First off, credit goes to my father for the punny blog title inspiration! Love you daddy.
Some people like to title their years. A lot of my friends have dubbed 2015 as “The Year of Travel”. I on the other hand have decided that 2015 has been “The Year of Healing”. This has been the year where I take my health into my own hands. Stop accepting my digestive issues as “normal” and decide to do something about it. So far this year I’ve tried so many things I never thought I would. I’ve jumped head first into functional medicine, an elimination diet, different supplements including Chinese herbal medicine, and even acupuncture. I’ve always been interested in acupuncture but never quite had the guts to try it. I’m terrified of needles. As a child I’d pass out when given shots and still see spots to this day when I go get blood panels run. It was something I figured I’d never have the courage to actually go do.
Then while chatting with a friend one day she mentioned how she had been seeing an acupuncturist for stress. She probably thought I was a crazy person the way I jumped all over her for information. Who did she see? Did it hurt? Most importantly, did she feel like it was helping? I’ve been seeing a therapist for years for stress and anxiety related to my phobia. While I do feel like it helps (and would recommend therapy to just about anyone) I’ve always felt like I wasn’t doing everything I could to help myself. I knew acupuncture is supposed to be great for stress but I’d heard about acupuncture for digestive issues as well. If I was ever going to give acupuncture a go this would be the time. After making an appointment and mustering all the courage I could manage I walked into that acupuncture office sweaty palms and all.
One nice thing about acupuncture is it takes that same holistic approach that Functional Medicine does. Practitioners want to understand all about your whole well being inluding mental, physical, and emotional states. After sitting with the practitioner and discussing the things that were bothering me (IBS type symptoms, elimination diets, and more stress than most people can imagine). She discussed treatment. Now I’m not well versed in Eastern Medicine so if I miss speak here please don’t hang me out to dry! She let me know from an Eastern Medicine standpoint my heart, spleen, and liver were out of line with each other and needed to be re-balanced. This does not mean my actual organs are in trouble or failing! It simply means my energy isn’t flowing properly in my body causing my symptoms. It was suggested to help the healing process I discontinue raw/cold food. Everything I eat now has to be cooked or warm (with the exception of fruit). I was also given some herbal supplements to help with my anxiety. Then came what I was dreading. She asked me to lay down on the table and so she could operate. Not really. But that’s how it felt at the time.
As I lay on the table starting to sweat I thought it was then appropriate to tell her that I’m scared of needles. I dug my nails into my palms to attempt to calm down as she placed the first needle into my foot. It definitely wasn’t “painless” but it wasn’t really “painful” either. Nothing like the feeling of a shot. It felt more like a mosquito bite. She continued to move along my body and place needles in various positions with laser like precision and speed. After everything was ready to go I was left alone with my thoughts for 25 minutes. I craned my neck up to look at myself. I looked like a pin cushion. But I was still conscious. Success!
I finished my third treatment this week. During a session I usually get anywhere from 15-17 needles. Needle locations include my abdomen, legs, feet, hands, head, and ears. Some locations are constant every treatment where as others shift around. Some needles evoke a deep ache below them, some I can’t feel at all throughout the whole process, while others are more like a sharp pain during insertion with some muscle soreness after the session. I fell asleep during the second session and have slowly become more and more relaxed during my twenty five minute relaxation period.
Want to know the craziest part? Stranger than the black tea pills I take twice a day and weirder than being stuck with needles to relax. I absolutely love it. I feel completely relaxed when I leave. I’ve noticed improvements in my digestion and my stress level. My boyfriend comments that I seem to have more energy and that I’m more relaxed during the day. I’ve started to recommend acupuncture to my friends, and lets be honest, complete strangers too. I’m determined to keep at it. I have two more sessions before she wants to re-evaluate my symptoms. If I seem to be clear (which I have been for almost a week now) we can start to stagger appointments out at larger intervals. I can’t wait to update you all as this journey continues. I’ve already chosen my next victim in the “Year of Healing” reflexology, here I come.
Have you experimented with Eastern Medicine? Do you like acupuncture as much as I do? I’d love to hear from you! Make sure to keep up with me on my social channels and subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter so you don’t miss a minute! Keep on healing!