He moved up to my knee and with his thumb managed to hit more pressure points so that I became exceedingly relaxed. Inside my head, it seemed as if I had a cue-ball sized sphere that was resting on a plane. If I lost focus, I felt, the ball might roll off. I tried to stay present, the way you might resist dozing off, but a few more pressure points later, and the ball rolled. I fell into a trance-like state.
That’s when the medicine man puts the blueprint of the “perfect us” on our bodies, he told me. He gets our minds out of the way so he can go to work. I was not asleep–I was aware of his breathing, his ursine sounds–but the hourlong session felt like five minutes, as, in the arcade-style of Ryu’s hadouken move from Street Fighter, he pressed energy from one ear through to the next.
To enter into this session required me, to some degree, to suspend disbelief. At one point, the medicine man pushed the air, with great deliberation, from my head horizontally down to my feet.
“What does that feel like?” he asked me.
I didn’t know quite how to respond, given that it didn’t feel like much. To an extent, I did feel the weight of the air, a certain burden lifted. It’s not all make-believe. But did I do away with the toxicity and bad energy, the congestion? I’m not entirely sure. I played off light-headedness from the relaxation in order to avoid answering the question.
He instructed me to give the bad energy back to the earth, let it be used as fertilizer. Though this exercise seemed of hokie-Okie necromancy, there is a certain mind-cleansing element to abandoning yourself to the motions of this ritual.
The vibe felt like a spa treatment, though instead of the smell of patchouli and eucalyptus, there was that pervasive sage.
When finished, he had me rise slowly to a seated position as he hit some pressure points in my back. I felt extreme shivers and then, when he palmed my shoulder blades, flowing warmth.
I stepped on the buffalo hide rug he had on the floor and was told to absorb the energy up through my feet into my body. I crouched and strained: it was basically like taking a reverse dump.
He gifted me an elk sinew and buffalo horn bracelet in a ceremony.
I paid the suggested rate of $50–no co-pay, no insurance, no hassle.
And wouldn’t you know, that night I had one of the best sleeps of my life. My ear opened up and I felt a remarkable physical and mental equilibrium. Granted, this visit was conducted as a salubrious dalliance, not out of necessity. Yet sometimes it takes an hour of remove from daily life to cure what hurts and burns or aches and ails.
After the session, I wanted to get the medicine man's contact info in case I had any questions about the treatment.
“Do you use email?” I said.
“Oh, I’m just getting past smoke signals,” he joked.
And indeed, sometimes laughter is the best medicine.