The GGA Project -- Day #12 "Double Whammo"

Today has been a long and long, long day.

After last night's late Tron viewing, which went longer than I expected, an early morning wake up for work, and non-stop activity until this moment, I am exhausted...in the best possible way.  But I do worry I may not make much sense as I write this.  Here goes anyway...

One thing I love about my job is that is brings me into contact with all kinds of people who are into all kinds of business...excellent for referrals.  The next time I need a new dentist, garage door installer, glass blower, fine gem cutter, floorer, chiropractor, etc, etc, I'm all set.  But I didn't want a garage door installed this day.  No,

Today's New Activity: Acupuncture

So when I decided I finally wanted to try acupuncture treatment (after a few years of curiosity), I needed look no further than David Villanueva, a customer who makes deposits every day for his business, Oasis Community Acupuncture.

The reason I was interested in going to see an acupuncturist now is that I am less than a week away from an appointment in which I will be dealing with some unpleasant business.  The anticipation of this meeting has caused me not a little bit of stress and worry.  I know I'm being Little Miss Vague there, but the details really aren't important to the story; what matters is that I'd heard acupuncture can help alleviate stress, along with about 14,000 other afflictions, so I wanted to give that a try.

When I walked into David's practice, I was surprised to see there was just one large room--closed off to the entrance by a room screen--in which were placed 5 reclining chairs, a portable stereo playing Vivaldi, and little else.  David sat down with me for just a few minutes to talk about what brought me in, and then we were off to start the needling.

First, I filled out some paperwork and read an information sheet about the philosophy behind "community" acupuncture.  Among other things, it mentioned that in China, acupuncture is practiced very differently than it often is in the West, and that part of the difference lies in the collective experience of treatment.  Instead of each person being treated in a separate room, patients share a common space, the shared experience of healing thought to multiply its effects.  I absolutely believe in this concept, so I was hoping other clients would come in while I was there.

The placement of needles took just a few minutes and not only did it not hurt, I scarcely felt them going in.  Also, I don't know why but I was expecting these giant, scary things like a foot and a half long each, 20 of them sticking out of each appendage.

Yeah, it was nothing like that.  The needles were very short and thin, and in all I think he placed maybe twelve...in my feet, hands, ear lobes, and the top of my head.

Oh, but before that part happened, I was asked to recline to whatever position was comfortable, given a blanket, and a space heater was turned on near my feet.  So cozy!  David said once the needles were placed, I was free to stay as long as I felt inclined, sleeping allowed.

About 10 minutes into my relaxation, another client walked in.  I heard a few whispers (this person was clearly an established patient as little needed to be discussed) and the various sounds associated with the needle placement, but it was in no way distracting.  Soon, that man was snoozing away.

Under normal circumstances I would never have been comfortable with the thought of reclining with my eyes closed in a semi-public room where other people could come in at any time.  Ok, well I still wouldn't be comfortable with this idea under most circumstances.  But I mean that before I would have taken one look at those 5 chairs and walked right out of there.  This, however, is where the concept of newness and openness comes in.  And I'm so happy I decided to stick around.

I can't say any monumental change took place during my visit (not that I would have expected it to in one visit), but the experience was definitely worthwhile, even if the *only* benefit were to be the absolute gift of having a quiet, peaceful place in which to just sit and be quiet, free from distraction or obligation.  And with blankets.  Fleece blankets.

It was incredibly relaxing and refreshing.  I stayed there for about 40-50 minutes and just melted into that chair.  I truly think I could have stayed all day if not for the fact that the monkey was waiting at home along with his uncle Kris, who'd flown in this morning for Christmas.

Leading to...

Today's *other* New Activity:  The Niles Canyon Railway: Holiday Train of Lights

Wow!  What fun this was.  My Dad had heard about this holiday treat from coworkers and bought some tickets about a month ago (apparently this attraction is pretty popular and sells out).  It's just this 7-mile span of track from Niles Canyon to Sunol (we boarded in Fremont).  I'm not sure if it's part of a longer line carrying trains that actually have purpose other than to entertain, but it doesn't really matter.  I'm glad if there are still a few things out there that serve no other purpose than to entertain :)

The train had lights all over the inside and out, and there were few outdoor cars for those who like the fresh air.  There was a refreshment cart selling hot chocolate, brownies, and other goodies, and...drumroll please.....

Santa!  I was a little worried about this last part, just because of the monkey's not-so-stellar track record with old Saint Nick.  This Santa, however, did not evoke any looks of terror or even a whimper out of the little guy.

All the people aboard were cheerful and full of holiday spirit.  I loved walking from car to car just to experience the travel through time (some were very, very old and full of novel charm.  Some, like the above lounge car, were more modern (from the 70's maybe), but still full of novel charm).

I am too sleepy to function.  Just want to say it was a wonderfully satisfying day.

And good night.

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