This needlephobe just tried acupuncture for the first time. Seriously, I am so scared of needles. Things I could never be: acupuncturist, phlebotomist, junkie. It was amazing. Who knew lying on a bed with needles in my legs, feet, and ears could feel good?
The past few months, I have had some annoying pain and other issues with my health. My sister and a girlfriend insisted that I try acupuncture, so I finally decided to give it a try. My primary care physician and oncologist, Western medicine aficionados, both shrugged and granted non-enthusiastic approvals. I made my appointment.
The initial intake, after I had already spent a good half-hour filling out paperwork at home, took about 35 minutes. Got to love my ridiculously long medical history! I’m pretty sure the poor Chinese woman had to stick needles in her own ears for the hand cramp that followed.
Finally it was time to climb on the bed and get the needles inserted. My acupuncturist had asked me if I was feeling stressed, and I had responded, “In general, yes, but not right now”. Suddenly I was feeling very stressed. All I could visualize, as I felt the tiny pokes begin, was the SNL sketch with Jason Sudeikis becoming a human blood-geyser as his acupuncture needles were inserted.
When she was done poking me, she put on a relaxation CD and told me it was not uncommon for people to feel so relaxed they fell asleep. Nope. Still picturing the SNL blood-letting. Just as I felt a twinge in my ear, I recalled the part in the sketch where they fill a cup with Sudeikis’s blood then have him drink it through a straw for a homemade transfusion. I resisted the urge to scream, “Get it out! Get it out!”. My back was pain-free though, which was incredible. The aches had actually disappeared within seconds. The Chinese were really onto something here.
I tried to focus on the music. I am more of a piano sonata for relaxing kind of girl, not the new age-y tribal flute music that spas, and apparently acupuncture clinics, seem overly fond of. I began trying to guess when the string-plucking would happen next to distract myself from the scene in my mind that was both hilarious and terrifying.
I was so relieved and grateful when she finally came to remove the needles. I must admit that I was also a little disappointed it was time to leave because all the pain in my back had completely cleared up. At one point I had told her that I still felt a slight ache, and she had made a tiny adjustment, but that was all. It was a bit like adjusting the antennae on a TV. Remember that? “Right there! Good! Stop! Perfect! Don’t touch it!”
I paid my portion ($112! Yikes!) for the visit, then made two appointments for the following week. I cannot wait because my back is killing me again. I may become a junkie after all.