Never led it be said that I am afraid to try new things. (Come to think of it, with my past, no one really says that about me. But still.) Having been gently cajoled by several people about it over the past few months as an alternative therapy to try to help deal with my shoulder issues, I decided to give acupuncture a shot. I had been thinking about it for a few weeks when as luck would have it, my friend Fabian had just recently started seeing someone for his stress and had wonderful things to report. I always prefer to have a recommendation before going to see someone, as the idea of randomly selecting someone out of a book or the internet makes me slightly queasy. So I took his card and called the guy a few days ago for an appointment today. I have to admit that everything from his cool demeanor to his office setup to his website to his very scientific way of presenting things put me quite at ease. Let’s face it, I am a westerner at heart, and being able to situate concepts in a method that involves logic, experiment, analysis, and verification (or at least the appearance of it) made me feel better. He asked me all manner of question about my life and habits, if I had been under any stress recently, etc. Then he poked and prodded around some of my muscle pain, taking note of various tender spots with a fascinating precision. For some reason I am not that clear on, he also examined my tongue (apparently the line running down the middle of it held some significance), and took my pulse on both wrists. We then went into the acupuncture room and I laid down on a table face up while he proceeded to stick very thin needles into me. He was constantly monitoring my response and asking questions about what I was feeling as each needle was inserted. Other than one minor flashpoint in my left hand, everything else went pretty smoothly. It was an odd sensation, very difficult to describe, as the needles went in. At some points a very slight sting, at others a light sensation of heat and at other points a sensation I can’t really find the words for, but not unpleasant and very slight. He left me alone for about 20 minutes and while I didn’t sleep, I was in a little bit of a trance laying there, pretty relaxed. He then came back in and started removing the needles one by one, and a large amount of blood started gushing out from every pore, spilling out onto the floor like the elevator scene in “The Shining”. Ok, I am totally joking, but just wanted to see if you were still reading. He took out the needles and then had me sit up and examined me again a little, and asked me how I felt. He asked me to stop weight lifting for a couple of weeks while we were pursuing treatment (at least my arms), and I agreed to that and made a couple more appointments. If there is no change by that time, I will probably give it up, but it can’t hurt to try. I left the place feeling a bit dreamy, but pretty good overall I have to say.