Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.



I had my first visit with an acupuncturist today. It surprises people that I've not tried acupuncture to help with my back pain, but I have had some resistance to it. I think there's some child-part of me that went through so many medical procedures as a child that I just had a hard time looking into this. It is one of the few things I haven't investigated.

I've been having the muscle spasms more frequently and some stuff seems so stuck. So I finally asked IW for a referral. Her connection apparently has got me on the list of an acupuncturist that's difficult to see as he doesn't usually take new clients. My massage therapist even tried to see him once and couldn't get an appointment! JS specializes in a older school/style of acupuncture, Classical Five Element.

He was very quick to put me at ease and we talked about my back pain as well as touched upon some of the assorted trauma I've been through in my life. He was interested to hear about things I've encountered during sesshin practice as well. We also talked about general medical stuff, like medications, supplements, etc.

CK was there for most of the time spent during the actual procedure. As I've been told, the needles (which really reminded me of the cats' whiskers more than a needle) barely hurt at all. The first session I spent a long time with the seven needles in for quite a long time and my body had some interesting reactions. I was really grateful CK was there. Although I didn't feel the same level of anxiety that I get at a lot of physical exams & some dental appointments, it was still comforting to be present to my body's reactions with her nearby.

I left feeling tired and heavy. Not in a lethargic, mired down kind of way. Just the sensation of the weight of my body parts as I tried to move them. I got home, had some leftovers for lunch and took a couple of calls. JS had suggested that I try to nap or rest some today, especially before teaching tonight, but I felt fairly energized. I worked on some art projects for a little while and eventually lay down for a little bit.

Teaching tonight felt pretty good. The heavy feeling had subsided somewhat and the series of twists and warrior poses I did seemed to shake it off. Afterward I went and steamed at the gym, deciding to add to the energy cleansing quality of the acupuncture and the twists, with the chance to warm up to my core and sweat out any toxins. I felt really energized by the time I had a cool shower.

I'm seeing JS again on Thursday then once a week for a few weeks. I'm using some money from savings to cover the appointments. I think it is really worth trying to get at this energy that seems stuck in my body. CK also mentioned to me that I should let her know if I needed some money from her to make things not as tight this month - which brought up the usual mix of anxiety & guilt, but I gently reminded myself that it really is OK that she helps me when I need her to and that she won't be angry at me for it.

Very curious to see how I'll feel in the morning after the class and the long acupuncture session. I'm supposed to stay away from alcohol (not a big deal) and coffee (a disappointment) for the next little bit. He suggested I have as much green tea as I like, so it will be good for me to switch from my pots of black tea & regular lattes for a little while.

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