Healthy Living
Experimenting With Acupuncture

Experimenting With Acupuncture

By Kristen Mucci-Mosier

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I've always been curious about - curious, and a bit weirded out by the all of those needles sticking out of me. So I decided to face my fears and give it a shot. And let me tell you, it's a lot more than just pushpins in your legs. The office was located in Times Square, so my first thought was: how can this experience be relaxing plopped in the middle of the busiest (and my least favorite) spot in Manhattan? But, as soon as the (very Zen) acupuncturist opened the door, out wafted the smell of a spa and immediately my back ached for a massage.

The most impressive thing was how much time she spent with me going over a lengthy intake, asking questions about everything, from medical issues to what I take and how I . The main area I wanted to focus on was my energy levels, so we talked about that, among other things, making connections in the body, examining how one area can effect another and how my lifestyle manifests physically with respect to , which was interesting and enlightening.

Then it came time for the actual needles. When I spoke to the acupuncturist upon making the appointment, she suggested I wear loose-fitting comfortable clothes; short sleeves allowed my arms to be exposed, while I was able to pull up my pant legs for access to my lower extremities. She thoughtfully picked out spots (for instance, a spot on my leg somehow connected to my digestion), tapped the area a bit and then quickly inserted the needle. How did it feel? Well, it definitely didn't hurt - there was a little sting and then just a deep awareness of it being there, which I'm guessing was just a result of the unfamiliar feeling. She probably put in about 10 needles, mostly in my legs, arms and hands. She adjusted one in my hand and I felt a quick burning sensation, but then it was gone. She didn't use any on my face for fear of a minor black and blue (not ideal the week before ), which I was kind of relieved about (maybe next time?). She left them in about a half hour and as the time went by a strange thing happened - the sensation of pressure/tingling alternated from one spot to the other, almost as if each was working one at a time (maybe it was in my head, but it felt that way.) For about 10 minutes of the session she put pressure around the neck and shoulder area with her hands, reaching a pressure point right at the base of my head, which felt really good.

I'm not sure if it was simply laying down for 30 minutes or the massage-like pressure, but after almost two hours there, I left feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready to face the honking horns and flashing lights of Time Square...well almost. I'll let you know how session two goes, and we would love to hear about your acupuncture experiences too!


So funny you are blogging about this topic. I tried accupuncture for my chronic backaches about 3 weeks ago. Very strange experience. In addition to the needles, my therapist also did some old chinese medicine technique where he "pulled up" the skin on my entire backbone before inserting the needles (which were attached to some electrical stimulator). The whole thing sounds kind of crazy, but it actually helped. I even went back and will con't to go until this pain goes away. Oh--and bc I am slightly neurotic, I asked him if he could pierce my organs...and he said that he woul dhave to try REALLY hard (i.e., with intent) to puncture a lung or something...

That is really interesting. I have always felt a little apprehensive about it because of the needles but if it can help with stress and back pain I may need to reconsider!

A good friend became an acupuncturist two years before I received a breast cancer diagnosis. So when I went to her I thought I was 'disease-free" and just being a pal. Within 3 months she had removed my menstrual cramps which NEVER came back. She also helped me with two other problems - one of which I was told would ONLY respond to surgery!
When I was diagnosed with cancer, she told me there were herbs that acted to protect the rest of the body from damage from chemotherapy or radiotherapy. As it turned out I did not do either modality, but the herbs exist. We now know that acupuncture can reduce fatigue, ease nausea, keep white blood cell counts up and generally make a person going through conventional cancer therapy, feel much better.
The website my organization maintains has many pages on the value of acupunture for people with cancer.

So I went to my second visit on Thursday and I can relate to many of the posts here. Except the fact that some symptoms have lasted a couple days. After my very first session I felt fatigued went home relaxed and fell asleep. The needles administered on my hand and arms caused a sore like feeling for about 2 days. Before I went into my second treatment I was virtually pain free.

I am being treated for a neck problem and anxiety/stress. The acupuntiorist did a lengthy health evaluation and what was amazing to me is that I had originally told her only about my neck problem and she asked to see my tongue and immediately mention a high level of stree.

So my second session focused on points on my back and as she is inserting the needles she is explaining what these points will trigger. So I had needles on the back portion of my neck, left arm, and on my head. As many the prick is minimal and I also felt that tingly, burning sensation throughout my body. I could not fall asleep, but I did feel I was able to relax (somewhat).

I did notice minor pain on my left leg after but in general I felt re-energized. But then when it came time to go to sleep I started feeling many sensations throughout my body that was keeping me from failing asleep. Was feeling like an abundance of an energy just traveling along my body causing some pain to my buttox area and leg. I was feeling weak, sweaty/clamy and somewhat lightheded and could not explain exactly what was going on. So my question is, will the effect of cupuncture last in your body depending on the treatment? My cousin is a playful minded person who also does acupuncture and his response was "you are feeling that way because your body is so out of sync that now that its rebalancing itself that's why I am feeling these symptoms" this true or am I just being a worry bug?

Acupuncture is a natural therapy that has been reported as safe and effective for many painful symptoms. It is important to find a practitioner who is Licenced and Board Certified. When you make an appointment, keep in mind that the first session will take longer for questioning as a good practitioner will want to gather information to put together the best treatment for you. You should feel relaxed as the needles are being placed (needles are tiny like a cat whisker and also sterile). You may feel sensations from the points but not extreme discomfort. Don't be afraid to say if the needle hurts and is not subsiding so the practitioner can adjust it slightly. The purpose is for you to relax and not be thinking about any specific point. The energy in your body will be gently manipulated by the selected points in order for proper internal healing. Remember, you may need several treatments for a difficult pain to be treated. So enjoy something new, it's worth a try!


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