Last night I walked into the treatment room at the clinic and felt a dreadful pain on my left GB-30 acupoint, with the pain descending down the left leg. When I felt this, I knew the sensation had been left in the room either by the last practitioner working there a few minutes before, or by one of the patients she was treating. I walked into the kitchen, which also doubles as a waiting room, and I noticed a new book lying on the table there, 1000 Meditations. I idly picked it up and flicked through a few pages, and I felt a similar pain to the one I felt in the treatment room. I assumed that this book had also been flicked through by the same patient, or possibly by that practitioner. On both of these occasions, I said out loud "Ow!" as I felt the pain. The pain then quickly left me.
This "facility" in me does seem to be progressing, changing in quality. These days, when I experience another person's pain in this way, it is a fleeting (but vivid) sensation, and then it moves on and leaves me. Perhaps I'm simply getting better at "letting go"; I don't know.
Also, it seems I am getting more sensitive to this distressed energy that people leave behind them. I am feeling it more frequently when out in public. Last week I walked into a vegetable shop and was stood looking at some apples. A woman walked by and I felt a dreadful pain on the bladder channel, down the back of my left leg. I almost turned and said to her, "Is that you?" and asked if she had been experiencing this pain. If nothing else, this would be a useful research tool, to verify that these sensations are coming from the other person. I experience this often in clinic, and have verified it frequently by describing to the patient exactly what I feel, and they usually confirm that that is the exact pain, and in the exact location, they have been experiencing; so when this happens to me, I am reasonably confident this is exactly what is going on. A person's pain is "encoded" into their energy, which I experience, and then their "energetic pattern" (the way their energy flows around their body, and the way their organs function) is then superimposed onto my "energetic pattern" and this enables me to feel the pain they have been feeling.
Fortunately, this facility in me has now developed to the stage where I only feel the other person's symptom fleetingly, and then it passes from me. In the past, I would sometimes feel a patient's symptom, which would then remain with me for days, or sometimes longer.
Last night in clinic, once I had set up the room, I walked back into the kitchen to find the practitioner who had been working there, so I could ask her if she had been treating a patient with "sciatica" (which is how that sort of pain would be colloquially referred to), but she had already left.
27 January 2010
Further details of the author's acupuncture research project.