Saturday, February 27, 2010

January 31, 2010

Basically on a dare five weeks ago, I had my first go at acupuncture. I was traveling and at the home of friends of one of my traveling companions. We were invited for coffee and acupuncture on Sunday morning. Michael is a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine and he set up the massage table in the eat-in kitchen.

"Now, who has not had acupuncture before?" he asked the group.

I was the only one who smiled sheepishly.

"I guess its me..." I replied.

We went into the kitchen and I got on the table wondering what in the world was about to happen. Michael has many years of experience and quickly put me at ease. He cradled my neck in his hands and began to tell me that my neck was "junky" - too much tension in my muscles. He said that the neck is the connection between heaven and earth and it needs to be open, less "junky." He really worked on my neck like I've kneaded a bowl of bread dough.

"You will want to take a Tylenol later because you are going to be sore." No kidding.

He then went to the microwave where he pulled out a tubesock filled with buckwheat hulls. He had warmed it in the microwave and then placed it under my was glorious. And smelled good and nutty, too.

"I want you to make one of these when you get home. Fill a tube sock with rice or buckwheat hulls and then heat it in the microwave at the end of the day. Lay on the floor with your shins and feet on the sofa, a pillow under your head, and your warm rice sock under your neck. Do this everyday and you will feel much better."

Then he took out the needles and explained how they are single-use needles, only for me... and began to insert them in various places....the tops of my feet, my hands, elbows, and ears. (The ears were the only ones I actually felt and even then it felt like a mosquito bite.) He had already put on some soothing music and told me to just stay put and relax for a while.

At the end of the time, he removed the needles quickly and helped me sit up. I got up feeling physically relaxed as if I had just had a massage, which I had. I was admonished to drink lots of water through the day, again just like a massage, to flush my system.

It's been five weeks since that Sunday morning in Michael's kitchen. The most interesting thing is that I have not wanted coffee since. I don't look forward to having that first cup in the morning. It is important to note that I could drink a 12-cup pot of coffee in a morning and really not think much of it. I am a coffee snob, but will drink whatever's around, but not anymore. The funny thing is, we never talked about coffee. It wasn't something I mentioned to him, it was an unintended side effect.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to call a friend who is an acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner here in Grinnell. (Yeah, Grinnell, Iowa...isn't that cool?) I explained this whole coffee thing and that I am really intrigued by this. I mean, if I had that kind of result with something I hadn't even tried to achieve, what could this do for something I want to achieve?

I've had my first session with Anne. She asked me questions I've never even thought of before. I'm intrigued. I have noticed a change in myself in the past few days. It will be interesting to see where this all takes me, but I am eating differently as suggested and it is fascinating. I'll keep you posted on how this goes...

By the way, I am not enjoying coffee, maybe a cup or two of decaf on a Friday morning, but that's it. I am enjoying tea...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wellness, College Style

A college wellness fair is an entirely different affair than I've been involved with in my ten years in healthcare marketing. I love being on campus, but it affects me in weird ways. I am now keenly aware that I am most certainly old enough to be any student's mother so my maternal feelings or at least "aunt" feelings are hard to conceal.

Big dogs for cuddling, children to color with, sharing tea and its healing properties, HeartMath, free hugs, and walking a labyrinth... sounds like my kind of wellness. And, by the time I left, I felt a little better about wanting to tell everyone to put on a sweater and go to bed early...