Day Six of the Chronicle
The First Acupuncture Session with L.
There’s the usual questionnaire. Health stuff, this and that. She notes my tobacco habit and glances up and asks ‘are you smoking more now that this has happened?’ I think about and then nod. A few more a day. She says, ‘makes sense. Tobacco is a grounding herb, which is how it was traditionally used.’ She tells me I’m dry inside, looks at my tongue, and then it’s time to head into the treatment room. Shirt off, shoes and socks, too. I am directed to lie on my back on the padded table. There’s a head-rest off the table’s edge.
Needles go into my ankles. My wrists. Not painful. A couple in each extremity.
Then she steps around to stand behind me. Her hands move under my head to take its weight and she asks me to relax. Eyes closed, I do just that.
The table starts shaking. Back and forth, as if some underlying machine had been turned on. But there’s no machine. More to the point, L. is not pushing on the table – her stance is not even near it as she’s behind the head-rest. Hmm.
This goes on for a bit and then I ask: uh, is this you or me?
‘It’s you. I’m just holding up your head.’
Oh. Okay. Is this usual? Have you seen this before?
‘I’ve heard about it, but no, it’s a first for me, and it seems I’m in your feedback loop.’
It lasts for about a minute, maybe less (I’m too bewildered at the moment to be counting seconds). Finally, she sets my head back in the padded cradle. How am I feeling? Not sure, but something … ah, got it. A growing sense of elation.
Elation? Look, consider it this way. Up until this point, all my experiences were utterly private. No matter how sincere the goodwill of friends and loved ones, mine is a tale that can be received with benign forbearance, tempered acceptance, or concerns that I have become delusional. There are no cameras catching the nightly visits, after all. It’s just my word.
But here, so unexpectedly, there was external validation. A witness, pretty much a stranger to me. And there she was, standing there as this heavy treatment table shook as if in an earthquake. More to the point, I could feel the energy rushing out of me. When I asked ‘you or me’ I already knew the answer.
Since that first session, there have been a few with sporadic tremors, none as extended or sustained as the first one, and L. has even tried to induce them when holding my head up (slight pushing back and forth), without much effect. But of later sessions, I’ll offer more detail when the time is right.
I recall standing in the outer room, feeling high as a kite, but also almost overwhelmed with relief. This chi stuff. I guess it’s real. And the tap, having been opened wide back on that table, was now offering little more than a trickle. For now.
I arrange weekly sessions with L. She wants to work all the channels and make sure there’s no blockages in the flow of chi anywhere in my body. She tells me to drink more water.
It’s all good. I leave the place, step out into the sunshine, in a complete daze.
Okay. Chi. Our personal energy bodies, invisible but no less present or efficacious. We have IR goggles to see infra-red. We have thermal-imaging goggles to see heat. If we had chi-goggles, we’d see chi. If we had soul-goggles….
Kundalini. The serpent coiled around the base of the spine. An energy force, but not specifically chi. If chi bubbles in the cauldron, Kundalini has both hands on the big wooden spoon, doing the stirring (M.’s analogy, a good one). All these online and book definitions of Kundalini. Sex, sensuality and the erotic seem to be occasional components to the description. Most describe the Awakening as a blast of energy, like a lightning bolt running up the spine and exploding out the top of the head.
That last bit confuses me. I’ve had nothing like that.
Other Awakenings describe terrible back-pain or some other physical malady.
Still others describe floods of emotion, laughing or weeping.
The descriptions and definitions seem to insist that Kundalini is a natural force, a bioenergy repository, primal and formless except as metaphoric iconography (the serpent, the dragon). It’s savage, relentless, reacting like a struck nerve. They view it as pretty much autonomic.
My K. shows up every night and wants to fuck.