Monday, March 20, 2006

Because of the sheer number of injuries I seem to be picking up, and the fact that I'm not healing as quickly as I'd like, I decided to follow a friend's suggestion and go to an acupuncturist to have him treat the knee I twisted two Thursdays ago. The caveat I got was that I should go if I believe in that sort of thing. Given how non-Chinese I am, that's not a great statement to make. I'm a natural skeptic about lots of things, and if you tell me that whether I get better is conditional upon how much I believe in it, then... it just ain't going to work. So what I did before I went was to read a couple of testimonials on the web so that I would go there with an open mind.

Then I called up Lee Kim Leong Acupuncture Centre (34 Lorong 23 Geylang) where I had to speak to the receptionist in Mandarin because she didn't understand English. I started to have second thoughts. Did I really want to do this? Did I really want to go to a place where I have to explain to them in Mandarin, a language I suck at, what's causing me pain?

Ah, what the heck, I'll try anything if it lets me dance without pain.

So there I was, sitting in the waiting room of the centre, staring at the long needles in the people receiving treatment, fighting down the terror that was starting to rise in me as I saw the length of the needles, and panicking slightly when I saw drops of blood on the piece of cotton the physician was using to wipe the person's skin after she removed the needles.

What the f**k had I gotten myself into? Maybe I should just leave right now, I thought.

Then another physician came out and called me into his office. I asked if I could speak English. "Of course," he replied, much to my relief. I explained that I'd twisted my knee while on the bus a week and a half ago and that while I could walk, squat and all that, my knee felt rather tight. He decided to use an ultra-quick method (faster than what they were doing outside) as my injury wasn't a serious one and proceeded to jab me first on my hand, then on my wrist and elbow. The pricking itself wasn't painful but he did something which caused an electric shock of pain to shoot through the area he was pricking. Apparently, this was his way of 'flushing' the pain out of my body. He then did the same to my stomach, knees, calves and then toes.

Yes, the pricking felt like ant bites. The shock of pain, however, was probably somewhere between a bee sting and a jellyfish sting. Yowtch.

Still, my knee felt better after he finished, and when I got home, various parts of me were starting to ache. First my hands, then my feet, then my thighs. They're all okay now, but that was most definitely a strange feeling.

My knee's beginning to feel tight again, although the pain that I used to feel whenever I moved it is gone. I'll see how I feel tomorrow before deciding on whether it's effective. And in the meantime, I hope the Zheng Gu Shui works its magic on my knee so that I don't have to go back because Western doctors really don't do anything for sprains and strains other than give you a brace and the usual RICE treatment.

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