Needles and Needs

After two sessions of manipulation, in which the doctor magically relieved my chronic stiffness, I had my first acupuncture session. The doctor broke my medical history down into three “meridians.” She reported that I’ve no problems with my kidneys and negligible issues with the spleen. Any ailments in my medical history stem, apparently, from “liver energy.” This is, she said, common to Type A people, who are driven. Just as I was thinking, “I’m not Type A,” she added, “such as PhDs.” Oh. Self-starters, can-do people. They tend to start the day with caffeine and end it with alcohol, she said, pointing to the information I’d just given her. She said that my liver energy is blocked. I don’t know what that means. But she explained it could manifest itself across the shoulders and down the backs of the legs. That’s exactly where I’ve been chronically tight. I’m starting to buy into all this.

She asked me what I wanted from acupuncture. I said I want to feel able-bodied so I can do everything I need to do. (That’s the Type A talking, yes?)  She said she’d like to see me sleeping. (That’s the doctor talking.) She stuck a few pins in my back. I lay there. It all seemed fine. I noticed no change, but then  I proceeded to sleep, on and off, the rest of the day. I’d nap, get up, get things done with decent energy, then doze off again. I took a nap as late as 8pm. Despite all that napping, I slept well last night. In fact, it may be the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time.

During one of my naps yesterday, I woke to the sunlight and greenery of the backyard. As I focused, I thought of my husband. When I think of him these days, it is through any one of these emotions–sadness, regret, shame, pain, fear, pity, gratitude, degradation, anger. But yesterday, for the first time, I felt love. It was just a moment, but a moment of clarity when I could think of him as purely as the sunlight. And then it passed. I didn’t feel sad about it. It wasn’t followed by pain. I just accepted it. I was grateful to receive it.


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