Have questions about acupuncture, Healing Touch, or Breathwork?

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I look forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Aimée Derbes, LAC

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13 W 28th St, Suite 5R
New York, NY, 10001
United States

On not having all the answers

Not a totally boring blog about acupuncture, breathwork, energy medicine, and self-healing

At my office in Manhattan (Flatiron / Union Square / Chelsea), I see patients who are dealing with chronic pain (back pain, neck and shoulder pain, knee pain, hip pain, and ankle pain), headaches + migraines, digestive issues (IBS, colitis), infertility, stress, insomnia, PMS, women's health, and autoimmune conditions (Lyme, Hashimoto's, thyroid conditions, and many more).

On not having all the answers

Aimée Derbes

Getting this out of the way : I'm not perfect, and I don't have all the answers. You know this about me by now, but in case you're new here (hi!) and missed it : despite all of my experience, education, and effort, my hair will always be a total mess; I look tons of work-related things up in reference books every day; I still can't figure out how to cook rice (seriously, wtf?!); I need like 7 alarms to get me out of bed, and attempts at reforming my cursing like a sailor have thus far all failed (see last parentheses). Usually, when I answer questions from friends or clients with "I don't know," I’m wanting them to use their own curiosity and intuition to uncover what's true for them....but sometimes, dudes, I simply have absolutely no idea. Like, zero clues. Dunno! LMGTFY.

I am mentioning my imperfection because I am deep into being an awkward, fumbling human right now. I've had a ridiculously uncomfortable few days. Bad days, emotionally draining interactions, making mistakes, sadness, mess, bruised ego (ouch!), saying the wrong thing, emotions I don't even know how to name, er...locking myself out of my apartment for the first time in probably 10 years...this is all part of my experience, and I am calling it out because I know it's in your experience too.

I used to twist myself into pretzels to keep my head turned away, to avoid facing my bad days, my health issues, my dysfunctional relationships. To not have to see or be with myself. I wanted so, so badly for someone else to appear and just fix my problems. When it finally became clear that no one was coming for me, and I had to do it myself -- this was way before I would phrase that as I would now, as "I GET to do it myself -- I lived a looooong, bumpy journey fueled by curiosity (or more honestly, desperation) to learn how to help myself heal, maintain, and thrive. To become my own mother, best friend, and healer; to seek appropriate help from others; to let some things be, unfixed. I figured a few things out by trial and error, and I offer some of them to you in the work I do (acupuncture, herbs, energy work, breathwork), so you can save yourself some time and pain.

But back to me not knowing everything, and how it's relevant for you : while I went to a Hogwarts-adjacent school, I received no magic wand to wave and make it all go away. I am not going to pretend that being a person facing their feelings and their health is all easy, all the time, good vibes only kind of thing. If they sell fairy dust and magic sparkles at my Chinese herb shop, no one has told me about them; they remain out of my reach. And if you need a cheerleader, I know who to recommend, but I'm not the one you call : I'm who you call if you're in the trenches, with no idea when or how you'll be able to climb out. When you need someone down in there with you, to look you in the eyes and say, "I see. It's really hard right now. I know. It's taking everything you have to not run away this time. It hurts. I know. I'm here." Those times when you know the only way forward is to stop running and just sit in the shit for a while, and you need a witness -- now, that's a job I was born to do.

I will sit in your trenches with you while you learn how to feel your way out, because I've sat in my own maze of trenches and felt my own way out. I can offer you tools that help you feel deeper into your body, deeper into the physical pain and the anxiety and the autoimmunity and the insomnia and the grief. Deeper into your feelings, even and especially the ugly ones that no one wants to admit are underneath everything else. I offer you these tools because, whether I sought them out or they were handed to me out of (seemingly) nowhere, I picked them up, tried them on, played with them, used them myself when I was sitting in my own trenches.

You know, I use a lot of tools, a lot of medicines that can all work, from different angles, at different parts of the process. I only use what works, and if you need proof that it works, look my way : even on the worst days I've had in months, even though I will never be perfect or "put together," I am vibrant, and healthy, and loving myself. I am sitting on my stoop awaiting the locksmith, taking this unexpected 2 hour hiatus to read a book, and talk to my neighbor, and talk to you. I am laughing at myself, I am fully alive, and I am not beating myself up for having a bad day. I have never been better.

PS. I'm leading a breathwork group on July 13 at 97 Wellness Club in Soho, and I hope you can come! Safe space for humans being humans, working it out, feeling their way to freedom.