Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Point of It All

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth, Castle and Environs.

Acupuncture is something that always interested me because the idea of endless Qi—-flow, energy—-makes sense to me. I believe in the soul, but I think there are other forces that animate the body from the depths of the cellular level to our outer skin.

I think it’s possible that Qi can get blocked, for physiological or psychological reasons, that the channels of the body can get clogged and impede this energy from flowing as it should. And that that somatic block can have an effect on your emotional life, since we don’t really know how the mind and body interact. The mind/body/soul connection is a mysterious, tantalizing conundrum.

This is all to say that I kept meaning to find an acupuncture practitioner to see what a treatment was like, with the thought that my own Qi could use a little kick and my Qi channels a little unclogging. But, like many things you think about doing, I never got there.

And then I broke my ankle.

The bones healed fairly quickly, but the foot itself was horribly swollen, and that swelling just didn’t budge. I did weeks of physical therapy, including massage, but the foot remained completely distorted.

That’s when someone suggested acupuncture, to try to open the channels directly around the foot for the fluid to drain. I got a recommendation for Colleen Canyon, who it turns out is a very talented practitioner.

I found the treatments to be very intense and pleasurable. The insertion of the needles doesn’t hurt, per se, but it tingles. Then when the needle is manipulated, a charge can travel from the point up a muscle. It feels oddly electrical. Once set, the needles stay in for 20 to 30 minutes, and there is a deepening into the sensation that comes through that duration.

The acupuncture worked wonders for my foot. Finally the fluid was getting absorbed back into the body. After 4 sessions, I was able to put a shoe on. Yea!

I’ve thought about going back for some more general Qi-work. The first step was I went to Colleen’s Acupuncture Happy Hour, a very creative idea for stressed-out city dwellers. You drop by for 30 minutes of ear points (four in each ear). Each person lies on the floor, candles are lit, music is playing, it's a little piece of Nirvana on 20th Street. Ear acupuncture is particularly relaxing. (Colleen has a great website.)

Acupuncture reminds you how powerful the forces of the body are, its electrical properties, and of the rivers we have surging within. City dwellers can be too disconnected from the forces of nature, even of our own bodies, and any way to connect further with the cycle and flow of the infinite is good.

Of course we have Joyce for that too.

A way a lone a last a loved a long the . . .


Claire said...

I'm glad to hear acupuncture worked for you! One of my best friends just opened up her own practice in Chicago, or I would have sent you to her. :)

I liked your descriptions of the process. Hope your foot continues to do better!