Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ear seeds

I have tiny seeds taped to my ears as I write this, and the ears are still hurting from the pinching. Getting hit, or tapped, with the cardboard tube didn't hurt at all, but when she pinched the joint of my left thumb, my thumb twitched a bit.

I hope the Silicon Valley vibe of the iPod earbuds I'm wearing doesn't conflict with the traditional medicine of the tiny taped seeds, but I wanted to listen to the news, and unfortunately they are broadcasting the confirmation hearings of that odious Dr. Rice.

Although I must say that I think Velvet Underground performing "heroin" is not the right Chi for me at this time. Good song. But so sad the concept.

The acupuncturist's English was better than I expected, but I realized as I was driving home that I had wanted a detailed speculative consultation involving lots of rapid back-and-forth discussion. My wife knows an acupuncturist, so I think I will go to that person for the consultation and the actual sticking. Today's doctor gave me a discount from her usual $88 fee to $40, because, I think, she didn't stick me.

What I did learn, and you will have to excuse me but this will be a blend of what I thought I was told and my own interpretation, and therefore probably wholly inaccurate...

The ear is analogous to a baby, head down in it's mother's womb, about to be born. The parts of the ear correspond to the parts of the body, and by manipulating the ear we can effect1 the body. The earlobe represents the head, the edges of the ear represent the arms, the top edge the legs, and inner parts of the ear the lungs and heart. By stimulating these parts of the ear with pinching and pressing as well as, presumably, acupuncture, we can stimulate and heal the corresponding parts of the body.

My theory regarding the seeds taped to the ears is that seeds contain vital energy and compounds; they are the start of life. By taping them to the ears (it was important to press them until they hurt), we transfer that new life energy to the corresponding parts of the body. Using much the same logic, modern Western medicine has begun to focus on embryonic stem cells for healing and rejuvenating properties.

The head apparently contains tendons which effect the rest of the body. By tapping on the head with a knuckle or hard brush needles, we stimulate and heal those parts of the body.

I was advised to tape the seeds to my ear each day. On the first day I should squeeze the ears, until they hurt, three times. On the second day twenty times, then three the next day, and so on in alternation.

The questions she asked me were whether I was cold, whether I was hungry, and whether I'd been coughing.

I was told to relax. This was really the main message. Not worry. And this I can say I will be able to do. The not worrying part and the relaxing part have been my practice for years.

Also, stay out of the sun. She looked at my freckles. This raised my hackles a bit because many years ago I ran into a very bad doctor who called my freckles "sun damage." I had the reaction then that he could get bent. I decided to forgive the acupuncturist and we moved on.

I was assigned 30 minutes of daily visualization work: The wheel of energy flowing from the head to the hands and then back to the other hand, in a circle. The flow of energy (or something) from the head down the legs to the foot and then flowing away, not coming back. I was also told to visualize the organs behind the three centers of my Chi (clavicle join, upper abdomen, lower abdomen), and picture healthy lungs and heart, healthy stomach and kidneys, healthy bladder. See the body as a flower or (I think she added this for the Western mind), as a street with traffic flowing smoothly. See good water in the kidneys.

Don't drink or eat cold things. Drink a glass of warm water each day, avoid being hungry or overly full, put your feet and hands in warm water for 30 minutes each day. Then, after the warm water, spend 30 minutes pressing the hands and feet on something hard that has an edge. If you find a spot that hurts, press more there.

I was advised to slowly tap myself on the head for five or 10 minutes each day, gently clap my hands together for another five or 10, as well as give myself a five-minute ear massage. I am supposed to massage my own hands and arms, and hit all major parts of my body with a wand or tube for a few minutes each day.

Pinch your fingers and your radius and ulna firmly each day.

Also, spend five or 10 minutes each day chewing nothing. Gently chomp the teeth together.

Lemon tea.

When you walk, go slowly and easily. Don't rush.


The relax part I can do, but add up all the time I am supposed to spend and I think we come to over 110 minutes. I just do not have that kind of time. So I'll have to catch my visualization on the fly, and consider the shower as the warm hand and foot bathing. I can do a little clapping, tapping, and tooth clicking from time to time as I think of it. But I have barely remembered to do the isometric neck exercise I was given by the chiropractor. And it is almost all I can do to remember to hang my feet over the edge of the mattress and press each one up into the mattress 20 or 30 times before bed. I came up with this by myself and I like to think it is strengthening my ability to lift my left foot. That's an important thing when you have ALS. since many people suffer from "foot drop" and wind up tripping over things like rugs and Legos.

I'm glad I went to the acupuncturist. At the very least it gave me something to write about.

I'm going to spawn my own school of ear stimulation that involves stroking and rubbing, but no pinching or crushing. Ow!

Function: transitive verb

1 : to cause to come into being
2 a : to bring about often by surmounting obstacles : ACCOMPLISH b : to put into operation
synonym see PERFORM
usage The confusion of the verbs affect and effect is not only quite common but has a long history. Effect was used in place of 2affect as early as 1494 and in place of 3affect as early as 1652. If you think you want to use the verb effect but are not certain, check the definitions in this dictionary. The noun affect is sometimes mistakenly used for effect. Except when your topic is psychology, you will seldom need the noun affect.

Function: verb

1 archaic : to aim at
2 a archaic : to have affection for b : to be given to : FANCY
3 : to make a display of liking or using : CULTIVATE
4 : to put on a pretense of : FEIGN
5 : to tend toward
intransitive senses, obsolete : INCLINE 2
synonym see ASSUME
usage see EFFECT

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