Continuing on my tour of Groupon and Living Social deals, I bought a Living Social for acupuncture at Dr. Laura’s Acupuncture & Holistic Practice in Ybor City. I have been experiencing pain in my right shoulder and right knee, as I wrote about in my post Yoga makes me all better.
Yoga is helping slowly, but I was hoping a little acupuncture might speed up the process a bit. Plus, I’m fascinated with acupuncture and recently wrote a review of a documentary called 9000 Needles about a man who used it to help him recover from a stroke.
So I arrived at Dr. Laura’s office totally psyched to have a bunch of tiny needles stuck in me!
Dr. Laura was very thorough with my medical history. She had me detail my eating habits, which revealed that I’m ingesting enough salt daily to cure a buffalo.*
*This is just my rough estimate and has less than a .001% probability of being scientifically accurate.
She looked at my tongue. It was pale (like the rest of me). Dr. Laura said the paleness indicates a deficiency of some sort. Not sure what I am deficient in, but it’s definitely not sodium.
In the treatment room, there was soft music playing and a comfortable table to lie on. For aromatherapy, Dr. Laura placed some fantastic-smelling and relaxing lavender and peppermint oils on my chest. She had me at lavender oil.
Then she started placing the needles and explained what each was for as she went along, most of which I forgot almost immediately. But I did appreciate it since I was full of questions about what was going to happen and how it would work.
She started in my left ear. Ears have many pressure points that connect throughout the body. A couple of these needles stung since it’s mostly cartilage up there. But after a second they were fine.
Then she moved to my right shoulder. One needle that she placed in my trapezius muscle (between neck and shoulder) caused the muscle to jump and a kind of warmth to spread out from it in the minutes following. She said that something released. I don’t know exactly what released, but it did feel better after.
From there, she put a few near my belly button, which I didn’t feel at all thanks to the fat padding in that location.
Finally, she made a pin cushion of my right knee and a stuck a few more in my feet and ankle area for good measure.
I can’t stress enough how non-painful the needles are in acupuncture. It’s just a tiny prick, and an interesting sensation that feels like nerve activation. I asked Dr. Laura if the needles were touching nerves and she said no, that is a common misconception.
Acupuncture actually works with the body’s energy. From her website:
Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body’s self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well being.
Next, Dr. Laura attached electrodes to several of the needles and turned up the juice until I could feel a slight vibration–yet another interesting and non-painful sensation.
During the treatment Dr. Laura performed Reiki on my head area. I don’t know exactly what that involved because I’m not very familiar with it and couldn’t see what was happening but I did feel a relaxing warmth around my head.
It is very difficult to put into words what I felt going on in my body during my acupuncture and Reiki session but I can say that it was a pleasant and extremely relaxing experience. At one point I became aware that I could breathe more easily. I also experienced a sudden wave of emotion that lasted for just a moment. Generally I just felt a calm, float-y sense of well-being.
What is really exciting is that the day after the treatment I did yoga and felt noticeably less pain and more range of motion in my knee and shoulder. Amazing!
I plan to go back for 3 more treatments and I hope that they will continue to help with my sore areas. I felt like it was also very effective as a muscle relaxer and mood enhancer, both of which are always welcome in my book.
Have you had acupuncture or Reiki before? Did it help you with any specific ailments? Or did/do you use it for general wellness?
Thanks for reading!
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