Unmasking David

Hey y’all, I’m David Gillese, (he/him).
That surname is anglicized Irish gaelic and is confusingly pronounced gill-eece.

I am a 2nd generation Irish-Canadian settler on my Dad’s side and with French-Canadian and some more Irish heritage on my mom’s side. I was born on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen speaking peoples and have lived here my entire life.

I first began exploring the healing arts through acupressure used to help alleviate my dad’s pain from mountaineering injuries and later my first partner’s menstrual cramps. I originally began working in spa settings with the intent of going into massage therapy. The plan shifted after having a number of big personal health breakthroughs with acupuncture and then being offered a deceased practitioner’s library of acupuncture textbooks by my family’s Dr of TCM. I deeply appreciate the way acupuncture, and especially community acupuncture, allows me to offer treatment to lots of people without the gradual degradation of my thumb joints 👍

And here are my answers to a few interview questions to make this a bit more relevant to the times we are in:

My go-to activities to pass the time during quarantine:

I spent a lot of time during quarantine walking around the city in a sort of aimless wander while keeping appropriately distanced, my qigong teacher and I also successfully transitioned from in person classes to practicing over Zoom.

I also took a deep dive into Star Trek during quarantine and watched the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The humanist philosophy and optimism about the future that saturates the writing of that show was very helpful during the darker moments of 2020. I also played a great deal of historical strategy video games, including one where the bubonic plague was a key challenge during the game: this was a very poignant reminder of how long pandemics have been a part of human life.

An intention for the world in this time of uncertainty:

My intention is to help cultivate kindness and various vegetables. This year I’m giving cucumbers a shot. One day I hope to grow food myself and strengthen the local food security for the south island.

Things you are grateful for (in no particular order):

Clean Water.
Warm blankets
Video games.
Trees, especially very old trees.
My family.
Access to education.
Access to healthcare.

Causes that you support during this time:

Refugee support through the UNHCR: I first started supporting the UNHCR during the refugee crisis that followed the outbreak of war in Syria. Between human conflicts and the climate catastrophe, I fear more and more of us will be forced to relocate and it will pay great dividends to be prepared to support those relocating.

Reconciliation/Decolonization in Canada: As a descendant of colonized peoples who have in turn been recruited into further colonial efforts, I often struggle with hope for anti-colonial efforts in Canada. I am committed to helping heal the wounds made by colonization, but it is easy to become discouraged when faced with the mountain of hurt we have collectively inherited in this country.

Acupuncture is important at this time because:

Healing needs to happen anyway. Acupuncture has been an incredible source of healing for myself with my struggles with asthma as well as supporting my mental health, especially as an adolescent.

When this is all over, I’d like to…

Visit my sister in California and eat an orange fresh off the branch of her orange tree that I have yet to see in person.

And if you still want to know even more about me:

Check out my practitioner bioa little about me and perhaps you’d like to visit me:

I look forward to meeting the folks in this community in a new context. It will be fun to get to know everyone.

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