Last week I wrote about the pleasure of what I call "little meetings" with strangers in New York City. They occur daily - often - everywhere once I have left my apartment. I had a Minneapolis moment that I cannot ignore. It is more about the person than the place, but I feel like I am being geo-centric in favor of New York if I don't acknowledge this memorable human experience.
This is not a "little meeting with a stranger," but one of relationships that makes a place like Minneapolis still so meaningful. I went to my acupuncturist today - Dr. Chris Hafner in Saint Paul. (651-227-6865 - www.crocushillacupuncture.com.) I have been seeing him for two years. I have had the appointment for awhile so I was not going for some acute condition. I call these kind of appointments "tune-ups." The whole appointment was honestly kind of life-changing. He spent 1 1/2 hours with me. 1.5 hours. 90 minutes. (In the past he has spent probably 30 minutes max plus the time I am alone on the table, but he is changing his practice to spend more time with people.) The first 45 were spent educating me about an incredible new technology he is using to help him pinpoint (ooooh - no pun intended!) where the chi is deficient or depleted and where it is "raging" and over-active. It is the same technology used in MRIs, EKGs and EEGs. It measures electricity in the body. He is just beginning to use it on a few patients - especially patients he has seen for some time - and will continue to develop its application.
He does this simply by placing a probe onto 12 acupuncture spots on the hands and feet. There is no disrobing. I sat in a chair. I heard the sounds made when he touched a spot - the "hot" areas had a much higher pitched sound - you might call it screeching in my particular case. The areas within the normal range, a much lower pitched sound. When he was done, he showed me the measurements on the screen and began to explain them to me what he was learning. Generally, the chi will reveal problems earlier than the physical body and he may be able to catch both psychological conflicts as well as physical conditions before the patient actually experiences them. And, this, of course, is the benefit of the technology. He may be able to ward off suffering by catching it early. That is his mission - to help the world by relieving the suffering of one patient at a time.
Well, you could have knocked me over when he asked about two things - did I have anything going on like a sore throat or sleeplessness - headaches, etc - anything to do with my head? Yes. I did. Yesterday, by the end of the day, I had a sore throat and an earache and was generally just spent. The night before I awoke at 2 a.m. anticipating an early call for a photo shoot and never went back to sleep. (The "head" part is the busy mind.)
Next....the other energy pattern showed "musculo-skeletal" issue. Did I have that? Well, you guessed it, the other thing I would tell him about is that I have had back problems ever since the photo shoot I did yesterday - schelpping shit for 12 hours including sofas, chairs, tables and rugs. Where was the pain? His computer showed me exactly. It was remarkable.
He also discussed low creative energy (as indicated by the extremely depleted liver energy.) Well, that made sense too. I was feeling a burst of creative energy in New York, then came back to Minneapolis, only to put it all into action - and I am exhausted, honestly. TGIF, as they say. We talked about the challenge of my dual life.
He hit the nail on the head 100% and then he went to poke the needles in me, and continue to tell me more about the history of Chinese medicine, how the Communists changed it and how he is moving more actively into the aspect of Chinese medicine that deals with psychology - which, his tradition believes, accounts for 75% of illness and suffering. He asked about Lee. He asked about my daughter. After this, I dropped slightly off the edge of consciousness into a moderate state of bliss for another 20 minutes. The new technology helps him know what needs treating - how to move the energy from the raging points to the depleted points and how, in the end, to help me find peace, harmony and my true self. Not much to ask of a doctor.
After my treatment, he made me Date tea - "It's good for energy, in general. It is especially good for the blood and for women. And..." as he placed his healing hands on his chest, "it is good for the heart." And he didn't mean the thing that beats and pumps blood, but the greater heart - the spirit. And all this took 1.5 hours and cost me $60. I wonder what Congress could learn from this man about health care.
All I know is that I am incredibly grateful for his work.