Clinical Mysteries


This week it happened again… one of those strange moments when I inserted a needle into an acupuncture point and got surprised by electricity jumping out into my hands!

It felt like I had gotten zapped with electrified green fuzz. I didn’t actually see green. I don’t see energy that way. It was more like I knew somehow if I could see it, it would look like lime green cotton candy.

It surprised me and I think the patient felt something weird too. He said “ouch” but I am fairly sure that was just the nearest word to choose for a sensation he had never felt before.

When I give a treatment I am very gentle, according to my training in Five Element acupuncture. And as a rule, acupuncture doesn’t hurt as much as it moves little packets of energy.

The patient may feel heat, cold, aching, tingling, even what I call “sparklers” in some points. I’ve seen big invisible bubbles pop, and once or twice I’ve been thrown back a bit from a charged point. This was a new one.

The patient had a muscle that was strained and I did a routine trigger point release and zappp! I shook that green stuff off to the side of the room. It was an instinctual reflex to clear my hands and I have seen other practitioners do this when giving medical qi gong treatments so it seemed like the right thing to do.

I am not sure if this event was the cause, but later that day I was extremely tense in all my muscles, in a way that was unfamiliar to me.

I do notice that often when I have such a direct perception of energy from a patient, it affects me too. This has been an ongoing challenge in my life since a young age and I had to learn by necessity to understand it.

In this case, I think it was some distorted Wood energy (which is green, affects the sinews of the body, and can tend to get overcharged… and this patient is likely a Wood constitution). Wood energy often seems to collect around the head neck and shoulders and that day I felt tense all over my back, up into my neck and under my arm.

This type of energy encounter seems like something out of a video game, but it’s a daily thing in my profession.

As fascinating as it may be, I don’t want to feel painful energy in my body even though I want to help people feel better. So next comes the work of clearing it out of my system.

This is either in detaching from the energy (telling myself it’s not mine and letting it pass), or taking a bath, running energy, or my favorite solution, dancing it off!