Confessions of a Acupuncture Newbie

At some point in the last 10 years I let go of some pre-conceived notions and began to wonder about the whole wide world. Was there really something relaxing and strengthening to the practice of yoga?  Or what about acupuncture, was this needle thing a sham or was there some truth to successful health via Traditional Chinese Medicine?  Was it possible that there were things I was missing out on because of prejudices and lack of knowledge?  This wasn’t exactly the year of yes people talk about, it was more like a 10 year snail’s pace to try new things.  It began with yoga, and I realized that no one was going to force me into any kind of religious beliefs and if anything, I ended up stretched and peaceful and on more than one occasion, asleep.  Silly, I know, but sometimes it’s easier to believe opinions than to seek out the truth.

A couple of years ago, a friend began raving about her acupuncturist, Denise.  Naturally, I was curious.  Who was this person that could relieve several symptoms at once with needles and somehow also serve as counselor? I was curious but hesitant to pull the trigger.  I was sensitive to cost, as most of us are, and to a practice that was completely unfamiliar to me outside of word of mouth.  Of course, I was paying half the price of acupuncture in co-pays and the other half in medicines, but that was a “guaranteed” outcome.  And who’s to say that I would try this and just waste my money?  Plus, what if those needles hurt more than they say they do?  Was this going to be like laser hair removal where the pain was really “more uncomfortable, like someone snapping a rubber band on your skin”?  Because that was a lie.  Laser hair removal hurt.

However, I had been struggling with back pain for several years.  For some time, it seemed that chiropractic care was erasing the pain, but then the back pain came back and never left.  I was desperate, I tried various other methods, but nothing seemed to relieve my pain, and I had heard that there were more success stories with acupuncture than with other conventional methods.  So I thought, why not?

I. Can’t. Even.  But, I will try to explain.  What does it feel like?  It feels like a tiny needle prick and then it’s gone.  So would I equate that to pain? No, because by the time you register the pin prick, it’s already gone.  So, let’s just say as far as I’m concerned, we were already headed in the right direction.  But does it work?  This is the part that blew my mind.  There was one particular needle, that the second it went in, I felt a ripple in that muscle.  If that muscle was a person, I would say, it was letting out a sigh of relief from having been released from a strangle hold.

But that’s just a small part of it, because when I think about the session, it was not just the needles, but it was also everything before it.  To say that Denise, my acupuncturist,  has extensive credentials and knows her stuff wouldn’t even come close to describing her brilliance.  And yet, even when you see these things on paper and have referrals from others, there is still a small part of disbelief.  A small part that says, well that worked for everyone else, but not me.  Or sure she knows her stuff, but will she know me?  Call it the innate skeptic within, but I had a small sliver of doubt.  And much like the needle that released my muscle, Denise blew me away with her knowledge and her assessment.  They say that Traditional Chinese Medicine treats the whole and not just the symptoms.  And with Denise, it could not have been more true.  I went in for back pain, but she knew based on our conversation that I was stressed and that my body’s temperature was out of balance – which is crazy because it’s true.

At this point, you might be saying, sure, sure, but did it work?  To me, I measure most thing by sleep.  Did I get good sleep? Was I sweating when I slept? Do I feel like I’m not getting enough sleep?  Was it hard for me to get to sleep because I was hot, uncomfortable, in pain, creating to do lists in my head?  So when I had the best night of sleep after my acupuncture session, I would say that it was a successful first time visit.  But really, the fact that I had two 5 hour photo shoot sessions the following days where I was up, down, bending, moving, drawing out smiles and didn’t feel any back pain or stiffness well, that’s the true test.

It only took me 10 years and ongoing back pain, but it was so worth it.  If you live in or near the Coppell area, I would highly recommend Denise at Points for Health.  She truly is a healer.

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