You’re Gonna Poke Me Where?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am posting about my acupuncture treatments. I’ve been doing acupuncture for about 5 weeks and it has been really interesting. I began acupuncture because I read it has great fertility benefits but also that it is an excellent anxiety/stress reducer, so I had to try it. I see Cindy Wu at Rejuvenation Acupuncture and Wellness Clinic in Des Moines, WA but you can go anywhere as long as you make sure the person is licensed, etc.

When I first went in, my appointment was unlike any doctor appointment I had ever had before. My pulse was taken in various spots and then a chart was drawn showing my pulse on each hand (this is done at every visit), I also had to show my acupuncturist my tongue (this is also done at every visit) which helps show my qi. Each time my pulse is taken I am continually reminded to “uncross my legs”. Habit, I guess. I was also asked questions regarding my cycle that I have never been asked by a doctor before. I’m clearly comfortable talking about things many people aren’t but I found myself thinking “Why is she asking that?” Then I realized how acupuncture is not about treating an ailment so much as treating the whole person. Therefore, the nitty gritty about my cycles tells her a lot about my health in general.

Anyway, I have stagnant and deficient qi (chi). This is apparent in my menstrual issues and stomach issues.  I typically have horrendous cramps and a couple very heavy days at the onset of my period. My acupuncturist said it would take 3 months to fix my cycle and I believe her! After month one: I haven’t had any severe stomach issues! I normally get stabbing pains in my stomach and when I last saw a doctor about it, she said it was IBS. I guess IBS is a “catch-all” for stomach issues. Anyway, my stomach still hurts from time to time but nothing near as severe as before and believe me, I am thankful for that! One other plus is that my luteal phase has gotten longer and I am having less cramps! (I attribute this to both B6 and acupuncture.)

Acu Legs

I had anticipated some weird feelings or that it might sting but I haven’t had one needle sting yet. The only thing I have found is that in some areas I feel pressure, tingling or a slight jolt, but never pain in any way. In one spot on my foot, I got “zinged” from the spot where the needle was placed to the tip of my toe. That was weird but it felt kind of cool to feel it shoot from one spot to the next.

So far, my average for needles has been about 16 per visit– with the most being 19. These needles usually end up in my legs, arms, stomach, forehead and feet; the majority being my legs. The other day though, I was wearing this super cute hat and my acupuncturist asked me to take it off so she could put a needle… in… my… HEAD! I kind of freaked out at that idea since we hadn’t done that before, but I didn’t feel it at all, so it was fine with me. Then I read an article yesterday about the top of your head being a key fertility point; she clearly knows what she’s doing.

Acu Head

The strangest thing I have experienced so far is that I was uncontrollably emotional during one visit. After the needles are placed, you are left to rest for about 30 minutes. During that one visit, I became so emotional and started crying. The whole time I was saying to myself “Why the hell are you crying!?” but I couldn’t stop. When I left, I started crying in my car as well! That is huge. I don’t cry like that and I asked Cindy about it at my next visit and she said it’s not a typical reaction to acupuncture and that it’s most likely my hormones re-arranging. It makes sense since I never get the traditional PMS symptoms so maybe the onslaught of tears is a good sign that things are normalizing.

I have also been prescribed Chinese Herbs. Mine are in granule form and I actually like the way they taste. From the time of ovulation through my period I can’t eat cold foods or drink cold fluids so drinking the warm herbs works well. Though, I can’t promise they will always taste good. One of my friends’ herbs are in bulk form and she said they were “disgusting”! I’m willing to try anything though and I like the “earthy” tasting goodies.

I have also tried to meditate during my time alone at acupuncture. I was never able to clear my mind enough to meditate but I decided that since I can’t move and needles are all over my body, I better do something. I tried meditating and fell asleep. I woke up feeling like I had slept for 5 hours and I felt great! I will continue to go back as long as I need to as I trust this form of medicine and have complete confidence in my acupuncturist’s abilities.

I never thought I would try acupuncture because I thought only hippies did it. Well, I guess I am now an official “hippie”, right? Or maybe I am just open to exploring the power of the mind/body connection? I think the “Journey to Thirty” should be about trying new things and ensuring you are as healthy as possible; even if that means getting pricked by a couple dozen needles.

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