He puts the needles in, one by one down my leg. There’s a tap, a pinch, and then release. I see him out of the corner of my eye pick up an old machine and attach wires, and in a moment the pulsing of my muscles distracts me from the fact that there’s needles in my skin.

He tells me to rest. And I try – but I get distracted by the pink walls and the paper covered pillow. And when that loses my interest, thoughts slip in.

In this old room in the middle of Chinatown, all I can think about is how letting go feels a lot like those needles.

I was scared to walk in those doors. Not because of the small Chinese woman who greeted me. But because of the thought of putting needles down my body. Willingly. Was I crazy?


But I was also hopeful too. That on the other side of those needles – that pinch of skin – there’d be healing. Release.

So I laid on the bed and put trust into a stranger that he knew what he was doing.

And I can’t help but think about letting go.

Because I hate it. Because it hurts and I dread it. And there’s a pinch when you do it.

But people were never meant to be things we hold onto.

I’ve got to believe that past that hurt – there’s sweet release, too. With each heartache there’s a healing. There’s hope laced within the releasing. Within letting people be who they were meant to be; not things I hold onto.

And he comes back into the pink room and the lights come on. He moves towards the bed and each needle comes out, and there’s the massaging of tender muscles until there’s pain. And he stops. And the next visit is scheduled.


And I walk out of there, still hobbling but hopeful. And maybe, in the end, that’s what I really came for.