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My First Acupuncture Appointment

by Courtney on May 3, 2012

Well, acupuncture is definitely quite interesting…and it has me rather intrigued at the moment! Let me give you guys the low-down on my session today…

When I first got to my appointment this morning, the acupuncturist and I spent about 15 minutes doing a brief consultation. We had already emailed back and forth once or twice before today, so he already knew some background information.

We briefly discussed some of the things that I would like to try and “heal,” so to say, with my body. I told him that I’d really like to try and focus on a couple different things, with one of them being my stomach issues. If you’ve been reading for a while now, then you probably already know that I have my fair share of stomach issues (bloating, IBS, pain, etc.). I’ve been pretty unsuccessful in figuring out the cause for my problems thus far (allergy testing wasn’t really a huge help), so I figured this could be an area to focus on.

Once we were finished talking, he had me lay down on a table and then proceeded with the insertion of the needles. Overall, I’d say that I probably had about 20 needles in me when all was said and done; a couple in my feet and hands, a majority of them in my belly, and a few of them in the face…yes, the face.

The sensation I got when he inserted some of the needles was almost immediate, while others gave me know sensation at all. Not surprisingly enough, the ones that seemed to be the move prevalent were those in my stomach.

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Almost immediately, I could feel the needles start to twitch, which he told me was a sign of the energy releasing and moving from the body. A couple of them also gave the feeling of pressure around the area; almost like the throbbing sensation you get when you close your finger in a door, if that makes sense? It was as if I could feel the muscles tensing up and then relaxing, which was one of the weirdest things ever.

After he finished inserting the needles, he said he could already tell that I was experiencing inflammation in my stomach, which I found interesting, so I asked why…for one, he said that all of the needles in my stomach had a red ring around them, and in addition to that, he said he could feel the heat rising from the needles.

Once the needles were in, he left the room for about 15 minutes to, as he said, “let them cook.” I found that pretty funny. I also wanted to see if he was pulling my leg on the needles heating up, so I placed my hand over my stomach (I had been too nervous to move up until that point) and sure enough, I could feel heat. Quite a bit of it, actually.

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Overall, I wouldn’t say I was quite like smiley up above there, but I definitely didn’t mind it. I wasn’t able to get super relaxed during the procedure, just because it was all so new and honestly, I little weird at first. I was afraid to move much of anything for fear that a needle would end up puncturing something important…obviously, I don’t know much about this stuff yet. Winking smile

We spoke again briefly afterward and he gave me some homework: start taking a probiotic everyday, and do a three day food journal. I’m willing to do that and see what he says, but I’m debating on whether or not I want to continue with more sessions. I’m hopeful that it could be help me, for more reasons than one that I’ll probably get into another time, so it’s definitely something for me to think about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come cheap, and he’s also about a 40 minute drive away.

So I guess I’ve got a few things to think about (and talk to the hubs about) but honestly, if it will help me with what I need help with, then I’m willing to find a way to make it work. I’ll be sure to keep you guys in the loop!

*****

Lunch

Wow, long-winded up there. Let’s keep this brief. Once I got home from my appointment, I put together a quick and easy lunch.

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The rest of the roasted veggies leftover from last night…

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…and a couple Wasa crackers topped with an egg patty + melted provolone cheese.

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I was in the mood for a little something sweet afterward, so I snagged two caramel eggs from my leftover Easter candy bag.

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Sometimes chocolate is just necessary. Mmmhmm.

Time to go take care of a few things around here…catch ya later! Smile

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third May 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I never noticed heat before…. That’s really interesting! And I totally understand about not wanting to move out of fear… I never moved an inch because I’m not a huge fan of needles and was terrified they’d go further in! You should definetly give it another shot, hopefully you’ll be able to relax next time!

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2 Blog is the New Black May 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Needles frighten me! I could never voluntarily let someone stick with me them! But, I hope it helps your belly problems! Annnnnd acupuncture allegedly helps with pregnancy, tooooooo……………. just sayin’. ;)

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3 Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Hmm interesting. I’ll be curious how it works out for you. I know very little about acupuncture.
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Every fiber in my being hurts.

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4 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Interesting – I’m worried it’s going to lead to him recommending to change your diet and buy a bunch of supplements, but that’s just me being a jaded RD.
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Healthy Snacking Habits (Giveaway)

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5 Caroline @ After Dinner Dance May 3, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I feel like I should give you props for getting acupuncture – it still sounds so scary to me! And I wish I still had Easter candy left – I ate my last Cadbury Carmel Egg the other day :(
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6 Emily May 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The probiotic suggestion is a really good one. I have IBS also, and as soon as I started taking Align every day (before I even started to change what I was eating), I noticed a difference! Align really expensive in my opinion, but it works and so the price is worth it.

