Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Visit to an Acupuncture Clinic

Before I get in to my visit at an acupuncturist, let me say I've had lots of blog trouble. Suffice it to say, my computer is on a diet and won't accept cookies which is a big problem if you are trying to blog on WordPress. So until I get myself straightened out, I am just posting here.

My brother invited me along to visit a new acupuncturist. I'd never been to one, so I was quite apprehensive. He thinks it would be a good thing to try on my 7-year old son to help him improve focus at school. I'm not so sure, but I figured I should be the guinea pig or guinea mom.

We kept arguing about who would have the treatment first, and maybe my brother thought I would head for the hills, or maybe my protest was not quite loud enough, but I can say I was the braver sibling because I did it first. First to do the 3-page paper work, first to sit in the recliner, first to get poked.

Jade Spirit Community clinic accepts walk-in patients and people can pay on a sliding scale, whatever is affordable between $20 and $40. We were second in line. Once the paper work was filled out which asks similar questions to the forms at massage places, we entered a room with 3 recliner chairs, a table with treatment things, and pictures on the walls of diplomas and chinese art work.

The elderly gentleman asked me a few questions about menstrual cycles and pregnancy. I wondered how important this type of information is for treatment, I guess it has to do with pressure points. He also asked the purpose for my visit and I said everybody has colds at home and I have a sore throat and don't want it to get any worse. My brother said I brought her here so she could experience eastern medicine and mentioned my son.

He began by feeling my pulse on my right hand starting at the bottom of my wrist then moving a few inches towards my elbow. I wondered if my heart was beating fast. He wrote something down, and then proceeded to do the same thing with my left wrist. He then asked me to stick out my tongue, literally, not the way you do with your tongue down on your bottom teeth for the general practitioner but sticking it out.

He asked me to remove my shoes, and he put the foot rest up on the recliner. The recliner was comfortable with a paper pillow covering under my head and a sofft woolly blanketunder me. I assume these items are changed for each patient.

He put alcohol on my left wrist above my thumb, my right side elbow, and on both my inner calves but on the front sides. Then he put the needles in one by one. I barely felt the ones in my legs andright arm, but for some reason my left wrist hurt a little. This discomfort went away after a few seconds. I felt very light weight and a little tingly.

My brother called this sensation energy and my body getting in balance. I'm not sure if it was me having a fever, reacting to the fact I had not eaten lunch, or maybe it was me getting a sense of balance.

I lay there for about a half an hour, and although there were no rules about staying still, I didn't move much. I listened to the whir of traffic outside the window, and tried to relax to the music playing over the speakers. Think elevator music with an eastern, new-age twist. I probably could have taken a nap.

Once the needles were removed, which I hardly felt, I waited for my brother to finish his treatment. I left feeling physically lightened, and $30 lighter as there was a $10 paper work fee I don't remember reading that on their website. Maybe its unfair, but I decided not to tip for that reason. I thought if this does something for me then when I go back for another treatment I'll up the gratuity.

My one regret is not asking more questions. It must have been the nerves. But now I wonder why he placed the needles in those certain places. What was the purpose of looking at my tongue? I could probably look all that up on the internet, and my brother says you can actually buy your own acupuncture needles on the internet if you want to try this at home. I'll pass on the home version. Thanks.

I'm not sore anywhere, and my throat does feel better, but I've got the cough going around. I'm not sure how I feel about the experience, but it sure impressed my kids.

Will I let my 7-year old try this? I don't think so. The practitioner recommended a colleague who works with children but they are located 30 miles away, not an easy feat if you are carless. Plus, I can't imagine him sitting immobile for a half an hour unless they let him play games on my iphone. Also, I wonder if it really helps children focus or not.

I've yet to read any testimonials to that effect. I know that if it really did work and "cured" my child, I'd be blasting it all over the internet, shouting to the tree tops to anyone who would listen about how miraculously it helped my son.

I am curious to learn of others experiences. Feel free to leave a comment.