Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Cult Initiation

I was talking to my friend A when she mentioned she read this book called Fertility Wisdom by Angela Wu. I nearly choked on whatever I had in my mouth at the time (you are soo dirty) and told her this story about when I went to meet the author of the book.


I first heard about Dr. Wu on some forum when I was goggling something. I was intrigued and so I googled her some more and discovered that she owned a clinic in SF and it was supposed to be some miraculous clinic. I bought her book from Amazon and read it cover to cover. I debated about whether or not I wanted to make an appointment, because each of her appointments was $400+ (not counting any herbs), and I would have to drive an hour each way and take time off of work. In the end, Chris and my mom both told me that if I was interested that I should try it out at least once and so I made my appointment. On that fateful day, I drove to SF, found parking (finally) and headed to the door. My hand was almost on the handle when I heard someone say, "Emily." and so I turned .. and my first instinct was to run.

You know that picture she has on her book? She looks nothing like that. In fact, she looks crazy. Her hair was sticking straight up all helter-skelter and she wore dark heavy eye makeup rimming her large eyes that were peering into my SOUL. Her bright pink lipstick looked hastily put on and went outside of her lip lines (you could see it cracking with her skin). But it was too late. I acknowledged that I was Emily and she took me upstairs where I signed a bunch of consent forms and her people took over. Everyone was very nice, but in an uncomfortable sort of niceness way. But I told myself to relax because I wanted this opportunity and I was going to go into it with a clear mind. They brought me into this very small salmon color painted room and told me to take off my clothes and to lie on the table. I did, and the first guy came in.

Guy #1 was the most normal out of the bunch. He was some tall white guy and he told me that every organ was associated with a color and a sound (I think she mentioned this in the book as I remember it not being completely new to me). So then he had me envision the colors as he pressed on parts of my body .. I was inhaling in the color and breathing out a smoky version of that color while making the associated noise. We did this for what seemed like all my body parts. Part of me kind of wanted to giggle because I felt so weird breathing out vvvvvv (and it tickled). So then that guy did cupping. I wasn't sure what I expected from cupping, but it didn't feel bad. It wasn't until later when I went home and Chris saw my back that he screamed and asked what happened to me.

Guy #2 was where it really began to fall apart for me. This short Asian guy came in named Hugh and at first I thought he was gay, but now that I reflect back, I don't think he was. It was just the way he spoke. The first thing he said to me was, "Emily, Emily, let me ask you. Why do we breatheee?" He has this soft wispy breathy voice. My mind was frantically trying to work and I said, "Um, because we're alive?" He said, "YES! YES! You are right! We breatheee because we're allliiivveeee." I really wanted to laugh but I said, "Oh yes." He then said, "Emily, Emily, let me ask you. Why do we exhale?" and feeling pretty confident, I said, "To get rid of the bad stuff in our bodies?" and he yelled, "NO! Breathing is gooood. Do you understand, do you see? Breathing is good, so breathing or exhaling cannot be bad because breathing is liiiifeeee." I said, "Oh, okay. Yeah. I see." and he said, "We breathe out, to breathe more life IN." I said, "That makes sense." He said, "That makes sense, right?" and I said, "Yes." Then he asked, "Do you smile?" and I said, "I smile all the time.. I love to smile." and he said, "But do you inner smile?" and I said, "Uh, I don't think so." He said, "When you smile, do your organs smile? Do you smile and think, thank you heart, for pumping blood to all my vital organs?" and I said, "Uh, no." Then he started talking about how I should and other stuff and I was just thinking, this shit is crazy. The whole time he was supposedly doing acupressure but I didn't feel much and he kept joking about how he was taking it easy on me and how he was going to beat me up next time.

Then Dr. Wu came back in. She took my pulse and looked at me and said, "Are you thirsty?" I was thinking, no shit Sherlock, it's blazing hot in here and my lips are all dry. I said, "Yes." She nodded knowingly and said, "Yes, I could tell." I could tell she was very proud of herself. She then looked at my tongue and said, "You smoke." I said, "No." She said, "You used to smoke." I said, "No." She said, "You're around people who smoke." I said, "No." She said, "Your lungs are polluted." I didn't have a comeback for that. She said, "You should see my son, too. He has skills and powers I don't even possess. I can tell him to make time for you this morning." I thought, yeah, and charge me another $200. I said, "I'm sorry but I have an appointment at one so I have to leave after this." She looked at me sternly. She said, "Okay, next time then." I agreed, though I knew I wasn't coming back. She did acupuncture, which was pretty normal, except she really liked to do the ear whereas my previous acupuncturists didn't. But hey, I thought, maybe she knew better. I thought that I would be able to talk with her afterwards where she gave me my diagnosis, but she slipped out right after she put the needles in, and later I found out that there was a "three question rule" every time you saw her, and you couldn't ask her more than that. But I didn't even get to ask my three questions !

After acupuncture, I figured I could leave. I got up, got dressed, and texted my mom and sister and said, "Holy shit, I think I just got initiated into a cult." Then I went outside. One of the ladies from before greeted me and told me that I wasn't done yet. "Oh no," she explained, "you still have to watch our 30 minute DVD." I watched the DVD. I felt like I was being brainwashed. They asked me if they could get me something to drink. I thought that I didn't want to drink the koolaid so I said no. After that, it was time to check out.

I knew going in that she would recommend some Chinese herbs for me, and that was really what I wanted. My previous acupuncturist had the ground up herbs, but raw herbs are so much better. I figured she'd give me one or two, so imagine my surprise when she had an arsenal of 13 things up at the counter totaling more than $250. One thing I remember in particular is this oil called Joy, because "you put it on and it gives you joy", she explained to me. Oh. Okay.

Since I already knew that I wasn't going to come back, I said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to purchase those right now." She said, "Why not?" I thought quickly. I said, "Oh, because it's the end of the month and my credit card is so maxed out .. I'll just get it next week. I just don't have the money for it this week." She said, "But don't you want to get better?" This greatly annoyed me. I said, "Yes." She said, "You should at least buy the joy oil and <some herb>." I said, "No, I'll buy them all next week." She said, "Take all of them now and we'll just charge you next week." I said, "No." I paid and ran out of there as fast as I could. I jumped into my car and immediately called my husband. He said, "I would check your body for needle marks." That freaked me out!

Looking back now, the whole thing still makes me laugh but also makes me sad. I feel like she really preys on those who are desperate to have a child. I know that I have tried a lot of conventional and unconventional things because I want this so badly.

I went back to my normal acupuncturist after this incident and I was telling him how I met this quack doctor and how she was so crazy and freaked me out. He asked me her name and I said, Angela Wu. He said, "That's my aunt. I learned everything I knew from her." I'm not even joking. I can't make this up! HAHA.

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