Over the past several years, I have experimented with more holistic approaches to my health concerns – including regular visits with nutritionists, chiropractors, and massage therapists.
The one that I purposely avoided? Acupuncture.
When I was in college, my roommate had an aunt (in-law, I believe) who was … out there, for lack of a better phrase. She was a strict vegan and a devotee of acupuncture. During one treatment, the needles apparently hit her “meat meridian” and she exited treatment a ravenous carnivore.
So for twenty some years, acupuncture had this weird aura to it for me – “out there” aunts, the ability to accidentally yet radically change your life, and, of course, needles. Lots of them.
Fast forward to my forties. I have tattoos … am a vegetarian … practice yoga religiously … and have given up more traditional approaches in favor of following my heart. I embrace healthy living.
(Uh oh … am I the “out there” aunt?)
But I have this lingering sciatic pain that I can’t shake. At a point when I was desperate for relief, I meet a local acupuncturist and he tells me that he treats sciatic pain regularly.
I was nervous at the first appointment and yet it was ok. The needles did not hurt. I slept through the treatment. I even convinced myself that my hip felt better afterwards.
Apparently my meat meridian was not compromised, as I was still a vegetarian post treatment. I think the needles may have hit my DQ meridian though as I came out of my hour session craving a dipped cone.
And then came the second appointment.
I waited for 20 minutes, he talked to me for another 20 minutes and put me on the table to wait another 20 minutes. At this point, I am an hour into the treatment and nothing has been done to me.
Needless to say, I am probably not open to positivity at this point.
He had me lay on my back and placed needles all over my scalp and several on my face and forehead. He left me in the room and, after what seemed like hours, he came back to remove the needles.
As he exits to allow me to get ready to leave, he says in a very soft and flowing voice …
“Ok LeeAnn, you are done. I couldn’t find three of the needles, but don’t worry, that happens all of the time.”
Pardon my language … but WTH?
I lay there still on the table for a minute.
My mind racing.
Needles are missing?
Where did they go?
Did they fall into some body cavity?
I had this image of sneezing later in the grocery store and projecting a tiny needle at warp speed out of my nose and piercing some unsuspecting old lady.
Or did one fall into my eye? I don’t think I blinked for the next 24 hours out of fear of scratching my cornea.
I drove home from the appointment one-handed with the other hand running over my entire face and head, about an inch from the surface.
The end result?
The missing needles were never found and no innocent bystanders were harmed by my next sneeze.
The sciatic pain, however, did return.