Some of you may be thinking… “no way, no how will I ever have someone stick needles all over my body. Nope.” I was right there with ya, I promise. I’ve mentioned before how determined I was to find natural ways to heal my mind and body in my quest to have a baby (after being told by doctors it probably wouldn’t happen). This meant I had to try it all. Including someone sticking needles all over me.
I can’t recall how acupuncture came across my mind to try specifically, but I remember researching it so much that I got into the weeds. Ya know, deep into the reviews where people talk about their weird experiences. So deep that one review said that acupuncture could make you hallucinate. I was like, “dang!” it must really have an impact on people then, right? In all reality I mostly read ah-mazing reviews. People who were literally healed of crazy pain and other health related issues after acupuncture.
Searching for options locally, I didn’t realize (at the time) that a lot of Chiropractors also perform acupuncture as part of their practice. I found what looked like a legit office, a doctor with great reviews and made my first appointment. I walked into the office and it was such a calm feeling. There was a tufted leather couch, fire place, praise and worship music playing, and a receptionist that greeted you like she already knew who you were. “Hi! Abbie, right?”. Why yes! 🙂 The most eye catching part was the menu of sorts sign that hung near the entry. It listed all of the things that a person could experience that acupuncture may be an option for. Things ranging from acid reflux and hot flashes to joint pain and cancer. It was eye opening.
My first appointment was a general assessment. Don’t you hate those? You go in for a life changing hour and instead it’s a “get-to-know-you” deal? I get it though. The doctor (Dr. J) and I talked about why I was there and what options and frequency would be good for me. He told me about his success in working with fertility patients in the past which got me excited to start treatment.
Dr. J recommended that we do every other week to get us started. So a week passed and I was ready. I walked back to a room with lamp lighting and the sound of a water feature. There was a big cozy looking recliner waiting for me. I sat down and Dr. J requested that I kick my feet up, lean back and relax. Man, I could get used to this! And then I asked — I asked the question that had been lingering in my mind for weeks since first researching acupuncture. “Am I going to hallucinate?” I’ll never forget the look on his face. Moral of the story, don’t believe everything you read on the internet. He explained to me the points that he would focus on and why. For me, the points were linked to the female organs. A few on my stomach, hands, ears, and feet.
The first point went in. Not. bad. at. all. Next thing I know all of the acupuncture needles were in their position. Dr. J told me he would leave me for 20-30 minutes. Relax, he said. Take a nap, he said. Yeah, ok. I was as stiff as a board trying not to move and risk a needle from puncturing all the way through and potentially bleeding out. Totally kidding. I don’t even think that’s possible but it’s what was going through my head! To be honest it took a couple treatments for me to actually relax. But once I did. It was magical.
For me, acupuncture became less about my body and more about my mind. Every appointment I was excited to be able to escape. I closed my eyes and was forced to sit in silence for half an hour. And most importantly, breathe. We forget to do that sometimes I think. To just sit and breathe. Do nothing, but breathe. I needed that time to be able to clear my head. It was the perfect environment for it.
In addition to my 20-30 minutes of acupuncture, I also started getting regular adjustments. It’s usually how the appointments started, so I was even more relaxed before sitting in the chair. It really is fascinating how your neck and spine literally link to everything. I’m not even going to try to explain because frankly, I don’t understand it myself. I felt so much better after just a few treatments. I continued to keep my appointments and went once a month religiously and continue to go as needed. Those at my chiropractors office were some of the first people I told about my pregnancy. After all, it was a group effort! I felt that they played a big role in my journey and they shared in my excitement.
I never missed an appointment while pregnant. If anything, I upped my appointments because I was miserably sick. My points changed to areas that are linked to nausea, headaches, and all the pregnancy symptoms and it helped tremendously. Post pregnancy I went for low back pain from getting used to holding Henry for long periods of time and general postpartum pain. Henry has started seeing Dr. J (chiropractic only) as well! At one point I teased Dr. J because he was literally seeing almost my entire family because I constantly raved about him. You better believe I asked for a referral bonus (wink)!
In short, acupuncture can be an awesome option for you if you’re interested in an alternative route or in addition to something you are already doing. I would definitely recommend finding someone that makes you feel relaxed and explains the process to you thoroughly. Make sure they also listen to what you want to get out of acupuncture. For me, I loved how my doctor explained the history of acupuncture and benefits of chiropractic care. Again, I didn’t understand most of it but it was still super interesting. And although nerve racking at first, I assure you, you will feel completely relaxed in no time!