My First Acupuncture Experience
Happy Monday! I am so sorry that I have been quiet for the last part of the previous week but I had a lot going on. I’ll get into it over the next few blog posts…
Last Wednesday, May 2nd, I had my first fertility wellness acupuncture appointment! I shared a post on Instagram sharing that I was really nervous for the appointment and so many of you lovely ladies shared reasons why you liked acupuncture and reassured me that it was nothing to worry about - you were so right!
On my way to the appointment, I got a little flustered and could not find the office location. Yes, I used my GPS but in my defense, it was in a large office building complex and the directions on the GPS weren’t clear. I also get lost pretty often if I am being honest. When I arrived, I checked in and took a seat in the lobby. They had a lavender (maybe?) scent in the waiting room, I am assuming to be relaxing. I didn’t have to wait too long before the acupuncturist, let’s call her Ms. Smith, came and brought me into the office/relaxation space. I’m honestly either not sure of what that’s called or totally blanking.
The appointment was set to be 90 minutes. Half of that time was for the first appointment consultation which I was extra nervous for. I don’t know why but I always get so nervous for doctor’s appointment (and any other medical appointments) even though I have worked for a doctor, in a pharmacy, and at a hospital. Isn’t that crazy? We sat in one part of the room that had two chairs and discussed my medical history. We discussed when I started my period, how I experience severe cramps and sometimes hot sweats and nausea during the first 24-48 hours of my period. I explained that sometimes the pain is so severe that I go back and forth to the bathroom thinking that I am about to get sick (not fun) or that the last few cycles, I’ve had to leave work early which I don’t like doing. When I apply a heating pad, that usually does the trick but every once in awhile the heat just doesn’t work for me and my only option is to go home and sit in a SUPER (and I mean SUPER SUPER) hot bath which soothes my cramping for a little while. Also, my bleeding is so heavy that I have to change my tampon every hour or so because it feels full. She asked me if I felt like I couldn’t keep up with the bleeding and I told her that wasn’t it, it was just that it filled up quicker on some months. I do have some months where the cramps are more mild (probably still considered severe for others but for me, it’s manageable) but the heating pad usually does the trick. It’s funny actually, I will bring my heating pad to work, wear stretchy pants and wear my heating pad while I am working at my computer. It really helps. Medicine like Midol and Tylenol do not work for me, sadly.
At this particular practice, 60% of their patience come there for fertility wellness acupuncture. Majority of those women have Endometriosis which Ms. Smith shared with me that based on our conversation and my medical history she believes that there is a large chance that I have Endometriosis. We talked a lot about her experience with endo and she explained that the only way it can be properly diagnoses is through surgery, which is obviously not ideal. Sometimes it can be diagnosed through ultrasounds but that all depends on your symptoms and such.
Also, we talked about my ovulation, I told her that I normally got the peak test on cycle day 15 or 16 and that my ovulation symptoms are always cramping (sometimes they are just noticeable and sometimes they take my breath away for a second) and every once in awhile I will have some back pains that get really painful as well. Heat helps all of the symptoms though. She said if I got my peak on cycle day 16, then I wasn’t actually ovulating until cycle day 17 or 18 because of how that works. Which I was aware of but never really thought about it that way so that makes sense. This conversation definitely bummed me out because I just always assumed I was ovulating on that day, meaning I was always less days past ovulation than I originally thought.
The conclusion of the consultation is that I should try an inflammation diet for the potential endometriosis. I feel pretty strongly about the diagnosis because I have thought this for some time based on my research and the fact that I’ve had painful cramps since age 13. Ms. Smith also is pretty confident in the end diagnosis which I trust based on the fact that she treats women with endometriosis daily and specializes in fertility wellness. I do have an appointment in June with my OBGYN, where we will discuss that more. I’ll share a separate blog post on my inflammation diet and symptoms because as I am writing this, I am 5 days in so I have a lot to share.
After the consultation, she had me lay on the table/bed (which was very very comfortable) and she put the acupuncture needle in the follow spots; one on each of my shins, one above each of my knees, one above each of my elbows, and two under my belly button. Wow typing that out made me realize how many needles were actually in me! I’m here to say that it did not hurt one bit. I felt the “tap” on the needle which Ms. Smith had to tap the top of the needle (that’s in a plastic cover) to get it under the skin.
She let me relax for about 15-20 minutes and then came in and moved all of the needles on my legs and arms down (to my wrist and ankle) and added one at the top of my forehead which really did the trick for my relaxation. After she moved the needles to that spot, I went into a deep relaxation and almost asleep? I was so relaxed that I couldn’t tell if I was asleep or not.
After the appointment was over, I felt like I had woken up from a nap and tried driving home. That was NOT fun but I was fine. The rest of the night, I was so relaxed and slept like a baby!
I return for my next appointment later this week. The goal we are reaching for is to obviously help my anxiety and my chances of getting pregnant but we are going to focus on trying to move ovulation up a little bit. She is a bit worried about my leuthal phase being so short, which could be the reason that I haven’t gotten pregnant yet.
Stay tuned for my blog post about my endometriosis diagnosis and my diet to try and keep those symptoms down!
Comment below and tell me your experience with acupuncture! What did you like about it? Or tell me why you are scared to try it!