I was enamored with acupuncture right from the start. The first time I underwent treatment, I felt exultant on the table. My mind and spirit raced in glorious directions, and my body felt as though it were floating. Then after the needles were removed, a sense of deepest calm replaced the exhilaration. When I stood up, I began to weep. I wasn’t upset, and felt no pain. The tears flowed medicinally, as if crying were the final step of treatment.
When I consider my practice of providing acupuncture in a postive light, I’m convinced I’m doing everything right for our patients. I help those who badly need me. There are so few health care providers left now. One caring person—even one imperfectly trained—is better than none. What if the sick or injured people who come here for treatment had no one?
But, I admit to moments of self-doubt. When seized by one of those moments, I fear I’m a quack. Patients come to Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to have their qi realigned in a manner that has been ordained and proven effective through thousands of years of tradition. What happens instead is they get their their qi fiddled with by a middle-aged American gal who hasn’t got a freaking clue.
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.