I thought you all might be wondering how my first experience with acupuncture was, so I thought I'd post a quick follow-up. In a nutshell, it was really relaxing and promising. My clinician Nicole is very professional and thorough. Before we started, she sat with my for about a half hour and asked about my medical history, why I wanted acupuncture treatment, how my life was, etc...
I felt very comfortable answering her questions and talking to her. She was knowledgeable about Chinese medicines and herbs, which impressed me, and she seemed to genuinely enjoy having her own practice and helping her clients.
The room where the acupuncture was done was extremely calming. The lights were dimmed, and the room was clean and very comfortable. The table she had me lay on was like a massage table, very comfy and warm. The thing that I was most anxious about were the needles, but everything I'd read before going said that if you have a good acupuncturist, you wouldn't feel a thing.
Lucky for me Nicole was great, and I didn't really experience any discomfort at all. There is definitely a feeling of heaviness and some pressure when the needles are in, but nothing I would call pain. Nicole said that we needed to work on my Yin, as in Ying and Yang. She said that we would strengthen my Yin and that would make my blood strong, and healthy, and bright colored, and flowing. That would in turn help my joints and the fluid within them become strong and healthy again.
Pretty interesting, huh? Anyway, there were 13 needles total. Ha! Lucky 13! Three in each arm, three in each foot, and one at the top of my forehead. Nicole said that she was using the balance method and that by placing the needles as far away from the sights of pain, in my case my knees and shoulders, that she would create balance and therefore decrease the pain. The needles were left in for 40 minutes. After the first 20, she came in and performed some light massage with aromatherapy and the entire time there was a heat lamp over my knees, which felt really great.
Overall, I have to say that the experience was super calming and that I felt really relaxed and less anxious for the rest of the day. Oh, and my knees feel much better! I will return to see her next Saturday for another session, and then probably once a month as needed. I would definitely recommend acupuncture as a welcomed alternative approach to health and wellness. I have a really good feeling that my knees will be totally pain free very soon. So far, so good!