Last Thursday I went to see an acupuncturist for the very first time. I’d been considering it on and off through the years but with my lower back worsening over the past month I decided it was time to see if there was any way my pain could be eased without the use of constipation-inducing medications or a couple rounds of Long Island Iced Teas. Turns out I don’t have an answer for your regarding that, but I can share my thoughts on acupuncture some thoughts I have that I wish I’d known before I went in for my first appointment.
I’ve commonly read that acupuncture can provide feelings of euphoria, relaxation and drowsiness after an appointment. Drinking plenty of water is also common practice. Although I did feel a bit drowsy after I arrived back home on Thursday, as the day went on I began feeling another side effect.
My back pain started to worsen. Not only that, but I began feeling a poker-hot pain shooting down my right leg and into my toes. Also, for reasons still unknown to me, I was having bouts of crying spells – not from the pain…just – well, crying for no reason. By the time my husband came home I was feeling miserable – and a bit worried. It was so uncomfortable that I had to rely on my old standby of prescription pain medication. I contacted the practitioner and asked if it was normal that a patient would feel markedly worse after acupuncture. He said that yes, initially a few patients could feel worse before feeling better. I was instructed to continue to up my water intake and soak in a warm bath with Epsom Salts. I did feel a little better after the bath but between you and me, that also could have been the Percocet kicking in.
Over the weekend I started doing some research on the Internet. I combed over countless articles and was surprised to find that about 10-15% of acupuncture patients go through what’s called an exacerbation of pain or, ‘healing crisis’ after their first and sometimes second appointment. When I went for my second appointment today I asked a lot more questions and the practitioner said that we would know by my third session whether or not acupuncture will work for me or whether I’m one of the few people who are just too sensitive for this kind of treatment. My third appointment is next Tuesday. I’m really hoping that by then I feel markedly better.
Not a very exciting post but something to think about should you ever decide to visit an acupuncturist. Chances are, your experience will be vastly different from mine and you’ll gain a good experience from it. For those of you who are ‘special’ like me however, you’ll be better prepared for your appointment, hopefully.
On another note, our final Group Therapy Day will be this Thursday. Come prepared to share thoughts on your Gratitude jar and how/if it’s helped you. Send me pics if you’d like me to display them here on my blog, and pick one thing that you were most grateful for during the month. I’ve been keeping tabs on who’s contributed during every exercise during the month and will be announcing the winner of my print on Monday, February 4th!
See you all back here then!