Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I started seeing an acupuncturist about a month ago. I had pretty terrible allergies this past month. Sneezing a hundred times a day to the point where it almost starts feeling good, and itchy throat and eyes. I've also been having a lot of neck pains and shoulder tension. And acid reflux. And.....

So for my new Eastern medicine cures:

1: Acid Reflux - I went on a bland diet. This past year I've struggled a little keeping my voice in tip top shape. All the docs told me to go on a bland diet. Meaning, no spicy food (but I'm Korean!!!), no chocolates or coffee (but I NEED them on a daily basis!!!), no gorging or eating late at night (but that's my style!!!), and no alcohol (but I need to get wasted atleast once a week!)*. I never really listened to these Western doctors. What do they know? They don't have ancient knowledge!!! Turns out, it actually works. (doh!)

2: Neck & Shoulder pain - My acupuncturist asked me stand up for her, how I normally would. Under her examining eyes, I felt like I looked like Jar Jar Binks. My posture is terrible!!! So I've been practicing better posture every day, and voilà! No more aches and pains! (Now that I recall, this is something a vocal teacher once told me back when I was recovering from laryngitis. Do I hate being told what to do that much???**)

3. And as far as the allergies....well, my acupuncturist prescribed me a nice healthy, pungent dose of Chinese herbs. Turns out you can't brew these things in any ordinary metal pot though (of course not!). So I bought a new electric clay pot to brew these bad boys in, as well as a book for pre-menopausal women (I of course, didn't realize the book was for women in their 50's+. The girl behind the desk simply told me that this was their most popular book. She also told me that she didn't like to read. But now that I look back on my last visit, I seem to recall everyone in the waiting room being old ladies. One of them might even have been knitting.) So I've been drinking this stuff, and I have to say--it's working! My allergies are 98% gone. And as for the book, so far I've only read the introduction on "Your Second Spring".

So the other day when I was bored, I decided to take a look at what all was in these bags of herbs. Answer is....I have no idea. As I was pouring the herbs into my fancy new clay pot, something hard fell to the floor. It was a piece of wood. An actual little piece of wood (pictured below). These mysterious dried artifacts from the forest, are actually quite beautiful up close.

That's all for now. I'm gonna go eat a brownie***, and watch some anime. The day keeps going back and forth between beautiful blue skies, and grey ones with little patches of rain.

I hope you have a good one!

p. ahn

* this of course, is not true.
** Yes.
*** I know, I know. I'm not technically allowed to eat a brownie on my bland diet. But today is a special day, and in case you forgot, please refer to the double asterisk right above this one. ;)


  1. Maybe you should take up knitting? =]

  2. Ohhhh btw. I'm Josh. I forgot you don't know me i'm just a fan of your music and found your blog. Sorry if i appear stalkerish, i'm not honestly. Alright i'm just making it worse. lol bye =]

  3. Your posts are hilarious. Can't wait for some more music! :]

  4. this post is just too sweet
    enjoy your brownie :)

  5. I would be interested in using herbs to suppress my allergy symptoms. I have terrible seasonal allergies in both the spring and fall, lucky me, and I currently use Benadryl so I'm not sneezing and blowing my nose all the time. But I doubt I'd be allowed to have that kind of electric clay pot in my room.

  6. What did your Chinese herbal tea taste like. From looking at the pictures I would guess they tasted like potpourri lol


  7. I had to cut out all citrus (including tomatoes - do you know how many things tomatoes are in?!?) to get my voice and throat back in shape. Now I can speak and sing wonderfully, but I really miss marinara sauce and orange juice :(

  8. I'm Chinese but I hate TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) for the most part - the taste, the SMELL. Unfortunately for me, they actually do work for the most part for allergies and other inexplicable bodily ailments.

    I don't know if you've heard of or tried this before, but we have something called cordyceps, which is a type of fungi that grows on caterpillar carcasses (does it sound delicious!). But haha it really is supposed to be good for your lungs and respiratory system. Maybe you can see if you can spot it in your herb concoction!

  9. haha. your post made me laugh! thanks for the giggles and visuals on the miracle herbs!

  10. What anime you watching? I watched one recently called Bebop Cowboy that was pretty good.... Bet you watch more of that Totoro kinda thing.

  11. I can sympathize with your acid reflux. That's why I've been following a mainly alkaline diet (because what neutralizes acid? alkaline!) If you go 100% alkaline, then it's basically a vegan diet, which may be drastic. But the point is about balance so go ahead & drink coffee & eat chocolate, as long as you balance (read: neutralize) it with something on the other end of the ph scale!

  12. Oh, and the neck & shoulder pains should also ease with the alkaline thing because the lactic "acid" knots in your shoulders & back will eventually decrease as your body becomes more neutral... I actually bought alkaline oil to rub on my back because it would get too painful...

