December 2021 Offerings: Workshops and Events

#December #offerings!

We are so excited to begin offering various #wellness #workshops hosted by our favorite local practitioners.

This month we are pleased to offer:

✨A Fairy Crystal Wreath making workshops guided by Crystal Farnsworth, owner of AcuPUNKture

✨ Two #misfitmonday #freeacupuncture for #veterans days with Crystal Farnsworth, LAc.

✨A Holiday Guardian Angel Meditation and Private Reiki Sessions with our Wellness Instructor, Angela Cote of Sacred Tree Yoga

✨ A Solstice Ceremony with our Shamanic Energy Healer, Katie Nadeau of @spirit_remedies (11 open spots)

Please scan QR code or contact the clinic to RSVP. Space is limited. Masks mandatory during all sessions and workshops at the Wellness Clinic and Community Space regardless of vaccination status

We hope to see you there!

JP Clinic Last Day/Moving forward booking with Aaron in JP


JP AcuPUNKture’s LAST DAY in Clinic is 9/15/21!!!

After this Aaron will open his own business on October 1st completely separate from AcuPUNKture.

To continue with Aaron/have your last treatment notes released to Refuge Acupuncture and Wellness- Please see Cassidy at the front desk. We will send health history release paperwork to you via email on intakeQ in mid-September.

Please contact Aaron directly to book an appointment for October 1, 2021 and beyond.

Refuge Acupuncture and Wellness

Aaron Wickenheiser, LAc.
82 South St., Boston MA 02130
Phone: (617)-942-1537
Fax: (857)-557-5414

IMPORTANT UPDATE: JP Clinic is Closing September 15th


To all our amazing Patients/Acu-punks,

I am writing this letter today with a heavy heart. I have decided that at the termination of my lease on October 1, 2021, I will be closing the Jamaica Plain AcuPUNKture location. Over the past six years it has been my absolute pleasure working with all of you in JP and building a community of Acu-punks here, but the time has come that I have to shift my focus and put down roots closer to home.

When I first opened AcuPUNKture in Jamaica Plain, I had the intention of being here forever, despite the long commute from Franklin, MA. However, life has changed for me over the past couple years. Some of you may know that I got married last May and my husband and I are planning to start a family. In light of this, I have made the difficult decision to leave JP and focus on building a community wellness center in Franklin, MA where we live. It is very bittersweet and I will miss you all so much. With this being said, you are always welcome to come to our Franklin location for treatments with me or browse our wellness boutique for all the wellness products and crystals you have come to use and love in your treatments. 

I do however have some good news to share. I am pleased to announce that our associate acupuncturist, Aaron Wickenheiser, will be taking over the lease in October and starting his own private practice. Aaron has worked with us as an associate acupuncturist since November 2019 and many of you have already received treatment from him. He is currently going on paternity leave on May 20th and will return to treating at AcuPUNKture on June 22nd. Upon his return, his schedule will be Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays until AcuPUNKture closes mid-September 2021. If you would like to try out an acupuncture session with Aaron prior to this transition, you are welcome to book an appointment with him through our front desk. 

In the next couple weeks I will be opening my schedule in JP for the last time for July through September 15th 2021. If you would like to book an appointment with us or continue your weekly sessions until September, our manager Cassidy will be happy to help you book your follow up sessions. Please email or leave us a text or voicemail at 617-971-8623.

We are still working out all the kinks and moving parts on how this transition will work between my leaving and Aaron starting his practice so please bear with us. If you decide you would like to stay on as one of Aaron’s clients starting October 2021, we will have you sign documentation allowing us to share your treatment records and insurance information with him. His practice will be completely separate from AcuPUNKture and you will need to follow his guidance moving forward when he opens in JP later this year. 

I wish you all the best and will truly miss you all. It has been my pleasure helping and treating this wonderful community of Acu-punks and I will always cherish my time in JP as the foundation for both my personal and professional growth.

