I have been treating a woman who has Parkinson’s disease for over three years. The primary modality I have been using with her is acupuncture. The main benefit she has received from weekly treatments has been in her legs and feet. She consistently tells me that her feet are warmer when she receives acupuncture (they are often cold) and that her legs feel more alive and steady.
I typically needle points in her legs and feet, usually on the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, Liver, and Gall Bladder channels. I also needle many points on her head. She frequently falls asleep within minutes of lying on the table.
The classical signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s appear in ancient Chinese medical texts, which indicates this disease has been around for a long time. The Nei Jing is the oldest of these texts, dating approximately 220 BC. The disease was designated as “feng fei” which roughly translates as wind stroke.
In this essay I have attempted to explore the lure of humans becoming machine-like, as well as the terrifying aspects of this evolving intimacy. The relief from loneliness, the escape from one’s own stressful mind and emotions, easy avoidance of people and the hint of immortality are tempting. However, the movement away from an embodied, empathic, creative and authentic self seems like a horrible existence. The collective momentum towards integration between humans and machines poses some important questions and choices to be made. Yet before moving too far ahead we must become intimate with ourselves and question the life we want to live before we enter into a serious human-machine relationship.
The word depression is depressing. “She suffers from depression.” When I hear phrases like this I am confused. What does that mean, exactly? Like all abstract terms, it requires further explanation. “She’s a good mother” is another abstract phrase. Ask ten people what a “good mother” is and you will get ten different responses. No two people can agree what it means. We need more descriptive language. Depression is typically used as a noun. A thing. But what we mean by depression is a feeling, a state of being, and of actions, or lack thereof. Adjectives and verbs.