Acupuncture & Anxiety: My Experience with Eastern Medicine - Part Two

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

My Mom and I walked into JiLin Acupuncture Clinic and I was relieved that it looked clean, didn't smell funny and didn't have any strange posters on the wall. I don't know about you but it only takes me about 30 seconds of being in a place to feel the energy and know if I am comfortable. I was instantly comfortable and then was greeted by one of the prettiest women I've ever seen. Enter Cameron...

I filled out some paperwork and then Cameron took me back to her office for a consultation before getting started with the acupuncture. This chick is NO JOKE. Before reading over my paperwork she asked for my hands and then sort of held my wrists like you would if you were playing a guitar. A pulse reading. I have never heard of such a thing. While performing the pulse reading she asked me to stick out my tongue. ??? I admit, I was starting to get a little worried, was she about to scoop me up and rock me like a baby like this guy did? 

By simply looking at my tongue, which for the record, it looks 100% normal she told me that I have digestive issues (explained what on my tongue led her to believe that) and that I have racing thoughts meaning anxiety (and explained what about my tongue showed that). She then asked me what brought me in to see them. I told her I was anxious and my stomach hurt. I mean, it was clearly written all over my tongue.

Bizarre, right?!

We talked about absolutely everything. Pregnancy, sleep, headaches, patience, parenting, it was more like a therapy session than seeing a doctor. I immediately clicked with her and loved her energy. She was so patient, interested and knowledgeable. 

She led me back to a very simple room. There was a window, a massage table, chair, infrared lamps, and a metal table that held a jar full of something and some little trays of needles and other magical devices.

And then walked in Dr. Jin. 


She is a short woman with a strong but gentle presence. I don't know why but I was a little nervous when she came in. I was lying on the table, she walked to me and grasped my hands, then my feet  and sort of ran her hands over my body without ever actually touching my body. This didn't help my nerves. I felt like she could read my mind, see into my soul, and knew everything terrible thing I had ever done or thought. Also, she doesn't really speak english so I didn't know what she was saying to Cameron. I imagined that she was saying that I was a lost cause and there was nothing they could do to save me. I suddenly felt really hot and sort of needed to go to the bathroom. Cameron translated everything that Dr. Jin was saying and Dr. Jin said in her soft accent, "Relax" and gave me a smile that instantly calmed me.  

They both worked on putting needles all over my back, head, arms, legs, and neck. They then turned on the infrared lights, turned off the overhead lights, some soothing music came over the speakers at just the right volume and my little mind ride began!

I've written about a couple of my awkward massage moments but for every awkward massage I've had about 1,034 fantastic massages. I have never been as relaxed in a massage as I was with all of these needles stuck all throughout my body.  

I have a hard time finding the words to explain the feeling but it is somewhere between awake and asleep and floating and dreaming but still conscious. I've never been hypnotized or in a trance or really even a successful meditative state but I imagine it would feel something like this.

I'm not sure how long I was in there because I was busy falling down the rabbit hole of acupuncture bliss. They both came back in, plucked out the needles, and went to work on the front side of my body. 

It sounds crazy to say that this was relaxing but it's true.

Some of the needles sent tingles running to different parts of my body. The tingle wasn't painful just sort of electric in a non electrocuting way. Make sense? Probably not.

Dr. Jin said and Cameron translated that tingling is good. Tingling means it's working. I had a lot of work going on!

Some of the needles, the ones in my stomach mainly, made it feel like I could feel my actual organs. Things were moving inside me the moment the needle was placed. It wasn't an "OMG I'm about to use the bathroom/some other humiliating something." Just more of, I am very aware of my pancreas right now. I don't know about you but I don't think about individual organs on a daily basis, or ever.

While nothing about the experience was painful, the needles in the nailbed didn't exactly feel like a manicure. It turns out the nailbed is a sensitive little spot which anyone would guess.

This time when they left the room, the acupuncture high returned quickly. I had strange dream like visions. I felt like I was watching a huge ferris wheel that was moving slowly backwards and away from me. Then, it felt like a warm wave of water came over my entire body right underneath my skin. I was so at peace I wasn't sure if I was awake or asleep and I didn't care.

Again, I lost track of time but at some point that day they came back in and plucked the needles out and told me to come out to the front.

I wasn't ready for it to be over. I could've stayed there all day with needles poking out of every part of my body with the lights warming my skin just drifting in my mind listening to music.

This isn't me.

30 minutes into a massage I'm done. I've had enough. I can check it off the list and keep moving to the next activity, not so with acupuncture. I wanted to stay. I would live here now, in this room. Camryn would learn to be entertained by a roll of paper. Chris could sleep on the chair. We would eat what I'm guessing is ginger root in a glass vase and this would be our home that we had been searching for.

Maybe a little dramatic. 

I didn't think they would let me stay so I put my shirt on and met Cameron and Dr. Jin at the front. Cameron went over different foods to eat and some to avoid to help balance my Qi. She shared recipes with me and sent me on my way with some herbs to take for my stomach. She asked that I take the herbs every other day along alternating with the stomach medicine I was currently taking. I threw away the stomach medication and went solely on her herbs and against what she told me because I am a gangsta rebel like that.

I walked out of the clinic a new person. My back and neck never felt so good. I felt calm. Almost too calm. If I weren't so relaxed, my calmness would've freaked me out and sent me into an anxiety ridden tailspin. I slept like a champ. This continued the next day, and the one after that and the one after that. My anxiety hasn't returned. I've had 3 sessions now and I count down the hours until I go back.


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