November 25, 2004


At the moment, there seems to be an awful lot of talk in Blogland (slightly to the right of Finland) about
Reiki and alternative therapies. Now I don't know about you, but I'm all for these new wave health treatment thingies. Let's be honest, what would you rather have? A nice pleasant hour of reflexology, or a bald old doctor with bad breath sticking his thermometer up your bum? As Cilla would say, the decision is yours.

I have experienced the joys of various alternative medicines. The first time was when I was in Israel; some mad girl I knew enthused to me about a kind of massage type thing she thought she knew how to do, that involved no contact at all. All to do with auras and what have you. God knows. It was very odd and very boring and I felt no better or worse, as to be honest, as well as the whole 'no contact' thing, I felt absolutely nothing. Pile of rubbish was my initial thought, and so far that hasn't been disproved. I'd like to be wrong as it's a great idea, but the only good stuff I've ever had done has involved touching, and it has been VERY GOOD. I digress...

I had a few Shiatsu massages when I was in Australia (I've been about I have) from some lovely Japanese people. These massages are extremely violent and hurt a lot. Massage is probably the wrong word really. Thumpings is a better word. All the prodding and pushing and yanking. You feel well and truly yanked after one of these, and I have to say that initially the pain was too much. I kind of just wanted it to stop. But after a few sessions I got used to it (I say used, I mean resigned) and the whole sensation was more rewarding. Plus, afterwards I felt brilliant. Like all the shit had been pulled out of me and I was all free and nimble and supple. Recommended!

The next thing I had was acupuncture. I completely arseholed my knee while being very out of my tree at a dance festival thing in Ireland, and was pretty much out of action for 9 months. I had to fucking hop to work. Those were fun times. Anyway, I had lots of anti-inflammatories, lots of doctors advice, and some x-rays too, but nothing helped and, more importantly for me, nothing fixed the bloody thing. In a moment of clarity however, my doctor booked me some sessions with a physio. "Now we're getting somewhere!" I thought. And I was right. The physio was a mad little Chinese woman, who wiggled my leg about, prodded it a bit, stretched it about (all of this hurt by the way) and then decided the best course of action would be to stick lots of needles in me, oh, and was I okay with this? I have to admit, the thought didn't exactly set my pulse racing, and I have, for as long as I can remember, had a very acute fear of long spiky things. So I wasn't 'up' for it exactly. But I could see that she was just dying to get jabbing, so I valiantly offered my knee to the way of the needle. And it's a bloody good thing that I did, as it really did the trick. Sorted it out right good and proper it did. I was most impressed. I mean, it took a while, about ten sessions or so, and it wasn't 100% at the end, but the main source of the pain and discomfort had been dealt with. Hooray for acupuncture!

Then, joy of joys, I had a whole series of brilliant reflexology massages. This is basically a glorified foot rub. But so good! Every time I had one I would fall asleep half way through. Yes, it was that relaxing. Fucking great. I advise everyone to have one right away. Apparently the massage helps to clear energy paths in the body too. Bonus! This I love.

And then there is the all-over body massage. Does exactly what it says on the tin. Mix it with some aromatherapy (lemongrass is very good for hayfever don't you know?) and your laughing all the way to the Leeds.

There are obviously loads of other things to try (yes, including Reiki...) and I will probably get round to most of these at some point, but right here and now, if anyone knows of a surefire cure for massive eye-bags that isn't a mixture of the words sleep, more and get, then let me know and you could win my last Rolo!


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