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Rubbed with Ben Gay and set on fire

posted in Home Jabber on November 04, 2005

Must be time to erase & reinstall everything on my computer, as it's gotten slow enough that doing the simplest tasks makes me want to put my fist through the screen. Nothing more infuriating than waiting on a really slow tool to do your work. This never happened with landscaping. My shovel didn't stop moving soil after using it for a few weeks. The wheelbarrow moved just as swift (albeit requiring a bit more physical effort) as the season wore on. Snips pruned, plants planted, brooms swept, etc.

However, it's pouring rain outside, and I'm working away inside, which is quite the opposite with landscaping. It rains, you sit.

This has been the worst halloween, and I've decided that I have to THINK AHEAD when it comes to my costume for next year. Because I get so depressed throwing together a crappy costume in the last minute and having to wear the pitiful thing all night. This year I was an aborted Joey Ramone, with tight jeans, big white shoes, and a cheap & fuzzy long blackhair wig. I hated it. And when I got home I was so relieved to remove it from my body. I had a lot more fun as Ambivalence the mime the week before Halloween, which has similarities to the costume I've been talking about almost as long as a Giant Toaster: Harpo Marx. A speechless jokester is the perfect costume for me: I get to be an ass while not having to talk to anyone.

Yesterday I had my first acupuncture experience. Soon Bok has been describing it to friends between peals of laughter as "HE GOT RUBBED DOWN WITH BEN GAY AND SET ON FIRE!" Which, however ridiculous sounding, isn't entirely inaccurate. I went on Soon Bok's recommendation, as she said it really helped her with her anxiety, making her feel high and happy afterwards, and it's offered as a donation-pay service through Outside In. But since I've been feeling fine & dandy lately, I was kind of stumped when asked "So, what brings you in today?" "Uhh.. my girlfriend said I should come in? I guess my shoulders are sore?"

The odd thing was Soon Bok and I were seen at the same time by two doctors (puncturists?) in "rooms" separated by a cloth curtain. This was surreal & confusing as I was listening to Soon Bok loudly explain her health & concerns while I was supposed to be doing the same. Then as the puncturist prepared to stick needles in my upturned, still-pantsed self, I was audience to Soon Bok's continuous "Is it going to hurt? PLEASE NOT IN THE LEG! It hurts! Ow! Don't turn it! Is it going to hurt?! OW!" -- not a relaxing introduction to the ancient prick-medicine. However, the needles didn't really hurt, just an odd sharp sensation followed by a spreading warmth (just as described beforehand).

The fun started when the stick-doctor spread camphorous oil all over my back, lit alcohol-soaked cottonballs on fire and suctioned little jars to my skin. He then moved these up and down on my back and exclaimed "OOH, THESE ARE GOING TO LEAVE NICE BRUISES." Great! Afterwards he said "OK, you're done." "Uhm, should I.. uh, do anything? Like after this?" "Well, just come in whenever your pocketbook allows. Bye!"

In a bruised & chi-flooded daze, I stumbled outside with Soon Bok, unsure of what I thought of the whole visit. She was given much clearer feedback and a slew of Chinese herbs to take. I felt somewhat cheated. Where were my herbs? Was my chi backed up in any certain location? Did my tongue show signs of illness? What did the mysterious Doctor Lee (a seasoned Acupuncturist called in after the student's examination to assure they caught everything) see in my pulse? What did all his mumbling mean?

Determined to get a better feel for needle healing, I made another appointment in two weeks. However, after seeing the welts & bruises from my "ben gay being set on fire" and not feeling at all different as far as back tension goes, I have my doubts.

4 comments on this entry

Yeah, my housemate is studying to be an acupuncturist (sp?) She keeps telling me that I should go in to get treated for all my back pain. But I am DEATHLY afraid of needles. Everyone tells you "No no! You can't feel it!" so I appreciated reading this entry and your honest description of it. "An odd sharp sensation followed by a spreading warmth" sure sounds like something you would feel to me!


I'm also REALLY opposed to needles being stuck in my body, believe me. Beneath my outward calm, I think I was pretty freaked out (and like I said, having Soon Bok *right* next to me squealing didn't help any), but it really was a tiny prick, much like getting your blood taken, although not in such a visible & fear-controllable area as your fingertip. It was a little different having the prick in your shoulder, palm, and calf. And Soon Bok had one put inbetween her eyes and on the back of her head! That I don't think I would've liked. It helped being on my stomach and not seeing it happen.

Nate 11/8/05

That reminds me Annie Hall when Dianne Keaton is getting a lot out of her therapy and Woody Allen is just flipping the bill... and getting nothing out of his. At least you got bruised and set on fire for a small donation. You should go back with a specific problem... maybe it'll be better.

erin reiner 11/10/05

Nate, I've had really serene experiences at Window of the Sky on 57th and Fremont. 335-9440. These people rock & the fee is sliding scale. (I pay $15) You relax in a comfortable reclining chair in a darkish, quiet room with other people recieving their treatments as well. The first appointment takes longer due to an intake interview to discuss all sorts of mental, digestive, physical problems...past and present. Two thumbs up!

Squirrel 11/14/05

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