Ma Vie En Rose: Cups and Needles

Bottles of healing. Asian Acupuncture. Fairbanks, Alaska.


There are days when life becomes abundantly cray that one may lose balance or focus. This is what may have been one of those days when I took the photo above at my acupuncturist.

I’ve been going to Asian Acupuncture in Fairbanks, Alaska for several years now, and I found through it all that I am always walking in there a hot mess.

What I mean by a hot mess is exactly that. There are days when I may have consumed way too many bags of Doritos that quite literally the receptionist must have accidentally whiffed a concoction of eau de Nacho flavored Doritos, and Jo Malone fragrance when she welcomed me. Then, there are days when I felt all glamorous and high on life–until Allison puts a needle on a certain spot and immediately I realize “oh, maybe–not all that glam after all.”

Speaking of Allison, she is the one of the two acupuncturist that serves all of the hot messes in Fairbanks. Shiloh established Asian Acupuncture for as far back as I can remember. Shiloh treated me for years, and assisted in balancing all that were out of alignment (I’m speaking mental, and chakra alignment here). Allison started working on me when my weekdays have gone mad crazy at the office and the only free time I have are on Saturdays.

My point is–as much as I’d love to be the Wonder Woman (a mixture of Gal Gadot and Linda Carter by the way) of my ambitions–the truth of the matter is, Wonder Women are hot messes underneath all of that exterior.

I have several favorite acupuncture points that works for me. The needles that Allison puts on my shoulders and at the nape of my neck hits all the tension that usually builds up from daily routines. I’m not going to lie. At one point, she stuck a needle at the base of the back of my neck and I felt that shit pinged right at a muscle I did not realize was stiff with stress. I have been very cognizant not to yell “WTF!”–only because I fear that I might scare Allison, and a human reaction would be to stab me with the needle–of course, she is the epitome of professionalism and would never to do something like that to her patients–but, I was not going to risk finding out. Regardless, she’s an amazing human being who is phenomenal with her work that I admit that I feel my body release all that tension when those needles find their mark.

Perhaps my most favorite point would be the Yin tang acupressure point. The needle is placed in the center of your forehead–the space between your eyebrows. Many of us know this as the location of the “third eye”–of course, no one can see your third eye–although, there are days when people would get on my nerves that I’d feel my third eye might just show itself, and I turn into an Asian version of Cyclops (with lipstick and in heels). Back to my point, the yin tang to me is the most important part of any acupuncture session. There is clarity that I begin to feel each time a needle is placed there.

The first time this occurred, I felt a lightness within my being and an understanding for the true meaning of feeling “centered.” I’m not going to go all chakra Naruto master on you–because there is no way anyone could ever live to that kind of standard. But, there is a sense of peace–and I’ll take a few minutes of peace in a world of chaos.

And, finally, along with the needles–I am a hard core cupping addict. I mean this in the most sincere way that cupping quite literally detoxifies the eff out of you. All those bags of Doritos are expunged, and at one point–I thought my lungs were going to be expunged as well.

The first time I have ever seen cupping was when my Lola Fe treated my aunt Vicky. I remember Vicky screaming out in pain, and as my grandmother told her to be quiet and to focus–Vicky relaxed. And, since Vicky loved her wine and her cigarettes–I’m sure whatever my grandmother cupped out of her that day did Vicky some good. It might have taken a bit. I’m sure my grandmother hoped that she could’ve also cupped all the cigarettes and wine out of Vicky, as well as her propensity for cursing–but, cupping can only do so much. This, too, I tell myself—regardless, I hope at times that cupping may have sucked out the calories that I inhaled when consuming too much .. you guessed it.. bags of Doritos.

The first time I had cupping done was my Shiloh, and I felt as if my ass got kicked. She must have placed several cups on my back, and I don’t blame her. She was probably thinking that his chick needed some making up to do when it comes to detoxifying. She was right. My back looked like the scary movie version of connect the dots:

My back in 2013 after an ass kicking cupping session. Photo by CJH.


After that first cupping experience, I’ve made sure to become an advocate for cupping. I tell my friends all the time:

“Girl, you stress? Why don’t you go and get some cupping done?!?”

“Oh dear lord, you look a hot mess and tired–cupping can help!”

“What in the world did you do to yourself, girl?!? Your skin is all jacked up! Try cupping, you’ll feel better.”

“Jesus Holy Mary Mother of God.. you need .. no, wait… you’re too much. Cupping ain’t gonna help with that. You need a meeting with the Virgin Mary and then therapy with Jesus.”–

Because cupping and acupuncture doesn’t solve everything, guys.

But, it does get to the point.


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