Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Putting the Punk Back into Acupuncture

On a stretch of Ashland north of Belmont (Nobel?), in between a bank and a row of herbal healers and acupuncturists, sits a renovated house where my very own acupuncturist has his practice. That's right, readers: I have an acupuncturist, Kirk. My MD, Dr. Lee, gave me a referral after I saw him for back pain and headaches last week. (How about that, my Western medicine-prescribing doctor is Asian American and my ancient-Chinese-medicine-practicing healer is European American.)

Today was my first visit. Kirk started by tapping tiny needles into my back and neck. Then he left me alone for about twenty minutes with a heat lamp over my lower back. I felt a bit weird and wondered what I looked like. Through the hole in the head cushion, my eyes made pictures out of the shading in the blue carpet. At about the time the saltshaker morphed into a raccoon, I relaxed. Several minutes later, Kirk came back to pull out the needles.

He had me flip over and put new needles in my ankles, hands, the insides of my elbows, and the outsides of my ears. These were supposed to help my circulation, which would improve a multitude of things. Again, he left me there about twenty minutes and my eyes made pictures out of the pattern in the ceiling tiles. Russian woman praying. Fireworks. Dandelion. Then he was back again to pull out the needles. And that was it.

I don't feel a lot different yet, but these things take time. I have another appointment next week, plus a meditation CD Kirk gave me to help quiet my inner chatter. Along with the Western medicine, it's been a significantly more relaxed week for me in the West Loop.

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