by Cindy Hasz
American Reporter Correspondent
San Diego, Calif.
October 7, 2002
THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY
SAN DIEGO -- Every three weeks I let her needle me. Little tiny needles wrapped in paper looking like miniature chopsticks which she taps in and twists just till my chi sings. You can feel it grabbing hold of the ethereal body through meridians that run throughout your body like miles of invisible electrical cords. Or so I imagine.
She, of course, is Chinese. Around 65. Reminds me of Yoda in an oriental kind of way. Gentle, with short dark hair cropped around her ears and a face that looks comfortable, like an old shoe. We call her Dr. Wei.
She'll tap and twist, dim the light and leave you to dream while energy blockages evaporate and consciousness shape shifts for an hour apon her table. Alpha waves in the inn of the sixth happiness, I float happily above the world, in-between the worlds, an interstitial traveler. Astral mitochondria, yin-yang goldfish of the flower drum song variety, I am a cherry blossom moving downstream with the river.
Interestingly enough, since I have started to visit the doctor, the common cold has become uncommon to me. Knocking on wood as I write this, I rarely get sick these days. It must be that my immune system is functioning at a more optimum level since she started tuning me up. I now find her tinkering with my astral body indispensable.
In the Chinese system of physiology there are different elements within the body: fire, wood, water and air. I might be wrong on the last one, it might be Kung Pao chicken or Mai Goo Gai Pan. Maybe Egg flower soup. No matter, the different elements seem to reside in different organs and organ systems. You might need more fire on one occasion in order to be healthy and on another more water or wood. Then you get the seasons involved and you come up with diagnoses like, "weak Spring chi." Everything wrong with me is inevitably related to this. Dr. Wei will say that whatever ails me is because of weak Spring chi and then add something about my liver.
I'll let her poke me with needles but I will no longer drink her tea. She makes the nastiest herbal tea imaginable. It might make the dead come back to life but then that's not always a good thing.
Anyway, I love to go and see her. Listen to the meditative oriental music and get my springs chi'd. I wish it were something I could incorporate along with massage and other body therapies for my elderly friends. As one gets older the springs get less and less lively. The immune system more and more compromised and the opportunistic infections move in and glom on like unwelcome relatives.
We throw pills down the hatch to adjust the pressure, tweak the pump, clean the filters and generally deaden the pain of whatever it is we can't fix otherwise. This is standard health care for most older people. Hand fulls of pills and a constant struggle with depression and sluggish bowels.
There must be a better way. It's time for an elder revolution of Spring Chi and Tai Chi. A medical philosophy that accounts for much more that just the physical make up of the body; an approach that acknowledges the profound impact that spirit makes in and apon the human body. There is one such field of study showing great promise in Western medicine; it's called psycho-neuro immunology.
We are just now beginning to understand what oriental medicine has known for thousands of years. Maybe we are finally getting our chi together.