May 12, 2014

Trying acupuncture

I tried acupuncture for the same reason I bought an Erin Condren planner.  It seems that everyone else was doing it.  However, I don't know if acupuncture is something that's for everyone.

Taking random pictures on a sunny day IS for everyone.

I tried it because I have a health concern and I've read that acupuncture is very reliable as an alternative treatment.  I mean, why not?  I found a place nearby with a certified doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and made an appointment.

I want to reap the benefits of acupuncture.  I want to like it.  I want to see results (see: How long does it take to see results?) Heck, I don't even mind paying for it.  What I don't like is lying on a table for 45 minutes with needles in my skin.

Here is the most important piece of advice I have for you: if you mind needles, at all, don't consider acupuncture as a means of treating anything.

I really thought about backing out the entire time I was in there, but I know that the benefits are greater than whatever weird issue I have with needles.  I don't like needles, but I'm not terrified of them either.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'm probably a 5 when it comes to being uncomfortable around needles.  For example, when I have blood taken, I can't watch at all, or I'll start to gag (That sounds like a 5, right?).

So they put the needles in at certain points called meridians and the goal is for the needles to stimulate energy and promote healing to organs along the meridians.  I do believe this can, and will, work.  However, I don't care what people say, you can feel the needles.  She put in 12.  Two in my forehead, one in each ear cartilage, two in each hand, one in each leg, one near each big toe.  I couldn't feel the ones in my forehead or toes at all.  The ones in my hands bugged me the most.  Of course, I don't know what this means.

I think, when we get to Colorado, I'll find an acupuncturist who explains things really well.  The lady I went to here was very nice and all, but didn't explain much during the treatment.  She did a very extensive overview of what acupuncture would entail, but I think she was trying to let me relax during the actual treatment.  Also, I'd like to know what her observations are…what does she think the problem could be, etc.

Which brings me to my second piece of advice for you:  if you are antsy and have trouble sitting still, acupuncture may not be for you.  You can't move at all.  You just have to lay there.  I don't know who has time in their schedule to lay on a table in a doctor's office for 50 minutes twice a week, but I don't have that kind of time right now.  I also didn't find it to be particularly relaxing.  The acupuncturist dimmed the lights (which I appreciated) and would come back in every ten minutes to stimulate the needles.  This means they wiggle the needles to make them pinch a bit.  Not a super pleasant feeling.

The doctor wants me to come in twice a week for three months.  I can't commit to that for a couple of reasons:  That's $100 a week.  I don't have that kind of time.  We're moving in four weeks.  The thought of having to do it again makes me sigh.  But…the benefits are what I'm after.

As for side effects, acupuncture is pretty safe.  Here is a list of potential negative side effects.  I will say that I had muscle soreness in my left thigh the day after.  It lasted about 24 hours.  It felt like I'd been doing way too many lunges.  It's odd that this didn't happen with my right one.  Also, I had the acupuncture on Thursday evening.  On Friday morning, I had to have blood drawn at the hospital.  Usually, my veins are hard to find and the lab tech often has to call in a second person to try it.  And I always, always feel a pinch when the needle goes in and out of my arm.  On this day, she got it on the first try and I didn't even feel the needle go in or come out.  Since acupuncture is supposed to open up the organs and flow of blood throughout the body, perhaps that was a positive side effect?

Eh. I'll probably go back this week.

Have you tried acupuncture?


  1. I tried acupuncture years ago--mainly because my parents forced me. I'm probably a 7 out of 10 on disliking needles, and I hated it. You can totally feel the needles and staying still also sucks--I did it once and never again.

  2. I'd do it. The needles doesn't bother me, though I do get a vasovagal reaction to them... so it might not be so fun if I happen to pass out. But maybe it would make the 50 minutes go by quick? ;)

  3. I haven't needed it, but I have friends who swear by it.

  4. I'll be starting acupuncture soon for fertility reasons.

  5. Uhm. No. acupuncture is definitely NOT for me! I had to sit 100% still for 1 hour with NO needles in me during a gastro empty study (you know--during all that fun I got to have last year) and it was nearly torture. And all I had to do was lay there and close my eyes. I hope it works for you-but I'm with you on the whole being uncomfortable around needles thing.

  6. I've thought about trying acupuncture but I hate needles so I don't know if I ever will... :-)

  7. I really enjoy acupuncture but I have no issue with needles being that I'm the person who has to watch when blood is being drawn. I believe it does work (something that's been around as long as acupuncture has must have something to it :P) and whenever I go on a consistent basis I always feel better.
    Chris is an 11 out of 10 on the hating needles scale. He tried it once but just couldn't get past it.

  8. I would like to say that I have a pretty decent pain tolerance. (I did go through the agony of braces...), but the thought of acupuncture just totally freaks me out!


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