All the best,

Crystal Meyers-Farnsworth

GoFundMe for Karrie’s Spinal Surgeries


Hi all, I know we are all struggling right now in our own ways but please please please if you have a few minutes in your day today, read through Karrie’s latest update in her battle for her life back:

After years of suffering she has finally been diagnosed with not one but FOUR rare illnesses and now she is looking at two major spinal surgeries. No neurosurgeons in MA are willing to even touch her due to the severity and risks of her conditions and the 4 specialists located in various states across the country will not work with her insurance. She would need to buy a PPO plan for over $700/month and even then she will owe coinsurance on any surgeries that will run her easily over $50,000.

If you can contribute even a few dollars or share with your communities and friends I am forever grateful. Karrie is an amazing friend and client and no one deserves to suffer as she has:

There is a youtube link to a video at the top of this update that will show you what Karrie has been living with for so long now and really shows just how necessary these surgeries are for her to live a ‘normal’ life.

Thank you for your time and support! Stay safe and well.

Crystal Meyers- Farnsworth, LAc., and Friend

Jamaica Plain Clinic Update/Announcements


Clinic Announcements:

2021 Jamaica Plain Office Schedule:

The Jamaica Plain hours will remain the same for 2021. We will be in Mondays 3-8, Weds 8-8 and Thursdays 8-2 and will continue to offer telehealth to severely immune-compromised and elderly clients unable to come to the office on Monday mornings 9-11.

The schedule is now open for online booking through 4/1/21. The schedule has VERY quickly filled up and unfortunately, spots are limited again. We will be working off a waitlist as there are always cancellations when booking so far ahead. If you are unable to book an appointment please email us at or text us at 617-971-8623.

If you would like more consistent treatments, please visit our friends at Save Point acupuncture and they will take great care of you!

New Clients: We are no longer accepting new clients at our Jamaica Plain location for the foreseeable future. If you have any questions you can call the clinic for more information at 617-971-8623.

New Patients/Insurance clients: Our friends at Save Point acupuncture in Sommerville are accepting new clients and they accept many of the same insurance plans: BCBS, Tufts, HPHC, Aetna, Cigna, United, Allways and (Fallon-soon)

Please follow this link for their information:

Insurance Changes for 2021: We no longer accept BMC Healthnet. We currently accept the following insurance plans (subject to change):

BCBS, Tufts, Allways, Fallon/Wellforce, Aetna, Cigna, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, CCA/One Care, United/OPTUM.

It is YOUR responsibility to update us with any insurance changes for 2021 at least 1 week PRIOR to your appointment date to avoid being responsible for the full treatment cost.

Cancellation policy changes:

We will be tightening up our cancellation policy moving forward. Our new policy will be as follows:

If an appointment is not cancelled at least 24 hours in advance you will be charged for your FULL session cost of $90. This fee will NOT be covered by your insurance. If you are experiencing COVID related symptoms or think you may have been in contact with someone who has COVID- PLEASE CANCEL your session as soon as possible. There will not be a charge in this case, HOWEVER, you will be asked to produce a negative COVID test before returning for your next appointment and if this is not obtained your consecutive sessions will be cancelled until a negative test is produced OR 3 weeks have passed since your last symptom.

Thank you to all our amazing clients, we look forward to continuing to serve our JP community. Please stay safe and healthy!

The AcuPUNKture Team

Donations requested: Our friend Karrie needs help with medical travel!


Read Karries’s Full story and Donate HERE

After a 3+ year long battle, Our good friend Karrie received word yesterday that she has FINALLY been accepted to be a patient  with DUKE and  is being expedited due to the severity and rare complications she is experiencing. She has been tentatively scheduled to travel November 29-December 4th. The current wait to be seen at Duke is 6 months to a year so this just gives you a tiny glimpse as to how severe her condition is- but if you have the time to read her full story, I’ve outlined it below.

