I am not someone who “lives out loud”. I don’t share much, and while I am a very good listener, I spare of speech. However, I’d like to tell you about my Birthday Wish. I went to the Tao of Healing Center for a Birthday Treatment last week, something I’d encourage everyone to do. This treatment was in celebration of my 67th birthday.

I have lamented the limited function of my left knee for at least the last 7 years. My “routine” osteoarthritis developed from what was called “runner’s knee.” I practice Qigong daily for the many benefits it offers, but in the back of my mind, I continually hope my knee pain and function will improve. Unfortunately, it never really feels better for long. Clearly, this was my Birthday Wish. I won’t say much about the Birthday ceremony so that those of you who have not experienced it can do so with an open mind. But since everyone knows you get to make a wish on your birthday, I feel like I can talk about my Wish without giving away too much. Lucky for me, my Wish came true.

After my acupuncture birthday treatment, I immediately felt 30 years younger. In my Western training, we would ascribe that to a relaxation response and endorphins. In TCM I expect we would say that my Qi was balanced. All I can say is it was (and continues to be) TERRIFIC. I left the office in a mild fog as one can be when very relaxed. I returned to work to an opening day ceremony for our new community garden which I had been anxiously anticipating for months. Spring had rolled into Summer and the planting still hadn’t begun. So, I dove in. I spent 2 ½ hours outdoors (typically unheard of during a workday), surrounded by green, digging in the earth and bringing to fruition more than 6 months of planning and hoping. Not willing to stop until we had everything in the ground, I overdid it. My treatment was not a miracle; I was sore as heck the next day. But I have not thought about my knee once. I don’t know how long these effects will last, but I’m sure that Grand Master Nan Lu would tell me it’s up to me.

– Darwin Deen, MD