We were in good hands from the beginning. The acupuncturist we went to, Fu Yu-Tai, was a tui-na master in China with a successful practice before he came to California. His office here was straightforward and businesslike, but I didn’t mind. I was there for the needles, not the ambience.
He first asked me what was bothering me. I told him nothing in particular, which confused him a bit, so I recanted and admitted that my neck and shoulders occasionally get stiff. He started with a massage, which surprised me, then put in the needles, turned out the lights, and left us to bake for half an hour. Thank god I brought podcasts to listen to, since I can’t stand being idle without a choice.
The needles tingled a bit as he inserted them, but otherwise I didn’t feel much. The first time I fidgeted a bit, though, I was blown away. It didn’t hurt, exactly, but it did feel like a two by four had materialized between my shoulder blade and my back. It was very, very uncomfortable.
I immediately shifted back, and the two by four disappeared. A few minutes later I fidgeted again, without thinking, and this time an anvil sprouted inside my neck. Very disconcerting, and like the two by four, very uncomfortable. I learned my lesson, gingerly turned my head back, and tried hard not to move at all for the next twenty minutes. I consoled myself with the thought that it could be worse.
As we left, I asked my neck and shoulders how they felt, and they weren’t sure. Maybe better? The results were inconclusive. To Fu Yu-Tai’s credit, though, he did successfully remove the two by four from my shoulder and the anvil from my neck. Now when I wake up with a hope chest embedded in my back, I know what to do!
Incidentally, neither Google nor Yelp admit to knowing anything about a Yu Tai Acupuncture Clinic at 3033 Clement St. in San Francisco. If it wasn’t for Street View, I might suspect I dreamt the whole thing.