Sunday, May 30, 2010

Acupuncture, Part I

Years back I was persuaded to try acupuncture for chronic back pain.  As the recipient of CE literature re: the same from a naturalized Canadian MD who practiced acupuncture full-time and taught at a prestigious medical school (though he was originally from China), I thought "this guy is the perfect place to start".  (I refuse treatment of any kind not supervised by a qualified MD on principle).  After a six hour drive I pulled into the parking lot of an old mansion converted to his clinic, and parked amongst the myriad Porsches, Vettes, and Beamers there.  Upon entering the reception area it became obvious to me that acupuncture must be the current rage among bored wealthy housewives - not a good sign.  A too brief medical history completed, I was ushered into one of at least 8 treatment rooms (all in use all of the time at $60 per quarter hour - not covered by thy plan) by a nice little girl who gushed a bit too routinely about how wonderful Dr. X was.  When X entered the room, a too brief glance at my medical history was quickly followed by a request to read my palm - read my palm!  (He thus correctly surmised that I had a wife and three children.)  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but was relieved when X asked me where the pain was and commenced treatment (needles in my back and legs stimulated by electric current for exactly 12.5 minutes).  I suppose it could have been the acupuncture (or the long drive) but I dozed off and not so miraculously felt better when awakened.  "I'll need to see you the next four days in a row" Dr. X proclaimed, to which I said "Sorry, I've got a full slate of appointments tomorrow six hours from here", to which X replied "that drive will undo all of my healing anyway, so I'll refer you to someone closer to home".  Thus ended my first acupuncture encounter; unimpressed, poorer by $60, but a believer in palmistry.