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7 Sherri May 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I just started taking a probiotic (I have IBS too) called Align and honestly, what a difference already! Hope they help you too – feeling bloated is the worst, esp as a woman. Good luck girl!

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8 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life May 3, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Sounds like an interesting experience! I have the same sort of tummy troubles as you so I can’t wait to hear what you think. Would you say that the acupuncture was painful, or just uncomfortable? I have never tried it, but I am definitely interested in learning more. I know so many people who swear by it!
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9 cassi May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I can relate with the stomach issues. Accupuncute helped me but not acupuncure alone, I also had to change eating habits. My acupuncture on Long Island also did a method called Naet allergy testing (http://www.naet.com/). Its not like regular testing. He was able to see I had a candida problem as well as other areas in my body that were toxic leading to IBS like symptons. I am not as strict on my eating as I should be so I still go through my severe bloating/gas etc… but staying off gluten has helped tremendously. There are many times people don’t show up as allergic to things on a testing, but they can still be sensitive to it so make sure you are watching what you are eating and how you feel afterwards!

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10 cassi May 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

also – sugar is a BIG culprit!! Especially white refined sugars. feel free to contact me and i can let you know about things that help me. :)

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11 Julie Casey May 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Very interesting…I’ve been dealing with a lot of stomach issues over the years too and would love to try that out. By the way, what probiotic did he recommend? Many people have suggested that to me too and I think it’s time to try that!

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12 Michelle (Better with Berries) May 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Acupuncture definitely sounds like an interesting experience! If I had the opportunity to try it (for free) I’d like to see if it could help back pain. But I’m hoping that I can correct it on my own by improving my posture, working on building up strength in my back, and doing some stretches. I think summer break will also help :-)
Michelle (Better with Berries) recently posted..WIAW: Active Evenings and Some Love!

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13 erica May 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm

i have always been curious about acupuncture! this is the first time i’ve read about someone’s first time experience. very interesting, thank you for sharing. maybe i’ll brave it one day.
erica recently posted..{the honeymoon}: Assisi to Venice

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14 Yellow Haired Girl May 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I used to get acupuncture – and I definitely noticed the heat! A very strange sensation …
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Message in the Music

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15 Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run May 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I LOVE those caramel eggs! I have no idea how you could still have them. I ate about a million of them on Easter! :) Thanks for the recap on acupuncture. I bought a Groupon for 2 sessions but I have been nervous to try it out. At least now I have some idea what to expect.
Jen Correa @ Mom’s Gotta Run recently posted..Going to the Next Level

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16 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope May 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

That is very interesting. I’ve always thought about acupuncture but never tried it. I have a ton of stomach issues too, (IBS and Crohn’s Disease). I’m wondering if it would help me. It would be interesting to try it.
Hope @ With A Side Of Hope recently posted..Happy Birthday to Melissa!!!!…

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17 Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie May 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Oh I’m glad to hear it went well! I hope acupuncture helps your stomach issues. I’ve always wanted to try it but never got around to it. I’m excited to follow your journey with it if you continue to do it.
Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie recently posted..How To Make A Million

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18 Andy May 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Do you often eat “on the go?” As in at the computer, in front of the TV, while reading, etc? My accupuncturist told me the reason I have stomach issues (which I can’t pinpoint to any one specific thing) is because I eat while I’m doing other things as well. Apparently (according to him) your body can’t focus on proper digestion while it’s being distracted by other things, hence the bloating, etc. He told me that basically the food just sits and rots in your stomach instead of being properly digested. Interestingly, the ONLY time I never seemto have stomach issues is after breakfast because it’s the only meal I actually sit at the table and just eat slowly. Obviously sugar and dairy can still affect your stomach but something to think about!!! I swear just focusing on eating and nothing else has helped me immensly. Of course, it’s all about whether or not you actually believe it as well.

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19 Carly May 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm

wow, this is interesting!!!!!

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20 Julie May 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm

That is interesting! Today I ate lunch much slower and so far so good. I eat too fat and I think that’s part of my problem :/

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21 Brandi May 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I think that acupuncture is pretty interesting. I don’t know that I would try it, but it’s intersting. :) That is so weird that you could feel the heat!!

Hope you’re having a good day!

