I wrote this almost 2 years ago, when I first discovered acupuncture. I thought I’d share it even though I don’t receive acupuncture anymore, only because it’s too costly for me right now. I wish there were a sliding fee acupuncturist here, I’d go in a heart beat!
Since the drugs haven’t worked for the past 15 months, I gave acupuncture a shot. Yesterday was my first session, May 22, 2009. I was not exactly skeptical but at the same time I didn’t expect much change, if any, especially on the first session.
Jennifer Gross, Denver Open Acupuncture, had talked to me on the phone for 30 minutes earlier in the week and what she had to say obviously got to me, as here I was sitting in one of her four slightly abused, recycled recliners, in her living room that she had turned into a make-shift acupuncture clinic. No TV, not much to look at, soft music that you would expect to hear in an acupuncture clinic, relaxing.
She had already given me much information during our phone conversation, but somehow she still had more. We went over the paperwork she asked me to complete before the session and after two questions she had come to a ‘gallbladder issue’ conclusion. She had previously explained to me how her mentor had treated fibromyalgia as an auto immune deficiency problem and had good success with it. She continued to ask the questions and as she did she concluded that almost all of my symptoms were that of a gallbladder that simply wasn’t happy. She also was sure I had a ‘yang deficiency.’ She intended to work on and hopefully ‘fix’ both issues throughout our sessions together. She was very honest and didn’t tell me I would walk out free of fibromyalgia. She said it could take years.
After our 30 minute intake it was time to put the needles in. I have very little fear of needles but ill admit, my palms were sweating and I was nervous! Of course the very first needle she put in the side of my right leg burned…but I pushed through it and didn’t say anything and soon the burning sensation was gone. After placing about 5 of the needles she took my pulse and said that the needles were doing good things. She then put one in each of my feet and took my pulse again; she didn’t think the liver liked something or other. Soon I had about 20 needles all over my body; in my ears, in my stomach, in my arms and legs. It was definitely a feeling I had never encountered before and in telling other people, one I could really not explain very well. The last two needles she put in each one of my shoulders. She debated doing these just yet as I had a lot of tension and that was where most of my pain was on a daily basis. She told me to let her know if the ‘jumped’…..I had NO CLUE what that meant! The right shoulder started to burn and feels really strange, but again I pushed through it and let the needles do whatever they were put in there to do.
After about 40 minutes of lying still with the needles in my body (trust me the first time you move just a little, you learn to lay STILL!) she asked me how I felt…..”very relaxed” was all I could come up with to explain the sensations I was having. She sold me a bottle of the fibromyalgia herbs her mentor had put together before he passed away. Twenty-five bucks for 90 pills, not too bad compared to $10-$50 per prescription and at least seven prescriptions at a time…and they are all NATURAL! We scheduled another appointment for next Friday.
As I sat in the car and talked to my Wife, I realized that I felt really good. The pain I had gone in with (side pain, glutes, upper thighs, shoulders) had subsided. Was I imagining this? Was fibro really in my head and just the thought of a ‘fix’ was enough to make the pain subside? Or had this strange Asian ritual with needles actually done something for me?
We went to Hamburger Mary’s for a bite and a beer and I realized sitting there that my thighs were not on fire from the edge of the chair digging into them, I could sit in a hard chair and not squirm to find the one comfortable place to rest my thighs. I wasn’t yawning excessively like usual. I just felt ‘good’ which was not a normal thing for me! I didn’t want to go home and go to bed! It was great!
The next morning, I was awakened by the phone at 8am and couldn’t go back to sleep. But I slept like a baby! (something that hasn’t happened without medication in quite some time) My arm doesn’t hurt from playing darts! My head doesn’t hurt and I don’t feel groggy at all! (Despite the many beers I had the night before) I’m sitting here on the computer writing this ‘story’ instead of lying in bed wondering what pill I should take to get out of bed! My sides don’t hurt for the first time in over month! Even the hoarse throat I had the two days prior is better! Again, is this all in my head? I guess only time will tell, but right now Jennifer Gross deserves a very big hug and I’m taking the dog for a walk!
My 2nd acupuncture session with Jen, one week later. Questions; how do you feel? Amazing! Seriously? Seriously! It was hard for me to hold back the tears of joy. Jen felt the joy and was equally full of it for me. She couldn’t believe that I had that much relief from one session. Me neither! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I wanted to tell everyone with fibro, heck…with anything that ailed them, to try it! Please!
What was my pain level she wanted to know? And reminded me that one week prior I had told her I was at a 10 on a scale from 1 to 10. Today I was delighted to say a 2…if that! Jen said she couldn’t wait to tell her friend with whom she shares stories of their more challenging patients. She said sometimes they get patients that they just feel great about being able to help and I was one of them. I was definitely one of them. Seems like a win, win to me!
I had not had a tension headache in a whole week! I have no idea when the last time was at I could say that. My thighs were not anywhere nearly as sensitive as they were just one week prior. My glutes weren’t tight and didn’t sting when I sat, even on a hard surface. The pain in my sides was completely gone and my son could even be his annoying, naughty self and poke me and I didn’t cry! I literally feel like a new person.
My Mom and Dad were so incredibly happy for me that they cried with me…happy tears! I cant wait to see if Jen can help Mom with her carpal tunnel that wakes her up in the night and that is going to require surgery to correct. Maybe Jen can help my aunt and my sister. This could easily become a family affair. Why not? I want everyone to feel this much relief…be it one session or twelve. I have a whole new outlook this week. I feel good. Strange.