Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now about my chi.

An added value of having the Brit's dad here, besides all of the tea and interesting chit chat, is that he is an acupuncturist with a PhD in, I think, Chinese medicine. So mention that you may have some malady and he will offer to treat you with gold-tipped needles. I have always been at least moderately intrigued by acupuncture, but never tried it prior to yesterday, I guess because there was never an exceptionally qualified acupuncturist staying in my house when I was having issues.

Anyway, I have this thing, let's call it a twang, in my sacroiliac region, on the left side. It's not chronic or regular by any means, but it recurs enough that I imagine I'm off-balance somehow, that the torque of my stride is enough to pop things out of whack periodically. It usually resolves in a couple days, except for that one time in 2004 where I had it for most of the year. (Uncoincidentally, that was not my happiest of times.) This time I got twanged after a regular old 5K jog. It probably would have been okay, except that then a few days later I almost fell down the stairs, twice, and gave myself some sort of body whiplash by righting myself at the last second. The result is that the twang has twanged harder and more persistently than it has in ages. It doesn't matter how much I stretch; I'm all flexible and bendy and I can't get at the twang.

So the Brit's dad offered to treat me and I said BRING IT. My pulse revealed all kinds of interesting things to him (and me) in the initial phase of the treatment, but what I really want to tell you about is what happened after he placed the first two needles. I was flat on my back with a needle in my right wrist and one in my left foot, and every muscle from the base of my spine around my whole bum to my pelvis and lower abdomen and inner thighs started to twitch uncontrollably, the way your teeth do when they chatter. It felt fizzy, or bubbly, or like a bag of wriggling snakes. It was insane, and deep, like each muscle that had for days been trying to prevent me from moving in a way that would cause me pain had finally been accessed. Everything was zinging around and shaking loose. It wasn't particularly emotional, except for being funny a few times, and incredibly interesting the rest of the time. This went on for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10. It released completely once, and then started up again about 30 seconds later.

You could call me a convert if I had been a skeptic before.

When I stood up and went about my business the twang was still there, but the accompanying sciatica-like leg pain and instability were gone. I felt loose, and still do. This thing is working itself out. And I have a follow-up appointment in two days, which is pretty sweet.

All this is to say that I believe my chi requires further investigation.

I'm certain I should be reporting on other matters as well. I got a haircut and look sort of a like a mushroom head. I think this is one of those haircuts that will take a few days or weeks to calm down--like if I got my school picture taken right now, it would be one of those dreaded "freshly cut" portraits. I've been cooking a lot. I found out my oldest friend is pregnant, which is awesome. It got cold as HAY-ull here over the weekend, but the rest of the week looks okay, which is good for my "bike at least through October you wuss" resolution.

Ace is standing next to the keyboard, quacking.


  1. I biked this morning. It was 27 when I left. It was DAMMMMN cold, but exhilarating. I can't give it up yet.

  2. This is fascinating. R's Dad's sciatica was fixed through acupuncture. I wonder if tongue tension can be cured with alternative medicine?!


  3. Yay, acupuncture! It's kind of like medical fortune telling. That's what I love about it. You get to discuss actual lifestyle issues and apply those seemingly random changes (eg, eat more pears, kale and almond milk) along with the needles. I also take Chinese herbs and they're my antidepressants (I've actually been off of them for a few weeks while I've been sick and my mood's still up). I can't say enough about acupuncture, probably because I was a TOTAL skeptic before it so drastically changed my life.

    Love the line about the fresh haircut look on picture day. I'm picturing a Dorothy Hammill. Let's see that 'do!

  4. That acupuncture story is amazing.

    Sorry 'bout the haircut. I suffer through those a lot when I grow my hair out. I'm sure yours isn't too bad - you're too cool for that.