Karrie has worked extra hard to jump through every insurance and beurocratic  hoop and has finally received word that insurance will cover her Out of network cost of treatment and copays which is amazing, however she still needs financial help for travel etc.

In order for her to go to Duke and get the procedures and extensive testing she needs, she will have to travel, arrive early due to Covid, stay close to the hospital for several days after the procedures and lie completely flat to give her body the best chance to heal. Her boyfriend , who will still need to work to continue to support their family and living expenses back home, will need to do so from the hotel will she undergoes treatment and testing.  

It was also advised she lie completely flat during her travel and will need a minimum of 8 weeks to recover where she will not be able to bend, lift or twist her spine in any way. 

We are working to try to find medical travel for her, hotel accommodations, and care for her dog. Any donations will go directly to helping fund Karrie’s trips back and forth as they suspect she will need to be seen at Duke multiple times in the upcoming months in addition to her care team here. I want to make sure that they can still pay rent and have a home to come back to once her surgeries and treatments are complete.

Thank you so much for reading this far. Please share this with your communities and if you are able to donate even a few dollars, any little bit helps.

Below is her entire story for those who have the time to read it ❤

Thank you so much
Crystal Meyers- Farnsworth, LAc., and Friend

AcuPUNKture is Back! New Protocols and changes announced:


Good Morning Acu-Punks!!

We are happy to let you know that we are once again seeing clients for in-office appointments starting June 22nd and the Mind Body online schedule will be available for booking starting June 15th! The past couple months have been a tremendous upheaval for everyone and we look forward to being able to see you in person again.

Even as businesses begin reopening, COVID-19 remains a threat. To keep our patients and staff at minimum risk we will be changing our operations based on CDC and Massachusetts state guidelines and MA Department of Public Health reopening regulations. Below are some of the important changes we are making:

  • Telehealth appointments will be available on an as-needed basis for high-risk/elderly patients. If you are at high risk for complications from COVID-19 or require transportation that requires you to be at the office more than five minutes prior to/after your appointment time, in-office appointments are not recommended at this time. Please speak with staff prior to booking if you fall into any of these categories.
  •  Appointment availability will be limited and our hours/days open will be drastically changed. This is to prevent having too many people in the office at any one time. Re-opening guidelines state that we must operate at an extremely reduced capacity and prioritize high need patients. For this reason, we ask that you only book one appointment per week to allow for all patient’s to be able to get an appointment, unless you speak with Crystal and get approval in advance of booking.
  • Patients will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging COVID-19 risk before entering the clinic and receiving treatment.
  • We have removed our indoor waiting area and retail space. The tea station is closed, and crystal sales will remain on our Etsy shop indefinitely (we can bring crystals in for you if you would like to order any after browsing the online shop). We will continue to use crystals during treatment and sell CBD and essential oils in-office, during your appointment time only.
  • Please do not bring friends or family members to appointments. Only one client is allowed in the treatment room at all times. The only exception is if a child (18 years or younger) is receiving treatment; in this case one parent or legal guardian can be present in the room with them.
  • Upon arrival, patients will be required to wait outside and call the front desk. We now have a bench outside the office for seating. We ask that patients do not arrive more than 10 minutes before their appointment time.
  • Patients will be screened outside before appointments. This will include a questionnaire about potential COVID-19 symptoms and a temperature/smell test. The clinic reserves the right to and will turn away any client who has a temp, does not pass all screening questions or is unable to identify essential oils by smell.
  • Cancellation fees are temporarily waived; if you think you or anyone you have interacted with might have been exposed to COVID-19, please call and let us know so we can reschedule your appointment.
  • Patients are required to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands upon entering the building.
  • Patients and staff are required to wear masks at all timesThe one exception will be while using a face cradle, but masks must be put back on immediately afterwards. If you do not have a mask, let us know when booking your appointment and we will provide one for you before entering the building.
  • During treatment interaction between the practitioner and patient must be limited and the practitioner’s face mask and shield can not be removed, so we will not be giving moxa treatments or fire/sliding cupping. Stationary cupping will still be available but the practitioner will apply the cups and set a timer while standing outside the treatment room door. Patients will have a buzzer during the session so they can call the practitioner between check-ins if necessary. .
  • Treatment tables are no longer heated (this is due to the use of vinyl table coverings)Mylar blankets and heat lamps will be available for those that want them.

