Good morning! Just wondering, have YOU ever tried acupuncture for your chronic illness or any other concern?
Photo courtesy of Wix.
After gaining weight on Prednisone over the years, in talking with my rheumatologist, I decided to try and add acupuncture as a complimentary therapy to my other treatments. Sadly, my first experience was not the best. It was enough to make me want to consider canceling with the second therapist.
What is acupuncture?
"Acupuncture involves the insertion of extremely thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body. A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi or chi (CHEE) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance." Mayo Clinic
Photo courtesy of Wix.
For my first time, I took an Uber after work from the FiDi to Chinatown. I arrived to a tiny, crowded physician's office. I explained that I wanted to begin treatment for weight control. The doctor never asked me about my other health issues. It turns out needles are placed in the ears for weight control and the doctor used a firm hand. Those needles HURT! After placing the needles, I was left alone for 30 minutes. The doctor checked in on me after 15 minutes and I told him I was fine, not knowing if the treatment was supposed to be as uncomfortable as it was. Afterward, he taped some tiny magnets to my ears and encouraged me to massage them when I needed to practice appetite control. The tape was stuck on my ears and in my hair and were taped over the painful spots where the needles had been removed. He asked me to come back twice a week for a while. Upon checking out, I learned his office did not take debit cards. I've never experienced this before. My husband and I put our copays into a Health Savings Account every year, which is only accessible by a debit card. So, I had to ask them to bill me for my copay. I really had no idea what to expect from my treatment, but pain and inconvenience were far from my mind. Unfortunately, there were exactly what I got.
The first thing I did the next morning was remove those magnets, hunt for a new acupuncturist and cancel my follow up appointment with the last one. I found an office on the Upper West Side that was open on Saturdays. I was looking forward to a new experience all week. But, on Saturday morning, I was losing my nerve. So, I called the office, meaning to cancel, when I learned they were not open yet and, based on their schedule, I would be their first patient of the day. The guilt over canceling at the last minute had me dressing for my appointment and getting out the door just in time to make it.
I am so glad I did! My acupuncturist was a young woman I could relate to, she talked to me about my medical history & decided we should treat my arthritis, edema and weight control all at the same time. She used a guide to place her needles and did not hurt me, at all. I was very relaxed on the table the 30 minutes that followed and was anxious to book my follow up appointment.
Of course, I do not expect results after my first treatment, but I am looking forward to learning more about this and also to hearing about your experiences.