It is a sunny day, at last. It has been raining and cloudy since May, but now summer seems to have arrived. The High Street is bustling with shoppers in short sleeves, buskers singing and playing guitars whose cases, sprinkled with starter coins, lie open in front of them. It’s like a spring fete, people optimistically shopping for holiday clothes after a dismal summer, coming to life in the sun. I arrive at a discreet door which opens from the noisy street to a dimly lighted, polished wooden staircase. I limp up on one leg . My left knee hurts, the right one less so. It used to be the other way around. All my joints hurt, more or less. I have little energy. Everything is an effort and has been for some time. I put it down to age, or the forced inactivity following the rupture of my Achilles tendon.
- I have tried anti-depressants, ayurvedic teas, and doctors have now sent me for an angiogram. Maybe the heart is responsible for all this slowing of my body, the inertia which seems to weigh down every step. I’ll find out after Friday.
In the meantime, a dog-walker friend who has been desperate with foot pain in the year I have known her, these days is bouncing along the paths with a spring in her step, smiling with relief, and eager to share the reason for her miraculous turn-around. She’s been for acupuncture, acupressure, and reflexology and is taking Chinese herbs. She is back to work, and back to wearing pretty shoes, all in the space of a couple of weeks.
- She drops a brochure into my letter box, so I call. An obviously Chinese voice answers the phone, and we set up an appointment. I enter a room with blond wood floors, pale walls, low lighting, soothing New Age and oriental music. Leafless orchids adorn the low black lacquered coffee table. A smooth faced, trim Chinese woman greets me with a smile. She introduces herself as Dr. Fei, and offers me green tea, a cookie, and a piece of chocolate while we talk about various treatments and the pricing. I agree to a paid consultation and we enter her simple, quiet, uncluttered office where she asks me medical questions, takes my pulse and looks at my tongue. My tongue is purple, not pink, she says, which indicates very poor circulation. My
chi is languishing, hardly able to push my blood around my body. No wonder my joints hurt, and I have no energy. On top of everything else, a sebaceous cyst on my chest is painfully infected and swollen. That too, is my ineffective Chi.
Dr. Fei recommends 30 minutes of acupuncture and an hour of acupressure two times a week. I agree to the treatment and prices, which are not cheap but worth it if it helps. She can do the first one today, and I am led to the treatment room.
- Angiogram –
- Out with the old —