22
Jul
08

Like an old friend.

Saturday morning was crazy – my cell phone fell out of my bag during morning walkie. Luckily a wonderful woman picked it up and emailed me to let me know she had found it on the trail. How lucky am I? All the chaos meant I had to rush around to make my 9am acupuncture appointment. Of course I had to drive to the city cause San Ramon was booked up… Of course my gas light came on halfway into the city so I had to stop for a fill-up. It is amazing I made it there at 9:02am.

The SF Harmony Acupuncture office is on Clement street, which is like a mini-Chinatown. All of the shops cater to the Chinese community… grocery stores with unidentifiable fruits and vegetables outside. Signs written in Chinese, etc.

I walked along Clement looking for the address, passing shabbily dressed, elderly Asians clutching bags of groceries. Echoing in the back of my mind were my mom’s words when I first told her I was doing acupuncture, “is the place clean?” (forehead crinkled with look of cringe on her face). I finally found the address: a nondescript brown door with a homemade sign that read, “Harmony Acupuncture.”

I walked up the stairs and immediately all of my anxiety disappeared. I was greeted by a smiling older Chinese man. You know those people who put you at ease the moment you meet them? I felt like I was seeing an old friend. He asked me to hold on, since he was checking out another patient. I overheard their hushed conversation. My Chinese man said to the woman, “if your period doesn’t come, make an appointment and we’ll try something else.” I SOO wanted to rush over and introduce myself to the gal and exchange contact details so we could become a fertility support network for each other. “I’m in the same position as you!” I thought to myself. Of course, I sat tight.

Finally the man introduced himself as Dr. Po-Lin Shyu, the master of the program. I felt somewhat honored to be in his presence. He whisked me into one of the patient rooms. It was a much more pleasant room compared to the rooms in San Ramon, painted pink with drapes on the window. The room was quite warm, which made me happy since I’m always on the cold side. Dr. Shyu asked me many questions, a very different experience from the very clinical, business-like practitioners at the San Ramon office.

When he “needled” me (the term they use), he tapped the location where the needle would go in just before inserting the needle… so I never felt the needle going in! Ok, well, except for the one that went in my right foot – there just ain’t a lot of flesh on my feet.

The 25 minute wait was not as boring and tedious as it was for me in San Ramon. Maybe it was the atmosphere, or maybe just my frame of mind. While waiting, every so often I’d hear a kitchen timer go off. Someone (I’m sure it was Dr. Shyu) would turn off the alarm then move to another room, presumably to help other clients. The background noise was a pleasant distraction for me.

Finally my alarm went off and the needles came out. Dr. Shyu informed me that the masseuse who was supposed to do my acupressure massage was stuck with a broken down car. He apologized and said he’d massage me for a little bit. He spent 10 minutes or so massaging my mid-section. Perfect! I wasn’t looking forward to a 60 minute acupressure massage anyways (see my post, “A different kind of massage” for more info).

When he was done, Dr. Shyu actually told me that everything seemed “really good” and that he felt no tight spots within my organs. YES! I SOO needed the positive feedback that what I’m doing is right.

He didn’t even charge me for the massage. I pretty much made the decision right then and there, to start seeing him going forward.
Guess I’ll be driving to the city more often…
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1 Response to “Like an old friend.”


  1. 1 Jax
    July 23, 2008 at 12:12 am

    Excellent, if you are going to be in the city more often, I will meet you for a green tea! I’m glad you had such a positive experience. Maybe you can ask him next time if there is a support network within his practice?


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