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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Needless needles?

The story starts with a Vaastu expert in Chennai advising the family that the bedrooms should be above the rest of the house and the bathrooms should be below the rest of the house. Hmm, so what is the big deal?

In the USA, you will never get a final permit for any house constuction if a tile is more than 1/8th of an inch higher than another tile. The idea of two different rooms being above or below automatically implies a "brain step" of 8 inches. But these kind of Vastu alterations seem to be a free for all in India. So the guy who was retiling the floor decided to use thicker tiles to meet this "vastu" requirement (which could be part of the official approval process for all I know).

It is 3:50 AM and my brother is driving me to the house after I have just landed in Chennai. Word is that dad is still awake waiting to see me.

Now we have a familiar house with new tiles, except there are these subtle height differences between the rooms which yours truly is not aware of. So, off I go, wheeling the suitcases to a corner and towards the room where my dad is and just as I enter the room, there is a blinding pain in my foot as it strikes tile. My dad thought that the tears running down my eyes were happy tears on seeing him before realizing that stuff like that happens only in Sivaji movies.

The next seven days went on with a lot of Ibuprofen, limited walking, no removing shoes even during a temple festival and only one visit to the inside of the temple on barefoot (which made it much worse) and a trek from terminal 70 to terminal 2 in the Hong Kong airport with carry on luggage, which is like a walk from Mylapore to Adyar!

The foot got so sore and the pain was unbearable. The wife who was already alerted to the situation that hubby might go straight from Airport to Urgent care was not (is not, and will continue not to be for another 3-4 years) thrilled.

After spending close to 200 bucks on co-pays, x-rays, special shoes, inserts, metatarsal pads, etc. etc. the podiatrist said

"look, what you have done is to take a hammer to the softest part of your foot. the nerve endings are contussed. you have to rest that leg for the next ten days and give mother nature a chance to heal this. you can also take these extra strength painkillers"

When this was mentioned to the employer and family, no one was pleased. Some suggested wheelchairs, some crutches, others a trip back to India to spend those ten days in the company of Vastu experts. Let us say that all options seemed to be divorce petitions for mother nature.

While being wheelchaired back to the parking lot in the hospital, the nurse and another kind lady patient in the elevator (who was a friend of the nurse, which implied she visited that department regularly) suggested Acupuncture. Nerve issues get faster resolution, she said, and as added incentive mentioned "it might even be covered by your insurance".

There were many who were trying to scare me from going for Acupuncture saying it is only a placebo, fake, numbs nerves, has side effects etc. etc. but many who also said it really helps.

So took a chance and went to the local Acupuncture clinic.

The expert (who is a Ph.D, MD) put six needles, wires to put a voltage through the needles, a hot lamp around the feet and 40 minutes later the pain was gone! GONE! Just a little soreness around the needle points.

(grainy photo courtesy of cell phone)

There were two more sessions, one two days later and four days later which were for shorter durations with one of the pins moving locations. The pain and soreness were nowhere. I had stopped taking the painkillers as well. As an added bonus, the visits were covered by insurance!

Now that I am walking again, tried to run a little today and it does not hurt.

So much for dismissing a technique just because Western medicine cannot grasp it!

In a way this is weird. We have Vastu (Feng Shui) which is an eastern concept of energy flow which is being abused to create the problem and Accupuncture, which again deals with energy flow bails you out!

If only we can acupuncture the brains of Vastu experts, we might avoid the problem in the first place, no?


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 5:59 AM, Blogger ugich konitari wrote...

Came here from Kavi's blog.

This was specially interesting to me, as my brother who is also in the US had a similar experience of acupuncture.

What is amazing , is that with folks doing Vastu with great interest, one doesnt see people indulging in Acupuncture so much here in India, for such injuries. I guess , like all other things, we need to follow the west ?

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:16 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

welcome Ugich

east apes west.. west apes east and it all comes full circle.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:50 AM, Blogger Kavi wrote...

Vaastu, Feng Shui, Acupuncture, grainy pictures.... its all happening in your life right now !!

If it went away in 40 mins...well, it is some cause for cheer ! And intrigue to doubting thomases like me...

Hmm !

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:30 PM, Blogger Lak wrote...

Neat story. I had a similar experience in Singapore:


It too happened to me just as soon as I had landed.

Don't know if any Vastus were involved in building that Singapore hotel.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 3:39 PM, Anonymous just another mommy wrote...

wow, what an ordeal. Glad you are oding better!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


Came across your post. Interestingly, we are also looking for Acupuncture places for my husband in the Bay Area.

Would you recommend the place you went to?

Could you post details of the place as well?

Thank you,

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:54 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...


cupertino accupuncture clinic
stevens creeek and stelling just behind the panda express. it is on stevens creek blvd.

dr. jim lin. very professional. knows what he is doing.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Thank you Sundarji!



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