Adventures in Acupuncture

Oliver dixon jpeg

This is not me, but this is how I felt! Image by Oliver Dixon.

I realized I haven’t updated you all on my “Fun with Acupuncture.” Dear readers, as you may recall, I decided to visit a local acupuncturist for help with my hot flashes. That was in July. Now it is over two months later. What’s the verdict?

During the first week or so, I thought the treatment wasn’t working. It involved an acupuncture session and herbal supplements to take later. Then I realized I wasn’t taking the proper dose of the supplements. When I fixed that, things seemed to improve.

I’ve done well avoiding chocolate, as the acupuncturist suggested. Not so well avoiding wine, but I have cut back quite a bit.

I went back for a follow-up session a few weeks ago. This time, she wanted to stick her needles a few new places to help my allergies and my stuffy sinuses. She asked me if she could stick some needles in my face.

Let me say that again: MY FACE. Stupidly, I said yes.

I LET HER STICK NEEDLES IN MY FACE. Specifically, I let her stick two needles in that space between my upper lip and my nose. (Also known as the philtrum.)

I felt nothing with the first needle. I felt the second needle go in, plus she twisted it a bit. She also stuck a needle in the TOP OF MY HEAD. That one started to sting.

I asked her if it was normal for it to sting. She said she thought it would calm down after a while.

Happily, the pain did lessen, but it was rather disconcerting for a few minutes. Lying on the table for 20 minutes was a bit easier this second time. I think it helped that I couldn’t see the needles she stuck in my face. They were so close to my eyes that they were blurry. She also gave me an additional herbal supplement for my allergies.

For the first day or two, I had no hot flashes. Then they started returning at night, but only a few times a night. I’ve also had them during the day, but not as often as before I started treatment.

The supplement she gave me for my allergies worked like a charm.

Overall, I’d say that my hot flashes have improved by about 65%. And the flashes I get are not as extreme. They are more like warm flashes than hot flashes. I am sleeping better and plan to continue taking the supplements until I feel like I don’t need them any more (or I get sick of them, whichever comes first.)

If you are thinking of trying acupuncture for help with hot flashes, I say go for it.

Personally, I feel like I’ve had enough sessions with the needle for now. I fear a continuing escalation of where she’ll want to stick needles next, and I’d rather not go there.

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