On pins and needles

OK, so I wasn’t really on pins and needles, but I needed a catchy title. ;)

I went for my first acupuncture appointment on Monday. I read up a bit on acupuncture beforehand so I had an idea what to expect, but the doctor (an MD who practices in natural medicine and acupuncture) did a wonderful job of explaining things to me as well.

After we talked a bit about what I was there to see her for – liver support to prevent a recurrence of HELLP syndrome, heartburn (which I’ve been having a lot of lately), and stress, she had me lie on the table with supports under my back and legs (since I am pregnant) so I was sitting more in a V than flat on my back. She felt my pulses in my wrists and explained that in Chinese medicine they listen to a lot more than just how many beats per minute. She also explained that what acupuncture does is balance the Qi (“Chee”) or energy force in the body. She said that because I was pregnant, she would avoid using some of the common acu-points because we do NOT want to move Qi down through my pelvis at this time. She said if I was at term and baby wasn’t coming, then that’s when they use the acupuncture to move the Qi through the pelvis, but certainly not at this point in my pregnancy. That was interesting to know.

Then she wiped with alcohol the spots on my body where the needles (which are sterile and disposable and very, very thin) would go in, and began inserting them. She put a couple in my feet, one in each ankle and knee (on the sides), one in my chest (for the heartburn – which she said is “rebellious Qi going in the wrong direction”), a couple in my neck and about four in each ear. The ears contain a spot for each part of the body, so in my ears she treated my nervous system, liver, kidneys and lungs.

It was pretty cool. I felt a slight pinch with a couple of the needles going in (which is what she said to expect), but didn’t even feel most of them being inserted. By the way, the depth of the insertions varies from 6 to 12 millimeters into the muscle tissue, so they aren’t going in far AT ALL. And once they were in, I could no longer feel them (which is to be expected – there should be no pain involved) and really just felt relaxed.

She left me alone with the needles in for 20 minutes, and said although there’s nothing specific I needed to do to help with the treatment, if I wanted to do some meditation or visualization involving boosting my immune system, I could. Mostly I just closed my eyes and practiced my relaxation breathing (for Hypnobirthing), while focusing on having a healthy body. Baby boy was moving around a lot for the first 10 minutes or so, but then he settled down. I could see how it’d be really easy to just fall asleep while the needles are in because it is quite relaxing.

After the 20 minutes were up, she came back in and asked me how I was feeling. Then removed each of the needles.

She said she’d like to see me every week, though I may only go every other week since Jody has to take time off from work to watch Ava while I go.

Anyway, it was an interesting and good experience. Let me know if any of you have any questions. I do recommend that anyone who is wanting to go while pregnant make sure their acupuncturist has treated pregnant women in the past so they avoid the acu-points that move Qi through the pelvis. Don’t want any of these babies coming before they are fully cooked. ;)

In other news, the case of the missing funds has been solved. Hooray! I know I should balance my ledger every month, but (eep!) I haven’t been. So I pulled out our bank statements for the past two months and found about six items I’d never deducted from the ledger. A-ha! The lightbulb goes on! Sucks that we are out that money, but I’m glad that I know why now.
Yesterday afternoon, since Jody had the day off, he, Ava and I drove up to “Ned” (Nederland) in the mountains. It was beautiful up there. We went to the park that we always go to when visiting Ned and Ava had a grand old time on the playground, looking at the fish pond and checking out the dam and reservoir. It was a fun afternoon and nice to get out into nature.

Tomorrow Ava and I have an API meeting to attend in the morning. And on Thursday, Jody’s work (Google) is having a family picnic at a local reservoir (or lake to those of you who don’t live in CO). That should be fun. :)