In addition to the above changes, we are complying with CDC Sanitization Guidelines by:

  • Disinfecting all high-touch areas after use, such as doorknobs, light switches, treatment tables, chairs, water dispenser handles and the bathroom.
  • Having practitioners change protective equipment between patients. Licensed Acupuncturists will wear face masks and a face shield as well as protective outerwear at all times.
  • Installing HEPA air filters in each treatment room and the front desk area.
  • Replacing fabric sheets with vinyl covers and table paper in treatment rooms.
  • Enforcing social distancing of at least 6 feet. Please be mindful of others while walking through the clinic.
  • Continuously screening staff for COVID-19 symptoms and implementing our exposure control plan and protocols as needed.
  • Installing no-touch trash bins, no-touch paper towel dispensers and hand sanitizer stations in the bathroom and throughout the clinic. There will also be locking plastic bins in each room for soiled reusable face masks to be stored for sanitizing at the end of the day.

*Keeping our patients safe and healthy is our top priority. We will be continuously reviewing and updating our policies and procedures based on guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts state guidelines. To stay up to date with this information please visit our website regularly and pay attention to signs throughout the office.

If you would like to schedule an appointment please click here. If you are unable to book online you can email us at or text the clinic line at 617-971-8623 with your desired availability and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work on safely reopening!

Looking forward to seeing you,

Crystal Meyers

Owner of AcuPUNKture

Introducing: Virtual Treatments with At Home Acu-kits!

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Here at AcuPUNKture, we are planning ahead in case we are not able to safely re-open our doors to the public in 2 weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak and current need for quarantine and social distancing.


Over the next couple of weeks we will be preparing for and piloting Virtual treatments  in which existing clients can book tele-treatments with us and enjoy a guided treatment from the comfort of their homes. During these sessions we will communicate via phone or video-chat while I guide you through the treatment. Prior to this appointment I will send out an “At home Acu-kit” to your home with all the essentials needed for 4+ treatments.


If you have acupuncture coverage through insurance, you will be able to utilize insurance with these treatments as I will be guiding you on insertion points for applying press-needles along with magnets, essential oils, salves, gua-sha for myofacial release and more. Out of pocket price for treatment will be $70 and includes your at home Acu-kit. All modalities of payment currently used at the office will be accepted including flex-spending and HMO accounts.


This is what Japanese acupuncture is all about- Using all of our modalities and “tricks in our tool box” to achieve powerful treatments when we can only do minimal needle insertions!


During your 60 minute tele-consult & treatment I will also be available to answer any self-care questions and recommend any nutritional or supplementation advice. For clients that already have an at home cupping set or wish to purchase an inexpensive set for guided at home application this is available also.


Each kit will be customized and may contain: 
-A Gua sha spoon for guided myofascial/muscle release
-Mini essential oil bottles filled with Snow Lotus Organic essential oils tailored to the client’s specific/usual needs- we can discuss prior to sending out
-15 Ibuki moxa (stick-on moxa)
-One 10 pack of 800 gaus reusable acu-magnets (able to continue to wear after session and reapply later)
-Two 12,000 gaus reusable magnets (very strong for use only during session)
-20 Pyonex press needles
-20 Ear Press balls with picture reference cards of applicable ear points
-Small Gemstones appropriate for each client (if desired)
-1 Therapeutic Organic Essential Oil infused Epsom Salt packet for soaking
-1 roll of micropore tape for taping magnets and crystals to acu-points


We realize this type of treatment may not work for everyone and that is totally okay! We also realize that even if we are able to reopen our doors to the general public- our severely immune-compromised clients maybe not be able to physically come in to the office for fear of catching COVID-19 and therefore they can utilize this type of treatment in the future.


