After IUI and before IVF, I decided to give acupuncture a try. I had heard of friends’ success stories and there were even pamphlets for the Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic in my fertility doc’s waiting room. So before I made the big jump to drugs and needles, I made the jump to herbs and needles.
I went into it with a completely open mind. I was excited! Acupuncture was something I always wanted to try. I read all about the place on their very informative website, about acupuncturist Jamie, the many many recommendations and success stories for Jamie, the fertility problems she had solved, etc, so I made an appointment for the next week.
Well, I went for two months and the only time I saw Jaime was on a plane, flying back from Vegas, when a friend pointed her out. I did, however, have appointments with a very nice acupuncturist named Viviana.
On my first visit we went over my history, what I was trying to accomplish, etc. V was very attentive and soothing and quickly put me at ease. She said we needed to get my body in balance. That there was cold in my uterus so I needed to eat hot foods, and mostly cooked foods. I can’t remember now why exactly the food needed to be cooked.
We started my session lying face-up on the table with a heat lamp on my feet. I had heard that the needles didn’t hurt, so I was surprised when some of them not only stung, but sent what felt like lightening bolts through the stuck spots. That was explained as the needle unblocking my Qi. The first few needles in my head and face made me feel tingly. The ones in my abdomen didn’t hurt at all. The ones in my wrist practically made me shoot off the table. She had to remove one because I felt like my fingers had cramped up and were stuck. The legs were hit and miss and the toes had some pretty sensitive spots.
After she finished, the lights were dimmed and I was told to relax for a bit. I had heard wonderful stories from friends about how they would just fall asleep. As I lie there all tingly and amped up from the poking, all I could think was, “How am I supposed to relax when I was just poked all over with needles?” I gave it my best shot and tried to meditate and think fertile thoughts. Unfortunately the music system was on the fritz and the room was at the front, near the front desk, so I could hear everything going on just outside the room. It was really distracting and made it hard to relax. I got really antsy after about 10 min and tried to shift my arms. Bad idea! Any kind of movement seemed to create shockwaves through the needles. So then I got all freaked out about not being able to move and started to feel trapped. The most relief I felt in the session was when she came to take out the needles.
I am not one to just give up based on one experience, so I went once a week for about 2 months. V mixed me some herbs to help restore balance and ease my anxiety, which I drank as tea twice a day. You can also get it in pill form, but I enjoy tea. I really liked the herbal tea mix she made for me on every visit. Each visit was $80 plus around $40 for the herb mix. At a visit once a week, it adds up pretty fast.
I was hoping subsequent visits would get more relaxing as I got used to it. V also added in moxibustion, where they burn some herbs and move it around your body, heating up certain areas. On my next visit I was in that same room up near the front, and this time the music kept going on and off in static bursts. Also, I think a bird was pecking at the window. Again all I heard was chatter at the front desk as I tried to concentrate on relaxing. This time I had my hands in a more comfortable position so I didn’t have to move around, but as a naturally fidgety person, I really wanted to.
On my last visit I got to try another room in the back and I thought, this is it, I’m going to relax this time! I don’t know if it was by the break room or what, but it sounded like a refrigerator opening and closing and two people having a full-on loud conversation right next me. They talked for almost the whole session.
I didn’t go back after that. I feel a little bad for not calling and telling them I wasn’t coming back, because V left a message on my home phone asking if I was ok. I didn’t get the message until 3 weeks later, because I never use my home phone. I thought V was great and very sincere in her efforts. Unfortunately I just don’t think acupuncture is right for me. I started having anxiety about the needles because of all the zingers from the “Qi unblocking.” No matter how hard I tried to relax, I was hyper aware of all the noise going on around me. While I did feel a mild calm after each session, it wasn’t enough to keep me going back.
On that note, I still recommend giving it a try because you never know what will work for you! There are tons of success stories and even a name for the baby- an acubean. It’s an interesting experience and you never know until you try.