How on earth did I end up writing about acupuncture in a homeschooling blog? .
For my husband's health issue these past months we decided to try acupuncture. He had nothing to loose and much to gain. He went to the clinic needing some anxiety relief and comfort. I found the place for him. I just thought an oriental person would be better, which later I thought it was a bias, but on the other hand, a person that knows the culture that performs acupuncture, and is accredited by our state, seemed to me the best choice.
The person we chose is from Korea, he was born in 1973, and he came to the States and started his practice in 2008. I simply like he is, like us, an immigrant. His website is professional but candid. There are a few spelling mistakes, the type I make all the time since I'm not a native either. The person who answered the phone had good English but still a strong accent, which I frankly like. I believe much of oriental medicine does not translate into a romance language or western concepts, anyway.
I came back home thinking that maybe oriental people accept terms like a soul or intangible elements in their approach to medicine, maybe they are more poetic than we are, they do not have this scientific type of dissect and look at parts, and eliminate symptoms approach. Could they influence the mind or our soul with the physical placement of thin needles? Who thought about this and kept doing it for so long as much as to still practice it all over the world right now. It's clear that this is not blood letting. But even if the needles are just innocuous, there has to be more to this, something truly happens there because it produces changes for maybe not all but many.
Centuries of trial and error? Or how have they set up a course of learning to decipher what regulates what as those sophisticated diagrams show. And then, how much practice or experience does one have to have to 'know' where to put those needles? Do they use intuition or try to do it to the book? Do they learn those points like a lawyer memorizes cases and laws? Do they have shortcuts or try a bit to see what happens and go from there?
The doctor asked if my husband felt cold, hot, if his feet are cold. And if his body felt warm inside after he finished the treatment. I asked him why he asked these questions, he said it's important to know, but of course he can't give me the whole explanation in a minute. He said though that the body is a whole, not just parts, and all is connected. That acupuncture keeps working once you leave the place. But it would be preposterous on my side to conclude much about this with this limited understanding. It will have to be a bridge person with experiences growing up in both cultures and schools of thought, so to speak, to clarify or educate us about this.
We did not know what to think about acupuncture. We are traveled but not sophisticated people. My husband is Maltese, but also very Texan, y'all know, and it ain't no acupuncture in our ranch. But we have a bit of knowledge about many things, and we read that acupuncture works even if you don't believe in it, so there we were, in a small but nice, green painted clinic with books in Korean or Chinese (we couldn't tell), oriental soothing music, and a chart to fill up with his health information.
Doctor Shung is a nice man, without a gram of fat, black hair, pleasant complexion, and dressed in black pants and white shirt. He could also be a waiter in a restaurant, or a teller in a bank. Once inside the room, there was a bed and a small desk. The CD player and a lamp, and three posters of men with lots of dots and names, the acupuncture points. The doctor exchanged questions with my husband and I asked some too. When he heard he used to drink eight cups of coffee a day he burst into laughter. He took my husband's pulse with his two hands, with his three fingers and thumb at the back for both wrists. He looked very concentrated. Then he asked him if he felt cold, or hot, where in his body he felt the pain, etc. He said a couple of times that it's a bit difficult to explain. They don't even have words for the chi , they call it vital energy, but he kept saying CHI, I don't think he relates to any words in English to fully describe or explain what he knows inside. But he says the body is unbalanced and acupuncture brings the balance and energy back to optimal. That some respond to sessions faster, and that the body is a whole, not parts, and without much talk he started to apply some of the needles. He only placed them in the left part of my husband's body and one in the middle of the head. The toe and fingers hurt a bit more, he said because we have many nerves, but he said it was more "safety". I guess those are safe points for needles. The needles are very small and thin, he has a plastic tube for holding them while he applies them. One in his inner thigh had to be redone. He was twisting it. Later he said he pulls or pushes the energy that way.
Then 30 minutes of rest, in which my husband almost fell asleep, and a bit of red light from a flex lamp pointing to his feet. The time passed truly quickly, even for me. After that he took the needles off, and he also checked his pulse and said there was improvement. We asked why only on that half of his body, he scratched his chin a bit, and squinted his eyes, I could hear his mind looking for the right words. He said again it's difficult to explain, that there are different techniques, but that one half of his body was weaker or something, and those were the points he thought would be good for his specific complain in the pelvic area. I have given some shape to what he told us. For once, he is not a man of many words, but he has a generous smile and he gave me the impression all the time that he was very comfortable and confident in what he was doing. He said that we get energy from the air, than walking has to be done OUTDOORS... ouch, now we are oscillating between 102 and 104 degrees in Houston, but this Friday we have an outing in mind we should very much enjoy. He told us to eat protein, but not red meat, fish and tofu. I love tofu and everything considered here as 'weird' foods, and even my husband that knows different gastronomic dishes told me, whaaaat? tofu? Trust he'll be eating tofu soon, maybe even the girls, why not?
We made another appointment for Thursday. He wants to see my husband twice this week and next, and then maintenance. Once in the truck I asked my husband how he felt, and he said his mind was very clear for the first time in a long time. He was also yawning like never before, naturally sleepy, which was impossible in the past weeks. Once at home he went to sleep and did so for almost 5 hours. When he woke up, he felt bullish, as he said. His energy was back, he felt the best he has in all this time.
I don't say acupuncture is going to solve all your problems in life. If you still don't eat right, or exercise some, or learn to relax, or pray and leave things to God, nothing is going to make it for you. But we are pretty impressed with his first session of acupuncture, and for the price (nothing exaggerated) we paid, it merits to give it a few more sessions and enjoy the help.
Some people are put off because of the needles, but let me tell you they are not intimidating neither painful. It's more like a bit of a mosquito bite at the most. Here in Texas, used to the bite of fire ants, that's a breeze.
Today we go to an even more out there alternative doctor. I'll let you know how it goes in case it interests you. Definitely homeschooling is been to me a life changing choice. My outlook at life is very different. I realize how much I'm always naturally inclined to live things as learning experiences, how I don't tire of looking, listening, reading, researching... I can tell you one thing. Needles placed strategically in some points of your body for some time DO SOMETHING GOOD TO YOU.