My hour-and-a-half acupuncture session at Emperor's College Clinic, began with an intern who sized me up, and collected data on my aches, pains and gripes. Then, a supervisor checked my pulse and the underside of my tongue and declared that my Qi was off, pulse was thready, and liver was stagnating. I had no idea what any of it really meant, but my first thought was to write a will and prepare an obituary. Luckily, the supervisor told me that I was going to live. She recommended about a dozen needles in strategic spots and the intern (yes, she was learning on the job) went to work placing them between my eyes, on my head, between fingers — you name it. I'm not a huge fan of pain, so I was a tad panicked at first, but after a few minutes I began to feel relaxed. The needles stung a bit going in but it wasn't unbearable. The intern turned out the lights and I relaxed for 30 minutes. By the time she returned, I was so mellow I was practically drooling and ready for a bib. At $38 a pop, it's a cheap and relaxing way to decompress or fix what ails you. 1807-B Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 453-8300.

—Christine Pelisek

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