I did something a little crazy last week; I tried acupuncture for the first time. Yes, I voluntarily had needles stuck into my body. About ten needles to be exact, and then the needles were left there for 20 minutes while I lay still in a darkened room.
Why would anyone subject themselves to this you might ask?
Well after having some health issues for the past six months I thought that I might give acupuncture a try. After asking around I had a number of people recommend Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic to me. I attended a free informational session at the clinic and decided to give it a try. I was a little skeptical at first but after I learned more about Traditional Chinese Medicine and balancing the flow of energy or qi (pronounced chee) through pathways (or meridians) in your body it started to make a little more sense. This stimulation of these pathways with acupuncture needles boosts the activity of your body’s natural painkillers and increases blood flow to certain areas of your body to promote healing.
Before and after my first treatment there was a lot of attention paid to my pulse and to my tongue, which was a bit odd. Apparently the color, shape, and coating of your tongue can tell the acupuncturist a lot about your health and whether or not your treatment has been effective. I was very nervous about the pain of the needles being inserted but you really don’t notice it happening at all. It feels like a very slight pinch but as the needles are so thin, about as thin as a piece of hair, you barely feel a thing. After my first treatment I felt great but I was completely exhausted. I went home and took a quick nap and then went to bed early that night and slept for almost ten hours.
This week I’m going back again and I must say that I’m looking forward to it. The atmosphere of the clinic is very calming and restful and I loved that feeling of exhaustion that I felt after my first treatment. I would equate it with the feeling you might have after a long intense workout or a day in the sun. I’m curious about how I’ll feel in a few weeks, and a few months. Have any of the Des Moines Is Not Boring readers tried acupuncture? I’d be curious to hear about other people’s experiences with it and if they feel that it helped them. I’m hoping to continue with treatment for as long as my pocketbook allows, hopefully I’ll be a changed woman in a matter of weeks, we’ll see!
Annick Sjobakken is a Brooklyn transplant who likes long bike rides, loud music, and taking photos. Follow Annick on Twitter @annickmarie and Instagram @annickmarie. Also follow her personal blog Bushwick to Beaverdale.