October 29, 2004

A HOT visit to the acupuncture clinic

Category: Wholesome — Biella @ 7:57 pm

It is one of those weeks I would most like to forget –> One night of proficient yacking, three days nausea and two days of aches is more than enough for me. So today after the most vivid dreams in the world that left me nauseous in the morning, I ditched my Friday seminar and headed up north to the student run acupuncture clinic at the Midwest Center for the Study of Oriental Medicine. I hesistate to go only because of the long wait although as I will soon write, it is usually an entertaining wait though always mildly depressing too. Despite the long wait, the quality of treatment tends to be quite quite good, I think in part because the students have to display proficiency to their teachers so they are extra careful and thorough.

When I lived in Chicago before I left for SF, I used to go regularly. It has since become a popular hotspot for cheap and caring therapy so now the wait is pretty tortorous. Today for example, they started seeing patients at 1 pm but by 10 am there were already a cadre of older ladies there, determined and waiting. I arrived at 11:20 am as was a lucky number 6 on the list that by 1 pm balloned to 17.

The mix of folks who go to the clinic is motely though overwhelmingly female. In the waiting room today there were Russians, Ukraines, an Indian, a couple of Asians, a few Hispanics, and an African American, and one Jamiacan lady, with the most awesome name (Saint something or another, but the saint part was what caught my attentionl).

As a person lacking a patience gene, waiting at the office is not always so easy for me and I find a roomful of ailing folks as depressing which never makes me feel any better so I tend to go only at extreme momements of desperation which is about the worst time to go since the idea behind acupunture is much like a car tune up and oil change: maintanence to avoid problems. But it is pretty darn good for acute sort of problems too.

So despite the aura of sadness of any medical clinic, there are always some enlivening moments and good bouts of humor. I love to listen to people’s conversations because there are usually filled with hope or resiliance despite the obvious pain folks are in… And then there are the more amusing moments, like today when this elder Latino man sitting next to me asked me if I was taking off my sweater because I was “HOT.” And indeed, I was “hot” (for it was a surprising 77 degrees today) but I was not sure if he was referring to hot as hot or hot as in HOT. But as soon as he started telling me that the Russian woman (who he had been moments earlier flirting with) across the room was also HOT (and he waved and winked at that moment), I knew which HOT he was referring to. But the funniest part was as he was flirting via punning, I was reading a book precisely on joking and I had just hit the part about joking relationships among non-kin in industrial societies, in which a permissible form of sexual joking was said to be the much older male with the young lady. Hmm, the book was written in the late 1960s so I am not sure how permissible it is post PC-era but anyway, I found it amusing and cute because he was *so proud* of his joke. And it got my mind off my tummy which was the whole point of being there in the first place and it made me wonder if he scored with the La Rusa…

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