture sessions.
I wish it was you who could go out and tell your friends and family that you were able to get pregnant by regulating your hormones and easing your anxiety with the help of acupuncture and no harmful meds. I wish it was you who were crying tears of joy for finally finding pain relief for the first time in decades when no other medication or injection or surgery could help.
You see, I’m beyond blessed to see people’s lives change before my eyes, week by week. I’ve seen their pain diminish and disappear, I’ve witnessed their anxiety and tension melt away with each treatment they’ve received.
I’ve also personally experienced the healing power that acupuncture can provide, and that is why it breaks my heart to watch you walk out the door after your first treatment, still wanting more yet unwilling to return.
Healing is not linear. Sometimes, the emotional or physical pain or exhaustion that is expressed after the first few treatments is a powerful part of the transformative healing process. These are ways in which the body must release what it’s been carrying for so long in order to move forward and heal. Sometimes, it takes one, two, or sometimes five treatments to really feel the effects of acupuncture because your body has been locked in the diseased state for months, years, or decades.
I understand that as a society, we are so accustomed to covering up the symptoms - the pain, the anxiety, the sadness, the restless nights - with a pill, but this only drives the sickness deeper and deeper.
I wish I could’ve helped you understand that this was part of the healing process, releasing and letting go, so that you could step out on the other side happier, healthier, and stronger.
Phoenix Rising Acupuncture