Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

Comments 3 Standard

A few weeks ago, I found a Groupon for acupuncture, the deal was amazing, I was craving novelty/adventure, thought that a few treatments would satisfy this urge without violating the law, and got a few treatments, not expecting once.

Now I’m completely amazed.

In the last three weeks, I have

*lost 12 lbs (caveat: a large portion of this is water, but I don’t seem to miss it, either, and there’s also my recent adherence to a decent vegetarian diet & regular exercise is involved in this, but still.)

*less joint pain

*lost my generally ever-present anxiety and feel like the energy inside my head is different.

*improved circulation

*have achieved this without the use of herbs

* Started to realize exactly how crappy I felt before I started going, now intensely more hopeful about the future.

The diagnostic process in Chinese medicine is a bit different than Western medicine. An acupuncturist looks at your tongue, and takes your pulse from three points in your wrist, and looks at your medical and personal history. I guess there’s an individual level of response to treatment, my accupuncturist tested mine by having me turn my neck to the right  (neck stiffness is a thing with me) and pressed a point in my right wrist and the tension in my neck was about 70% gone. Doing this on max aggression level, twice a week so, this should all be pretty interesting.

What is really interesting to me is that the core of this practice is based on balancing your internal energy, and balancing the way your body interacts with itself, and maintaining personal habits that promote well-being. Essentially, this is built on the taoist principle of yin and yang, and too much of either will cause certain types of imbalances and eventually disease, and if one organ system is overly affected, it will throw the other ones out of balance.

There’s also a theory of balancing elements in a person, they use 5 representing earth, water, fire, metal, and earth, and the seasons-late summer is considered its own season.. I’m overly water-y and earthy, apparently, lol, and have long-lasting imbalances/childhood illnesses, so while my primary issues are my stomach and my liver, everything else is out of balance because they’ve been over-working.

Also have a cold, damp consistitution, the early stages of “cold bi”, which is a form of arthritis (again, split into 5 categories), “blood defiency”, so I hope that my health continues to improve. Also being treated to help me quit smoking- not a lot of progress with this yet.

The clinic I go to uses a Japanese style of acupuncture, and they insert needles in my wrists, feet, knees, and ankles more than anywhere else…they do some insertations in points in the back, and the needles they use are tiny and fresh every time. 🙂

Healing reactions/acupuncture hangovers are kind of a thing here. The first time I work, I ended up with a mild headache about a day and a half, and the 3rd time turned into some kind of massive peeing episode to the extent that my kidneys/lower back were sore for about 2 days afterward. Crazy stuff. There’s some minor stuff too- draining sinuses and increased salivation (they’re opening my “water channel”, I guess).

Also trying some weird hippie crap like alkalinized water, been eating more fresh vegetables vs. frozen, actually eating in the morning (usually have a stomach ache when I wake up, get sick if I eat too early…now I eat half a grapefruit, wait for 15 minutes and then I’m good to go?)

Cut most dairy, besides occasional small bits of cheese, only occasional caffeine, ginger tea is the love of my life, no meat….things are good. Trying to eat more often and early in the day, but that’s so against my nature, so it’s a work in progress. Got myself down to eating cooked vegetables when I get home from work at night.

I don’t know. I like the idea of looking outside of western medicine and it’s super linear cause and effect, I’m reading “Between Heaven and Earth”, right now, on traditional chinese medicine, which explains the differences between the two different approaches-the author is a western medicine doctor, who went to China with a team of other doctors in the 70’s to look into this, so I’d consider her to be a pretty decent source.) Really love how it’s built into a philosophy, really, on living in harmony with self, others, and nature.

“The Pennycandystore Beyond the El” – Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Leave a comment Standard

The pennycandystore beyond the El
is where i first
fell in love
with unreality
Jellybeans glowed in the semi-gloom
of that september afternoon
A cat upon the counter moved among
the licorice sticks
and tootsie rolls
and Oh Boy Gum

Outside the leaves were falling as they died

A wind had blown away the sun

A girl ran in
Her hair was rainy
Her breasts were breathless in the little room

Outside the leaves were falling
and they cried
Too soon! too soon!

God’s World

Leave a comment Standard

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
   Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
   Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour!   That gaunt crag
To crush!   To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
         But never knew I this;
         Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

“Crossing the Water” – Slyvia Plath

Leave a comment Standard

Black lake, black boat, two black, cut-paper people.
Where do the black trees go that drink here?
Their shadows must cover Canada.

A little light is filtering from the water flowers.
Their leaves do not wish us to hurry:
They are round and flat and full of dark advice.

Cold worlds shake from the oar.
The spirit of blackness is in us, it is in the fishes.
A snag is lifting a valedictory, pale hand;

Stars open among the lilies.
Are you not blinded by such expressionless sirens?
This is the silence of astounded souls.

“The Fish Poem” – Elizabeth Bishop

Comments 2 Standard

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn’t fight.
He hadn’t fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled with barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
– the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly-
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
– It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
– if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels- until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

“Spring and Fall” -Gerard Manley Hopkins

Leave a comment Standard

To a young child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.