Tuesday, November 24, 2009

S & M

On a drive from Minnesota to Wyoming a few years ago, Jason and I hit a deer. I don’t know if the deer lived or not since it was dark and I was too afraid to go looking for it if it wasn’t. I know that may seem heartless but I couldn’t image having to kill it if it was close to death and suffering. We didn’t have a gun or any other type of weapon, so it wouldn’t have been a merciful thing to do. I’ll spare you the thoughts I had on how I might have to do it. Instead I’ll tell you this, it screwed up my back pretty good. I went to a chiropractor in Wyoming for a few weeks (and had many nice massages) to deal with the impact. (haha)

It had been pretty good since then – only occasional stiffness in the morning and the usual back pain from my waitressing days in college. Then a few days ago I did quite a number on it. I’m not sure if it’s due to the deer injury or not, but my back seized and I was in some serious pain. Since I don’t know any chiropractors in Korea I decided to try the local way to cure pain. Acupuncture.

My co-worker Heather took me to a place very close to where we live. After an initial consultation, I was put on a table with a heating pad on my back. So far – so good. Then they placed a dozen clear plastic cup thingy’s on my back which were attached to a machine. When the machine was turned on my flesh was sucked up inside them. I probably don’t have to tell you that this hurt…but I do probably have to tell you it looked like I had udders on the wrong side.

After that fun, the doctor then inserted a seemingly unending supply of needles into the strained muscles in my back. It hurt must less than the nipple creator did. After about 10 minutes, the needles were removed. Then I was hooked up to a machine that massaged my back via electric shocks delivered through small circular disks attached to my skin. It wasn't quite the relaxing meditative Asian experience I'd anticipated - no trickling water fountains, paper screens, or strange twangy music.

Even so, I went back the next day. The nipple things were bypassed this time - probably due to the horrific bruises that hung around for over a week. Instead electrodes were attached to the needles that were again put in my back. The needles allowed the electric shocks to penetrate deep into my muscles. Every time a shock was delivered it made my whole body tense up and I made a strange gasping sound. When the nurse told me that I would have to deal with this for ten minutes I cursed aloud, albeit softly. And yes, after this I still went back one more time.

Surprisingly all that pain has paid off – either that or it distracted me enough to forget my earlier whining. Luckily it costs much less than it does in the states. I only paid about ten dollars (spread over three visits) for this new experience. I’m quite the bargain hunter these days.

(Photos curtesy of Heather)

Ahhh...the heating pad was very nice. Thankfully they put one on me before AND afer the treatments.

Told ya...udders.

How on earth does this help a sore back? Anyone?

The least painful treatment of the whole experience.

No comments: