Monday, April 28, 2008

Acupuncture

On Thursday, I went to my first acupuncture appointment. A little hole-in-the-wall office near Shaw and Fresno, the waiting room looked more like a living room in the 60s than a health practitioner's lobby. An older woman with long grey hair greeted me and let me know Tim would be out in a minute. I took a seat on the worn, oriental-patterned couch and waited.

Soon, a middle-aged Caucasian man emerged and led me to a room. We sat on two folding chairs near a doctor's-type table, high and soft, covered in worn, plaid sheets.

Tim spent a good forty-five minutes just talking to me, asking me my symptoms, writing notes, feeling my pulse, etc. He stated from my symptoms he felt I had a deficiency in progesterone (THANK YOU!) and this could be a reason I'm not getting pregnant. He also said some of my symptoms were reminiscent of a thyroid problem (a suggestion Kathryn had made a few months earlier). He suggested I get a complete panel blood test on my thyroid, not just the simple test they usually do. He also said he would like to see the results, as TCM tends to interpret them a bit differently than western doctors, who mostly just check that your numbers are in the "normal" range. Problems with your thyroid can also lead to infertility.

After our chat, I laid down on the table and he did some unusual tests involving holding a vial of different hormones and substances to see how my body reacted. These tests confirmed his theory that I was low in progesterone. Then he pulled out the needles...

It actually wasn't bad at all. First he would push around an area with his fingertips and tell me to let him know when he hit a point that was tender. Once he did, that is where he would put the needle in. A few times I felt a sharpness, but mostly, I couldn't feel the needle go in at all. After it was in I would feel a dull, aching feeling around the acupuncture point. Interestingly, after he placed one in my foot, the pressure around that point was especially achy. When I commented on how dramatic that one felt, he replied that region was connected to my sinus area. Curiously enough, I have been having major sinus problems for the last couple months. Hmmm...

After all the needles were in, he turned off the light, put a warmer on my feet, and left me to relax. It's amazing how relaxing it is to lay in quiet without falling asleep. Very peaceful.

After my time was up (about 20-30 minutes I think). He came back in and took out the needles. Then he gave me some herbs which will help to balance my body and prod it to make more progesterone on its own. He also gave me a natural progesterone cream to use.

And that was it! I felt really good for the rest of the day. I am looking forward to my next appointment on May 5th.

5 comments:

Isa said...

Nice. I am happy to hear how the next one goes!!!

Brittany said...

i am very excited to see how this goes, glad it was a good experience. good luck!

Luna said...

How fun. I have a friend who had great success using acupuncture for fertility. I have always wanted to try acupuncture for my asthma, but just haven't done it yet. Maybe your experience with be the prod I need.

Robby Pauline said...

How cool. Most of us will never get the opportunity to see the other side of health care. By the way, how were your sinuses afterwards? Any tenderness where the needles were placed? Just curious. ROBBY

RMCarter said...

Thanks for your support, everyone. My sinuses actually felt better afterwards, but that seemed pretty temporary. I have a deviated septum which makes my nasal passage very narrow, and that is contributing to the problem. I don't think acupuncture can help with anatomical issues, unfortunately. I'll probably have to have surgery for that someday.

Only one or two spots were tender and the tenderness went away very quickly.

FAITH IN GOD MEANS HAVING FAITH IN HIS TIMING.