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I walked in and was greeted by a very friendly young woman with wavy brown hair. Looked normal. No fear yet. We walked into the other room and sat down to discuss my questionnaire. Every tiny thing that was bothering me - from my hellish recurring snake nightmares to my right foot always cramping to the feeling that someone reached into my chest and squeezed as hard as they could all during the week - my digestive habits, my hair, my energy level...you know, all the stuff your "real" doctor doesn't care to know about. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my endocrinologist (whattup 6.9 a1c?!), but doctors who care to know about all the "little things" that they can't slap a diagnosis on and write you out a pill for it - are few and far between. If you have one of those doctors, hang on tight and hope they don't retire before you die. Anyhoo - I was totally excited because in our conversation, my acupuncturist started to ask me if I was having other symptoms that I hadn't even thought to mention. Who knew floaters in your eyes (at age 27 that are there ALL. THE. TIME.) could be related to your kidneys?!?! Well, yeah! Wow! And I was instantly at ease, and she asked lots of details - what time of day do you feel like this, what sort of things appear in your nightmares? Do you feel like this after you eat this, etc, etc, etc.
So, after discussing all of my symptoms, she explained that all of the symptoms pointed to certain organ systems. The goal of Chinese medicine is to balance your body's yin and yang (pronounced yong, not yang ;) ). My verdict: my kidney yang is runnin amuck while my yin is napping.
The first visit, after she checked my pulses (yes, there are six, not just one, like at your "reglar docter"). I lay on my stomach on what looks like a massage table (complete with the little cut out hole for your head). She inserted needles into several places on my bare back. Yeah, it "hurts" for a second - like getting pinched. But once the needles are in, they're in and you don't really feel it. She explained what she was doing every step along the way, and left me to relax, with a heat lamp and some relaxing music (duh, it was Chinese but no words). She came back about 20 minutes or so later, removed the needles and checked my pulses again. This is how she tells how my body is reacting to the treatment and if it's working. The treatments work for about three days after the visit. Not bad for the first time.
The next time was a little more hard core. We still started off talking about how my week was going, and if I'd noticed any changes with the mile long list of crap that was bothering me. Guess what?! No snake nightmares all week. Still a few weird dreams, but not nightmares. Guess what else?! I didn't get up to pee in the middle of the night (which makes the nightmares worse - I'm tellin you, my brain is WHAACK). For me, this was cause for celebration. I haven't slept all the way through the night since I was like 8. This time, we did needles in all kindsa crazy places - two in my forehead, a few in my wrists, below my ankles, near my toes, in my shin - all over the place. But, again, so dang relaxed I could hardly roll myself outta there. I highly recommend!
I know I might sound like a full blown kook right now, but I am here to tell you, I am HOOKED. I leave up out of that place so relaxed that I feel like me and Sylvia just float on home, bless her hearrrrrrt! She suggests certain foods to eat/avoid based on what your needs are, as well as recommending certain herbs. And, it's not just for relaxation - she can help with anything you'd make a "regular" medical appointment for - PMS, addictions, allergies, you name it. Hey - if I ain't having panic 24-7 and feelin' like the snakes are gonna kill me along with all my other randomness, BRANG IT ON ANCIENT CHINESE MEDICINE. HIT ME UP WITH THE NEEDLE, SHUG!