This photo isn’t from my first treatment back. You can tell because I’m not wearing a mask. It’s from an acupuncture conference hosted by the People’s Organization for Community Acupuncture (POCA). They have a volunteer community clinic that is worked by the attendees. This treatment was given to me by James Lorr of Urbana Community Acupuncture in Indiana. He’s a great guy! It was in May 2019 which, at this point, seems like both ages ago and just yesterday. It reminds me that time has gotten so weird.
But you know what’s not weird? Coming back and getting acupuncture during a global pandemic. I thought it would be a little weird, but it was lovely. I saw Kelsey and she’s great. It’s been months since I got a treatment from her, but we re-established our rapport in a heartbeat and within a couple minutes she had me poked and laughing at one of her witticisms. It took me a while to settle in. My mind has been on overdrive since my life has become a delicate balancing act of guiding my children’s distance learning, treating patients in the acupuncture clinic, and maintaining my own sanity. The last issue was what I came in for. That and my sprained ankle which has been slow to heal. You’d think I would be doing acupuncture on myself during the 121 days we were sheltering in place, but, alas no. Whenever I think of doing acupuncture on myself, it’s late at night, and I’m tired and disheveled, which is not what you want in an acupuncturist. When I am working in the clinic, I make sure that I am feeling bright and clear and energetic. I have a hearty breakfast, 2 strong cups of coffee, and do at least 15 minutes of yoga and/or meditation. But, by the very end of the day, I’m a cranky middle aged man and don’t make a good acupuncturist. It’s always better for me to come into the clinic. Seeing Kelsey in the clinic, she was a beacon of calm vitality. I asked to rest for 30 minutes, mindful of our new time limit.
Without any pillows I carefully shifted my elbows from the armrests down to my sides without bumping any needles. Sometimes, if I leave my elbows on the armrests, it compresses my ulnar nerve and my pinkies go numb by the end of the treatment. Other than that, I didn’t miss my set up which used to involve 4 pillows, 2 blankets and a walkman. The clinic was warm even with all the fans blowing. It was quiet, too, even though I was there during a fully booked hour. Within a few moments, I was out and woke up calm and refreshed ready to deal with the uphill battle that was the rest of my day.
If I can swing it, I’m hoping to reestablish my old weekly treatment. You can too!