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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poking fun (fun with needles, part I)

In my quest to heal myself of hyperthyroidism with the goal of lasting remission from Graves Disease, I had my first appointment at the acupuncturist today.  It was a positive experience.  Upon meeting with Dr. Lily Li, she spent a few minutes to sit with me and discuss my ailments and immediately suggested that stress has played a key role keeping me in dis-ease; a diagnosis I tend to agree with.  She explained the concept of a few key body meridians and showed me that many of them converge at my throat, where my thyroid is, kind of like the spaghetti junction of my body and the stress has caused two lanes to be shut down on a rainy Friday rush hour, rendering my Qi stuck in a traffic jam.  Her plan, she explained, is to detoxify my body, starting this week with the front; next week the back, and then decide where to go from there based on my response.

I was instructed to partially disrobe and lay on the table, face up.  When Dr. Li came in, I thought I would have some warning before being pricked, but she wasted no time.  A moment later, I felt a quick stab in the bottom of my foot and before I even had time to digest the sensation, she was in full swing, she was rapid-fire explaining which organ was being affected by each needle she expertly drove into my acupuncture points.  Though I had about 22 needles penetrating my skin, I was only conscious of four of them.  Not surprisingly, two were in the bottoms of my feet (adrenal system), one in the top of my left ear and the other in my left wrist, below my thumb.  I tend to have most of my physical ailments on the left side of my body, so when she hooked up the electric pulse machine, she set the left side higher than the right.  In contrast with the myriad physical traumas I've experienced in my life, this was relatively painless. 

She then left me for 45 minutes to absorb or whatever happens during this process.  I hadn't done my not-quite-daily meditation yet, so this was prime time to practice.  I lay there with my eyes closed listening to the pulsing of the electricity being directed through the needles in my abdomen and started taking deep breaths.  During this time, some subtle but amazing things happened.  I should preface this by saying that lately, during the every-other-daily meditation I've been practicing, I have yet to find a space where I can allow my mind to stop its constant racing and worrying and thinking.  I suppose that's why it's called meditation practice.  I resist the urge to just get up and do the stuff I can't stop thinking about.  As I lay there on the table with 22 needles sticking out of me; hooked up to electric stimulation; it was easy to focus on my breath and just be.  My mind became quiet and I was finally able to relax.

As I lay there, I had a very interesting physical sensation that gave me insight analogous to how I might manifest positive change in my life through my thoughts.  My hands were facing up, thumb and forefinger touching, and after a while, I felt like my fingers were pulling back; my hands opening up with my fingers still bent.  The closest thing I can compare this feeling to is this thing that my friends and I used to do as children.  We would take turns standing in a doorway with our arms pressed against each side for about a minute.  Then, we would release them and move away from the door frame and our arms would effortlessly float upwards.  This is exactly what my fingers felt like they were doing.  Each time I'd move my thumb and forefinger slightly to confirm this and was surprised to find that they were still touching.  This cycle repeated several times until eventually the reverse was true.  I was surprised to find that my fingers had moved away from my palms and the feeling became a reality.  I felt as though I'd been given a gift laying beneath the fluorescent lights; a demonstration of the old 'fake it till you make it' philosophy.  If I keep thinking/feeling/believing something, eventually it will manifest. 

 In my thinking, I've encountered some resistance in feeling and believing things for myself; one, because the things don't already exist and two, because I think I struggle with weather or not I believe I am capable or deserving of these things.  I may not have completely mastered the ability of harnessing my thoughts, but I am doing the work and making progress.  A large part of my long time fascination with psychology and more recently with nutrition has in large part to do with healing myself in mind, body, and spirit.  I think it's an important foundation for my future in working with others, coaching them to do the same. 

1 comment:

jimiyo said...

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