H&H Story from Q.H.

Q.H. is lying on their belly on the floor drawing. They are wearing a dark toque and glasses.


I didn’t know how much I needed acupuncture, until I decided to get over my fear of needles. The result was a tidal-wave of calm, and the pokes were minimal (even when they pinched a little).

When I started coming to the Heart & Hands community, I felt like my body was falling apart. I’d worked hard—not smart—and there wasn’t a part of me that wasn’t sore, damaged, or feeling like it was barely hanging on. I used to say my daily pain levels were consistently between 7 to 10; and accumulated trauma had left my nervous system fried. I’ve found doctors to be less helpful than I would have liked, and often felt dismissed. While talking about this to a friend—also a nurse—they suggested acupuncture.

Since I’ve learned to face the things I fear—needles sure didn’t give any warm fuzzies
—I decided to go with them during a bring-a-buddy month. I was late for my first appointment, noisy, and activated. I left feeling mentally knocked over, and 5 years of trauma therapy suddenly started making sense. I’ve found myself bringing back that feeling in times of crisis, and activation, to keep my brain online, and my feet grounded. But while working through my stuff, I’d discovered that trauma responses were not “appropriate workplace behaviours.” And 15 years of workplaces enmeshed in extremely high levels of threats, abuse, and stress—mostly food service and trades—had left me reluctant to work for anyone.

I was surprised to find myself asking about volunteer opportunities in my post-acupuncture haze. More shockingly, I followed through. H & H hasn’t just kept me grounded every week, calmed my angry storms, and kept my pain away. It’s also taught me how to interact with a positive work environment. And—because H & H is a community—it’s given me the resources to work on other areas of my life, while being affordable to my low-income needs.

To put it simply, I am indebted to Heart and Hands for being a key part of my healing journey.

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