  13. nice pictures! that's interesting those got rid of your allergies. I had terrible ones years ago but got shots for them and that seemed to be the cure for me anyway.

    thanks for making such beautiful music!!

  14. awesome. my friend is a naturopathic doctor (she actually got a medical degree in this field from an accredited school in portland) with a specialization in chinese medicine and acupuncture, so i think she'd really get a kick out of this. i bet she could identify at least some of those herbs in your photos! excellent photos by the way, nice use of depth of field or "boke" as the Japanese call it (blurriness to enhance composition). your blog is getting better and better! well good luck in avoiding kim chee and all your other korean "soul food"! just remember, if you chew bland food long enough, the flavor will come out. =)

  15. Beautiful work!

    Living healthy/responsibly might not always seem fun but the pay off is usually worth the effort.

  16. Ooh, speaking as a past consumer of Chinese herbs myself, I gotta say, they taste like what I'd image stinky feet to taste like, but they work!! About 1 year of the herbs cured what Western doctors told me they couldn't.

    Those photos you took are awesome.

  17. Adorable post. Growing up with Chinese and having a mom who worked in a Eastern Medicine Clinic/Acupuncture clinic, I've had my fair share of herbs and needles jammed into me and doesn't just all taste like mud and feel like needles? I must say it works but it sure does feel and terrible. Finally, those herbs do look quite beautiful. Nothing like what I ever had to drink... my stuff looked like roots. Brown roots and dirt.

  18. Yup, Chinese medicine can be really excellent for stuff like this. In fact, I think the "herbal" (kind of a funny designation since mineral and animal ingredients are also used) medicine generally works better than acupuncture. I like the photos - I've often admired those piles of ingredients too, and the enormous walls of wooden drawers where they're sometimes stored. That last "piece of wood" is a piece of root from a type of wild indigo plant and is called "banlangen" (sounds like: bahn-lahn-gun). It's also sold in a powdered form and, mixed with hot water, is the most amazing stuff for preventing colds. As soon as you feel the first hint of a cold, drink that stuff three times a day for three days and ZAP! You don't ever get the cold. I used to get colds a lot but thanks to that little piece of wood - no more. You can find it in a good Chinese grocery store or Chinese pharmacy.

    Hope you're sitting up nice and straight, with a calm acid free stomach, without aches and pains as you read this. Stay healthy and thanks again for the music.

  19. Hello dear! My name is Baptiste and I come from France! I'm just here to say, I love so much the way you sing! You'r so sweet!^^ Keep beeing yourself,and have a good continuation!

  20. You've been awarded!

  21. Wow! Does something in there have fur? How does it taste?

  22. An AWSOME fan of YoursApril 22, 2010 at 6:41 PM

    Is there fur in that bowl of artifacts?? :0
    They look like those lucky rabbit feet key chains :)

    I'm glad to hear that you're doing swell!
    And... Enjoy that brownie! ;)

    ps. I had to read that last paragraph over and over again! I'm so slow. :)

  23. I just wanted to say that your blog is so funny and full of personality (as a blog should be!) and that I love your music and I really think it makes my blood pressure lower just listening to it. =)))

  24. those herbs look beautiful! i think i will go pick pieces of wood and stick them in a glass jar for decor... thx for the bout of inspiration!

  25. I just found your blog and I love your pictures! And there is definitely natural & beautiful about those herbs. Something very naturally beautiful about Eastern medication, huh? Anyway, love your music and blog. Great job :)

  26. lovely's easy to imagine a little hobbit bringing those herbs to you:)
    good luck with your posture- isn't is awful having your mother's words thrown back at you later?...
    'keep your shoulders back! stop stooping! dont fidget! just you Wait and See.....'
    maternal predictions always have a pinch of back pain hidden somewhere...
    either that, or its just genetic.

  27. haha, you are so funny. I had the same problems with my neck... i just had to learn how to stand normally.

    Im always impressed of the beauty in the small things around us. Leafs, flowers, colours, stones, insects. Yees, the world is full of wonders! We just have to walk with our eyes wide open. Thanks for this small wonders!

  28. wow...looks like the food my chinchilla gets in his "chinchilla flower garden" packs!

    I have appaling posture too, I just find it difficult to remember to stand up properly and correct it though!

    Good luck with the bland diet :P I don't think I could think of anything worse!

  29. love ur music n am now loving ur blog :)

    that furball in ur herbs looks like a little rodent! tell me that's not true!

    ps: i had major allergies living in san francisco too, and had to boil some pretty gross discarded insect shells and herbs

  30. Talking about herbs and brownies around 4/20? nice

  31. 2 Things

    1. Please don't become too popular...although after 31 posts maybe Im too late.

    2. We are all dying for new material-have fun (always) but please record like a mo-fo :) ...

    Love you


  32. BTW... from our last conversation, here is a good site.