Allison and her cat, Arthur in the sun

My experience at H&H has helped to restore a sense of connection to my body and to community here in Victoria.

As an East Coaster living in BC, my loved ones are scattered across time zones. This winter, lacking the distraction and de facto social group that came with being a student, life here began to feel a little lonely. My counsellor, a body-centered therapist, suggested I check out Heart & Hands and see about volunteering. Done my MA program, burnt out and aimless, I was trying to cope with grief, anxiety, and trauma that felt overwhelming. After losing a close friend, my circle spent time together in mourning, but as time dragged us back to our routines, that support network dispersed across WIFI networks and group-chats. My experience at H&H has helped to restore a sense of connection to my body and to community here in Victoria. 

As both a volunteer and a patient at H&H, I feel lucky to take part in the clinic’s community care oriented model. Within weeks of my first acunap, I had to hold my tongue when catching up with pals lest I urge them — yet again — to find a community clinic in their town and try out some acu for their troubles. Whether a tension headache, back pain, menstrual issues, or creeping anxiety brings me to the chair, I know I’ll have a calming session where I’m treated compassionately by a caring acupunk. Access to regular, affordable acupuncture treatments has been transformative for my mental and physical well-being, and I’m super grateful that Victoria has a place like Heart & Hands helping to make healthcare more accessible to everyone in the community. 

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