Acupuncture: My First Time
I have always wanted to have an acupuncture treatment although needles freak me out. Yes, I have a ton of tattoos but getting a shot at the doctor's office or having blood drawn is a nightmare for me. So naturally, when I asked a co-worker if he had any recommendations for doctors in the city and he told me about his acupuncturist, my ears perked up. Then, my eyes widened once he told me our insurance covered it completely. Within 3 hours I was lying down with needles in my face.
My co-worker sent me the acupuncturist's phone number and told me to text him and let him know who sent me. He replied back 20 minutes later with times that he was available and what locations I could be seen. He made sure to tell me I should have a snack beforehand and he even gave me details so that I could find the office easily, which in hindsight, really set the tone for the appointment.
First, the Licensed Acupuncturist, LAc, got to know me and took notes of some issues I had been having. He had extreme attention to detail, even for simple things like if I scratched my leg or my arm, he would ask "and what happened there?" Honestly, I had little in-depth knowledge prior to what I read on the website that I looked up on the train over. Because of this, I felt like I over-shared what was wrong with me from my congestion to my need to tilt my head to the right all the way to my left hand that is slightly chubbier than my other.
The LAc explained so much to me like how acupuncture works, how everything in your body is connected and how everything can play a big part in how we feel. He also put all of this in terms that I could understand which made me feel comfortable with the process. When it was time to apply the first needle he asked if I would like to test it in an area that I could see, my arm. He opened a brand new sterile package and showed me what the needles actually looked like.
side note: maybe the reason why I hate needles is because the medical field makes preconceived notions about me when they see my tattoos and then stab me with such force.
The needle is so thin, it didn't hurt going in and in certain locations, when my eyes were closed I couldn't even feel them at all. However, in places with the most tension, there is what LAc's call the "qi sensation." When the needle goes further and gets to what I could only describe as a muscle knot, you feel a jolt of energy, a surge that feels like you've been shocked in a localized area. That makes it sound more painful than it is and after speaking with a friend who is also a LAc and wellness coach he explained to me that people experience this feeling differently and have alternate ways of describing it. I used to think acupuncture was all about pressure points but it's about conduction of energy and that is what that feeling is.
I went in with my nose and sinuses completely congested, a mouth-breather and after a couple of pokes, I was amazed at how my nose was clearing up. I felt nasal passages open up that I felt like I haven't used in days. I was actually breathing through my nose and all I could say was "this is crazy!" After getting the treatment some people can experience a natural high, I for one, felt great. My congestion, of course, came back once I stepped into New York's frigid air but it wasn't as bad as the last few days. I was very thankful for the experience and can't wait to have further treatment.
If you're in the New York City area you can learn more about acupuncture and visit the office yourself: