So I started acupuncture recently. I tried it years ago but stopped after awhile when it wasn't cutting the mustard. Unfortunately at that time, I had a crap-fest doctor who didn't believe in pain medication (ironic, since she was a pain management doctor) and well, anyway, it was difficult for me to get into the acupuncture "zone" when I could barely get out of bed. Now that my pain is better controlled (and I've long since left that doctor in the dust), I decided to go back to acupuncture. It also didn't hurt that I was given a coupon for two free sessions at a local acupuncture center. I'm a sucker for free stuff.
When my clinician took me into the examining room, I handed her my intake forms, told her that I was "special" and said that I hoped she was feeling confident (aren't I mean?). She chortled a bit and gave me this knowing look and announced that "all her patients are special." I just nodded and smiled (but was totally thinking, "ya, but are all your patients freaking bionic?"). She looked at my intake forms and it wasn't long before she got all googly eyed and announced "wow..you really are special!" I tried not to be smug (it was difficult).
We reviewed my medical history and I showed her my incisions and how the stimulator works and we went over all the areas that should not be acupunctured (nothing over the battery and cable and no points on the spine). After that, I turned off my stim. and hopped onto the examining table (let's just pretend that I'm spry and that I can actually hop onto tables).
The doctor put about 12 needles in various parts of my body (including my scalp,fingers and right between my eyebrows). I can't say that the needle placement is painless but it's no more than a wee pinch.
Then came the Moxibustion (I'm totally down with the lingo). Moxa is the same thing as mugwort and acupuncturists use it in a few different forms. It comes in something called a Moxa pole (the thing that looks like a doobie pictured above in Gremmie's hand) and in a moss and cone form. Moxa poles are lit and allowed to burn slowly a few inches above the patient's skin, providing warmth to the area. Moxa cones are placed on the patient's skin (usually with a thin barrier in between) and the moss form is rolled up and placed directly on an acupuncture needle. When the Moxa is lit, it releases heat which seeps down into needle (or through the barrier if it's in cone form) and radiates into the body. It's pretty much divine. The only "thing" about Moxa is that it smells suspiciously like pot. I've been using a Moxa pole at home and I think it's about time I go tell my downstairs neighbors that I haven't turned into a stoner. I fear judgment.
Anyway, I've had three treatments thus far and, while it's still early, I have noticed that I've been sleeping better and I've had a little more energy. My pain levels have been shite the past few weeks (am dealing with a flare at present) but I have noticed that when I leave acupuncture, I feel better than when I arrived. Not half bad.