My first-time acupuncture experience

Mandi Angelique

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I woke up yesterday morning with a weird crick in my neck, thinking I must have slept wrong. I go to the chiropractor and the doctor when I must, but that morning reminded me of the time I got acupuncture, of all things, and that it may be time to schedule another appointment.

It sounds like a crazy concept I know, but hear me out. It is not that bad, in fact when I left there I remember feeling like a ton of stress, anxiety, whatever you want to call it, had been completely removed. Not to mention it immediately alleviated the tension in my neck and shoulders, an unusual perk and benefit I was not expecting at all.

It was interesting to say the least and was a memorable experience. I mean, who would ever in a million years want several needles protruding out of their hands, neck and worst of all face?

Ah, but it’s for relaxation and won’t hurt a bit. Yet, for many, even the thought of it is enough to stress you out.

After all, Bob Goddard, a former scientist and professor of physics once said, “There must be something to acupuncture – after all, you never see any sick porcupines.”

Acupuncture is something I have always wanted to have done and I finally made the jump a couple years ago and scheduled an appointment.

Acupuncture helps relieve tension, stress and aches and pains. I heard several years ago from someone who did acupuncture that as soon as the needle is inserted, it feels like an instant release of stress and tension; like popping a bubble.

As time goes on, it appears that Western society is becoming more open to alternative forms of medicine. Prevention is the best cure, after all.

I sat down for the health consultation surprisingly nervous; my hands were sweating. I mean, I was voluntarily offering to get stabbed with several needles, right? Not a very appealing thought after all.

As I pondered just how crazy I was, the nurse practitioner called me into the room. The scent of lavender filled the small space, significantly lowering the usual stiffness of a sterile doctor’s examining room.

Surrounded by the cotton balls, swabs, stethoscopes and all, there was a poster on the wall highlighting all the major acupuncture points and pathways.

The treatment is amazing in its concept. Through reading I have learned how various studies have proven its effectiveness. It works directly with your body’s energy, or what is referred to as qi. Acupuncture practitioners believe all illnesses are the cause of a lack of the natural flow of energy through the body.

It is when this flow somehow becomes stuck or weakened that then makes individuals susceptible to illness.

According to practitioners, acupuncture helps to rebalance the qi by removing these energy obstructions through treatments of specific points related to the symptoms or the illness.

It is built around the concept that all your body is connected; a treatment on a point here on your foot can help to, say, heal or strengthen your heart or a weak knee.

I’m not a total newbie when it comes to new-age medicine. My dear friend Stephanie, a successful massage therapist, nearly saved my back after a small injury years ago. She always spoke about the interconnection of your whole body.

While I sat in the doctor’s office-turned-acupuncture-treatment room, Stephanie’s famous phrase “It’s all connected,” reverberated in my ears.

With little effort and virtually no pain, the seemingly sweet and friendly nurse practitioner inserted, not hundreds, but five needles into both of my hands, two in my back/shoulder, and yes, one needle in my face.

Right between my eyes.

I was glad I had not become a proverbial pin cushion. She left me alone in the dark with the scent of the lavender, and me and my needles.

That is when the ‘magic’ took place. I immediately began to feel very, very relaxed, and (true story) shortly thereafter, I found myself drifting off into what felt like another, more peaceful realm.

After about 10–15 minutes she came back into the room, took the needles out, and sent me on my way.

I felt very calm for the rest of the day. We talked later and she immediately commented on how relaxed I sounded. I also noticed how I slept much easier that night, without the tightness in my shoulders and neck that usually wakes me from sleep.

So maybe there is something to say about holistic approaches to improving one’s health. I know I have been the recipient of the benefits of massage therapy and I’ve seen several others also improve.

And while not cheesy/funny like the porcupine comment, Thomas Edison really “pinned” it (sorry I’ll go home) when he said:

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

Let us hope he’s right

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Michigan-based journalist since 2007 with a background reporting on local communities. Thanks for reading; I'd be honored if you'd follow me!

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