Acupuncture​: When you become your own voodoo doll

Get acupuncture they said

It will change your life they said

Acupuncture really helped me they said

Yeah, well the verdict is still out for me.  I’m not sure what I was expecting.  Yes, I was expecting to be pinned with a lot of little needles but how it was going to feel afterward was a mystery and it kind of still is.

Last night I started what felt like a doozy of a flare.  I couldn’t sleep because I was so uncomfortable.  My joints were swollen and painful and my fibro was acting up with muscle spasms and nerve twitches all over.  I was a mess, a tired, painful mess this morning.

It has been suggested to me on several occasions to give acupuncture a try.   Not just by crazy internet people who are anti-western medicine.  My Primary Care doctor and my Physical Therapist both recommended it.

I found out my insurance would cover it 100%.  I don’t even owe a co-pay so it only makes sense to give it a go right?

Since I was feeling so crappy this morning I called up an acupuncturist office that I knew accepted my insurance to set up an appointment, as luck would have it they had a cancellation and could fit me in this afternoon.

The consultation consisted of me telling the Chinese doctor everything that is going on.  She seemed less interested in my medical diagnosis and wanted to talk about my issues in terms of ancient Chinese medicine, which is okay but trying to quantify my symptoms in terms of hot, cold and wind was a little difficult.  It wasn’t a language barrier, she spoke perfect English it was just a new concept for me.

She said that she would recommend a regiment of Chinese herbs, regular acupuncture, and cupping.  She said acupuncture would help me but it would be a short-term relief and since my discomfort was so widespread she felt more was needed.

She had me get on my stomach on the table and she did cupping of my upper back and around my SI joints.  That was very painful and she even said she was setting it to be less intense then what she usually does because of my extreme nerve sensitivity.

She then proceeded to stick me with needles all over my legs, upper back, neck and base of my skull.  That was no walk in the park either.  I was told by countless people it didn’t hurt.  I can’t say it was the most painful thing in the world.  The cupping hurt more but the needles weren’t painless, especially in my neck and behind my knees.  She left me in a dim room with soft music and a heat lamp for 15 minutes.  I survived but I wouldn’t call it relaxing.  The cupping eased up as I laid there and by the time she came back in it was just mildly uncomfortable.

After removing everything she had me turn over onto my back and stuck me with more pins from my feet all the way up to the top of my head.  My feet, hands, forearms and the needles around my temples hurt like a $&%^.  on my legs, around my knees and my shoulders were fine but my hands and feet still hurt where the needles were and that was a few hours ago.  She left me there for 2o minutes, again, not so relaxing.

When it was done I think I was expecting to feel amazing.  I didn’t.  My hands and feet hurt worse then they did before I did it.  Maybe I’m not giving it enough time and tomorrow they will feel great but right now they hurt like hell.  My headache is completely gone.  So in that way, it was a success.  Where she did the cupping is tender to the touch and otherwise doesn’t feel any different.

She wants me to come back twice a week and at my next visit, she is supposedly giving me a mixture of Chinese Herbs.  This freaks me out a bit.  I’m not sure why when I routinely let doctors put mouse cells in my bloodstream but injecting unknown herbs that have been mixed up into a powder and given to me in an unlabeled bottle might be beyond my comfort zone.  I’m also not enthusiastic because she said ingesting it won’t be pleasant.  I take that to mean it’s going to taste really bad.

So I’m on the fence right now about the whole Alternative Medicine thing.  I did set up appointments for next week but I’m going to give it a week to see how I feel overall before I commit.  I can always cancel.


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