Thursday, October 28, 2010


From time to time I've considered acupuncture in the past, even making an appointment with a practitioner in Salem who came highly recommended. After having a brief chat with her on the phone I realized I didn't feel completely comfortable with her and I called back to cancel, never going through with it.

I was given the name of another practitioner by a trusted health care provider and this person sounded much more up my alley. I felt comfortable when we spoke on the phone and took a last minute cancellation opening (must be my week for that!) yesterday.

This acupuncturist has a MS in Oriental Medicine and has years of experience. A fluffy dog and petite kitty greeted me as I walked in the door. Oh yes, this feels right, nothing like animals to make me feel comfortable. She asked me question after question, wanting to understand my complex medical history as well as my home life, personality, beliefs and body. She explained how the acupuncture session would go and we got started.

The space was truly lovely and the first word that comes to mind is serene. Painted a soft spring green, the room was perfectly square with an open cupola in the ceiling with a window on each of the 4 sides. There were full length windows on 2 sides of the room with opaque shades which allowed privacy with lots of soft, natural light. A wind chime produced soft music from outside in the background of my favorite chanting CD, Eternal Om. The wall which provided backdrop for an Asian cabinet covered with Buddhist artifacts also had a large painting of a field of flowers in soft whites and blues. I could have stared at it for hours.

The table was similar to a massage table but had a warming pad on it and was like the most comfortable of beds: soft and cozy while still being supportive. I had needles placed in my legs, arms and back and some acupressure done on my shoulders, which made my legs extremely jumpy. This, she explained, was old wind leaving my body. Anybody who knows my sense of humor will envision how difficult it was for me not to make a play on words with that, but I restrained myself.

Half way through the session I was turned over and the process was repeated on the front of my body, face (!) and ears. The needles didn't hurt, but there was a slight sensation of tingling as they were inserted. She left the room for the last 15 minutes, allowing me to relax. From time to time I would become aware of a sensation of warmth or tingling in one or another of the needles, but for the most part I was completely unaware that they were there. After they were removed I was left with a feeling of peacefulness and deep relaxation.

Today, though I'm anxious to feel something - anything- different, I don't notice anything. We agreed to connect by phone to see how I felt and set up a treatment plan if I decide to continue. I didn't expect to wake up feeling cured of all my ills today, wanting to try this as a complement to my current treatment regime and medications. I'm interested in continuing to see if there is any benefit, even if it's just psychological. I figure at this point in my life, I can use all the help I can get! I'll continue to document future sessions as objectively as possible in order to mark my progress.

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