If you are interested in this new venture please reach out to us at


This is going to be new for everyone, including us, and there will be some kinks to work out both via the booking website, getting your your acu-kit in a timely manor and connecting via online in a HIPPA-compliant way, but we look forward to this new journey with you and helping to continue care for our wonderful clients while promoting love, light and healing during this unknown, dark and scary time.


Clinic Temporary Closing- COVID-19 Pre-caution-

Dear clients,
With the recent news of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak and the need for social distancing as well as Boston public School systems closing to help stop this pandemic from spreading through our community, we feel it is our duty to close the clinic for at least 2 weeks to help keep our staff and clients safe from the possibility of unknown infection.

We will be closing our doors and cancelling all appointments starting Monday March 16th, 2020 through May 4, 2020 to comply with the most current medical recommendations by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)- which is to practice “extensive social distancing”. That is to say the best advice at this time is to stay home, within your family unit, and to eliminate all non-essential physical contact with others.

We will continue to closely monitor the CDC and WHO’s recommendations and will reassess the situation as more information comes to light. It is possible we will have to close for more than 2 weeks but in the meantime we will keep appointments on the books and take it day by day.

With that said we understand this is a VERY difficult thing to do and we know you rely on your weekly or monthly appointments with us for pain management, immune boosting, stress management and many other different health issues.

The population most at risk for complications from COVID-19 are those that are over the age of 60, those that are immune-compromised as well as those with underlying lung conditions, heart disease and diabetes. MANY of our clients fall into these categories. This virus is extremely contagious and is transmissible even when people are asymptomatic. Therefore, sick policies asking people to stay at home when they are ill are dangerously ineffective.

In light of this new information, we can not take any risk in compromising the health and well being of all of our patients. Greater social distancing NOW, before more people get sick, will significantly improve our community’s chances of stopping the spread of the virus and overwhelming our hospital with more patients then they can give proper care to.

Please understand that we are still here for you, sending you and your families positive healing energy during these very trying times and we will continue to keep you updated via our website and social media as new information emerges and changes to status of the clinic continue.

We hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this very stressful time and we look forward to seeing and treating you again when we are able to re-open our doors in the future.
The AcuPUNKture Staff

Temporary Closing


Dear clients,
With the recent news of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak and the need for social distancing as well as Boston public School systems closing to help stop this pandemic from spreading through our community, we feel it is our duty to close the clinic for at least a week to help keep our staff and clients safe from the possibility of unknown infection.
We will be closing our doors and cancelling all appointments starting Monday March 16th, 2020 through Sunday March 22nd, 2020 and will reassess the situation as more information comes to light. It is possible we will have to close for more than 1 week but in the meantime we will keep appointments on the books and take it day by day.
We hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this very stressful time and we look forward to seeing and treating you again when we are able to re-open our doors in the future.
The AcuPUNKture Staff

Update: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak

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We wanted to take a moment to address the current coronavirus outbreak. We are currently taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including but not limited to frequent hand washing and disinfecting of surfaces in the office.

We are also asking that any patients who may have been exposed to the virus to STAY HOME until you have been tested. You may have been exposed if you:

– have traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, or Italy, or any of the 120 countries affected by the coronavirus in the last 30 days OR
– have recently had a fever greater than 100 degrees and/or
– cough, upset-stomach or respiratory (breathing) symptoms or
– have had had known contact with someone exposed to the coronavirus

If you may have been exposed and have an appointment scheduled for this week, give us a call at 617-971-8623 so we can reschedule your appointment.

Thank you for your cooperation in stopping the spread of the virus!

Stay safe and healthy,

The AcuPUNKture Team

Welcome our new Part-time Acupuncturist: Aaron Wickenheiser, LAc.


aaron pic

Aaron received his acupuncture License from the Board of Registry in Medicine here in the state of Massachusetts. He is board certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) as a Diplomat in Acupuncture.

