Getting Real About the Questions



I’ve not done much with this blog for a while. Part of the reason is I’ve been struggling with some questions: “Just what am I doing with this blog?” and “Who am I and what do I bring?”

I am a writer. I have been this for as long as I can remember.

I am a teacher.

I am an acupuncturist.

I am a massage therapist.

And I am a deeply spiritual and faithful person.

But this isn’t the whole story. It’s the easy and somewhat evasive part of the story.

Part of my conflict was I had no accurate name to hang on what I do. And I didn’t want to call it the wrong thing.

I am an intuitive. That’s a relatively easy word to use. But it’s also not completely accurate, or at least that’s what people who know me well have said. My spiritual director says we are all intuitive. But she says what I do is well beyond being just intuitive.

I have tested the label Medical Intuitive, since when I talk to people I seem to know where in their body their issue is logged. I just know where it resides.

But the term Medical Intuitive has always made me uncomfortable. It’s that word “medical.” I’ve never liked it. No matter what it was attached to. It’s just too clinical, empty, and cold.

So for months — years really — I’ve chosen to call it nothing and instead just hide. Some days I honestly even hoped that whatever it was that I did would just go away. It didn’t though. More recently I’ve explored the label “Healing Intuitive.” And I discussed it with a former teacher of mine. I asked him what he felt the difference was. He said a Medical Intuitive knows where the problem is. But a Healing Intuitive knows where the problem is and has the capacity to help change it.

When I was a student in the massage clinic 15 years ago, I remember going in with a terrible headache one autumn morning. The left side of my neck also hurt. My first clinic patient was a former massage therapist who saw me regularly. She came in and reported that she had left sided neck pain and a headache. I couldn’t help but blurt out, “You too?”

I knew her pretty well and so we chatted a bit about this weirdness of mine that none of my classmates seemed to ever experience and my teachers couldn’t — or wouldn’t — explain when I asked them. It seemed to be happening more and more often as I got further into clinic. I knew that some people in the healing arts are empaths who absorb other people’s pain after the fact. I don’t experience that though. I feel the pain before I meet the person. Not a fun way to live, honestly. And in the beginning, it felt like a terrible punishment for wanting to help others.

My clinic patient that day seemed to know something that no one else was willing to talk about though. She simply said to me, “If you do this right, we can both get rid of the pain.” I thought she was a little flaky, but in the absence of anything else to go on, I decided to be open to the possibility.

Here’s the interesting thing. That’s exactly what happened.

We didn’t talk further about it after that. But my school put a lot of focus on the internal physical arts: T’ai Chi, Qi Gong, and Yoga. This was to teach us centering and intent. And when I worked on people, I always worked with these principles. And so I knew what she meant when she said “If you do this right, we can both get rid of the pain.” Addressing the situation was all in my intent. I knew that was true of treating patients. What I hadn’t grasped until then was that it was also true of moving my own energy and getting myself out of pain. In this medicine, your patients will often become your teachers. And this woman was the first of many more to come.

So my experience as a healer (a word I am only just now learning to own, and it is still uncomfortable for me), is that within a 48 hour period of experiencing pain, the person with that same pain almost always walks through the door. And I get to work. And we both get out of pain.  This is true of physical pain, by the way, as well as emotional pain.

Because I knew the pain from the inside, I intuitively knew where to go to address it in them. Oftentimes, the source of the problem was rooted in the emotions and we’d have to talk about that. As an acupuncturist, this experience continues and it helps me to diagnose. And I get better results than most. Results I can’t often explain. While most of my former classmates and colleagues rely on what the textbooks say about patterns in Chinese Medicine or origins and insertions of muscles, more often than not I begin my work by checking in with my body, what I’m intuiting, and what I’m hearing patients say between their words. And then I go from there.

There’s much more to this story and how it unraveled. But for now, as one of my teachers used to say, “Teaspoons. Not tablespoons.”

And so more will be coming in the next blog post.

Peace and healing light,