Today was my first experience of acupuncture. According to Mr Crumbs & Pegs I had decided to see a ‘mystic’. Only Son of Dawkins could be so dismissive. As far as I’m concerned, if it works it works. I don’t actually care whether it’s all in the mind, what matters is the result. So I was game for my lunchtime appointment and being rather fond of injections I was even game for the pain. In fact, what I hoped it would do (aside from provide physical relief of course) was give me a taster of what it would be like to have a small (tasteful) tattoo. I’m sure there’s room for a Kat Von D in St Albans, albeit one that likes comfy shoes and Radio 4.
Fear of the pain was therefore not the first thing on my mind. Indeed, what concerned me most was an outbreak of fire at the clinic that would leave me running for the exit wearing nothing but my underwear (matching today thank god) and looking like I’d escaped from the set of Hellraiser. Or worse, unable to move for fear of impaling myself and left to burn to death whilst the acupuncturist ran for the exit trying to save her aromatherapy oils. (She wouldn’t have been trying to save her acupuncture kit – she admitted to me that she had a fear of needles. Odd career choice.) Unfortunately I do seem to spend my life dreaming up worst cast scenarios that rarely – no, let’s be honest, never - happen.
So was it painful? Get to the point, I hear you cry. (Boom boom.) Slightly disappointingly it didn’t hurt one jot. The ones in my ears tingled a bit. The one in my forehead danced like a mad thing when I waggled my eyebrows. The acupuncturist had a lovely bedside manner but like other therapists I’ve encountered had a knack of unknowingly raising topics that I am particularly sensitive about. You have long legs, you must be a good runner. No, I have flat feet and run like a penguin. You’re very tall, I bet you were always picked for goalkeeper in netball. Yes, but that was all – anything that involved more than standing with my arms above my head and I was in the last awkward few to be picked. Thankfully though she didn’t invoke images of dolphins to aid my relaxation (as an unfortunate hypnotherapist once did) – I can’t stand the things. Too many stories of unnatural acts with humans. If I were swimming with a dolphin I’d be watching my back.