Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Whacking Plastic Dolls With Pointed Metal Hammers

On Saturday Sharon (someday I will learn how to make that dang accent mark especially now that I have a friend named Sharon) and I went to a Tong Ren healing session. It came right after the visit to Dana Farber where I felt confident that when I walked out of there they took out their betting pool sheet and placed bets on how long I would live. Sharon dropped me off and went to find parking. I walked into a small crowded foyer of a brick building. Without words I knew I was in the right place because of the various people in wheelchairs, and with head coverings but also because there was a clear consciousness. Everyone was aware of each others presence and of trying to make sure that each person was getting what they needed in terms of space int he crowd. They also all smiled at me when I walked in. When the elevator was unlocked we went upstairs to a big room with chairs set up. I sat down and Sharon joined me. After a brief introduction, mostly for Sharon and I because I think we were the only newbies...also we were the youngest folk by at least 10 years in one case but mostly by 20 years so we stood out. The guy leading it was just an average guy...made his living in the past as a musician but changed to doing Tong Ren 7 days a week when his wife got cancer. He started in. Many of the people in the class held the same style plastic anatomical doll with numbers and letters written on it and pointed metal hammers as the leader. The first person was called on to say what he wanted worked on.... "I have a brain tumor, double vision, etc" and then they went to work whacking the dolls. The leader called out points and some of the people in the class followed and some just whacked wherever they wanted on their dolls.... after a few minutes..."How are you feeling" the same, I don't feel anything.... "do you feel relaxed" "yes".... and on to the next person....mostly people said they didn't feel much, some felt heat, some felt some shift....

I sat there wondering.... how did I end up in this place where I would have to announce my diagnosis like the way people make fun of support group meetings "My name is Tamar and I have pancreatic cancer that has spread to my liver etc..." I was pretty sure that I am not ready for that kind of support group. As it was each persons turn I tried so hard to feel something. Clearly people believe in this, how come I couldn't even feel anything when it wasn't focused on me... surely I should be able to feel something. I wondered what Sharon was thinking.... we haven't done a whole lot of woo woo stuff together so we don't really know each others woo threshold. When they got to me... I announced myself in full support group form and they went to work.... pretty quickly one quadrant of my body got hot and I felt my head needing to turn to the left strongly....then things shifted,....I could breathe a little better and deeper.... the pain moved to the left where it had not been.... my stent didn't feel so irritated...the heat grew to cover most of my left side and then my whole abdomen... the pain shifted to be lower.....I felt energized and hot..... "How are you feeling"...." good, hot, whoa.... "

This is whacked out shit but I am sold it felt strong..... Since then I have participated in two telephone conference calls of the same thing.... not so powerful but I will still give it a chance.... I think I am kind of attached to having such a huge amount of sensation..... oh attachment...here you are again.

Give me a plastic doll and a sharp hammer.

If nothing else, it felt like they wanted me to live.... they seemed psyched that I was there and seemed convinced that I don't have to die now. What a difference.


  1. Hi Tamar!
    I'm so glad you went to a Tong Ren "guinea pig class". I studied this procedure with the originator, Tom Tam, 6 or 8 years ago. It really can be quite effective. It's a wonderful integration of acupuncture, western medicine's understanding of the nervous system and the power of the mind. There are a number of groups in the area. I have a friend, acupuncturist who teaches and practices Tong Renin Quincy and Winchester. There's also a group in Maynard.

  2. Well, I wish I had some super advice or wisdom to offer you. For now, I'm going to tell you how to make the accent on Sharòn's name. So here goes. Type ampersand "ograve" followed by a semi-colon. Don't put any spaces between those values.
    Don and I send all our love and keeping you in our thoughts.