Whatever you do, don’t sneeze…

September 13, 2007 at 10:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My sister used to have these mind-splitting headaches. She went to neurologists, got her head scanned, took all these horrible drugs. Then one day she decided to try acupuncture, and after a few sessions her headache disappeared. She’s been mostly headache-free since then–only occasionally going back if she feels a headache coming on. It worked so well for her, I thought I’d give it a shot for my poor achin’ bladder.

So yesterday I saw this Chinese doctor I found through my insurance (I get a discount if I go through him). We talked about my symptoms and what pain I’m hoping to cure. He had me lie down on a table while he held my wrist as if to take my pulse. Then he started telling me about my yin and yang, my emotional state, and physical things I experience. Some of it hit the mark (he said my ears ring a lot, and I indeed have tinnitus), and some didn’t seem as accurate (he said I was emotional and moody–though, I kind of have been lately because of my cold). It felt like he was telling my fortune, and my Inner Skeptic thought the whole thing was rather hokey. Then he started with the pins, which pricked a little, but didn’t really hurt. I had three in my ankles and calves, four in my abdomen, two in my wrists, and three on the top of my head. Then he attached some sort of clicking, vibrating machine thing to the ones in my ankles and head. He told me to meditate, picturing a bubbling brook washing over me, washing the pain away and cleansing my poor achin’ bladder. “How long?” I asked. “45 minutes,” he said. 45 MINUTES!? Then he shut the door, and I was alone in this room trying not to freak out that there were a dozen needles sticking out of me. I closed my eyes and pictured the brook, but it was hard to concentrate because my nose was starting to plug up from my cold. I was lying there wondering how I was going to get through this, thinking maybe I should call him in and suggest we do this another time when I’m not sick. He poked his head in after about 10 minutes to see how I was doing, and I told him I couldn’t breathe. “Ahhh,” he said, “I can fix that.” Then he proceeded to tap four needles into my nose and upper lip. Great, I thought, more freaky needles. But then my nose suddenly dried up. I kept waiting for it to plug up again, but damn it if those needles didn’t do the trick! My inner skeptic did a sheepish shuffle. I lay there, thinking of my brook, and my limbs started to feel heavy. Each needle point felt like a tiny stone exerting pressure precisely where I needed it. I felt a sneeze coming on, and for a brief second I panicked–how am I going to sneeze with all these needles sticking out of me?! But then the sensation subsided, as if i could will it away. By the end of the session, I felt like my body had melted into the table, and I felt this strange sensation that my lower body was heavier than my upper body. I felt balanced and at peace. He handed me a small bottle of chinese herbs, instructing me to take 10 pills three times a day on an empty stomach, until the bottle is empty. Each pill is about the size of a fish egg, so it’s not that much. I made an appointment to come in again Friday, and he thinks only two appointments should work for me.

So, is this working? It’s hard to tell–I’ve been hopped up on antihistamines for the last couple days, which tend to alleviate my symptoms and help me sleep. I’ll have to wait until I’m over this atrocious cold to find out if this really worked. But if the needles in my nose were any indication, I have high hopes.

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