Sarah Survives Acupuncture!!!

Around ManilaHealth/BeautyRecommendations
June 25, 2010

Wow, big day for this girl.  First ever Acupuncture treatment!  Truly, I’ve been wanting to do this for years, but never had the courage.  Maybe I was just being cheap too because now that I’m married to Sir Nicholas our kick-a** health plan covers 40 massages and 40 acupuncture visits a year!  I heart preventative care!

Okay, let’s get to the details because I know you’re dying to hear all about another crazy Sarah adventure.  I feel like I’ve been kind of boring lately, so I’m excited to have something to share with you!  Here goes…. So I first heard about this Doctor through one of my Cancer patient client/friends and she just raved about him.  I also liked that only MD’s can practice Acupuncture here (I didn’t want those needles going in the wrong place, you know?)  So this morning she sent me the info and I decided that today was the day.  So I called up and was sitting in the office 3 hours later.  Love that!

The office was itty bitty and all sorts of things were crammed into it – reclining chairs, beds, knick-knacks, screens, etc.  It was very full.  Kind of reminded me of my Grandma Bev’s house in that the assortment of things was both random and disproportionate for the space.  That being said, I took to the place right away (probably something subconscious with the Grandma-related aspect).

The treatment took 3 hours to complete!  Holy crap, huh?  It was $55 for the entire thing.

Here’s how the time was spent:

First up, a chat with the doctor to learn about what was going to happen to me.  He gave me a basic overview of the treatments I’d be receiving including meridian balancing, acupressure and acupuncture.  He then had to determine my greatest ailments.  He pressed six different points simultaneously on my left and right hand and I had to tell him which point was the most painful and then identify if it was worse in the left or right side.  He then did the same thing for my feet.

Turns out my kidneys are overworking (translation: I take too many bathroom breaks) and my hormones are in hyper-drive (translation: I cry too much).  Pretty sure my husband had diagnosed those problems during my last period…  :)  But still, it was nice to hear it from a professional!  Now, what to do about it?

I started with a 15 minute foot-soak in salt to release the toxins in my body.  It was a great way to start.  After that I went and laid face-down on a bed.  One person did Reflexology on my feet while an assistant moved these heavy, heated pads around my legs, arms and back.  The combination of the two felt AWESOME.  I was still doing great at this point, feeling very relaxed.  Little did I know what was coming…

So here I was scared about the Acupuncture, when what was really the killer part was the Acupressure!  Damn did that hurt.  I didn’t think my body was that out of whack but as he worked from top to bottom, it was very clear that I had some MAJOR opportunities.  There is basically a right meridian and a left meridian that go from head to toe.  The acupressure essentially is a rhythmic pressing in a line up those meridians.  I don’t mean to sound like a wimp but I swear he was pressing with all his weight on my poor little muscles.  They didn’t stand a chance.  So I just winced and grunted and asked questions like, “Is it going to hurt this much next time?” and “Is this normal to be in so much pain?”  His response?  Laughter.

Next up was the Acupuncture, which I had made out in my mind to be even worse.  As you can see by the video, I couldn’t even tell when it went in!  So now that I’ve been through the process once, I’ll know to prep myself mentally for the Acupressure part more next time….

The Acupuncture was really a non-event.  There was only 1 needle and it went in painlessly and just rested there for 30 minutes while a therapist gave me a facial massage.  I only felt tingling by it once or twice.  On the whole, the entire experience left me feeling a deep sense of calm.  I’m curious to see if my body will have improved by next week when I go again.  We will see!

This definitely was a cool experience.  I’m supposed to get a broader variety of treatments next time, so I’ll make sure and do a follow-up post.  I notice that I’m much more able to embrace non-traditional therapies now than I was a few years ago.  I really feel like I’m developing a more intuitive connection with my body, which is changing the kind of treatments I choose (I now see the Doctor a lot less and incorporate more alternative therapies).  I do appreciate having the choice with my health care (and did I mention that I LOVE that my insurance encourages these alternative treatment methods??).  Medicine still has a long way to go but at this moment I’m feeling grateful for new treatments that have become an affordable option for me in recent years…. YAY FOR CHOICE!

Any ideas on what I should try next?  Possibilities include: ear candling, cupping, reiki, emotional freedom technique.  Let me know if you’re a fan of something!

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  1. Hiromi says:

    I have done ear candling both with a professional and by my husband after we saw them in a store. Absolutely no difference to the result so I would just buy them and have someone else do them for you. Maybe I missed something major that was supposed to happen if you paid someone for it. If I did, please let me know.

  2. minnesotagal says:

    Fascinating info, thanks.

  3. Daniela says:

    I have felt the same way about acupuncture for a long time. I want to try it but am nervous, so I have two questions for you:

    1. Where did you go?
    2. What insurance do you have?


  4. minnesotagal says:

    I went to a doctor in Manila. Are you here in the Philippines? If so, it’s in Salcedo village. We have the Foreign Service Benefit Plan as our insurance. Hope that helps! And you can totally handle it…

  5. Daniela says:

    No, I am not in the Philippines (yet). We are in DC. Hubby has a 1-year domestic assignment. We’ll be shipping within the next year/year and a half but don’t know where yet.

    I guess I will have to find someone good states side.

    Thank you for the review though. I am not as nervous now that I have read your story.

  6. minnesotagal says:

    Very cool – I’m sure there are loads of practitioners in the US, especially in DC! Do let me know how it goes…

  7. Kristina says:


    When the acupuncturist inserts the needle and wakes up the energy, at its worst, it will feel a little like you have hit your elbow nerve-but not that strong. It is much more gentle. But an interesting feeling as the energy begins to move.

    I hope you will try it again.

  8. Liz says:

    Very cool, Miller! What an incredible opportunity- live it up, my friend! I truly wish all health care plans offered the same benefits- can’t wait to hear how you feel as a result of this! PS- I’ve heard from Kirsten who is now a Dr. in Audiology that ear candling is bad, bad, bad- very dangerous. Do some research before you embark on that one, pretty please.

  9. minnesotagal says:

    I’m going again on Thursday Kristina! I didn’t feel any energy moving but maybe that’s cuz I was trying not to freak out about the needle hanging out in my ankle!

  10. minnesotagal says:

    Thanks Liz- will keep you posted. And will also stay away from ear candling… thanks for the head’s up! XOXO, SLN

  11. Lauri says:

    If you need a fix when you’re back visiting MN, I have a referral! Acupuncture has changed my life when the Dr.’s had no idea what was going on! I’m more likely now days to visit my acupuncturist than a dr! I hope it continues to go well for you.

  12. Christen says:

    Sarah, I’m so glad you had a positive (mostly) experience! I’ve never done acupressure but have done acupuncture several times. Usually, they put many more needles in, and use that to “tune up” the energy in your meridian. I always feel the energy moving around- it is the coolest thing EVER! I’m glad to hear you’re going back!

    I’ve never tried Reiki but have had other “energy” work done. I am a big, big fan- especially for emotional balance and wellbeing. Keep us posted on what you try next!

  13. Christen says:

    P.s. See!!! I told you you wouldn’t feel the needles!!! :)

  14. minnesotagal says:

    Yes please Lauri- I’m coming in September and would love to try someone who does multiple needles. Will you post the contact info for me? Thanks in advance! Sarah

  15. minnesotagal says:

    I’ll have to learn more about the difference between 1 vs. multiple needles. Don’t fully get it. I plan to try a little Reiki this week too!

  16. Jen says:

    Glad you had such a positive experience! I had acupuncture for the first time when I was overdue with my 3rd child and having contractions. I had 4 needles inserted to help move things along. Definitely not much pain, especially compared to natural childbirth.

    I know I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, and aren’t those health plans awesome?!

  17. minnesotagal says:

    Very cool to know it can assist with that too! WOW…

  18. Lauri says:

    I see Jala Pradhan at Lake Pointe Wellness in St. Louis Park, and have been for about 5 years. She also works at Blooma in Edina! Very very highly recommend!!

  19. minnesotagal says:

    Awesome, thanks for the link! MN peeps take note…

  20. Katrina Buetow says:

    Sarah! I am so proud of you. I can’t believe they only put 1 needle in though. What happened to being covered head to toe in them? Sounds super cool and well worth it. Were you soar the next day? Do you think youw ill do it again?

  21. minnesotagal says:

    Nope, no pain at all! Just felt GREAT. Already went back for a second time and Nick is on his second appointment this week as well! It rocks. Since we got Acupressure with our Acupuncture, it serves the same effect as getting lots of needles in.

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