So I made my way to the TCM place this afternoon. There was a pretty good crowd there, mainly local holistic health afficionados. Which gave me mixed feelings, since there was a possibility of running into fellow yoga teachers or students, and possibly contributing to Ashtanga's bad rep simply by my presence ("What are you here for? What, you busted your knee doing yoga? And you practice what kind of yoga? Ashtanga?" [insert knowing I-told-you-Ashtanga-is-bad-for-you-but-you-wouldn't-listen smile]).
Fortunately, none of this happened. I did run into this one yoga teacher, but all she did was greet me, and then go on with her business (hmm... what could she be here for?...). I then noticed some signup sheets, and discovered that they were offering community acupuncture for $10 a session. I immediately signed up for acupuncture.
Within a few minutes, the acupuncturist--a mild-mannered middle-aged guy with glasses who also turned out to be one of the owners of the place--ushered me into the acupuncture room, where he had me recline on a lounge chair. He asked me if there was any particular reason that brought me there. I told him about my knee. He felt around my left inner knee, trying to locate the place where the inflammation was, but couldn't find the inflammation. This is when I learnt one more thing about my knee: Apparently, it only inflames after I have been walking or standing for a while or doing weird things to it (for example, Bhekasana). Why don't knees inflame when you want them to? :-)
In any case, he proceeded to go about leisurely sticking needles in a few places on my arms and legs. He stuck two needles in my left inner knee, and three needles on my right elbow (he later explained that the meridian points on the left inner knee is related to those on the right elbow. Interesting...) After sticking the needles in me, he left me to myself, and went out to attend to other clients.
For the first few minutes, I did not feel very much. And then, after 10 to 15 minutes, I started feeling this heavy yet warm sensation in my left hand. I also noticed that the three needles on my right elbow were quivering non-stop. Interesting. All in all, I probably was in the room for about 20 to 30 minutes before he came back in to remove the needles.
I felt this feeling of powerful calm both during and for about an hour after the session. Immediately after the session, I thought I felt a nice warm sensation in my left knee. All in all, my first acupuncture session was a very positive experience. It remains to be seen what this will do to the knee. But I really like the powerful feeling of calmness I felt. I am also quite impressed by the laid-back energy of the place. I have to say that this is quite different from the rather more upbeat energy that one encounters in most yoga studios.
[Image taken from here]
In other news: This blog turns one today! It was on October 29th, 2010 that I wrote my first post on this blog. Time flies when one is having fun, doesn't it? Well, Happy Birthday to you, Yoga in the Dragon's Den!
I named this blog after one of my favorite 80s' kung-fu movies, Ninja in the Dragon's Den. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a ninja when I grew up. And then I discovered Ashtanga, and realized that being an Ashtangi might be the closest thing I can ever get to becoming a ninja; which makes me feel less bad about messing up my knee :-) In any case, here's the final fight scene from Ninja in the Dragon's Den. It's pretty badass. Enjoy!