Monday, April 10, 2006

Andy & the Q-Tip

Just giving you fair warning that I probably won't be around much this week; after months of planning, finally the internal relocation at work to a bigger, better, brighter space is happening. I will be away from my desk for most of the week, and working late.

So if the blog is quiet this week, you'll know why.

Mostly what I will miss is the opportunity to read and comment on the many blogs I visit daily; I'll try to keep up, but make no promises.


Last week, when we were discussing the results of a study on prayer, the issue of the "placebo effect" came up in the comments section, but I took a stand for alternative (i.e., non-Western) forms of medicine, specifically what is now being called "energy" medicine.

A few years ago while I was struggling with acid reflux, I pursued a variety of alternative remedies, including energy medicine. Most of the practitioners seemed fairly predictable to me, like the woman who lived in the walk-up in the grungy building in the East Village with her pet iguana, about four thousand candles, some incense burners and a Buddha statue. (I think she was actually on to something about me, and I have to say her treatment was very relaxing.)

But then there was the woman I was referred to by an old friend who lives in suburban Portland, Oregon. Emphasis on the suburban. She was a walking stereotype, from the plush white wall-to-wall carpet, the pictures of the smiling, perfect children on the mantel, all the way down to her pink sweater and gold locket. But yet here she was, an energy healer.

She had me lie down on a table in her immaculate, sunny living room. (No iguanas or Buddhas.) She would place her hands on different parts of my body, and then she would "tap" me, which she explained meant she was asking my body a specific question, and she could understand the answer. (There are people I believe who can actually do this.) At one point she asked, "May I try something?"

She took a Q-tip and asked me to wet it with my saliva, explaining that for diagnostic purposes saliva is every bit as good, if not better, than blood. Then she took the slobbery Q-tip and put it in my belly button. She placed one of my hands flat against my belly, with her hand over it, and my other hand on my forehead, also with her hand over it, and for a few minutes she said, "Hmm...hmm...errmmmm...hmmm," and then finally, with an exclamation of utter surprise, "Oh! You have a wheat allergy!"

I don't. I paid her fee (I think it was around $150), and thanked her very much for her time. Did it help me at all? No. But I got a hell of a story out of it.


Time said...

You'll miss the finish to my Easter story, don't work to hard.

Jade said...

Have you ever been to a casino and watched the women at slot machines who say a prayer, bow their heads up and down and touch the video screen in specific places before hitting the button? This is what I'm picturing.

Maybe next time I should bring a wet q-tip to the casino?

little-cicero said...

I guess by the time you committed to this "healer" you had no choice but to pay, after all, she probably did more for you than most conventional doctor visits. Of course, I suppose it would have been reasonable to take it out on the friend who referred you to her, with a friendly punch in the stomach.

By the way, if you would like any help keeping posts coming, I'll be glad to fill in as a guest blogger at any time (That is, if you ever want to lose your readership in a hurry!)

Jade said...

Of course, I suppose it would have been reasonable to take it out on the friend who referred you to her, with a friendly punch in the stomach.

No no... a wet q-tip to the stomach!

little-cicero said...

Tushay! (That's how us rednek conservatives spellit)

Andy said...

Ah, the fine art of fonetiks.