Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A change can do you good

I have no loyalty when it comes to suppliers of services. My decision to go to an establishment - whether for a haircut, acupuncture or optician, are based on three things: price, proximity and 'pointments (OK, so I'm trying to make some kind of alliteration from availability of appointments.)

When I discovered that there was an acupuncturist not 20 minutes walk from my gaff but a mere five minutes away, and the price was the same. Well, I'm not ashamed to say I kicked my authentic Chinese needeler to the curb and booked in with the new fellow.

Also, it did feel like the right time to change. The lack of post-provera period (loving the 'p's tonight) was pretty powerful proof that the last puncturer wasn't working for me.

And who should my new practitioner be? Only the young lad, turned man, who initiated me into acupuncture the first time I gave it a go 5 years ago. Yes, the one I say here lacked the air of authority that a traditional Chinese practitioner had.

But I did mention his practice was closer to my house, didn't I?

I told him he'd given me acupuncture a few years ago (to help me get over a particularly stubborn cold). And, bless him, he pretended to recognised me: "Ahh yes, I thought your name sounded familiar when you booked".

No he didn't.

Last time I came to him was before I got hitched I had a different surname and my firstname is hardly unusual. And even looks wise the dramatic hair colour change has rendered me fairly unrecognisiable. He didn't have a clue who I was. Still, bonus points for trying, and I'm not going to antagonise someone who is about to fill me full of needles by calling him a liar.

So it was nice to see an old friend. An old friend who has completed his training and is now charging three times the amount.

The actual pins and needles bit was pretty similar to previously. So I won't go over it again. But for those of you considering a bit of prick-tease action, here are my top tips. Things you should know before your first appointment:
  • Shave your legs (You'd be surprised where those little needles end up and it is embarassing when you are lying there trousers rolled up to your mid-thigh wishing you'd spent that extra five minutes with a razor in the shower)
  • Don't wear a dress, if you are going for infertility treatment chances are they'll want to shove some pins in your abdomen, a dress makes that awkward
  • Be prepared to hang around, it takes soooo long, there are a few different schools of acupuncturist but the type I have they put the needles in and just leave you for 30 / 40 minutes
  • Don't look at the needles, it looks way worse than it feels
The first time you go chances are there will be a few questions about your medical history, many of which will be similar to the kind of thing your Doctor will ask but also be think about the answers to a few left-field questions:
  • Can I see your tongue?
  • What are your energy levels like?
  • And in the morning compared to mid-day?
  • What colour is your menstural blood?
  • Does it have clots - what sort of size?
  • Do you have any food cravings?
But most of all, even if you are the sort of person who is scared by needles, don't worry it really doesn't hurt

that much.


  1. Hope the new guy works out better. I think your tips are perfect. Especially the shave your legs one. And from a person afraid of needles: it really isn't bad. If I can do it... :)

  2. Thanks for the tips. Very informative. I'll pay attention to the color of my menstral blood next time so that I'm prepared.

  3. But it certainly hurts SOME! I was all: YOWSER! I don't THINK so, pal! My energies were blocked as buggery, apparently, but I still stopped going.

    I always struggle with the menstrual flow question, coz each of my uteri have a very different type of output indeed. Strange, no?!

  4. I am really glad I don't even know where a practice is in my town or nearby (I don't think we have one), it sounds fricken awful.

    Needles=pain and to boot leavn you like that for 40 minutes?

    You all that do this are brave girls. I suppose you all get waxes too.

  5. I went for a needling last night too. She gave me some extra ones for my back pain, so I was like a pin cushion by the time she had finished with me.

    I hear ya on the leg shaving. I forgot to de fuzz the legs one day before accu, nearly died when I rolled up my trousers!

    Do you find that needles in the feet hurt the most? I've never had a problem with them anywhere else, but if she goes near my ankles and feet, ouch!

  6. I've always been too scared to go to an acupuncturist... and yet I'll let bone crackers (chiropractors) attempt to wrench my head from my body quite happily. Maybe I have a subliminal fear of needles....
    Still, I'm making a mental note to always shave before going to see an acupuncturist.

  7. Acupuncture didn't work for me.The needle part was fine, but I felt really nauseous after each session. Plus, I'm with you...proximity is a must especially at 7.30am (maybe that's way the thing worked against me..).
    Waxing..a must, I agree.

  8. I hope this guy works out better than the last acupuncturist that you saw. I know the temptation is to go with what is most convenient, but I do think that it's perhaps worth going a little out of your way to find someone firstly, that you're comfortable with and secondly, who has some experience of treating infertility.

    I started out at the local college, where I would see a different group of trainees each week. Eventually, the constant chopping and changing got too much for me, and I had private treatments with the director of the clinic, which was a totally different experience. For the first time, I had the feeling that the person treating me really knew what they were talking about and was tailoring the treatment to my monthly cycles. I still maintain that she played a significant role in my falling pregnant naturally after two failed cycles of IVF.

  9. Its not bad is it, Lea

    Megan, if you go to a DIY store you can pick up some paint charts and get exactly the right colour ... apparently.

    See, HFF, I know feel I know you too well (really? different colour that is odd).

    PiB, the pain is only when they go in, not for the full waiting time.

    Jane, I know about the leg fuzz blush, the weird thing is I get embarrassed when I get my legs waxed that they are hairy - even though they have to be. Odd.

    Never had needles in feet, ankles, yes ouchy though.

    Each to their own, Amanda.

    Leo, I've not felt nauseous after appointments - did you mention that to your acupuncturist?

    Ms Heathen, it is stories like yours that keep me going.

  10. Good info. It's just like that. :) I would add though that it occasionally does hurt.. feeling somewhat like an electric shock if they hit the nerve or something. But it doesn't hurt b/c of the needle going in..


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