Chinese torture?

>> Monday, February 13, 2012

Thanks to some recommendations from my friends at Resolve, I have expanded my fertility treatments. At first, when I thought of adding more appointments and more professionals to my ever growing team of treatment experts, the idea was overwhelming. However, if you ever talk with someone who goes to acupuncture about their experience, they seem to glow as they share how wonderful an experience it has been in their life. So, after hearing about the wonders of Chinese medicine for long enough, I booked my first appointment at East Nashville Community Acupuncture.

Upon arrival, it was the calm hipster type environment I expected. I drank tea and read an article about composting from some 'one with the earth' type magazine. Then I met with my acupuncturist, who was calm and reassuring from the first moment I saw her. She asked questions about my health and I provided details about a past history of migraines, acid reflux, and ADD. I explained how I had been weaning off all medications in preparation for this cycle and my hope what that since meds would not be taken for 9 months of pregnancy, that I would therefore not return to taking any medication again once the baby was born.

Honestly, getting off medication was something I had been wanting to do for sometime, however I always seemed to lack the motivation to make the appropriate lifestyle changes required to live a life un-medicated. However, I have never felt good about the fact that I am 30y/o and taking multiple medications per day, because honestly what hope does it give me for my body's ability to fend for itself when I am 60 or 80. 

Anyway, I explained my desire for acupuncture to help me manage these symptoms as well as promote my physical and emotional health while we pursue an IVF cycle. My acupuncturist voiced understanding about all my concerns and she offered support and reassurance re: the role acupuncture has played in many IVF cycles before mine. She then gave me a basic run down of what would happen and made sure I had no further questions. She then led me into a treatment room, filled with multiple recliners, soft music, and dim lights. I chose my chair, rolled up my pant legs, and settled in for a treatment that I felt sure would be an interesting life experience, if nothing else! 

I have tried to described the sensation of acupuncture multiple times since attending my first session and consistently I feel like my explanations and correlations do not provide a clear picture of what it was like. Still, in my experience I must say that the needle did not hurt when it went into my body, even though I could feel a slight prick initially. I concentrated on each needle site, hoping to pinpoint the feeling I was having, it was like something was disapating under my skin from the needle point outwards. Then when she stuck a needle in the top of my scalp and I felt the same sensation, it finally hit me how to explain it...Do you remember playing that game as a child when you say "crack an egg on your head, and the blood running down, and then chills running up". For those who don't remember, while you chant this rhyme, you knock someone on the head, then press down as you symmetrically run your fingers down the outside of a persons head, then you run your nails up their back, causing chills and just an overall weird feeling. Well, that's what acupuncture felt like to me the first time, like something was dissipating from each needle point (just like the fingers that applied pressure to my head as a child) and chills (in a good way) would follow throughout my body.  (weird way to explain it, but really it was wonderful!!)

After inserting all needles, my acupuncturist then covered me with blankets, which at first worried me that they would knock the needles out or drive them deeper into my skin further,  however she reassured me that they were flexible and not going anywhere. So, I was bundled up and tucked in like a child, then a wonderful bean bag was placed over my eyes. Soft, new age music surrounded me and I listened at a muted level by using my earbuds as modified ear plugs. It was wonderfully relaxing, so much so that I laid there for an hour and a half. I simply laid there and  prayed about God's plan for my family, then I dozed off to sleep, then I prayed for peace that could overcome any obstacles in my path, and finally I just reflecting on my place in life. I must say it was incredibly relaxing and it was probably the first time I had taken an hour and a half for prayer and relaxation without feeling rushed to move on to the next part of my day. It was just what I needed.

So, after feeling fully relaxed and recharged, my needles were removed and I was free to go. I left the community center feeling dramatically better than when I arrived. Although, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what felt better, considering I did not enter with a specific compliant and since feeling more fertile is not exactly tangible. Yet, I know that if nothing else I felt calmer. I felt relaxed like the way I feel after a massage, the kind of tranquility that you cannot achieve at home on your own. Overall, it  brought me a great sense of peace during this chaotic time and I think I am now offically sold on acupuncture.



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A glimpse into my journey to grow my faith and my family. Each day I am trying to trust in God's plan for my life, while I struggle with my own desires for my career, my marriage, and my hope for a family.

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