Saturday, January 06, 2007

This is what it feels like to have needles stuck all over you

So, for the last six weeks or so I've been going for acupuncture. Sometimes once a week, sometimes twice.

I go to see this Doctor - he is actually a Doctor! His name is Doctor Wu and his nurse is Mrs. Wu.

She speaks with the rounded accent of someone used to more x's than s's in a person's name. She says 'Hello Allishon' in the most lovely way imagineable, she has very kind eyes and she looks like a nurse out of a stylized film from the 50's. Sometimes I think she looks like what Grandam Lois must have looked like when she was younger.

If she had black hair. And was asian.

Anyways, I go to see them in their office on lower 5th Avenue. It's got four or five treatment rooms and a waiting room with loads of magazines. Good magazines for a waiting room. Like InStyle or Metropolitan Home. Nothing that would be too much of a commitment to read and discard. I don't usually wait long before Mrs. Wu takes me to a little exam room, where there is a massage table, a desk, some chairs, some diagrams and illustrations on the wall and a heater.

The room is always very warm. Like 'I am sweating in my paper dress' warm.

After a few minutes, Dr. Wu comes in. He also has kind eyes and a pleasant manner. But he's not much for expositing on what's going on except to say that my pulse is good. He usually asks what is going on with my western medical treatments (we works with a lot of specialists from Cornell and other fancy places) checks my tongue and takes my pulse. In three or four different places. Places I didn't know you could take a pulse from!

Then he applies the needles.

I don't usually feel it, except for some pressure in the muscle where the needle has punctured. Oh, and when he puts the needles in my ears. That hurst like the h-e-double hockey sticks. Sometimes there are needles in my feet, my ankles, my shins, my belly, my solar plexus, my hands, ears and a special needle for the very top of my head.

Verily, I am a pincushion. and I lie there like one.

My brain goes to strange places as I lay there. I'll start with some productive visualization.. golden eggs... golden eggs... but, inevitable my mind spins off into some strange tangent until I catch myself. They are like thoughts that are not coherent thoughts. Like dreams in a blender.

At the same time, my body begins to hum with energy. My friend HK describes it as 'the needles talking to each other.' That's a little too Hunter S. Thompsonish for me... but they definitely seem to be passing something back and forth between them.

I lie there for 35 minutes. They are very long, interesting minutes. Sometimes I feel like I could levitate right off of the table. Or acquire x-ray vision. Or actually get pregnant.

In the end, Mrs. Wu comes in and gently removes the needles. 'Okay Allishon,' she says, in her cheerful way.

And then I put on my clothes, get in the elevator, take the subway, and somehow - miraculously, strangely - find myself back at my office for an afternoon of work. And that's the strangest part of it, since I usually feel like I should have floated off to Superman's Fortress of Solitude or some equally fantastical place in those thirty-five minute of treatment.
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1 comment:

Dakota said...

Love love love, that description. So true, levitating! Me too! Bedside manner isn't everything when you know the Doc is doing something right, or you wouldn't be buzzing like that. My Zhi-Ping...pronounced basically Ja-Ping, quite mean in many ways really, but Scrumptious is here and I don't care! All will be well with those golden eggs. Bye Goose.