His academic studies and clinical training in the field of East Asian Medicine was completed at the New England School of Acupuncture. With focuses being Traditional Chinese methods, more subtle Japanese methods and Traditional Chinese Herbology.

He enjoys treating a wide range of ailments including orthopedic musculo-skeletal pain, pediatric complaints, internal organ derived problems and infertility. In addition, he has done further training focusing on pregnancy health and easy labor. He treats his patients with many modalities which may including tuina (style of Chinese body work), electro-acupuncture, moxabustion, cupping, gua sha and Chinese nutritional counseling.

He comes to the practice of acupuncture from a life-long practice of contemplative study. He has been a long time Buddhist mediator and practitioner of energy movement arts such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. The study of how to find harmony between the mind, body and energy has been a constant drive.

When not treating in the clinic Aaron enjoys spending time with this wife and baby daughter, exploring natural and wild areas and building and making things with his hands.

To book with Aaron- Please check the online scheduler or call the office at 617-971-8623

Aaron’s appointment availability:

Friday November 15th from 10:30-3:30

2 Saturdays per month 8-3:30pm & Thursday nights (starting soon): 4-8pm.

He is able to see all insurance patients currently seeking treatment at AcuPUNKture and is now booking appointments!

AcuPUNKture now displaying and selling artwork by Resident Artist: Cat Craig!

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Cat Craig enjoys spending her spare time drawing and painting mystical beings from the cosmos, girls who look like they are from the streets of Tokyo and all of the mermaids. Inspired by manga, haute couture, art nouveau, dolls and obscure music as well as her experiences growing up overseas on USAF bases in Germany and Okinawa. She works in a wide variety of materials; watercolors, markers, sparkly inks, to customizing and sewing for dolls and boats. She has been a native to the Greater Boston region since 1999 and received her BFA in Art and Design from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2008. She is currently employed as a canvas stitcher in a small south coast Massachusetts shipyard.

Cat is available for commission pieces and some of her prints/stickers/coloring books and original artwork are now on display and available for purchase at AcuPUNKture in JP!

Click here to see more of Cat’s work

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Monthly Intuitive Tarot Therapy sessions with Seer: Vanessa Ly!

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Vanessa Ly comes from a long lineage of Peruvian seers. Her gift was passed down to her through her grandmother Valentina Mendoza, in honor of whom La Baronesa Valentina was named. Since the age of 14, Vanessa’s ancestors have spoken to her through the tarot. She incorporates her intuitive teachings during her therapy sessions to provide clarity to those who seek her.

We are happy to announce that Intuitive Therapist/Seer, Vanessa Ly, will be hosting monthly office hours at AcuPUNKture!

Schedule your 30 minute reading below!

tarot and magik

Shamanic Energy Healer: Katie Nadeau now hosting weekly office hours at AcuPUNKture!

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Katie Nadeau, Shamanic Energy Healer

katie nadeau

What is Shamanic Energy Healing? Explained by Katie:

A shamanic energy healing works to clear blocks in your chakras (energy centers) and fills them with healing, positive energy. Throughout life we hold on to emotions/traumas/limiting beliefs and push them aside without acknowledging or releasing them. These traumas/emotions/limiting beliefs stay within our energy bodies and continue to present themselves until healed. They can resurface as a physical aliment, fatigue, despondency, or many other forms. A shamanic energy healing can aid in clearing blocks from childhood, the present, past lives, and blocks passed down through the lineage all while you lay down and relax. While healing I am in connection with mine and your spirit guides. I use my intuition and their guidance to feel and move through your energy. At times I may also receive messages or information from the Divine, Archangels, and/or ancestors. Each person is unique and ever changing, therefore, each healing will be unique to the person and their energy. If your energy is calling for it I may incorporate different tools (crystals, oils, reiki, etc)  into a healing.  This can be done in person or from a distance. Contact me and we can set up an appointment.

