The Yin's Fine, But That Needle's a Little Close to My Yang.

How open are you to trying to new things? Ever bought a pair of red Chuck Taylors, then actually worn them? Ever had your ear pierced in Canada then didn't get rid of it when you got back to the States?

Hey, me neither!

On a scale of one to ten, how game are you, with a one being, "Hey, Honey, how 'bout handing a fresh bottle of Pert over the shower curtain? You know I can't wash my bottom with a dirty head," to a ten being "Hell yes I'll eat that monkey!"?

While most of us fall somewhere mid-range, I've always skewed toward the "there's only one way to get to Tukwila" end of the scale. Sure, I've always talked a big game, but inevitably I've skedaddled to the comfort of my black and white cocoon of absolutism.

But when it comes to my asthma, experimentation has always bucked my conservatism. Since my first attack in '65, I've experimented with any number of inhaler cocktails, yet stuck to my tried and true friend, Albuterol, much like Donald Trump's well-documented dependence on Cialis and finger extensions. I'm a freaking OG vaper, which is why my adult life has witnessed a winding chain of steroid-based treatments, but without the benefit of large deltoids and small testes.

Prior to this winter, my only foray into eastern sensibilities had been a brief smidge of ponytailed dabbling back in the '90s, devouring Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in an impressive year-and-a-half. In summary, its message was that when we're able to shake free our dualistic mindsets (good/bad, right/wrong, subject/object), and simply experience every moment as it occurs, our egos dissolve and we become one with everything. No separation will then exist between the energy that powers all living things, a force within which God resides.

So yeah, while the whole Zen deal is amazing and enlightening and all that shit, not once in all those pages does anyone mention God shoving needles in my cheeks. And I'm not talking about the more insulated cheeks located south of the Bible Belt; if my eyes are midtown Manhattan, the needles are setting up shop in Little Italy.

Regardless, by December of last year, things had gotten to the point where, whether at work, home, the bus or the Target check-out line, I'd become a wheezing, coughing, throat-clearing phlegmbot, tirelessly annoying folks of all shapes and sizes, It was time to act or be assaulted by loved ones and strangers with equal impunity.

In January, I began weekly acupuncture treatments, and since, I've managed to vaguely grasp the theoretical reason why the Army Corps of Engineers felt it necessary to construct a weekly needle runway from collar bone down to lower abdomen, stopping just short of the more sensitive Silk Road to the Temple.

The gist of the theory is that when our bodies are balanced, energy flows freely from within and without. This energy is known as qi (pronounced "chee"), or life force. Qi consists of opposing forces, the yin (moist and cooling, emanating from the earth) and the yang (warm and invigorating, flowing downward from the sun and sky).

With my flow of qi impeded, an overabundance of "wind" or yin, becomes trapped in the lung, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. To combat this, needles are inserted along the lung meridian, one of nine energy pathways present in our bodies, to re-kindle the egalitarian relationship between yin and yang. In other words, the lung meridian is prodded with enough little lawn darts to force the twins back to the negotiating table.

Finally, following these months of treatments, yin and yang appear to have stopped fighting in the back seat over the last Red Vine, and Father Qi hasn't had to pull over and spank, as he calls them, "those goddamn twins."

Is all of this working? Has my asthma gone the way of the IBM Selectric? Not yet, but it's improved substantially. Unfortunately, I'm unable to fully attribute this change to acupuncture alone, since during this same period, I've eliminated dairy, lost some weight and implemented a regimen of 18 herbal supplements per day. But hey, what matters is results, right?

Actually, l changed my mind. The acupuncture is fully responsible. Let's order a pizza.

Views: 104

Comment by koshersalaami on April 15, 2016 at 3:16pm
So much for controlling variables, but it's more important to get it to stop than to know why
Comment by nerd cred on April 15, 2016 at 4:01pm

Just today my sister told me she's having great success treating pain with acupuncture. This is pain from a 2-3 year old pelvic fracture. She is normally very conservative about trying new things. Quitting dairy seems a little extreme to me but only the butter, cheese and cream parts of it. If it works, that's what counts. Asthma must be awful.

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on April 15, 2016 at 4:25pm

"On a scale of one to ten, how game are you, with a one being, "Hey, Honey, how 'bout handing a fresh bottle of Pert over the shower curtain? You know I can't wash my bottom with a dirty head," to a ten being "Hell yes I'll eat that monkey!"?"

It all depends on how they cook the monkey.  I hear barbecued is good.

As for the whole acupuncture thing?  I'd sooner accidentally sit on my sewing box.

Comment by Ron Powell on April 15, 2016 at 4:59pm
Trying new things can be exhilarating or daunting.

However, doing so should be about pushing the envelope of self-actualization and self-discover, enhancing one's own, very personal, learning curve.

Doing something new or different simply for the sake of the thrill of the experience has no value or meaning unless we learn and grow as a result of the exercise.
Comment by Zanelle on April 16, 2016 at 10:28am

I seem to cure everything with pot and sex but you have some good ideas.... good luck.

Comment by Reflections of a Shallow Pond on April 18, 2016 at 10:17am

Zanelle, seems like a simple home remedy!

Comment by greenheron on April 18, 2016 at 2:13pm

I say good for you with the acupuncture–you never know! When I was being treated for cancer, in addition to traditional medicine, I also had weekly acupuncture for eight months, and drank disgusting herbal medicines. My doc said it couldn't hurt, and I always wanted to be able to say if the cancer recurred that I'd tried everything available. As you know, the needles don't hurt the way you think they will. It's totally bearable. Good luck with the wheezing!

P.S. I actually do have several pairs of well worn Chucks, one of them red, also a largish tattoo, so take my needle minimizing for what it's worth :)


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