Tuesday, December 11, 2007

more tales of the needles

The flare-up during the weekend at the house of hell drove me back into the arms of acupuncture.

The Chinese kind seemed to be working. There were even a couple of weeks where I didn't have to go in at all because I was feeling really good. But then I was all intrigued when a colleague told me about her Japanese acupuncturist, and I've now been there twice. It hasn't yet given me the immediate relief the Chinese one gave me, but I think it's pretty cool, so I'll keep going back. I'm not sure if that's the way one should be choosing an acupuncturist, but I never claimed to be rational. Here are three fun things about my new place:

1. I called to make an appointment, then told the colleague I booked with the man. "Oh," she said, "I forgot to tell you. There is no man. There are only two women. She just sounds and looks like a man, but she's really a woman." A Japanese version of Pat? Well, I spent every minute (two appointments of 1 1/2 hours) searching for evidence of his/her gender. Facial stubble? Yes. Breasts? Seemingly no. Adam's apple? Not readily apparent. After 3 hours, the jury was still out. Apparently my next career will not be as a circus carnie guessing age, weight, or even gender.

2. The colleague neglected to tell me how to find the place. I had an address, but when I got there, there was no sign outside, just a house with a strange little stained glass specimen outside. When I (rather bravely, if I may say so) went inside, the room to which I was taken upped the sketchiness factor significantly. Three walls were painted an angry red... hardly a soothing colour for a acupuncture clinic. But--get this--the other wall consisted of insulation stapled onto what appeared to be the original interior wall. Just the insulation. I'm going to go ahead and guess that no interior designer was engaged.

3. The colleague also neglected to tell me about what Japanese acupuncture actually entails. The Chinese kind was just 18 needles being placed in the same places, then me relaxing with them in. The Japanese kind immediately seemed more frantic and activity-filled. It began with a bunch of needles going into various places--different ones from the Chinese--but then took a turn when Japanese Pat started mixing herbs, rubbing them around the base of the needles, then burning them on my skin. Yes, burning. There was fire. If I wasn't already weirded out by that, then he/she started picking spots to press in my skin that really, really hurt, then pressing into a corresponding spot somewhere completely different on my body that brought the original pain to an end. A needle was then placed in the second spot. Apparently a lot of my pain-ending spots are in my scalp. I'm not sure whether that's normal or whether I just have a magical cranium. I suppose I could do some research on this but it's more fun to speculate.


RainyBow update [Wednesday]: Have a burn mark on my stomach today. It's big.


Emory said...

I say we all pitch in and buy Raintbow a Porcupine for Christmas. Yeah! her very own Porcupine. (or maybe a small Hedgehog)

Yes, and we will name it Pat - Pat the Porcupine.

complain away said...

Shucks, that's sweet.:)