I learned a new word.

I overheard a conversation today in which one woman smugly said to another woman, "I engaged my kundalini today."

The first thought that occurred to me was that it sounds like something you'd order in an Italian restaurant.  I'll have the Kundalini with Clam Sauce, please. Yes, paired with a nice red, thank you. Or maybe the name of a great magician of yester-year, Kundalini the Magnificent or some such.

But after listening for a while, it started sounding like it was something physical, or perhaps made of some kind of invisible energy.  The first one "engaged her kundalini" like it was some kind of powerful weapon of the future. "The Borg are attacking the ship! Should we engage the Kundalini, Captain?  "Make it so, Number One."

The second woman didn't so much engage her kundalini, she was all about "releasing" hers, which sounds more like something from a shitty monster movie where some evil mastermind sets the Kundalini loose to wreak havoc on the townspeople.  DEAR GOD! SHE'S RELEASED THE KUNDALINI!! RUN! RUN FOR YOUR VERY LIVES!

So with the vast power of the internet at my fingers, I did some hard-core research on The Kundalini, and by that I mean I typed it into google and followed the link to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Merriam-Webster says The Kundalini is the yogic life force that is held to lie coiled at the base of the spine until it is aroused and sent to the head to trigger enlightenment.

That sounds pretty suspect to me from a straight up physiological standpoint.  If I had something coiled up at the base of my spine, I'd probably know it, especially if it got aroused.  I'm getting up there in age, and as far as I can tell, never in my life has anything from my ass been railroaded up my spine into my skull (although I've been accused of having my head up my ass, but that's a totally different thing.)

I encourage everyone to go read this book.  It will explain in very accessible language exactly why all of this sort of BS is just that.  "What's the harm?" you may ask. "If a person wants to believe that some self-proclaimed hippie chick shaman who smells like weed and essential oils can shoot invisible beams out of her hands and "help" heal their broken leg or sooth their angry hemorrhoids, then why not?"

Well -- because it makes us dumber as a society, that's why not.  It's another step backwards toward the days when we were cowering in our caves wondering what made the gods so angry that they were shooting bolts of fire from the sky.  You may think I'm exaggerating, and maybe I am, a little, but it makes me angry and a little sad to see people buy into these things. Everybody wants to believe in magic, I get it, but just because it's ancient doesn't mean it's not complete bullshit. They used to bleed people and drill holes in their head to let the evil spirits out, too. Of course, in the 1800's they also used cocaine to treat depression and that shit totally worked, at least for a few hours, so there's that.

Is there something to natural medicine? Herbal remedies? What about massage therapy or acupuncture?  Sure there is.  If you're taking a natural supplement for your aching joints and it's "all natural" and it's really working, check the ingredients. You'll probably find willow bark extract, which contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). That's why it works. In fact, the first aspirin was synthesized from willow bark. But now you're paying $21.95 for a bottle of 30 pills of questionable quality control when you could pick up 300 Bayer aspirin for two bucks.  Massage and Acupuncture are simpler -- they both cause your body to release endorphins, which are the body's natural pain killers.  Eating spicy food will do the same thing, apparently. Probably nipple clamps will too, for all I know.

Anyway, back to The Kundalini.  Here are a few descriptions  of it.  I'll let you all form your own opinions after reading that. It sounds like maybe a nice thing to have, but if it's truly sitting at the base of the spine, I only have this to say -- I was staining my deck all day and now my Kundalini is killing me.  I think I angered it.  I'm going to try to fix it with a vodka martini and a dunk in the hot tub.

Wish me luck.  If my head explodes, you guys know what happened.