Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

« Super Health Broth (gluten-free, vegan, ACD) | Main | Spicy Sautéed Beans n' Greens (GF, vegan, ACD) »


Cheeks blushed rosy, lips glossed ruby.  Indigo lines around twinkling eyes. Hair pulled back, dangling turquoise and onyx, crystal sparkles catching the light. The chill of night air fills my lungs, my feet crunch the snow. Anticipation of live music and good company warm me, like a favorite blanket. 

Cute boys with beards and flannels, pretty girls with sweaters and boots, dim table lamps and clink of glasses. Din of a crowd and the dim of the lights, light and dark, sound and silence, life and hibernation all at once.  Hugs are exchanged, smiles are traded.  Five women on stage tuning their instruments and walking in cowboy boots.  They play, they sing, and so does my heart.  This environment is familiar; for years, it fed me in a way that nothing else could. I feel alive.

The crowd grows, and drinks are raised in all hands but mine. Then it starts, small at first, but slowly growing - a nagging buzzing pressure in my head, a thump in my chest. A nervous energy in my belly, clawing its way down my legs and up my chest and into my neck, scratching at the base of my brain. I feel hot. I get irritated. I can't focus.  Someone's perfume trails up my nose, leaving nausea and a headache in its wake. 

[going out isn't always so fun anymore] 

The contained chaos of the crowd makes me feel like my nervous system is going to short circuit, brain fizzled and fried. Skin that crawls and fingers that twitch and head the pounds louder than the voices on stage. Must leave. Now.

[now. now. now.]

I make awkward but honest escape, quick goodbyes, desperate pushing through the crowd. Couples nestled in booths, crowds of friends sharing drinks and laughter. Me quickly putting on my coat and pushing out the door. The rush of icy air brings relief, but quickly turns to sadness; a quiet sidewalk speaks of icy despair when their is warmth and love inside.

I scream in my car until I can't scream anymore.

[an ironic gesture for someone suffering massive sensory overload]

Indigo tears. 


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Reader Comments (6)

Totally in awe of the raw honesty in this post..... I've been a subscriber for awhile for the food.... but this post surely has touched my spirit.... wow.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephinie

Oh dear Kim, while it is miserable, I can completely empathize. You captured it all in words so beautifully. The perfume. I can certainly relate to the perfume reaction. I like being an optimist about all the combined food intolerances we have as a family over here, but there are parts that frequently just make me feel like a social outcast. I am great on my own terrain feeding my family and those we love. Out to dinner we sometimes get looks of pity. We don't really need pity--we need better places to eat out :-). We need good live music in fragrance free environments. More laughter, more socialization--we all need these things. So much of our social lives revolve around food and when going out to do "special things" often involve loud music, dressing up and fragrances. All of which are nice. However, when we can't tolerate them, it's easy to feel left out of things we truly enjoy for their own merit.

I call for an indoor, fragrance free dance party with a bunch of food that you can eat. Invite some friends, dress up, turn on some great music and have a dance. We'd come too, but we're clear on the other side of the country on the sunny coast of CA. We'll turn on our music and dance too. :-)

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer L.

Oh, Kim, so sorry to read this, and I can so relate, as I've been there. I can tolerate such environments a lot better now, but ironically, they don't appeal to me as much any more. Love your writing. This is a beautiful prose poem, just on its own.

January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

I just found your blog while searching for a kefir dressing recipe and wow! Indigo. You are a great writer! I'm anxious to read on and possibly learn some solutions to my issues (allergies, skin conditions, fatigue, low bp, list goes on from there...)

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTaryn M

So sorry, Kim. I've been there. Hope this storm passes quickly. XOXO

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Tagudin

Thank you for being such a voice, Kim. I've talked to you before, I think; I'm Molly's mom...I wanted to ask you if you know what is going on with Dr. V? We can't reach her, no one picks up and no calls or emails are returned. Even our current doctor couldn't reach her and hasn't been able to get a call back. I have to get Molly treated somewhere, but we may have to go Washington at this point. Thought I'd ask you before we do that...Thanks.


August 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo