What does it feel like to have twenty needles sticking out of your wrists, ankles, knees, belly, and ears?

Well, yesterday I found out.

I wish I had taken a picture, but maybe another time…

For those of you unfamiliar with acupuncture, here’s a Wiki definition:

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine methodology originating in ancient China that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles that have been inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating these points can correct imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians.

Here’s a play-by-play of how my first appointment went:

I arrived a little late because the weather outside was frightful.  In truth, it was straight-up Apocalypsing out there, and the acupuncturist, Tamara, understood.  Typically you don’t want to be late for this sort of thing and show up all stressed out.

When I first met my acupuncturist (is she a doctor?  I’m not sure!), she immediately made me feel welcome and comfortable.  She has a really down-to-earth personality, and doesn’t take the Eastern medicine thing too seriously.  I mean, she’s serious about what she does, but she knows when to insert an appropriately placed eye-roll to help you realize that she isn’t trying to be the lone white girl raised by Chinese herbalists.

She offered me some spicy chai tea (so I loved her immediately, of course), and we went to her office to chat about my medical history.  We talked for probably 45 minutes about everything I’ve ever been through physically and emotionally.  When it came to the fertility portion, we talked about it all.  She even asked me to see my BBT charts!  I wasn’t expecting that, and had not printed them off, but I am to bring them along next week so she can review them.

I was swept up in the newness of it all, and forgot to ask a lot of questions… oh, but I will!

After the interrogation portion of the appointment, Tamara asked me to hop up on the table and lie down.  She looked at my tongue and made some notes in my file (again, I would have liked to ask questions about that!).  She took my pulse in several spots on my body and then started sterilizing the spots where she was planning to put needles.

She talked to me about my diet and what I had eaten and drank that day, and started inserting needles into my feet and ankles.  I didn’t feel anything but a slight ‘tap’ most times, but there were a few needles that felt really twinge-y, some of which Tamara adjusted to be more comfortable.

She put a few needles in my wrists, and then she put one over top of each ovary, and one in the middle of my belly.  One more in the middle of my chest, one in each ear (!), and I thought she was done, but no… She put one last needle in my shin-area, and that sucker HURT.  She said it was because I had a blockage, but I didn’t ask what that meant because at that time, something else had started to happen.

My ovaries were on fire.  It seriously felt like there were electrodes hooked up to my egg-baskets.  Tamara said that was a good sign, and asked if it was too uncomfortable for me to relax for a bit, but I put on my big girl panties and dealt with it.  She left the room to let me “relax”, and said she would be back in a bit and that it was okay if I fell asleep.

Ha!  Sleep?  Yeah right, lady!  I have needles stuck all over me!!

She was gone for maybe fifteen minutes, and I did start to feel myself relaxing.  She had also put a warming light right over top of my abdomen, and the heat was making me feel fuzzy.  I didn’t doze off, but I did close my eyes and rest a bit until Tamara returned.

After she checked my pulse some more and removed the needles, we talked a bit about Chinese herbs.  I agreed to give the formula she suggested a chance, and after taking care of the financial aspects of the appointment, I headed back out into the cold to drive home.

I was informed before I left that I would be very tired and probably sleep really hard, which turned out to be completely true.  I was also very tired and sort of foggy-feeling most of today.  Even as I type this now, I am feeling very fatigued behind my eyes… I was told that this is normal and should last a day or two.

I am planning on seeing the acupuncturist once a week for the foreseeable future, and I’ve started taking herbs twice a day.

The herbs are interesting… there’s a specific formula for each week of your cycle.  I mix a couple of tiny spoonfuls with warm water, plug my nose, and drink it down.

They taste like dirt and feet and ass.  Not pleasant AT ALL, but I’ve done crazier things in the name of conception, so why not dirty-foot-ass tea?

So that’s that.  I know some people think I’m crazy for doing all of this, and some people think I’m crazy for waiting this long to try!  I honestly don’t care what people think… I just want to do whatever I can to get my body in order and as ready as I am for a take-home baby.

Parenting is all about sacrifice, right?

Might as well start now.

11 comments on “Acupuncture

  1. jackie
    February 27, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Ask your accupuncterist if you can mix your herbs with organic apple sauce. I once went to an herbologist and she told me to mix the ground up herbs in with it. But id rather have took them like a shot of whiskey to be completely honest. I did try the apple sauce method it wasnt that bad…just had the taste of dirt feet and ass mixed with apples!


    • Tracy
      February 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      Hahaha – Ass-applesauce almost sounds as bad as ass-tea!! 😉

      I’ll be sure to ask next time I’m there, but I think I’m with you – if I can manage to hold my nose and chug it, that’s good enough for now! 😛


  2. B
    February 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    I’m so glad you’re giving this a try!! Pro-tip, DO NOT GOOGLE THE INGREDIENTS IN THE HERBAL FORMULA. I know now that I’ve typed that it will probably be the next thing you do, but seriously some things you are better off not knowing. 😉


    • Tracy
      February 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      HAHAHAHAHA… You know me so well, friend! 😉

      I swear I won’t. I can’t even spell any of it, and besides, I’m too busy Googling things I can still eat with all of these dietary restrictions I’ve placed on myself!

      Any advice you have, as you’ve done this before, would be welcome – though I know that LB is keeping you busy these days!! If I haven’t already said it, CONGRATS! She is so beautiful!!!


  3. nonsequiturchica
    February 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Sounds a lot like my acupuncture appts. I have been able to fall asleep on the table, but definitely wake up to a tingling sensation- my acupuncturist says that it is my body “re-balancing.”


  4. Erin
    February 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    How funny! I just put up a post about my first acupuncture visit yesterday. 🙂 I really enjoyed it but didn’t get that burning ovary sensation the way you did — I was kind of hoping for something like that, though. I’m also taking some herbs now, but they’re not loose — they’re tablets, and are called Gather Vitality. Really hoping this will help both of us!


    • Tracy
      February 28, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      Ha!! I am just getting around to reading your post and SO many of your thoughts echo mine! Hippie music? YEP. Heat lamp? Hell yeah!

      This was also the first person who ever cared enough to ask about my BBT charts! I was so shocked, because the last time I printed them out and took them somewhere, I got some CUH-RAZY looks, LOL.

      The herbs I’m taking are Evergreen Blossom herbs, and there’s a formula for each week of the cycle. I might have to ask about tablets, because as much as I LOVE ass-tea, I could really do without sometimes. 😉


  5. Amelia
    March 1, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    “Dirt, feet and ass…” AHAHAHA!!!!

    This actually makes me really want to try it, which my BFF has been pushing for like 3 years. If only I didn’t live in the boondocks…


    • Tracy
      March 2, 2013 at 11:04 am #

      I seriously thought there was no way I’d find an acu around here either, but surprisingly enough, I found LOTS!

      Dr. Google is evil, but he can be helpful in times like these… 😉


  6. Sarah
    March 1, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Hey! I’ve followed your blog for awhile and been inspired by your determination and humor. I am so excited you’re trying acupuncture. Of course I’m convinced those awful herbs helped me finally conceive my son after secondary infertility. I know, insert eye roll here! I’m sure you’re sick of other people’s success stories. Lots of good thought and new age mojo flowing your way though 🙂


    • Tracy
      March 2, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      You know, I LOVE success stories! I hope to have my own disgustingly eye-rolling success story one day soon, haha.

      Thank you so much for following, and I hope I can follow in your path to success after these shady Chinese herbs! 😉


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