Thursday, April 10, 2014

Curiosities at the Acupuncture Clinic

 While waiting for my acupuncturist to come into the room today I whipped out my sketchbook and speed-drew some of the things on the little table in the room.  At the top left are two glass cups for doing what is called, surprisingly, cupping.  A candle is burned near the mouth of the cup to create a vacuum, and then the cup is clapped down on your sore back, for example, and the acupuncturist moves it around to create circulation.  It always works to relieve the stagnation or whatever bad thing is causing your pain or congestion.
Under the cups is an ornate little bell.  This is placed right next to the immobilized patient's hand in case of an emergency, such as a needle suddenly popping out (rare) or a need for help of any kind while lying there while the needles cook.  And just to the right of the bell is a candle for lighting moxa or for making vacuums in cups.

On the top right are a pair of tweezers for I don't know what, and a metal container into which used needles are placed.  At the far right is an enigmatic little metal statue of a Chinese figure.  At the bottom right is a sealed package of needles in a box that once held a dozen of these packages.
At the top to the left is another, larger needle tray that has a sloped end so that the needles can be tipped into the disposal bin.  Below the tray is a stump of moxa, which is an herb that is burnt on the end of needles sometimes to somehow increase the efficacy of the needles.  Right next to the moxa is a needle, fine as a hair.  And at the bottom is a statue of a Chinese figure, one of a set of several that stand on the mantelpiece in the room.  The clinic is in a beautiful old house, and every treatment room has nice amenities such as live plants, fireplaces, artwork, soothing music.  No creepy alcohol smells at all, no rustling paper table covers, no cold instruments.  Altogether a most humane modality.


  1. Kewl! I wanted to do this at the hospital while my DH was in surgery, but I ended up being to nervous! There wasn't as interesting stuff in the waiting room either! ;) Anyway, I have a quick question...I noticed that you have numbers by each of your sketches. Would you mind telling me where in your blog you talk about this? Just curious! Great sketches! ♥

  2. CC- In the very first post of this series of drawings, somewhere last June, I explained that I was drawing ten thousand things and posting them all. The numbers are the way I keep count. I am hoping to be 1/4 of the way there come June-- 2500. Averaging around 6 a day should do it. If I were going to try out acupuncture for the first time I would go to a TCM doctor at a well-established TCM clinic, not a scary alcohol-smelling illness-focusing western medicine hospital with an acupuncturist on staff! You would be much less nervous! I love it, have gone to them regularly for years and years for health maintenance.

  3. Thank you! I'll check it out! What a great accomplishment that will be! Wait a minute! June 2500??? You're gonna be really old by then! But then math was never my strong point! LOL!
    As for trying acupuncture, I didn't explain myself well! I have tried acupuncture & wasn't nervous. I was nervous about the outcome of my DH's surgery for melanoma this last Wednesday. It was one of the few times I just couldn't sketch! We find out the results next week. Intending it all to be gone, so maybe I can sketch while waiting in the surgeon's office! ♥

  4. no, I meant I will be at drawing number 2500 in June! Best luck next week!

  5. I knew I was bad at math! ;) Thanks for the wishes & inspiration! ♥