Adventures in acupuncture

I tried acupuncture for the first time, and I have to say it was a very interesting experience and not at all what I was expecting.

Without much preamble she placed needles in my elbows, my wrists and my hands, then my knees and my ankles, then my ears and the top of my head, and one between the eyes. She left me to “cook”, and I closed my eyes and sank into myself.

At first it felt awkward, like I was waiting for something to happen without result. The usual muddy grey thoughts churning away inside my head, I tried to focus on the music, a New Age-y mix with flute and some sort of plucked string instrument. After a while I found myself identifying melodic intervals a la college ear training class, and then sinking further into it in such a way that I felt I could predict what the next phrase would be.

And that’s when the weird things started happening.

My ankles twitched a couple times, moving my feet further apart. My wrists and fingers twitched a number of times as well, so that when I opened my eyes I found my fingers spread wider and my hands on the inner edge of the arm rests rather than the outer where they had started.

I went on to experience a strange sort of in-and-out of consciousness. The plucked instrument on the recording began to have a jolting sort of effect that was initially distressing but eventually passed.

Split-second dreamlike scenes and impressions began to interrupt the grey-mud-disorder at random intervals much like hypnagogic hallucinations. These seemed particularly emotionally charged and I moved quickly from one context to another, feeling intensity and then letting it fall away.

Meanwhile the pins in my ears ached and my face felt weirdly distant.

And then she came and pulled the pins out, and it was all over. When I moved my hands at first they felt like wood, very dry and stiff. I collected my things quietly, paid and left.

Veeery interesting …

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