In the Zone

After a particularly beneficial acupuncture treatment, the silence comes from within.

It has nothing to do with actual sound or the absence of sound. This kind of silence is a close cousin of contemplation, a sibling of awareness, a daughter of peace. My body is full of thick, syrup-like energy that moves under my skin at a slow, comforting pace. I breathe it in. My gaze is soft but not blurry, light but utterly precise. I could almost float.

I am inside.

Margot let the needles stay in longer today, intuiting the need. Seven hours later I am still steamy-headed and calm, moving slowly about the house. I make no sounds – do not sing or talk to myself, keep the radio off, do not play banjo or guitar, do not use the phone. I wash the dishes and a few accidentally fall from the drying rack onto the floor. The loud-CLAP!-hit sound startles me and I am pulled out for a moment, then giggle to myself as I notice how other-worldly I feel.


Other-worldly is only half of it. The other half is that I am more present with my body and mind and surroundings now than I have felt in weeks. Finally, I am settling back in and coming back to center. The herbal teas are powerful, and important work is being done. But the treatments, the treatments have this power to call me back to my best self, allow me to take a deep breath into the settling feeling of it all, and start anew.

Getting to this place is not entirely easy. I always meditate before I receive a treatment. Then there is the honesty aspect of it all. In my experience, there is no holding back. What goes unsaid will only block further healing. This does not mean there is a purging sort of feel to the treatments. It is more like laying the groundwork for a very important kind of trust and friendship with my practitioner. We are a good match, so I have nothing to hide.

“Does taking the teas always feel this epic?” I ask.

“Mmm, not always,” she says.

“But this is like, to be expected – right? – that all this stuff is coming up and I can’t get around it and I can’t go under it and I can’t fly over it. That after all is said and done, I just have to go through it?”

She nods approvingly, her slender fingers wrapping around my wrist to take my pulse again.

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