The Greater Gift

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I just completed a 10 year acupuncture mentorship with a man who never knew anything about acupuncture, yet he taught me so much. My heart hurts today, but my heart and soul are so grateful for the experience. Let me tell you our story…

In 2010 he showed up for the very first time at my clinic with a HOPE that I could help him with chronic shoulder pain.

He Believed in Me

He and I were both a little wet behind the ears. I was fresh out of college. He was 83 years old and had never had acupuncture before. But he was willing and so was I. 

Little did he or I know that we’d meet together 130 times over the next decade. He originally came in for pain. Once we got his pain under control, he learned the value of acupuncture as a healthy lifestyle choice—which led to continued acupuncture care month after month, after month…

He was one of my FAVORITE wellness patients!

I learned a Geriatric Specialty

As the years progressed, I treated him for “all the geriatric stuff” that comes up if you are blessed to live a long life. He definitely had his ups and his downs with health issues along the way. 

But here’s what made his golden years so much better… 

  1. He ate sensibly.
  2. He moved his body for 20 minutes every day.
  3. AND…. While he continued to see his regular doctors, he always included acupuncture as an adjunct therapy. 

His life is a lesson to all of us. Three simple lifestyle choices for a good life!

I’m Going to Miss this Guy

When his wife called me to let me know that he had passed, she said: “You know, he loved coming for acupuncture. Every month he was so excited. It was like he was going to a party.” She thanked me for taking care of her husband all these years. 

He and I had many tender moments together.

He must have told me—and everyone else—at least 100 times
that the secret to his longevity was monthly acupuncture. 



The greater gift was MINE. I’m filled with gratitude for a beautiful journey. I gained so much wisdom about life, pain, courage, compassion, humor, prayer, faith, and LOVE from this beautiful man. 

If you are ever blessed with the incredible opportunity to spend
130 hours of your career mentoring with a geriatric patient,
I highly recommend it!

Your life will be greatly blessed. 

  • The end will be bitter sweet. 
  • You will cry. 
  • Your heart will ache when it’s over—but the lessons you learn will be priceless. 

Godspeed to my friend. Thank you for the journey.


~Dr. Kimberly


Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.
Meridian Family Acupuncture
1879 N. Lakes Place
Meridian, ID 83646 




Johnny Russell

So sorry Kimberly.  It is never a good moment to say goodbye to an old friend.

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Ray Fouts

A touching story indeed. Thanks for sharing

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