Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: A new acupuncture experienceBY KATIE McQUAID
May 05. 2013 10:03PM
A CHALKBOARD SIGN outside Manchester Acupuncture Studio last week read, "Side effects may include better mood, more energy, heavier wallet, better sleep, less stress..." It all sounded good to me, so I stopped in.
I have received acupuncture treatments in the past, but Manchester Acupuncture Studio's "community acupuncture" room was a completely different experience. Previously, I was treated on a table in a private room similar to a doctor's office. At Manchester Acupuncture Studio, strangers and I side by side, were stuck with needles.
Despite the group treatment concept, the experience and attention I received at Manchester Acupuncture Studio was private and personal. In an initial consultation with acupuncturist Mary Cole, she noted the issues I was hoping to resolve with acupuncture and then led me into a dimly lit room with about a dozen recliners.
Once I removed my shoes and rolled up my sleeves and pant legs, Cole began placing the new, sterile needles at various points on my arms, legs and ankles.
If you have never had acupuncture, let me assure you that it does not hurt. The needles barely prick the skin, and once they have been placed you don't notice them. At my most recent experience I became extremely relaxed and fell asleep, helped by the white noise machines and soft music in the room.
Cole said I could stay for as long as I wanted to. I told her I had to be somewhere an hour later and she promised to wake me in time. When my time was up, she quickly removed my needles and I was on my way, complete with the "good mood" side effect.
As for the other side effects, my wallet was not heavier when I left, but it was heavier than it would have been at a traditional acupuncture office. In the past I paid $75 a session, but the Manchester Acupuncture Studio offers a sliding scale allowing patients to pay $15 to $35 per treatment.
Patients decide what they can afford, no questions asked. And I was thrilled to find out I could use money from my Health Savings Account to pay for the treatment and the $10 paperwork fee that came with my first appointment.
If I worked downtown or in the Millyard I would definitely spend at least one lunch break a week at MAS. It costs the same as going out to lunch, but makes you feel so much better. (I would also spend another lunch break once a week at the new Waterworks Cafe across the street. For more, keep reading.)
The entrance to Manchester Acupuncture Studio is tucked right behind the Mill Girl statue on Commercial Street, although its assigned parking spots are located on the other side of the building at 400 Bedford St. A second location is scheduled to open in Nashua on June 18. For more information, go to manchesteracupuncturestudio.org.
Sadly, I was in a rush when I popped in to the new Waterworks Cafe in the Waumbec Mill on Commercial Street. I would have loved to have spent a long, leisurely lunch in the warm, bright cafe that used to be home to Kaleidoscope Children's Museum.
Because I needed to make a quick decision, I skipped looking over the menu and instead chose spinach artichoke quiche from the specials board. The warmed quiche was delicious on top of a small green salad, and I hope to go back to try a cookie dough latte or one of their many other offerings.
Waterworks Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday and the space is available for private functions. For more details, go to waterworkscafe.com.
Everyone's going bananas
Besides the guy who lost $2,600 playing a carnival game in Manchester a week ago, everyone else seems to be getting a lot of enjoyment out of Henry Gribbohm's story. My favorite part of his saga is that he was given a giant stuffed banana with dreadlocks as a consolation prize.
My friend Jordan Guagliumi clearly shares my sense of humor. He spent over an hour dressed as a dreadlocked banana on Elm Street last Wednesday.
Guagliumi recently celebrated his 15th anniversary with Manchester Radio Group and knows a little something about promoting a radio station. On Tuesday he decided he would dress up as the banana; by Wednesday morning he had purchased a banana costume through Craigslist, a dreadlocks wig at Spencer's and $50 of bananas from Sam's Club.
While standing on Elm street, he held a banner for one of his company's stations, 95.7 WZID, and handed out bananas to passers-by.
"Because everyone is entitled to a banana. They shouldn't be $2,600," he said.
I love Guagliumi's commitment, both to a joke and to his employer. I can almost guarantee that dressing up as a banana is no where in his job description as Director of Interactive Sales for Saga Communications. He even had to catch a flight to one of his Virginia stations later that day, but that didn't stop him. Guagliumi saw a great opportunity to make some people laugh and promote his company and he jumped on it. I'm just glad he didn't slip on all those peels.
Nh365.Org Event of the Week
This Friday is the Beatlemania concert at Manchester Central High School to benefit the school's music department.
Beatlemania the Stage Show will feature the complete Beatles experience from the Ed Sullivan days right through to the Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road with original costume changes and authentic Beatles instruments.
And the high school music students will be performing live with the Beatlemania musicians during the concert for some of the songs.
I love all Beatles music, and I love a concert that will help support a music program that enrolls 150 students in the marching band, wind ensemble, chorus, orchestra and jazz classes.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets range from $20 to $45. Visit NH365.org for more information about this and other fun things to do around our city and state this week.
If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@unionleader.com.