Seeing my acupuncturist earlier today, my appointment started with me reporting my general health. An important part of that account, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM,) is describing my bowel movement, including what ends up in the toilet. Such an account includes frequency, size, consistency, type (e.g. pellets and other descriptive verbiage,) color, smell, etc. It occurred to me how uncomfortable I feel describing my feces. Even now, writing this post, with the intent of discussing this discomfort, I find it causing me more of the same. Yet, so I am told, people living in parts of China, would experience no such embarrassment. In their culture, descriptions of this sort, given to their healer, is the norm. It further stroke me as odd that we would mutter curse words such as the F(uck), S(hit) and B(itch) words, without giving it a second thought, but when it comes to our shit, it isn’t that easy.
Ask any three or four year old to describe their poop and it’s no big deal; he or she will colorfully reply. Somewhere between that age and our teens, we allow society to condition us into what is okay to discuss in public, and what not. This conditioning is a result of where we live, the culture we are part of and the generation to we were born to.
So while poop is fine and shit passes only as a curse word, our own stool is a taboo. Expect when I see my healer. I move with some unease and then spit it out; the description that is, not the poop…
Learned from: a visit to my acupuncturist