Poking me is gonna help?

That’s what they said. I’d complained posted on Facebook about the continued pain and a friend-of-a-friend suggested acupuncture. A friend gave it a hearty amen. Then the chiropractor suggested I try it out along with massage therapy.

So with more curiosity than faith I scheduled a visit with the acupuncturist and spent two hours last night doing Eastern Medicine things that I don’t really understand.

He asked all sorts of questions about the accident, the injuries, my health history and that of my family, then on into digestion, bowel movements and menstruation. It was like an awkward first date when your dinner partner starts asking about your sexual history and their own visits to the Planned Parenthood clinic.

“And how would you describe the blood?”
“Um, red.”
“Are there clots?”
Can we just get to the part where you start stabbing needles into me? Because that’s going to be far more enjoyable than this conversation.

First he had to feel my pulse, pushing my wrists in places that made them twitch and get tingly. One hand, then both, the other and back to both. I have zero idea what he may have figured out from that exercise, but he swears that his Vietnamese teacher can do it and tell you your life history. Of course, it takes him an hour and it might work a little like the fortune teller in the Wizard of Oz. Who knows? I’m a bit skeptical about everything these days.

When he’d gotten all the info he could from my pulse, he had me change into clothes that looked like a surgical scrubs gone 80s. The high-waisted shorts hit mid-thigh while the boxy velcro-backed top hit me just at the waist. Hot.

I’m sure I would’ve thought it had potential if it were 1983 again, but today? at 41? Not the most flattering outfit. Luckily, he took plenty of pictures. Me facing the camera, then to the right, then from behind, then from the left. Each time I had to get my toes just right, my ankles lined up with blue tape on the floor and a plumb line hanging from the ceiling.

I pray those photo files are corrupt.

Finally it was time, the time I’d waited an hour and a half for–the needles. He showed me them closely, explained how it shouldn’t hurt and wouldn’t go deep. Pushed it gently against my hand to show me how flexible they were.

Yeah, yeah, get on with it.

I laid face-down on the table, a massage table complete with a hole for my face to be cradled. And one by one he held a little tube to my back, slid in a needle and tapped it in.

Fourteen times. Then I laid there, listening to Asian music for I have no idea how long, waiting for the bits of metal to work their magic.

One by one, they came out. He wiped off the blood and I sat up. Two more pokes to my hand, this time causing more ache than pain. And we were done.

Twenty-four hours later, my neck is dramatically better. I’m able to look up for the first time in nearly two weeks. The headache is down to a low growl.

Is it because of the acupuncture? I don’t know. I’m sure the massage helped and the chiropractor the day before. And just the passage of time helps my body heal. Do I believe? Not yet. But I go back to the acupuncturist on Monday. We’ll see how I feel after that.

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  1. 2
    Jemiah

    Acupuncture really does work – science doesn’t quite understand HOW, but it does, especially for back pain and ESPECIALLY for spasmy pain. Keep it up as you can; it will help a lot. <3

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