Saturday, March 20, 2010

Acupuncture, eh?

The other day I was working on one of my novels. Generally my writing has been of the young adult fiction genre. I've completed several short stories and a few novels full of delicious teenage angst and turmoil. Most of these were written years ago, although I've done some modifications and editing more recently.

This new book, however, is not a fictional account of my teenage experience, but a non-fiction piece about a very real situation and how I grew from it and how I continue to grow. It's become almost therapeutic in many ways, as it not only reminds me of the lessons I've learned, but it provides me with ideas for further exploration. I'm finding myself 'researching' for it with each new flourish of writing.

Part of this research has lead me to an incredible new experience. I've often been told that acupuncture was a viable treatment for my apparent celiac (Gluten intolerance) condition, as well as something that could potentially ease my anxiety. My novel is the documentation of my journey to recovery from Panic Disorder and my celiac condition doesn't actually bug me, so I could be arrogant enough to say there was no point in trying this traditional form of medicine. However, as I address in my book, I have an extremely open mind and a strong desire to motivate change through exploring the world around me.

It was my openness that allowed me to try out twitter and as a result I stumbled across a lovely group of people who meet at eleven each day for tea and snacks. I discovered this streaming hash chat group on a day when I was feeling particularly lonely. London is huge and I think loneliness is emphasized when you're in a such a densely populated city and most of your closest friends are four-thousand miles away.

I met some very delightful people that first day, and each subsequent day I've been able to attend, but one in particular stood out quite vibrantly. Liz was one of the few based in London and she immediately struck up a conversation with me about my Tarot Paintings. I was chuffed that she liked them and further delighted when she acknowledged what celiac was and mentioned she was an acupuncturist.

We met in person a few weeks later and though we discussed a great many things, the subject of acupuncture arose once more. She said she'd be more than happy to offer me some treatments, especially as we now could rest assured that neither of us were serial killers. I have since been to her lovely home, where she bases her practice. Besides making a new friend, I have also found someone with an incredible talent for what she does. Again, this just reinforces that, when we do what we were meant to do we will do it with great skill and reward.

The assessment wasn't like so many I have had with medical practitioners. It was a conversation more than anything, during which she focused on what I hoped to get from the session and any particular treatment I was looking for. Not once did she act as though she had a better knowledge of my health, something I've found many doctors and mental health practitioners do, as though a text book can tell them more about me than I could.

She kept this communication going following the assessment by sharing her techniques and tools of the trade. To put my mind at ease regarding needles (As I am a wuss, and no, Tattoos needles are NOT the same) she demonstrated on herself. She also described the ways in which she uses them and all the other items that may or may not come into play during treatments with her. This was brilliant as it reinforced all the certification she has hung on her walls. The pieces of paper didn't really prove anything, but the attentiveness with which she performed each task gave me confidence that I was in good hands.

And what good hands they were! Not only did I receive acupuncture (Which energised me in a way I cannot describe) but I was given an incredible back massage as well. All of this was wonderful for my shoulder, which was wrenched quite terribly in a car accident one year ago.

The entire experience was really very informative as well. I recommend it, for anyone who has been wondering if they should try it. One of the most important lessons I've learned in life, which I talk about quite a bit in my book, is that it is far better to have tried something and learned it wasn't such a good idea than to never try and always wonder. Life is for living and all we've got is the moment, so don't put it off. If you want to attend a sweat lodge or spiritual retreat, meditate or have acupuncture, then do it. The only way to know is to jump in, feet first. You're the only holding yourself back.

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