Continuing my 5 part insider's look at the world of Acupuncture. Briefly, I got pains and problems too numerous to mention. Decided to give Acupuncture a shot, ha ha. Get it. I paid for 5 treatments at a local Acupuncture school, after that I get an exam of the results. This bloggy diary of my five sessions hopes to give you everything I see and feel. See previous parts of this story to get the total jist.
Pains of the week. I still get stiff in the neck when I lay on it. My left leg flared up on Wednesday, means it hurts when I walk on it. And my right shoulder hurts when I put weight on it (sleeping on my side).
I make it to this week's appointment, sit in the waiting room and worry if I'll get another hard handed newbie or gentle touch intern like I had the first time. It turns out the Supervising Acupuncturist Teacher takes me in for the exam. She does the vitals: tongue and pulse. I ask about the dampness in my tongue and she says, "It is getting better, There is less coating on the tongue". For whatever reason she doesn't do my blood pressure. I always felt that was a Western medicine thing anyway.
We go to the therapy room and she wants to have me lie on my side to make it easy for me because she feels I am always dizzy during treatments. I correct her and say I only got dizzy last time but that was only when I had the pressure points in my hand injected. I told her I ate more this time (treatments burn the body's energy). She says she will not do my hands again because they are sensitive. She leaves. I get naked, meaning take off outer wear. I lay on my side on the treatment table with a towel, face to the wall. The Sup Doc is back and I see in the glass reflection of the pressure points chart,a short man hurriedly come in too. She describes to the guy what is going on in Chinese and kinda shows him the points with her fingers. He gets the needles together and this all happens in seconds. I brace myself and get pricked in the back along my spine. The Sup Doc tells me she will put a needle in my head to allieviate my neck pain and says it will be sensitive. Once again, no time to react. She (Doc) is applying alchohol swab to the top of my head (direct middle, center). It basically feels like my hair is getting all the alcohol but I'm sure the swab touches my skin a bit. I tense up my muscles and she pokes my head gently. It is not bad but maybe I am distracted because at the same time, the intern guy is finishing his pokes with 6 needles in my back. He is not gentle either! I try to relax. The doc comes back around to my legs and does my knees. My first knee is painlessly pricked. The second knee is sandwiched between the table and my other knee so a hard position to get to. I will gladly move it out a bit for her but nah, before I can ask, she tries at that angle anyway and it hurt a bit. Not as much as the intern dude. When I say hurt, I mean pinch. Pain is gone once needle is in correctly. Sometimes the needles go in too deep. I think I teared during one of the intern's hits and I actually cried out an ouch. Overall I was feeling okay when they were done. Heat lamp went on at the lowest setting because I was burning up the last time. The doctors leave me. I calm myself down as I lay, breathed in and breathed out. Intern guy checks on me a few times, I can't understand the dude very well. I lay and rest as I rewrite this blog in my head trying not to forget the details. The Sup doc comes back and gives me a massage threw a warm towel. Basically she gives me a quick cycle of shaking my shoulders and back area around. She gives that area hard pats too with the palm of her hand I think. The Sup doc then uses 2 fingers and goes up and down the sides of my spine a few times hitting accupressure points, pretty fast. I hope her aim is good. She totally pinches her finger in my left hip too. My guess is it is for my left hip pain. Shes says that she is done and that I can get dressed.
I leave the medical clinic feeling refreshed whether that is psychological or because I am relieved it is over? I even feel that I am walking with a straighter posture. Feeling positive and full of energy, I start to pick up the pace and want to run to my car. Then I feel my shoulder pound and ache as I run about three steps and I think, nope, maybe I don't feel so good. I look at my watch and I was probably in treatment for like an hour and a half laying on my right shoulder. All my body weight pressing down on it. Ouch. I anticipate what after effects I should expect today. Will I be sore as hell or no effect? I don't even feel dizzy like my second treatment. I even go a little shopping before I head home. When I get home, I babysit and supervise the kids naptime. It's there that it hits me. I am really tired. I don't think I am normally tired like this during the day. The kids wake up as Nich gets back from the grocery but I want to nap too. Nich doesn't want me to sleep. And I didn't mean to, but I fall asleep sitting in the recliner and am out cold for like 30 minutes. I don't even hear the kids playing around me. I can conclude that the Acupuncture treatment put out my body but I also thought maybe my body was tired from going to San Francisco (see my WonderCon blog) and walking around.
I should mention that I have dry, patchy skin on my knees and elbows that the first intern told me was due to stress. And since that condition started a year ago, I'd believe I've been down with a lot of stress within the last year. The reason I don't mention this condition in the blogs earlier is because my goal with the Acupuncture is to relieve my joint pains. The skin thing is a bonus if they can cure it. Normally I have dry scabs that stay and grow bigger if I try to peel them myself. Anyways I notice that the dry patches are peeling off on their own which means they may heal up. I know this because Western medicine prescribed me this steroid cream that I had to use daily giving me those results. The peeling / healing results are not fast as the cream, but maybe my body is slowly healing itself.