Katie now has weekly in-house office hours at AcuPUNKture.  Visit her website for more information and to book your healing session via her website below!

Welcome our new part-time Associate Acupuncturist: Mary Maresca, LAc.!

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mary pic

Mary is a graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture where she completed a Masters Degree in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture styles. She is licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Medicine and certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Mary has been involved in energy healing since the early 1990’s. She is certified in Healing Touch and has been a Reiki practitioner since 2009. Mary continues to pursue advanced training in the Dr. Tan Balance Method of acupuncture, Medical Qi Gong and the therapeutic use of Essential Oils. She also works in the Behavioral Health Department at Fenway Health as a Detox Acupuncturist.

While acupuncture addresses a wide array of conditions, Mary has special interest in pain management, musculoskeletal issues, migraine, mental health, and cancer treatment-related symptoms. Using acupuncture, cupping, kineseo-taping and oils, Mary brings thoughtful and compassionate care to help patients access their own innate healing ability.

In her own quest for a well-balanced life, Mary makes time for gardening,
watercolor painting, reading and meeting new people.

Mary’s appointment availability:

2 Saturdays per month 8-3:30pm & Thursday nights (starting in July): 4-8pm.

She is able to see all insurance patients currently seeking treatment at AcuPUNKture and is now booking appointments!

Branching out

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A story on growth.

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I imagine this tree, so tall and strong. Helping other trees up towards the light. He lets them wrap tightly around his roots, pulling as they slowly coil and stretch out towards the sun. The bigger tree can feel the pressure mounting. He tries to plant his roots deeper into the ground but the soil is taken up. There’s no more room. What will he do?

I imagine this tree looking back over seasons, wondering how he got here. How he grew to be so tall. If growing up had been the right direction for his life after all.

What if he had just reached out? Spread his branches far over the land. Had he planted his roots in the right place? He let out a long sigh as the wind rustled his leaves. The few he had managed to hold on to this season.

I imagine the pulling. Coiled around like a snake, squeezing intermittently at his life force. The tree welcomes his friends. He feels the weight bearing down on him, his roots coming up just slightly, gravel washing underneath him as the earth beneath him begins to shift. Yet he stands firm, knowing if he continues to reach up there may be no space left. I imagine his slow panic as he thinks about how to continue to provide a path to the light, when he’s losing grasp right beneath him.

I imagine his terror as his little family keeps pulling. He feels the pressure. Again, he tries to plant his roots. Growing over the pebbles, allowing himself to be exposed. He doesn’t think about the old days, when he felt the dirt soft against his roots. When he stretched out his limbs and didn’t feel that pressure. He doesn’t pay attention to the cold ice, penetrating his exposed root, trying to freeze his core. Instead, he thinks about his path. He’s always known he would have to grow up. That he would help his friends reach for the light with him, but had he considered another way?

I imagine a pounding rain washing down the mountain. A hard crack of lighting hitting a nearby tree. This particular tree had lost his footing seasons ago. He’d stopped searching for ways to grow and he let the elements wash over him until he was just a ragged core. He hadn’t tried to spread his limbs for seasons. When he looked up, he just saw shimmers of that old familiar light. When he looked down, he saw his roots. Raw. Eaten away at. Exposed.

Why hadn’t he just reached out? Spread his limbs far across that land. Paved a new path for him and his family? It was too late now. The lightning cracked and he let himself split under the heat and pressure of the bolt.

The thunder rolls over the hills, rumbling, vibrating. Penetrating the hardened ground. The gravel shifts beneath the tree’s roots once again. But this time the tree has been mindful. He feels the pulling again. He pulls back, taking firm root on the edge of the field. He feels the gravel shifting as a gentle stream bubbles beneath his roots. Tickling his core. What was this sensation? Was this what he had been missing?
He feels the pulling again. A bearing down sensation and the coils tightening. He gasps for carbon dioxide as the gravel shifts beneath him again.

