Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dude, what have you been smoking?

So I decided to give acupuncture a try again.

Maybe I'm just hanging out with the wrong crowd (you know: aromatherapists, acupressure and Reiki practitioners) or I just drank the Kool-aid they were serving when I signed up for massage school, or maybe I'm just getting in touch with my inner Asian, but I've noticed a shift in my perception -- a perception that buys into the idea that traditional eastern approaches (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Five Element theory) conceptually seem like they might be more effective at managing internal physiological and emotional... uh, issues. I've always felt that I was pretty open-minded, although there's also been a pretty heavy dose of skepticism floating around. But I have to say, after a class on Shiatsu/acupressure in our Perspectives on Bodywork course and really finding the "headache pressure point" for the first time, and discovering the effectiveness of Stomach-36, I think I've really started buying into the stuff.

So anyway, I thought: hey, maybe I should try a fresh approach to what ails me. All this depression and getting sick business. And the low energy, and occasional "gastro-intestinal distress"... this seems like it'd be right up Complementary-and-alternative-medicine's alley, so to speak.

So I ended up going to the Culia Ki Clinic in Watertown. I originally found out about the clinic because a friend was attending a workshop with the director and was impressed with his... with something. Over the holiday an old friend HM told me I needed to learn to listen to my gut, and I guess I'm trying to put it into practice. I guess I could just feel that he knew his shit.

Robert, an assistant, did an intake and initial pulse and palpation evaluation and then the director, Mr. Kuwahara, came in and did his magic. It was interesting to notice that he stayed in the room and continued to adjust the needles and check my pulse several times. (This may have been part of the initial consultation, we'll see how much I'm seen by the director in future visits, I suppose.) Some time later, Robert returned and was told how to proceed with the next part of the treatment, and then after that, Mr. Kuwahara returned and did some more things ...and then gave me my homework.

Yes, they gave me acupuncture homework. Actually, I'm supposed to self-treat with MOXA. From the looks of the sheet, it could have been magnets, too. But for me: just moxa, 4 locations. Robert gave me the low-down: there are dots on my hands and feet to help me find the exact locations where I was supposed to place them.

The complete session took just over an hour and a half. I felt alright but afterwards, nothing special... but y'know, I really didn't expect to see any immediate effects -- this is supposed to be energy work after all, small changes occurring over time.

But, I must admit, I slept... oddly last night. It seemed like I was sleeping deeply, and yet I woke up several times, with a feeling I really can only describe as being... intense. Not like, "Whoa dude, that was intense!" There was just a strange intensity about it. A perception. Sorta fuzzy. Maybe it could be better described as a sort of buzz. Regardless, it seemed like I slept pretty well, despite the interruptedness.

Had to take the car in this morning. I officially decided to get up an hour before the appointment and did my homework sitting on my bed. Robert had recommended lighting the Moxa using incense which seemed to work well enough. And it seemed less involved than having to burn a bunch of matches (not to mention that I have no idea if there's still a lighter in the house). Watching the thin thread of the smoke rise, it was interesting to observe how drafts and flows within the room. And hey, incense and moxa stinking up the bedroom. Oy.

At the dealership, I notice myself feeling surprisingly awake after such a strange sleeping experience. Disc during lunch, and it feels good. The field is snowy, icy, wet. By the end, my toes are semi-numb, but I can still feel all of my wet fingers. At one point, I remember thinking about intention, catch myself thinking to myself: this is the world where I catch the disc, this is the world where I throw the disc. I catch, I throw. It feels good to be outside. Then home, shower, work, eat. Then class.


I'm disappointed to admit that I actively dread this class. We can afford to miss one class per module, and I'm pretty sure I'm just going to bail on one since I don't have any overseas weddings to attend this month. Class has been, and is, in fact, annoying. But at the breaks, I notice something odd: I'm ...chatty? People who usually annoy the crap out of me don't seem to be bothering me at all today. Holy shit, I'm actually making jokes with him. I'm... being upbeat?


What am I doing?

This isn't me.


Or... is it?

Maybe it was just the weather: gray, but mild and in the high 40's. Might've even snuck into the low 50's this evening. Maybe it's the exercise. Or maybe things are just falling into place. However, the internal energies are supposed to influence behavior as well as emotion...

It should be interesting to see how I'm feeling tomorrow... especially after I finish my homework. My acupuncture homework.

Too bad the bedroom still smells like moxa. I guess I can live with that.

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