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Acu Thank You

By Sara Calabro

I am thankful for acupuncture’s perspective on change.

Earlier this year, I moved to Eugene, Oregon from New York City, where I lived for 11 years. A spectrum of reasons, ranging widely from love to lower cost of living, factored into my decision, making it sound. Still, the inevitable barrage of changes that comes with any break in routine has at times been unsettling.

Acupuncture reminds me that change is the primary ingredient for becoming a healthier person.

Conventional medicine requires us to think in absolutes, to label things good or bad, black or white. We’re either sick or we’re healthy. Our numbers are too high or too low. We’re happy or we’re depressed.

In between these extremes, subtle yet significant shifts occur.

Acupuncture works in the gray area. It teaches us to appreciate context and relativity, to reflect on the small changes happening within and around us all the time.

A few years ago, I whined to an acupuncturist that my primary complaint hadn’t resolved after four weeks of treatment.

“Has it changed?” she asked

“Yes,” I said. “But if anything, it’s actually been worse this past week.”

“So is your problem the same as it was four weeks ago?”


“Your picture is changing.”

“Um. Yes.”

My acupuncturist was not concerned with temporarily alleviating my symptoms. Rather, she sought to alter the underlying pattern of disharmony that was causing these symptoms to happen. I was getting better because I wasn’t the same.

Acupuncture, in the most basic sense, is about moving things that are stuck. Sometimes symptoms go away immediately and sometimes they get worse before dissipating. In either case, movement is happening. Pathways to true healing are different for everyone, and they are rarely linear. From an acupuncture perspective, change is the only universal marker of progress.

A college town in Oregon is a very different place than Brooklyn. My context has shifted. My picture has changed. I am moving forward.

Happy Thanksgiving from AcuTake.

Before you go, please remember to share your acu thank you. An acu thank you is any way in which acupuncture has helped you see the world differently. Before embarking on your holiday adventures, please let us know—either in the comment section below, or on Facebook, Twitter or Google+—what’s your acu thank you?

Photo by Sara Calabro


Kate Pagliasotti

Hi Sara – welcome to the west coast. Nice to know you are now in Eugene. I am a Tri-Stater, too, and located in Portland – graduated in 2002. There are getting to be a few of us out here, bringing a bit of a different perspective to treatment than what is generally taught out here in the local colleges. Glad you are here, and glad to know there is another person to refer patients to who are based in the Eugene area. Welcome! Next time I am driving down to Ashland to visit family maybe we can have tea~

Tom Williams

I am thankful for the coolness of this season, the precious hours of sunlight, the bounty of this valley– still green! I am grateful for my patients, their trust, their stories, their tenacious love of life. I am grateful for this medicine, this work, this mystery at the intersection of spirit and flesh. And I am grateful for your take on all of things acu, and more…Nice to have you in Eugene, Sara! Keep up the great work!


Thank you thank you, Tom. Your support of AcuTake and assistance in navigating the acu world of Eugene are very much appreciated. Speak soon.



I am thankful for the way acupuncture has motivated me to think holistically and to take an active part in my health, both mind and body. AcuTake posts are constantly reminding me to break free from dichotomies and reflect on my way of being in the world.

Maggie Begley

Dear Sara,

I am an Energy Therapist myself, practicing Fundamental Field Therapy (an energy pattern which includes the subsystems of cranial-sacral, acupressure, jin shin, and polarity therapy as parts of one energy field). I can really relate to everything you said. I especially appreciate what you shared about your acupuncturist’s perspective on change. I have the same question asked to me by my clients, (and of my self), and I will remember this response. It’s the correct perspective.

I am grateful for what working with Energy, as you do, has taught me. It has taught me to be more spontaneous, and intuitive, flowing. As I always say, “Energy is dynamic, and so are we!” The power of Transformation is alive, and real!

Good Wishes to you and yours, Maggie


Thanks for sharing, Maggie. I’m sure as an energy therapist you are witnessing these subtle changes all the time. It’s powerful stuff once you’re able to tap in. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.


Alison Kolozsvary

My first acupuncture experience was a couple of months ago after it was recommended for my husband who is recovering from a broken neck. I decided to be his “guinea pig” as he has many of the typical reservations towards this treatment. I have chronic achilles tendinitis from many years of running. Although that was initially the specific area of focus, I’ve celebrated the opening up that the treatments have provided to me in my creative brain (an area where I had always been a strong self-critic). The letting go of self doubt in addition to an overall feeling of relaxation is far more than I ever expected. I compare it to the state of relaxation achieved after a wonderful full body massage ~ but somehow better.

I will also add that acupuncture also has seemed to serve as a wonderful complement to grief work I have been doing in individual counseling. This is powerful stuff and am so grateful to have found it ~ and Dianna Flight!

(Incidentally, my husband has not yet gone. Go figure.)


Thanks so much for sharing, Alison. What an exciting, transformative experience for you. Time to get your husband on board! :) Thanks for reading and contributing to AcuTake. And please give my best to Dianna.


Acu Thank You | Body Local NYC

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Maggie Begley


I’m always thinking to myself just that: SO subtle, yet SO powerful! It’s truly wondrous. It did take me a while not only ‘tap in’ but also to trust…So anyone out there whose starting out, don’t give up! Thanks Sara.


[…] Thanksgiving is this Thursday. In previous years, we’ve written about the similarities between acupuncture and Thanksgiving. We’ve also talked about what acupuncture can teach us about gratitude and change. […]

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