I imagine he remembers the other trees that came before him. How they were able to keep growing with such apparent ease. What was it about them that made it look so simple? Another loud crack of lightning strikes around him, forcing him out of his daydream. He hears a loud crash nearby and searches in panic, laying eyes on his fallen friend.

The pressure overwhelms him. The heavens open up and the pink sky cries out hard pellets of water, as if serving a punishment. It didn’t have to be this way. Again, he feels the pulling. Suffocating.

Over the season new vines had made their stance; growing and pulling. Squeezing and stretching up over his bark. Stealing away at his small rays of sunshine.

I imagine the tree watching his surroundings, grasping for footing and being welcomed by the soft mud along the field’s edge. He remembers that gentle feeling. He feels a hot ray touching his budding limbs and he reaches up but is met by the shadow of the trees around him. They overwhelm him.

How had he not noticed them before? He’d spent so much time helping his friends towards the light that there wasn’t any light left in that direction. He remembers his fallen friend. He wishes he could just reach out but it is too late. Another season passes.

I imagine this tree, searching for the heat of the sun through the shadows, letting out a loud sigh of oxygen as he reaches out one more time. But something is different this time. The pressure that mounted after all these seasons and the gravel and dirt that shifted beneath his roots had changed him. The earth feels different today. He notes its textures, wet and soft, stretching his roots out, acknowledging the gravel that had hurt and exposed him just a few seasons ago. It had forced him on this new path. As he reaches out over the field, his limbs burn in the heat of the light. Suddenly, the things that seemed to stunt him before have gained a new meaning. He plants his roots hard into the field and remembers the feeling of the harsh, cold rain pelting at his bark, the friends he tried to help along the way and the vines that had taken advantage of his kindness. The thunder that penetrated the ground, causing creatures to seek refuge in his open trunk. His fallen leaves that he had shed over the stress of winters’ past. He lets the light creep over him, new buds emerging through the growth of his outstretched limbs.

He takes a moment to look around him and though he recognizes his surroundings, he no longer feels that familiar pressure. That hard, cold rain that had once pelted his bark had also fed his core, flushing his limbs with nutrients as his roots processed its’ unrelenting forces. Those vines that had wrapped around him so tightly he’d barely managed to breathe, now loosened their grip as he deeply exhaled the oxygen from the depths of his core- releasing what no longer served him. The thunder that penetrated the ground, causing many to explore the once empty crevices of his trunk, now cradled a family of birds who sang him to sleep through the storms. The gravel beneath his roots that had once caused panic as he searched for footing under its’ unexpected shifting, now mixed with the new soil beneath him, massaging his roots beneath the field.

He looked around him, basking in the light he had neglected to acknowledge over the seasons. He looked back over the field and noted how far he had come. He realized nothing had really changed at all. That the rain still came and the ground still shifted while unexpected thunder rolled through. That the vines still pulled hard to try and smother the light and the creatures still sought refuge. But something had changed.

He had grown. He had branched out.

Now looking back on his weathered trunk he could see everything so clearly. His old leaves for which he once mourned each season, had nourished his core; dissolving underneath his limbs and helping to build the soil beneath him. How had he not seen this all these seasons? What else was he oblivious to? So wrapped up in the pressures around him, had he forgotten what he was? What he could be?

His limbs outstretched over the field and the sun’s rays reflected new buds in the puddle below his branches. He looked down, recognizing the growth, confused by what he saw. The bud began to open as the sun’s fading rays kissed it’s rosy petals and a flower emerged. A single, most beautiful flower- he couldn’t believe it. How was it that all these seasons he’d never known he could flower?

I imagine this tree standing firmly planted, widely stretched out over the field. A beautiful dogwood tree. Having reached his full potential, offering his beauty to those who choose to see it, but no longer over-extending his branches. Standing tall in a field of new perspective- dark, blushing flowers filling out his branches.


-Crystal Meyers, LAc.