Acupuncture as a Dance

When I was a little girl and someone asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, of course my response was “an acupuncturist”…..haha, yeah right!  I didn’t even know what that was.  My real response, like many other little girls, was that I was going to be a dancer.  One of my earliest remembrances is of the time I tagged along to my friend Randi’s dance class.  I was just a toddler at the time, but I remember staring at all the kids romping around to the music, and knew that I needed to be one of them.  I asked my mom to sign me up for some classes that day, and so began my love affair with dance.  All throughout my schooling days you could find me at the studio 2-3 nights a week practicing and performing.  I was into many different styles, though I guess in my heart I was a tapper; there was something about making music with my feet that really got me smiling.  Throughout college I continued to take classes when I had time, and may have closed down a dance club or two, but over the years my drive to be a professional dancer dwindled.  Instead I did some zigs and zags and danced my way to becoming an acupuncturist, which in my mind isn’t really that far off the mark.

Both dancing and Chinese medicine emphasize being centered and balanced without being stiff and stagnant, and also require a good amount of body awareness and knowledge of its inter-connectedness.  In fact acupuncture is kind of like a dance itself; a partner dance between patient and practitioner. Though we do use words to communicate at first, there is also a silent communication that takes place in the treatment room, an energy exchange that can often work better when speech is absent, just like with a dance partner.  The patients body says it wants to twirl, then I propose a dip, you need to move some stuck energy here, I suggest we move it there, back and forth till were dancing in time, everyone is starting to feel good, and I can leave you to rest and soak in the benefits of our little jig.  For me personally, I often get a similar euphoric / tired buzz after both a good treatment and a good dance sesh.  While acupuncture is pretty passive and dancing is usually quite active, they both get your qi and blood flowing, clear your mind, reduce the stress reaction, and make you all around a healthier and happier person.  And in the community setting you get the added bonus of feeling the blissful, grooving energy of all the people in the room with you, just like a night out at the club…that is, a club that bumps Himalayan singing bowls, and where no one really moves much.

I am super stoked that this month is art month at OAP, and am looking forward to dancing with all our artists out there, especially my fellow dancers since we have been known to be a little hard on our bodies.  Also, if any of you have a hot tip on a fun dance class, let me know.  I am new to these parts and would love some good suggestions.


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