Eastern Medicine

Just A Little Prick

I’d been looking forward to my Sunday Acupuncture appointment all week. I had high hopes of it curing me. Maybe that’s not the best way to look at something because it sets me up for disappointment if it DOESN’T work…but I hadn’t felt satisfied with my physical therapy appointment last week and the Acupuncture was kind of the last resort.

My appointment was with Working Class Acupuncture. My doctor recommended it. It’s a sliding scale so working people can afford the treatment. In that aspect, it’s good.

When I made the appointment over the phone last week, nothing was really explained to me. So imagine my surprise when I arrive and the receptionist tells me it’s a group session. Um, what?

Why wasn’t this explained to me over the phone? I was confused as to how it would work. The way I pictured the acupuncture was sort of like massage–me in a private room, undressed, laying on a massage table while I get the acupuncture treatment.

The Acupuncturist gave me a tour of the room. There were two big rooms with a bunch of recliner chairs. He explained that people come and go, sit in the recliner as long as they need and get the treatment, then leave. The room was dimly lit and there was calming music playing. I was a bit put off by this.

And even more unhappy when they said they treat below the knees and below the elbows.

WHAT?! Again! Something that should have been said when I made the appointment.

I tried to be an adult and not totally lose it. I was close though. I explained to him that I felt misinformed and that I was unhappy because my injury was above the knee.

He explained that there are trigger points all over the body to treat different parts of the body and that he could put the needles in my ears to treat my foot, etc. Okay, I guess that makes sense.

I wasn’t told to wear loose-fitting clothes either. Again, I thought I’d be disrobing in a private room. I was wearing jeans. Tight jeans at that because I’d just done laundry!

I was mega annoyed by the time I got to the chair. I pulled up my jeans the best I could. I tried to relax in the chair even though I was mad.

The room was too dark to get any good pictures of my acupuncture treatment, but Google to the rescue!

I explained to the Acupuncturist what happened to my leg and what kind of treatment I was looking for. I specifically asked for treatment for my IT Band.

He put a bunch of the needles in me in various places. A few on my head, in my ears.

The needles weren’t big and they didn’t hurt. It was a tiny prick. Less than a flu shot. More than a bee sting. He put a lot of needles up my left arm and in my left hand. He only put a few in my right side. He also put a lot of needles in various spots on my legs and feet.

The needles were all brand new and he opened them in front of me. When he was done with them he discarded them in a Bio-hazard Disposal box that was at each station.

There was one spot on my ankle that hurt when he put the needle in. He said to give it a minute and see if the pain went away–it did, so he left it in. There was another one on my right arm that hurt like a mother! It was burning and I tried waiting a minute but the discomfort didn’t dissipate. I asked him to take that one out.

Other than that, it wasn’t painful and it wasn’t scary. The needles didn’t hurt. He left to check on other patients and I was left to relax. Within 5 minutes of him leaving I was asleep. This is abnormal for me. I have insomnia–it takes me forever to fall asleep. Not only that, when I get massages it usually takes about 40 minutes before I fall asleep (of course I fall asleep right before the massage is over).

I drifted off in a weird in-between land during most of the Acupuncture session. My left arm would twitch randomly too. It was sort of like when you’re dreaming that you’re falling and your whole body twitches. It was like that but just my left arm. It was the strangest thing.

I felt relaxed and comfortable. I woke up after about 25 minutes or so. I felt groggy and kind of uncomfortable–just like after a massage where I just feel groggy and want to sleep it off.

He removed the needles after about 45/50 minutes total. I went home unsure of how to process my experience. He told me I should come in a few times a week to see any progress.

I believe in Eastern healing. I feel like Acupuncture would probably help a lot of my ailments. But in this aspect? I’m not sure.

I’m annoyed that nothing was explained to me on the phone and I’m not sure if my session actually did anything. I had placed a lot of hope that Acupuncture would cure me, now I feel deflated.

QUESTION: Have you had Acupuncture? Tell me about your experience.