So the other day my knee and back started hurting. Well they've been hurting for sometime now. If you know me, you know I crack my back/neck/anypart of me that will, almost constantly. I've contemplated going to a chiropractor for sometime because it hurt so much. Which for those of you who know me, know it must hurt pretty bad for me to want to spend the money I don't have on even feeling better. Sooo... when my knee starting acting up over here I thought I'd see how much a good massage would be, or some sort of alignment. Boy oh boy... that's when all the fun started.
So Michelle, my roommate, has been here for 10 months now, she speaks fairly fluent chinese (enough to get by anyways) and she shared with me about her neck pains and such. She told me how she goes to this doctor every so often, and that he's very good though he speaks no english. I figured for 40rmb (5bucks), why not? Plus I do lots of walking up stairs and long bus rides here which nearly kill my knee and back. So away we went...
I'd have to say the first unusual thing I noticed (and still can't get over) is that after climbing the extremely steep stairs of this clinic building up to his office, when we entered he was just finishing a smoke. That's when I knew everything was going to be *really* different.
There were no forms to fill out, shoot, I don't even think he asked my name. Michelle just told him I was a friend of hers and that my knee and back had been hurting. So he gets me to lie down on this massage bed and starts prodding around. The new chinese word I learned for the day was "tong" which is pronouced like "tone" and means "pain" So as he's squeezing the life out of my poor leg, knee and otherwise he's asking me "tong/bu tong" (pain, no pain) I guess after that he decided that the pain was in my lower back and that I'm severly mis-aligned. He decides to give me a massage and realignment. So I turn over and then it begins.
I swear it felt like he was punching my kidneys and he could quite possibly have massaged thru me and rubbed the table I was laying on. All while asking.. "tong/bu tong" He also learned some english words yesterday like "yes you sick sadist" and "sunnovabeech" Remember I'm laying on my stomach with my face in that hole in the table surrounded by sheets and pillows, sweating to death (even tho the a/c was on) and nearly crying it hurt so much. But I figured that was the worse part before it feels better, right?
Then after about 15-30 minutes of rubbing/beating the shit outta me, he goes over to this table and comes back with some packages of something. I pick my head up and look into his eyes just to make sure he's not enjoying scaring me to death. Michelle is chatting with him and the other doctor in the room and laughing at my misfourtune. Ok, so the banter was pretty funny. And I was overreacting a little bit. But then... came the needles.
So accupuncture isn't so bad, you can barely feel the needles once they're in. It's the electrodes he attached to the needles that kinda bothered me. At first it kinda tickled, and parts of my muscles were jumping about. It reminded me of this little machine mom has a few years back that you put on your face and it is supposed to shock you a little to tighten the skin. Or something like that. But depending on which one he touched, my leg would jump or my toes would twitch. And it got really warm. So that took quite some time as well. I dont really remember how long because I was so intent on not moving and redirecting the pain to my toenails or something.
So then he starts on Michelle while I'm laying there. And their conversation is still going on. It was pretty funny. She was asking him about his weekend and she told him about me. And how I'm a teacher from america and I play the guitar things like that. It was quite the jovial occasion. Considering I had pins stuck in my skin and electricity pulsating thru me. Other than that...
So then a little bell goes off, not unlike a microwave, and I think hooray I'm done!!! But no. There was more. Thankfully this part wasn't so bad, but it's Michelle's least favorite so she was going on and on about how much it hurt, etc etc.
Here let me show you some pictures, because I had no concept of this either.
It's called cupping.
It didnt hurt as much as I thought it would, and it's really supposed to be good for pulling muscles instead of pushing them. And so I went along with it. Ok, truth be told I couldn't really see what was going on. So that's why I went along with it. Michelle had it done later, after I was finished and so I got to see it. Pretty crazy looking.
I'm not sure how long each section of all that lasted, but it was about 2 hours later that we left. Fun part is I have to go back today so that he can continue to work with my extremely messed up back. I hope this helps. And for $50 dollars for 10 visits, I'm willing to find out.
Other funny parts of the visit were finding out their names. Chen Xi Long and Zhou Li Chang. Oh and did I mention these aren't like 60 year old little chinese men. They're maybe 27 and 30 I think they said. They also didn't have english names. So we said we'd think about it and give them some. They wanted hot/sexy names, they said. And since Michelle and I both have a thing for latin looking men we decided on Antonio and Joaquin. Yes...
Antonio Banderas and Joaquin Phoneix.
Not that they resemble these guys in any ways. But oh well :)
Welp, it's time to catch the bus and go back for my torture... errr treament today!
I think afterwards I'll ask him for a smoke. Ya know? The whole "was it good for you too baby" hehehe. So crazy.