This is my absolute favorite time of year. October always makes me so happy: I love the fall, my birthday is coming, and I am a complete Halloween freak. I've always been a sucker for a good spooky story. Me being me, I actually have quite a few of my own. I posted a story several months back about a very creepy acupuncture-related incident that happened to me a few years ago, and since Halloween is quickly approaching, I'm posting a revised version of that story today. Enjoy!
Lately I've been thinking about how lucky I am to be in a field that provides constant surprises and mysteries...hence, all these posts about weird phenomena that I've experienced. I have said, repeatedly, that acupuncture is not some sort of voodoo, and that when you come into my office you will probably be surprised at how clinicaI it all is. I have also said, however, that there are as many different types of practitioners as there are types of artists, and some of these practitioners deal with styles that are pretty esoteric.
I will never forget one acupuncture session I had that scared the living hell out of me. I had met an acupuncture student while I was still in school; he was a few years ahead of me. I liked him, so when he started practicing I became his client.
He was creepy. Not in a dirty old man kind of way, but in the sense that he just knew too much. He had eyes like laser beams and would scan you from head to toe the moment you sat down. Then he would say, "Your left knee hurts today," or "You've got some low back pain"...and he would always be right. Always. Now, this sounds more mysterious than it actually is; as acupuncturists we become attuned to the subtle nuances of pain in our patients. I myself can look at someone's gait and tell if they've had back problems, or look at the way a patient is holding his neck and determine previous injuries. But this guy brought it to a whole other level. He was really, really good at it...so good it was spooky. Plus he had those eyes that stared straight into your soul. I would sometimes feel nervous that those eyes could see EXACTLY what I'd been doing the night before ;) Still, I kept thinking that he was just exceptionally gifted at reading body language.
I was seeing this acupuncturist on a regular basis, not for anything in particular but just to keep myself balanced (preventative medicine, remember?) and at one point I went on a solo vacation. During this vacation I stayed at a hotel, and for something about the room disturbed me greatly. I normally sleep very easily in strange beds (!), but this particular room felt wrong somehow. I kept checking under the bed like a little kid checking for monsters. I would start to drift off, then snap awake, convinced that something was in the room, watching me. Finally, fatigue won out and I fell asleep. I then had the worst nightmare of my life. It was so terrifying that I woke up to the sound of my own piercing screams at 3:00 am. Then, just to add to the festivities, I started having night terrors (in case this has never happened to you, it's like a state of paralysis where you wake up to a sort of panic attack, but are in such a state of terror that you literally can't move. It's as much fun as you can imagine it is.) Somehow I got through the night, but the next day I ended up with an excruciating headache and neck pain that lasted for weeks.
When I went back to my acupuncturist, his eyes widened the moment I walked in the door. Before I could even open my mouth, he asked, "Have you been somewhere bad? Did you travel someplace where something bad happened?" I thought about my trip and wasn't sure if that qualified as what he meant, but before I could say anything, he answered himself: "You went somewhere and something evil latched onto you. It's on your neck, and it's trying to get inside of you...that's why you've been having those headaches and neck pain."
Okay, I was officially scared shitless. I hadn't told him ANYTHING, and he knew all this...plus, what the hell was this thing dangling off my neck? Was it a ghost? A demon? I had waded into theological waters too deep for me to swim. And I didn't even believe in any of this crap! I have to admit, I always kind of laughed at the students who were into this side of acupuncture, dealing with spirits and such. And now here I was, one of the possessed!
He laid me on the table and explained that this...thing that was clinging to me was sort of like a ball of negative energy that gathered after something terrible happened. Sometimes this energy sits around waiting for someone with a weak spot to latch onto. As a student of acupuncture, I was dealing with energies everyday, and that being the case, my own energetic field was more open than most people's.
To this day I'm not sure what I believe. All I know is that, after he "exorcised" me, my headache and neck pain immediately disappeared, never to return. He told me to smudge my house and pour salt around to dispel any remaining negative energy, and although I did salt my bedroom, smudging felt like officially crossing the line into kookiness. Plus, my roommates would have smelled it, and then I'd have to explain that I was trying to get rid of the evil spirit that was trying to possess me. I just didn't want to go there.