Show me a needle and I’ll never see it. That’s because I’ve always got my eyes slammed shut. I prefer any kind of visualization to seeing my own thin skin get pierced.
But there I was, lying on a narrow bed with an overhead fan wafting a breeze in my direction, getting narrow needles stuck in me here and there — in my feet, my calves, my arms, my head. You find yourself doing such things — acupuncture, to be precise — when you’ve been driven absolutely bananas by weeks of allergies and sinus headaches and your own pathetic and chronic complaints that make you realize you’ve turned into the kind of person you’ve always loathed, an Allergy Bore.
Besides, I’m more open to Eastern medicine than a lot of people, having hung out in yoga and qi-gong classes for years. I find I take acunpuncture just as I take yoga, with some kind of weird, openminded skepticism. If I feel better, fine. I don’t know how it works, but if it works, I don’t care why. Go ahead and stick me, already.
I listen to suggestions, too, and take what makes sense to me. I’m one of these cafeteria alternative medicine types. Half the time, I find myself nodding, thinking, oh, yes, how wise. The other half, I’m zoning out, since what I’m hearing is the most useless bullshit since popularity guides I used to read in junior high and high school. (Be yourself? Oh, please. It never worked. I wanted to be somebody else. Somebody, you know, popular.)
So I take the needle treatment and look at the accompanying info about blood types and diets and quickly reject it. This happened for the most part because my particular blood type wasn’t deemed compatible with bacon and avocados. Since I don’t consider life without bacon to be a life worth living, how can it be bad for me? (Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know that either.)
After four treatments, my sinus headaches have calmed down and I’m mildly optimistic. Mildly optimistic — that sounds promising. It’s the kind of result that may save me from being an Allergy Bore. But, so far, it isn’t life-changing enough to turn me into an Acupuncture Bore.
(Copyright 2008 by Ruth Pennebaker)