So I went to my first acupuncture treatment with Brendan Kelly at Great Turnings on Friday, it was fantastic. Its all part of this desire to find a balanced place on my path so I will have some longevity and clarity of thought. It was quite an experience, and I thought I'd share it with you.
I went in for my first acupuncture appointment with Brendan Kelly on Friday afternoon. I’ve had acupuncture in the past, for nausea with morning sickness, and it was very effective. I never understood the principals by which it worked, I had no idea that she might have been tonifying my spleen Qi, but it didn’t seem to matter, because I wasn’t nauseous any more.
I went in to Brendan to address issues related to my car accident, but also to address a more constitutional remedy. We talked for about an hour and a half, looking from several directions at what might be the issue.
We decided to focus on the four gates to the heart center and the Tripple Burner, or San Jao. The theory here was that my gates are stuck open, which can be a beautiful thing, but exhausting. Interestingly enough, this is a problem that I’ve been trying to tackle for the last ten years!
I had looked at it as needing to change my energy to the outside world, so I could learn to protect myself while still loving others.
Brendan put points Stomach 44 on my feet, and in Liver 3 on my wrists, and then he came back in to put points in San Jiao 5, the Outer Gate.
He left the room for about 12 more minutes after putting in the SJ5 points, and after about three or four minutes, the palm of my left hand began to hurt. I laid there and observed the pain, it was fairly acute, pulsing like a ball in the palm of my hand, and radiating toward my first finger.
I went back to reading the acupuncture chart closest to me, when suddenly I noticed that I was having a pulsing sensation in my arms that was intense.
It felt like laying down at the tide line in the ocean and feeling the water pull your body back and forth, the core of the sensation was deep in my arm, but not in the bone, and the sensation went from the palm of my hand to the middle of pectoralis minor, jumped across my chest and went up and down the opposite arm as well.
It started in my left arm from the little ball of pain in my palm, and grew up that arm, then incorporated both arms in such a dramatic way that I felt as though my body was moving on the table. I didn’t move, although it was strong enough to be alarming, I laid there half afraid of what would happen if I moved, would I make the sensation stop? Was the sensation a good one? It was definitely frightening, but exciting.
My arms continued to have this strong pulsing sensation, I wondered if it was my blood moving through my veins, was I simply feeling my own pulse in an acutely attuned way? Was my heart just beating hard?
But my heart was quiet, and calm, and deep. Meanwhile, this intense rocking, rushing, pulling and pushing sensation continued up and down my arms, slowly dissipated off my left hand, and moved into my right arm only, where the tempo of the pulse increased as the sensation traveled down my arm and then ended in a little ball in my right hand, pulsing. This sensation was not painful like the other side.
This pulsing quieted, and then dissipated into the palm of my hand. When Brendan came in moments later, I looked at him.
“Something really bizarre just happened!” I exclaimed, and told him the story while he listened quietly.
“You are describing the meridian of the San Jiao exactly. The beginning point is in the palm of the hand, it ends at the top of the arm inside the chest. What you were describing is the perfect description of feeling the ebb and flow of Qi, you were feeling your Qi move.”
I looked at him. Wow. I went over and examined the chart that had the San Jiao meridian on it, which was across the room, I couldn’t read it from the treatment table. Sure enough, the beginning point for San Jiao was in the palm of the hand, the ending point is high in the lateral chest, exactly the path in which I was feeling this tremendous push and pull.
When I was finishing my treatment, I had the intense desire to soak in a quiet hot springs and then curl up in bed with a cup of tea, feeling perfectly warm and weightless and go to sleep.
I have been very low key for the two days following the treatment, not wanting to be social except with my kids, not wanting to talk too much, not wanting to spend money, not wanting to eat excessively, just wanting to be quiet and insular, which is a relief for me.
I don’t have the desire to overwork, usually a giant stack of assignments is an exciting challenge to me, I’m eager to tackle them, but I’m exhausted when I’m done, having pushed myself till three in the morning to accomplish them.
I told Brendan that I would stop drinking coffee, because I didn’t feel that I needed it, I only have been drinking caffeine two days a week or so anyway lately, but since my appointment, I’ve felt desperate for coffee, because I simply don’t have the luxury of laying in the hammock with my kids all day, I’ve got to get some work done.
I didn’t go ski the Great One on the Fourth of July, the first ski trip I’ve passed up in three years. I’m not sure if I’m being lazy, going through a period of Yin after a big Yang charge (although it doesn’t feel like that), or if I’m just beginning to feel some balance for the first time in a long time.
Time will tell!