Monday, July 20, 2015

My Ear Problem, pt. 3: Needle

I'm going to get all testy for a paragraph or two. You just focus on
this serene image of the Hudson River, and know that it's going to be ok.

With the regular application of hot onion, briney epsom salt baths, and the blessed passage of time, I'm experiencing more watercooler-type blubbling going on in my left ear every day now, which is good! No question about the goodness! Although along with healing comes fluid shifts in the ear that cause a tidal wave of vertigo from time to time! Also, (temporary, but significant) hearing loss! My ENT, Dr. Jill Zeitlin, said all of that with exclamation points, so I will, too! I need to say that if Dr. Zeitlin weren't so kind and decent and whip-smart, her waaay cheerful style might irk....

Since the first post about my Ear Problem, friends flooded me with suggestions, including more onion ideas--strap them to your feet and sleep with feet elevated-- and Bikram Hot Yoga. I've got restless legs when I sleep, so no, no thanks to foot onion.
I'll let The Friendly Atheist put an end to further onion suggestions for me

As for Bikram Hot Yoga: I live in New York and my air conditioner died juuuuust as the torturous summer heat kicked in, so I get to enjoy Bikram Hot Living for free.

Thanks, reactiongifs. I love Key & Peele so much.
No hot yoga. Sensitively Air Conditioned Yoga with a breeze that will keep me dry and refreshed? I will consider becoming a disciple of that.

But I did take one suggestion, and I am very glad I did. I got acupuncture.

After being clenched up for so long, I feared that I would need some radical intervention. Like THIS.

 You coax, "But, just look at how calm Hellraiser's Pinhead is, Badger!"
I say, "Yes, yes, I can see the appeal....I wonder if he does Bikram Hot Yoga?"
I'm not a total novice to acupuncture, but the last guy I visited a decade ago would check my pulse and look at my tongue, while asking detailed questions about my emotional state. Each time, he'd nod sagely (and I mean that as an insult) and serenely intone, "No need to tell me. I can see it all through your pulse and tongue." At what became my last session, I replied, "You tell me," to his question, "So, how are you feeling?" and he snarked, "Well, now WE KNOW how you're feeling!"

So, yeah, I'm cynical and jaded and a bit terrified of handing over money to someone who uses the Royal We when speaking.

Fortunately, I didn't let any of that stop me from visiting Hudson River Acupuncture, a community acupuncture venture which sits modestly on the ground floor of the Van Tassel Building on Beekman Avenue.
Store C, 95 Beekman Avenue, Sleepy Hollow, to be exact
 It doesn't look like a guru palace, inside or out. For me, that's a good thing.

First, I met Pat, who is there most weekdays. He took good notes and got me set up quickly.

This is Pat.
It should be noted that my photo doesn't show that Pat has the intelligent, hugely dark eyes of News Hour's Jim Lehrer.

I mean that as a compliment to both Pat and Mr. Lehrer
And there's Gina, who takes the weekends. She's also remarkably thoughtful, gentle, and kind.
The acupuncture area itself is quite large--you will not be alone, Visitor, but you will be ok--and looks a little like my kids tried to turn the zero gravity chairs into ghosts.

Pat settled me in for treatment. Be sure to wear something you can comfortably pull up over your knees.
"Ready?" he quietly asked.
"Yes, but first (sigh, 21st century problems, Pat)...let me take a selfie."
Selfie Footie. It's a long way to Tipperary, you know?

Needles in head, face, jaw, ankles, knees, wrists. Now, time to relax.

I'm not the first person to say how weird it is to trust your body to a stranger who pokes needles into you then walks away. But weirder would be if he hung around wanting to chat, right?

My heart rate slowed and the heart palpitations I've been experiencing along with the Ear Problem (more or less permanently) subsided. Did it drain the ear? Eh, who knows? The pain did subside, and the effect lasted for days. If it's a legitimate treatment, hooray! If it's the placebo effect, bring it on!

By the end of our first session, I was ready to recommend them to you, all of you.

But before you pull out the needles, Pat, sigh, let me take a selfie....

Hudson River Acupuncture
95 Beekman Ave., Store C
Sleepy Hollow, New York 10591
(914) 909-6360
First treatment: $40. Following sessions: sliding scale $25-40, suggested fee $30

copyright 2015, Tanya Monier

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