“In short, all good things are wild and free.” —Henry David Thoreau
Editor’s Letter: “Am I dead?” I ask my acupuncturist, after he informs of my particularly faint pulse. “Am I dead?” I ask my acupuncturist, after he informs of my particularly faint pulse. It was my third time in three weeks to his clinic. I sat there awkwardly, with my hand resting on a small pillow on his desk, while he pressed three fingers lightly against my wrist, tilting his head as if straining to hear for a soft beat. The pulse, he explained, is like a communication network. Whizzing past major organs and along nervous systems, it is literally “the pulse” on the body’s health and can be used to diagnose ailments or deficiencies.
I had gone to see him on the recommendation of a friend, who spoke wonders of acupuncture’s ability to diminish her pain of a sore ankle. It had been a particularly stressful time for me. Owning your own business has its perks, but it also calls for workdays that stretch late into the night and into weekends. It can result in poor eating habits, scarce physical activity, little personal time with friends, and—unhappily, for my still fairly new husband—family. A year into our marriage, and the inevitable question started trickling in to us, “So, when’s the keiki coming?”
Athletes like Ryan Leong, who we featured on page –, talk about “mental toughness,” how putting mind over matter can help the body push through physical pain to cross the finish line. “For any event you want to compete in, regardless of whether it’s basic or ultra-endurance, you have to be at peace with the anticipated discomfort, and make the mental decision that you are going to finish, no exceptions,” the triathlete says. “Outwardly, you can say whatever you want, but inwardly, there can’t be an ounce of doubt. Once you’ve come to this mindset, every unexpected obstacle, the suffering, the emotional highs and lows, the desire to just stop moving, can be dealt with because the thought of quitting doesn’t actually exist.”
Acupuncture, I assumed, could work the other way around: settle the mind through the body—specifically, through pricks in my forehead, wrists, stomach, thighs, shins, and tops of my feet. And it did, to a degree. At each session, the needles were placed with a quick flick. I scrunched my face to adjust to the needle between my brows, and wiggled my fingers and toes to ease the pressure of needles in nearby extremities. And then, I was out cold, waking up dazed, 45 minutes later, to my acupuncturist’s voice.
In the two months that I’ve been receiving acupuncture treatment, and in putting this, our Movement issue, together, I’ve become more aware of how connected the mind and body are. Stress the mind, and the body suffers; treat the body, and the mind can heal. My pulse has improved, according to my acupuncturist. “Whatever you’re doing, keep it up,” he says. Work remains taxing, I still forget some days to eat lunch, and exercise involves taking the dog out to do his business. Reclining in a lounger once a week with needles in my face is what I’m doing. I’m a work in progress.
One thing I’ve found that can help get the body moving and also soothe the mind is music. And so, it is with much excitement that we announce the launch of FLUX Sound, a new concept event that spotlights Hawai‘i’s sonic talents. In this issue, read about what makes the sounds of Hawai‘i the most unique in the world; then come visit us at The Modern Honolulu on December 13 and 14 for our inaugural event featuring Thundercat. The Grammy Award-winning producer will take the stage with local talent including Izik, Aloha Got Soul, and Front Business in an experience that fosters cultural connections between global and local musicians.
My pulse races just thinking about it. We hope yours does, too.