Saturday, November 17, 2007


The Sufi acupuncturist has me drinking the most heinous tea as a part of the healing trajectory I'm in the midst of. Usually when I need acupuncture, it's the needles and especially the moxa that I dread. This time around, I sought out an herbalist because my intuition told me I needed some assistance from the green world. Sure enough, it's the herbs that are working on me. I'm fascinated and repelled by that truly awful taste first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Funny that the needles aren't really bothering me so much. Go figure.

I asked him this week how something that tastes so bad can be healing. How does murky, bitter, obnoxious tea reweave my life force? As he explained, the tea isn't meant to re-weave. It's a pattern breaker. This particular tea is supposed to break the solidity of an ongoing heartbreak I can't seem to shake off. I've never thought of heartbreak as solid. Apparently what happened is that my heart shattered, then froze. My liver has been on fire ever since, angry and hot, perhaps in an effort to melt the ice. Isn't that idea evocative? Wow. No wonder my stomach hurts!

Some people love pathological diagnoses, i.e. Ms. Mellicker what you have is acute and chronic stomachitis. In order to deal with this condition, we will put you through a series of incredibly expensive, dehumanizing, uncomfortable and probably unnecessary tests that will frighten you but help protect us from litigation later on. Next we will prescribe some serious drugs that you'll probably take for the rest of your life. In addition, you will need to take other medications to deal with the "side effects" of the drugs we prescribe. Your emotional state of being is not connected in any way with your sour stomach.

The officiousness of the people who deliver western medical diagnoses might make some people feel safe - I guess. I find this approach to healing impossible to understand. No wonder I have no confidence in these people to help me feel better.

But the poetry of Chinese medicine, especially as interpreted by the Sufi acupuncturist, makes perfect sense to me. It's a revelation, imagining my broken heart, suspended as if frozen, caught in a moment I can't get out of, as Bono would say.

So you see, that's why I'm drinking this awful tea, lying on the table every week while he "listens" to my pulses and jabs me with needles. Every week I cry like a baby, imagining the ice around my heart melting. I'm eating carefully, getting enough sleep, doing everything I can to further the process.

Healing from anything is such a dynamic process, but healing from heartbreak? Yikes.


Momentary Academic said...

hear, hear.

kimy said...

i hope it won't take too long before the bitter tea will hasten sweet healing.


Ulysses said...

If your heartbreak's got any ju-ju at all it must have come from leaving a state of bliss. The heartbreak is temporary. The lessons that also came to you while you left yourself open will always be a source of Joy.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ulysses, I'm going to take that in. Thank you.

Lynne said...

Reya, I could use some heart-felt healing. However, I can't do acupuncture. I hate needles and barely get through an annual "blood draw." ick. My dogs however, have had lots of acupuncture and it has always helped them. Watching their reaction has always been source of enlightenment to me.

I could go for nasty tasting tea to cleanse the system though ...

Western medicine is pretty scary at times!

Love the second pic especially.

Here's to the big thaw!

Reya Mellicker said...

A big thaw in the fall. Isn't that perfect?

Lynne, acupuncture needles are not like shot and blood draw needles. Nothing like that experience. It is intense, though, and the good thing is, it works!

lettuce said...

medicine and healing as poetry is a lovely thought.

i hope the warmth of the nasty tea and the autumn sunshine help to melt the ice.

the colours and light in these photos is truly wonderful.

d. chedwick bryant said...

Heart and Spleen Awaken...?

I enjoy going to my acupuncturist even though I only go when in some kind of discomfort. I have never felt a needle going in at all, as he is a true master--his father and grandfather were acupuncturists as well. It is like going to a spa.

It sucks that my medical plan asks me "how many times" I will use acupuncture in a year's time, and they only pay 2/3 of the cost for "X number of visits"

This year I didn't need to go at all, but last year, despite a nutritionally balanced diet, I went many times for anemia.

My western doctor is interested and impressed by alternative methods, --- that acupuncture can stimulate a sluggish spleen--and that brought my blood count up to normal for the first time in ages. Since none of the "traditional" treatments did anything at all, (even the old idea of loading up on liver and beef never ever worked for me)--

I was impressed, too, that a spleen can be woken up!

Going for a broken heart also makes much sense.
and the herbs are amazing.

d. chedwick bryant said...

the alan rickman /hugh grant film with the theatre troupe is very sad (for the alan rickman character) he is a Great actor and his performance in that film is heartbreaking. But I cannot recall the title.

d. chedwick bryant said...

ps I am with you Reya--I dislike thanksgiving food.
my nieces delight over the yuckiest desserts--over the top neon jello inventions! & the casseroles: ugh.

d. chedwick bryant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.