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22 Lisa May 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I love acupuncture. I was a little hesitant at first, but that has helped so much with my stomach problems, skin problems and even anxiety. Now I can fall asleep during my appointments. It sucks having IBS, you should check out FODMAPs, I have been following it pretty closely (without being too strict) and have noticed a HUGE improvement in my IBS after discovering that gem. It does suck, to have to be careful about all that stuff, but honestly it was worth it to me.
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23 Whitney @ Whit Likes Fit May 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm

So my acupuncturist also warms up some herbs and heats up the needles. I have to lay there and let them heat up until they’re too hot and then I tell her to move them. Kind of like playing a game of chicken. It’s a little weird but I feel better after. Have you seen a naturopath for your stomach? I have IBS and after regular doctors couldn’t help my naturopath put me on probiotics and told me to stop eating gluten and dairy which I’ll admit I haven’t been the best at but I do feel so much better when I don’t eat it. Probably a sign that I should stop but I love pizza too much.
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24 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries May 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm

loved your review on acupuncture! i’ve been considering it lately after talking to chelsey about her experience and going through some of my own “issues” with my body. it is certainly not cheap though, which makes things a little more challenging, but we’ll see. ;)
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Healthy Living Survey

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25 Ashley May 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I recently started seeing an Eastern medicine doctor, who works with accupuncture and other modalities, for crippling stomach pain and severe bloating that’s been plaguing me since August. None of the “regular” doctors have been able to solve the mystery. It wasn’t until my 3rd session that I noticed a huge difference. If you’re able to continue, I would definitely recommend going for a few more sessions to see if you can find some relief too.
*I’m not sure if there’s an eastern medicine school in your area but some schools offer acupuncture at really discounted rates. My doctor teaches at a local school and told me about it so it may be an option to help cut down on the cost.

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26 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy May 3, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Very interesting! I have similiar tummy problems, and taking a probiotic every day really does help.

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27 Linda May 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Please go back. Remember a portion of what you felt has been affected by it being your first time. I know you greatly benefit from this!

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28 Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles May 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

I’ve been really interested in accupunture so enjoyed reading your post. I totally undrstand the money/distance vs worth debate….so unknown….good luck with it!

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29 dee May 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Haha, I was also paralyzed from fear of the needles stabbing me! I even tried to move my mouth as little as possible when talking. So strange! It must be thanks to that show about the weird days to die, and also from final destination 5..anyway! I picked up a copy of competitor magazine today and guess what? There’s an article about acupuncture called, “Stick a Pin in It” :) I guess I CAN thank needles for me healed foot! I wish you well in your recovery! :)

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30 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm

It was really hard for me to relax during my first treatment too. It wasn’t until the second or third that I was really able to relax and fall asleep for the 45 minutes.
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..the great american grump out

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31 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio May 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I realllllllly want to try acupuncture! Maybe after my honeymoon :)
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32 Lauren May 3, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I used to get symptoms of IBS several times a day (especially in the morning) and my dad suggested I try probiotics; not only to help my stomach, but also since they’re good for you in general. I had previously tried other things to help like Activia, etc., but they weren’t quite strong enough. Now I take one probiotic every morning with my breakfast and don’t get any more symptoms like I used to! I just buy Acidophilus straight off the shelf from the local Walgreens and it helps my stomach like nothing else could!

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33 Lynn May 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

I know some people that have had fantastic results with acupuncture for relief of various ailments, so I think if you can manage, try it a few more times. In regards to your stomach issues, like many above, I’m with you. After being diagnosed years ago with IBS & suffering through the pain, I bit the bullet and went to a GI (Dr. Morere in Sch’dy) and ended up having a simultaneous endoscopy/colonoscopy. I am a HUGE baby when it comes to procedures but truth be told, I don’t remember a darn thing of it except the prep the night before (less than pleasant). For me it didn’t show anything, but those tests can really tell you what you might be dealing with, so I do think it was worthwhile. And even though I’m only 31 it was covered by my insurance. Turns out the only thing besides IBS that I have is lactose intolerance (determined by a blood test) and I haven’t given up dairy or milk, I just take lactaid with all my meals and that enzyme REALLY works! I also take a different probiotic, Florastor, which is more for having loose stool rather than constipation, otherwise Align, like everyone said, was highly recommended by my GI & PCP. And last but not least I take Astragalus (an herbal supplement) every day too, it’s supposed to be an immune booster, but also has anti-inflammatory stomach calming properties. The combination of Lactaid, Florastor and Astragalus and my stomach is probably 90% better now! I hope you find a routine that works for you. Good luck!

Here’s some info on Astragalus: http://www.naturalnews.com/027223_ASTRAGALUS_immune_system.html

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34 Natasha May 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

the idea of acupuncture scares me! I also have IBS, but my doctor is treating it with my diet. It’s basically an elimination diet until we figure out what exactly I cannot eat.
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35 Carissa @fit2flex May 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I’ve had my share of stomach discomforts too. Mainly bloating and such. For me I have found that a daily probiotic and eating my 25g of fiber helps. I also notice more bloat aka my food baby when I eat bread. I also take magnesium daily which helps relax your intentional muscles. I don’t know if any of this would relate to you, but I thought I would share.

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