Doug Tries Acupuncture

Prior to our actual departure from Japan to begin our world tour, I spent several weeks with Kumiko in Kurume City as she prepared to go.  During that time, we were invited to many farewell gatherings with friends and family.  As is usually the case when Japanese people get together, the focal point of the event was, what else?... food.

And, of course, we were usually seated around a traditional, low Japanese-style table.  Being unaccustomed to this type of seating, I found it to be very uncomfortable – especially since I almost always wore jeans, which got quite tight around my knees as I sat cross-legged on the floor.

On several occasions, my right leg would go numb and I'd have to change positions frequently to keep the circulation flowing through my legs.  After a few weeks of this, I found my right leg going numb even while lying in bed.  Needless to say, I was starting to worry a bit.

Finally, Kumiko suggested I try acupuncture.  I had always been curious about it but had never really had a reason to try it.  On one of her free days, we drove to a nearby town to an acupuncturist she knew to be both good and reasonably priced.

On that particular day, however, he was having a problem with his eyes and couldn't see very well.  He had to rely on touch, and on his assistant's description of where I indicated the numbness had been.  I was a little worried when he brought out the needles – wondering how he was going to know where to insert them.  But it all worked out okay.

What I didn't realize about acupuncture is that they use electricity – flowing from one carefully placed needle to another – as part of the treatment.  I had always considered acupuncture to be a product of "ancient" Chinese medicine – devised long before electricity was in use.  But, at any rate, I had to lie still on the bed for 20 minutes while mild electrical currents coursed through my leg.  At different times, it tingled, stung, itched – and finally, soothed.

For it to be completely effective, I would have had to return for several treatments – but I simply decided to stop wearing my jeans to functions where I knew I would be sitting at a low table, and to sit in a manner that would be least detrimental to my circulation.  In the end, that worked out best for me.