When I started at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape, I was given a benefits package**. My coworkers helped me to use my benefits package, not just for health care but also for self-care. And so my adventure on new ways to care for myself began!
Once I got my teeth cleaned, and some of my basic health care needs met, I started to explore my self-care options. I realized I seriously needed a massage, and my coworkers and friends raved about a community acupuncture centre named Six Degrees Community Acupuncture.
Now, I grew up in the western medical model. When I have a headache, I take an Advil. When I am sick, I down some cough syrup. Acupuncture? Needles in my body? Uh, no thank you. Another bit of context is that it takes me a while to trust a healer. I’ve had lots of them: doctors, therapists, counselors—and some have been whack. So going to an acupuncture clinic didn’t just make me have to learn a new healing method, it also made me have to learn to trust a new practitioner.
Because of the many rave reviews and suggestions for a great massage, I booked an appointment. The acupuncturist asked me questions about my health and asked me what I wanted. I said a massage. And so she gave me one. I walked out of there after the first visit light as air.
The next time I went back was the same: I left feeling calmer, elated, feelings of clearness and weightlessness. And the next time was like that, and the time after that.
Soon, I enjoyed many visits where my practitioner was open to hear me talk about anything, always asked me what I wanted to work on (in terms of massage) and left me feeling relaxed and taken care of.
After many appointments, my acupuncturist asked me if I wanted to try acupuncture. My acupuncturist had been so nice to me … so I let her poke me. (more inside…)