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West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC

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acupuncture

Acupuncture Treatment #1

Today I had my first acupuncture treatment for essential tremor and trigger points in my neck. The visit started like any visit to a spa. Shoes off. Soothing music.

I was more nervous this time though as needles were going to be involved! The forms I filled out pretreatment were quite extensive, going over past medical history, what prescriptions, supplements etc I use. It even went into detail about my periods. Men had a separate section as well but I didn’t really look at what they were being asked.

My 1.5hr introductory session started with talking with my acupuncturist in the treatment room. We went over past treatments I have tried for my two issues. She referred to some supplements she would recommend (B Complex and Magnesium).

After that, I got undressed like you would for a massage while the acupuncturist left the room. Underwear on but bra off. There was a massage table with blankets and I was instructed to lay face down.

When she came in she did a quick pressure point massage and poked particular areas and asked me if I could feel pain or not. Some areas reacted others didn’t. I noticed it was mostly my left side where I felt the pain, which is also the trigger point I have been feeling the most over the past few days.

Then the needles came out!

Ok so in general, they really didn’t hurt much. For nearly all of them there was just the tiniest poke and then the sensation was gone. Once they were in I couldn’t feel them at all.

For a few, like the palms of my hands, the pressure and slight burning didn’t alleviate so she removed them and didn’t leave those ones in for the treatment. My feet are ticklish so those ones were harder to relax for.

Once they were all in she had my lay there for 20 min. I was welcome to sleep if I wanted. She left the room and checked on me once partway through.

When she came back in she removed the needles and quickly dabbed each one with a cotton ball. It’s totally normal to bleed just a tad from the needles. I don’t think I really did at all.

I got a quick rubdown with an “ointment” which smelled like a diluted tiger balm but didn’t burn at all.

I rolled onto my back for her to treat my front. She did some on my ears which pricked a little more than the others, one on the top of each hand which I didn’t feel at all like my palms, several on my legs and one on each foot. The interesting part of my feet is that on the first one, it hurt a ton. 10x more than anything else. Apparently if the needle hits a hair follicle it hurts quite a lot! I had visibly jumped when that needle went in so she knew what happened. She removed the needle and rubbed the area before trying again a tiny ways away. The other foot wasnt nearly as bad. Haha.

The 20 min while laying on my back was much harder to get through. I was fidgety and had a hard time relaxing. I was nearly asleep while laying on my front!

Once again, removing the needles was painless. Except the ears as they were a bit more sensitive to begin with.

Afterwards I got dressed and met at the front desk where there was water for me and bottles of the supplements for purchase. They were a bit pricey for me and I knew we had some B vitamins at home. I will look into the magnesium further though.

I bumped into a friend right after leaving the appointment. She goes to the same clinic often. Her recommendation was to wait for 24 hrs after the treatment to see the real effects. Which is awesome cause so far nothing is different. My tremors are moderate today and my neck is normal. So I’m looking forward to how things change and have booked a second treatment next week to see how repeated treatments help. To see the real effects of acupuncture you should have at least one treatment a week.

This session cost $130 Can. for the Introductory session and treatment. Regular 1hr private treatments are $100 after the initial one. There is also community acupuncture offered at this clinic where you are treated in a chair with a second person being treated in the same room. The cost is $25-$45 depending on what treatment is needed. For moneys sake I will be attending the community sessions from now on. I felt it was important to do the first session solo.

I hope this helps any other first time acupuncture patients get over some fears and see how this service can help them.

So far I really haven’t seen any change. But I will update in 24 to 48 hours and definitely again after my 2nd and 3rd treatments!

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So here I am..

I am in the waiting room for my first ever acupuncture treatment. The music is soothing. We take our shoes off when we come in. It’s very much like the spa I go to for massages. Which makes sense.

I’m a little nervous, especially after reading the consent form which mentions more side effects than I had really considered. Infection is possible even though they use sterile needles. I guess that’s a possibility if you go jump in a garbage pile before the pinprick holes are healed up?

I’ve asked to treat my essential tremor and trigger points in my neck. My tremors aren’t especially bad today but they may worsen when I sit down to actually have this done. My trigger points are a constant threat, I feel. Any time they can seize up and put me in debilitating pain from a muscle tension headache.

Almost my turn. They just need to flip the bed from the last patient. I will definitely update when I am done!

Oops.. I did it Again!

I’ve been writing lots for the Westerly, but falling behind on personal projects. I started a memoir in the spring, yet that too has fallen to the side in favour of other projects I needed to stay on top of. And a new crocheting addiction!

Writing and little snippits, words and phrases have continued to flit through my brain. At some point I figured I should sit down and get them down. So here I am. Pounding away at the keys.

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that I have Essential Tremor: “a nerve disorder characterized by uncontrollable shaking, or “tremors,” in different parts and on different sides of the body. Areas affected often include the hands, arms, head, larynx (voice box), tongue, and chin. … It is only when the tremors become severe that they actually cause disability. ”

Currently my tremors are relatively benign. They are the worst when I am stressed or anxious – most notably when I am treating a patient (I am a First Responder in Ahousaht), and at times I have simply asked bystanders to open gauze packaging for me if my hands are shaking too badly to do it myself. People often ask if I am scared or don’t handle the sight of blood well. Nope. That’s all fine. The adrenaline and worry for my patient sends the tremors out of control. Consciously trying to calm them makes it worse so I am left with relaxing my body as much as I can and accommodating.

I am in a Facebook support group for Essential Tremor. There are group members from all over the world with varying stages of the disorder. Some are young. Some are old. Some are parents with toddlers who are affected. Some don’t even have Essential Tremor but have been diagnosed with something similar and the support and tips we share are useful.

This morning, someone in the group shared a link that acupuncture can relieve Essential Tremor symptoms for days to months after a treatment session. I think I have seen this information before. The article came out in February 2018, but due to my fear of needles, I dismissed it as a treatment I wasn’t willing to try just yet. When I saw the post this morning. I sent it to the local acupuncturist and asked for an appointment. Thirty minutes later I was booked for an introductory session in a week’s time! How exciting?

Have I mentioned I am scared of needles? I mean, I am not the type that cries and screams when I have to get a vaccine or anything. But it takes a lot of breathing exercises to keep me calm! Haha. I also (nearly) faint from getting just one stitch. More on that later. So, I am excited yet nervous. My husband has believed in acupuncture for years and is a strong advocate for its effectiveness. He used it many years ago to get through drug withdrawals and an addiction to heavy street drugs. He has never had another craving since!

Watch for an update in a week or so. I am really excited to note the differences pre and post treatment. I think we will also try treating my chronic trigger points in my neck that cause me regular muscle-tension headaches. I have tried dry needling once with a visiting Dr. to the coast. It definitely helped. Acupuncture is known to help with trigger points too so I am looking forward to that relief!

Wishing you the best for the Autumn season!

 

~Marcie

 

 

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