I've long been fascinated with eastern medicine. I love Thai massage. I believe in reflexology. And I believe that there are some gaps in what western medicine can accomplish.
While up at Tahoe last week I went to an acupuncturist, one recommended by a friend who found relief from his back pain there. My elbow had been hurting and now the pain was moving to my hand. As a writer, I spend the majority of my professional time banging away at a keyboard so this was a problem.
Tyler, aka Mr. Needles, was a nice enough guy. His office was in Tahoe City and looked like a cross between a doctor's office and a masseuse. Clean. With framed diplomas in all the right places. And a plush treatment table.
Mr. Needles took a detailed health history from me and then took my pulse from several G-rated locations. He looked at my tongue to gain insight into disharmony in my corresponding organs. Evaluating pulse strength apparently provides insight into systemic functions. Mine was strong in some places, weaker in others. Apparently I have some work to do to get back to being energetic, restorative and vital.
(As an aside, the evening prior Thing 1, Thing 2 and I did an outdoor yoga class. The yogi was way too spiritually goopy for my taste. Even Thing 1, who loved the class, later said to me, "What was all that stuff about empowerment and love and Republicans, Mommy?" We get it. This is Tahoe.)
Back to Mr. Needles. He then slowly inserted about a dozen needles into my hands, feet, arms and legs. I felt a little pinch when they went in and then, on some, a tingle. My toes got warm. I assumed that was a result of the needles but no, it was a result of the heat lamp pointed at my feet! Then I lay there for 20 minutes trying not to fall asleep. Mr. Needles had going the very same George Winston music I listen to when I am trying to fall asleep on a plane. Yes, Pavlov's Dog.
After that, Mr. Needles heated some of the needles using dried mug wort in stick form. Then he twisted some of the needles. Finally he pulled them out and advised that I would start to feel the effects in a day or so.
When I got home Dave asked me how I was feeling and if the treatment involved voodoo or waving dead chickens over my head.
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