I hardly ever need to leave my office building.
My dentist is here, as is my Pilates instructor, waxing lady (don't think I was born with these perfectly shaped eyebrows, etc.), energy healer, hardware store, massage therapist, chiropractor, office equipment salesman, liquor purveyor, book store, Scandinavian supplier of over-priced knitwear, dry cleaner... plus a pretty good fast-casual Mexican restaurant. Now I go to acupuncture here as well.
I've always heard great things about acupuncture.
It's said to cure headaches, allergies, and apparently doesn't hurt (even though you get poked with a bunch of needles). After enduring months of western medicine for all sorts issues with lame results, I talked to the acupuncturist down the hall and made an appointment.
During our first session, Debra asked me a lot of the same health related questions a regular doctor would ask (Any allergies? Surgeries? Illness?), plus many lifestyle inquiries (Why of course I only have 2-3 drinks a week!). We discussed my recurrent health issues. Then, as she exited to the room, she asked me to take off my shirt, jeans and socks and lay on the table.
The room itself is exactly like my office, but it's so calming... even though you can basically see and hear our chaotic parking lot through the windows. With sparsely populated birch shelving, simple paintings of koi fish (or whatever) and the occasional waft of essential oils, the speckled drop down ceiling and ugly florescent lights (which I despise in my own office) completely disappeared.
I have workplace ambiance envy.
Debra returned with a handful of packaged needles, quickly wiping a swab with alcohol on a few spots on my hands, legs, feet, belly and chest. She poked the first needle just below my pinky finger on my right hand. Hmmm, not so bad. She placed two more on my hand, then moved to my right shin and calf. All good. Then, on to my feet, which hurt like a bitch! My hands started sweating profusely and my entire body tensed up-- not ideal for getting stabbed with pins.
Aside from the feet, the rest of the needles went in fairly painlessly. And then covered me up with a silk sheet, rang some sort of OOOOMMMM-y gong, turned on a quintessential acoustic gypsy guitar CD and left me to relax.
At first, all I could think of was how I shouldn't move because there are needles all over my body.
But after awhile, I relaxed. Eventually, my entire body started tingling and my stomach began gurgling like a Listerine commercial. Then, I felt like I was floating on water (I don't know how else to explain it!) and fell asleep.
Debra woke me up after 30 minutes. After she plucked out the needles, I felt relaxed, but not so different. I mean, do people really fork over good money to get jabbed with needles? She asked me to pay attention to how I slept that night and felt the next morning.
It was a pretty good night of sleep, but how my belly felt the next day was absolutely incredible. Ever since I can remember, I've had tummy issues. I love eating, but eating does not necessarily love me. I am always feeling bloated, queasy or just plan disgusting. The day after my first acupuncture appointment, I felt light as a feather floating through Forest Gump's backyard.
I was hooked.
I've now been seeing Debra every three weeks since March. Every time I go, I still get the sweaty palms and tense up. I'm still working on not being a sissy (it never becomes less scary for me); she's now using a different method of needling that actually hurts a lot less.
During each session, she addresses big picture issues (for example, my ongoing bladder and kidney issues) as well as any current symptoms. Last time, I had a runny nose that wouldn't quit. She asked if I would be comfortable with her placing a few needles in my face. Of course I wouldn't be comfortable with that, so of course I had to try it.
Within 30 minutes, my nose was runny no longer.
Coincidence? I think not.
* * *