I've been feeling a little under the weather lately due to the fact that winter is the season of squalor and utter bullshit. Naturally, I ended up falling ill after some leper contaminated me with their filth particles and rendered me toxic with bronchitis and excessive mucus production. Hey, stranger who can't wash their goddamn hands (which even raccoons can do), thank you. Thank you for getting your swill on and in me.
Anyway, I figured why not turn that frown upside down and make the most of my thick, phlegmy predicament by using it to try out some alternative healing methods. Sure, modern medicine has things like medicine, but why not try all that super popular bullshit people spend billions of dollars on every year despite there being literally no evidence that any of it works? Maybe it'll work for me!
I'll admit, this idea first came to me over a year ago when I happened to make the acquaintance of a woman who made her living as both a psychic and a reiki master. I'd never met either of those in person before, and I was immediately fascinated, because, to the best of my knowledge, both are flagrant bullshittery.
The lady in question is actually curiously charming in her way, though I suppose that helps for a psychic -- no one wants to pay to find out they're going to die from brain parasites and have the news delivered by a Trump-level twat waffle. You want a friendly psychic. She wasn't "Troy McClure" charming, though -- more like Kenny Powers, in that she was kind of loud and obnoxious and you find it charming for a short while until you realize she's really just an insufferable shit with a minimum of likable qualities.
At least Kenny Powers knew how to get down.
Anyway, I figured since I'd come down with a condition that traditional medicine just shrugs at because you should just man up and cure your own bronchial conditions with VapoRub and soup, why not try this reiki shit?
The first thing you need to know is to not call it "reiki shit." Practitioners of reiki shit don't think it's shit at all. They'd probably prefer that you call it just reiki. But it's shit, trust me.
I explained my condition, and Reiki Master Shitstar told me that what she does isn't healing in the traditional sense. Rather, she could use her hands to manipulate life energy in a way that would promote healing and help me get better sooner. I wanted so badly to ask if that meant a happy ending, but this was a lady in her 60s with one brown tooth, and part of me was very afraid she'd say yes.
Pick your battles, kids.
I was laid down on what I think is a massage table with some pillows in a room full of crystals and musical instruments and assorted other knickknacks. Some incense was lit, some meditation music was put on, and away we went. Basically, I received the absolute worst massage in the history of time. Rather than rubbing or kneading, it consists of an old lady just putting her hands in one spot and holding them there for a solid five minutes or so before going somewhere else. She talked about chi flow for a while, too, which made me think I could start doing kung fu, but my efforts to punch through walls since leaving her have been shameful failures.
After a 30-minute session of lying still in a room that smelled like jasmine and cat pee, I felt no closer to health, but she assured me she'd rearranged my midi-chlorians enough that I'd be feeling better in no time.
"All part of the healing process."
I suppose the beauty of reiki for a condition like this is that I'm going to get better eventually anyway, so was it the reiki that did it or just my own immune system? And if I used it to treat something like cancer, I'd probably die before I could sue for malpractice. She really can't lose.
I had only a vague idea of what cupping is before I called someone who I found on Google about getting this particular form of treatment. It brings to mind spooning, which is nice, and I like cups of beverage, so that was nice too. Everything involved with it, in my mind, sounded just swell.
Actual cupping is a little less pleasant than drinking from a cup. It's a lot less pleasant. It's borderline fucktarded. Your cup specialist will conduct a super thorough exam of your tongue, I guess to make sure you have one, and that's pretty much the preliminary preparation. I took off my shirt and let the ancient Asian man who was to perform the procedure swoon a little over my pasty white formlessness. He was impressed.
I was laid down on another massage table, and the old-timer took a few minutes to massage the center of my back. He said these pressure points corresponded to my lungs and breathing and would start feeling better in no time. The next step involved him lighting an alcohol-soaked swab aflame and swooshing out the inside of a tiny glass cup, then putting it on my back. The fire had used up all the oxygen, and within seconds the vacuum of the cup had sucked a marshmallow made of my flesh into itself. It was like getting a hickey from a leech the size of a human arm.
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Once again, I was absolutely terrified imagining how this would work with a happy ending.
I decided I could man up and endure this, because I think Gwyneth Paltrow does this shit on purpose. If Gwyneth can do it, so can I. Five cups later and I was trying to find a way to describe the interesting sound it makes when your back fat is sucked into a hot glass. It's kind of a reverse vomit sound, with a slurm quality to it. Imagine a toothless bear trying to suck a fist-sized sugar cube.
Cupping isn't a painless process. It's not like the old man stabbed me, but it did feel like a handful of cats trying to burrow into my skin for about 15 minutes. The resulting bruises are a reminder for the next several days about how dumb you've been. Enjoy them any time you sit back against a hard surface.
Hmm, I suddenly have a weird craving for pepperoni pizza ...
After the cups were removed, I got an old man oil massage and a satchel of herbs that would help me with breathing and balance my chi. Again. My kung fu was no stronger after the cupping than it was after the reiki.