Saturday, March 15, 2014

My First Misfortune Test

To find out if you are settled or adjusted to a new environment, I believe one has to go through the Misfortune Test (this is what I call it anyways). Unfortunately this is not a test you can plan ahead, it happens when you least expect it. If you know immediately what to do and where to go to handle/resolve that misfortune, then you are settled. If you don't, then this event will make you one step closer to settling down.

I had my misfortune test last week in the form of a stiff neck/back ache and I kind of passed the test. Back in KL, I would immediately know what to do and who to look for. Having given up on modern medicine (the doctor would just prescribe muscle relaxants and pain killers for a few days), I would seek help from

1. Terry - Dorn therapy practitioner
2. Cheah - Acupuncturist/Gwasa (not sure how this is spelt)
3. Thai Odyssey and book a back/shoulder massage (don't go to the 1MK outlet tho)

depending on the severity of my situation. This time, it wasn't that easy. One,  I am new to the area. Two, I do not know what's the medical process here, how much is it going to cost etc. Not knowing who to ask for recommendations (can we really trust the Yellow Pages?), I hoped the pain will go away after a few days. 

It didn't of course. After a week of suffering, the pain showed no signs of improving, leaving me no choice but to deal with it. I recall during my walks, there is a Chinese herbal medicine shop/clinic in the neighbourhood. The walk to The Natural Medicine Clinic - Chinese herbal medicine & acupuncture took me about 5 minutes. On arrival, there was no one there. I waited a bit and a few minutes later, an elderly Chinese woman in a sundress and sports shoes walked out from one of the consultation rooms.

"Yes?" she asked, a bit confused to see me.  I explained to her my symptoms, hoping she could help.

"Go massage first. Very near." pointing a few doors down the clinic. 

Now I am confused. Why is she sending me away? Sensing my confusion, she continued 

"Massage first. Cheaper and good. Chinese massage. If not better, come for acupuncture." 

Oooo.. ok. That make sense. Out of curiousity, I asked how much is a session of acupuncture.

"$185 for first time. $175 second time." 

I quickly headed towards the massage place she recommended. Boy, am I glad I did. The set up of the place was very basic - not impressive at all. The massage however, is one of the best I had in a long time.

Anita is from China too and spoke little English. Somehow I managed to communicate my condition to her. She pressed against the areas that hurt - neck, shoulders and back to assess the severity before she gave me a quote - $60 for 1 hour. Upon hearing the price, I agreed to the "treatment" and prayed that it will relieve my pain and not make it worse.

For the next hour, I was a dough at the hands of a pastry chef. It felt like that anyways. There was a point, I was convinced she was using a rolling pin on me! Turns out, she was using her forearm. Haha.. Anita worked on me with a vengeance, determined to un-knot my muscles bit by bit. The room would be filled with "ouches" each time she worked on a new area. With each knead, I could feel my muscles relaxing and the pain gradually going away. As soon as I got used to this nice feeling, she would move to another affected area resulting in another round of "ouches". This scene was repeated for the next hour. Time passed by slowly and I thought it would never end. It did eventually end much to my relief. What is even more a relief is I felt much much better. Yay! I would definitely come for a second session as a followup, after I let my sore muscles recover over the next few days.

As I walked out the door, I made a mental note that this is the place to come for my body ache remedies. I am one step closer to settling down.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear that the massage helped alleviate your stiff neck & backache.