Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Facing the Giants Needle

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I come from a family full of bad backs and had my first bulging disc at the ripe young age of 24. I was suspicious of chiropractors in general, believing them to all be quacks who hurt more than they helped. That is, until I needed one. Now I am a firm believer in chiropractic care and I consider monthly massages to be a health necessity.

Unfortunately, I've not found a chiropractor that I like here in Indy. My Knoxville chiro set the bar pretty high and despite my best efforts, I can find no one even close to his level in our no-longer-so-new hometown. And although my monthly massages have staved off the daily headaches I used to suffer, my back and shoulders are wound tighter than a Nate's hand around my credit card on Black Friday. At this point, I don't think simple massages are going to fix this.

So I'm considering this:

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I am terrified of needles. I have to be dying before I'll visit a doctor because I'm convinced all they'll want to do is suck out my blood. My phobia is so bad that I don't even like to be touched in the crooks of my arms because it gives me the needle heebie jeebies.

So considering acupuncture means I'm desperate. I lie in bed at night and rationalize to myself: It won't be so bad, it's just in my back. I won't even be able to see them. I won't look at the needles. I can take drugs before I go. Maybe they'll let me have a cocktail if I promise not to drive.

I get all brave at night, thinking I can do this and I'll make some calls in the morning - and then I look up an acupuncture website, take one look at those needles and start hyperventilating at the mere thought of someone jamming pointy-ended sticks into my delicate as a baby back.

My head knows it will help. My back is screaming for relief. But I just don't know if my nerves can take it.

Have you ever tried acupuncture?

Have you ever faced a fear head on and overcome it?


Kristen said...

I haven't had a need for acupuncture, but my husband went for it for some stomach issues and it seemed to help him. Go for it. I say more Eastern medicine than Western. ;)

Cole said...

I am petrified of needles...but had migraine headaches so bad that I just had to face the fear a few years ago.

And let me tell you - AWESOMENESS!! You will feel an itsy bitsy pinch in some areas (not all) and it may tingle if the needles need to be adjusted. Other than that - no biggie! I promise.

My accupuncturist is also the head anesthesiologist for one of the big Boston hospitals - and is leaving to go back to China soon. I dread the thought of trying to find someone of his calliper.

Ally said...

I've never tried it, but Al went to Oriental Medicine school for acupuncture and he swears by it. I can send you his email address if you want to ask him questions.

Carolyn said...

I am as terrified of needles as you are; perhaps even more - I have a one-page, single-space dissertation that I give to every single nurse or doctor the first time I see them detailing all the needle things they are not allowed do, or all the stuff I need if they just absolutely have to do something with needles because I'm likely dying or something equally egregious (valium and lidocaine patches are fabulous helpers). My fertility specialist hoped IVF would get me over that (wrong) or at least help (not so much) and subsequently suggested acupuncture. It took me 6 months to call her and another 4 months of weekly visits before I would even let her try needles (just acupressure, magnets, and e-stim until then), but we've now been at it for nearly 4 months and it's been a good thing. It helps my stress and panic with needles, helped tremendously with a bad cold, and supposedly will help with the baby-making (we'll see!). I say definitely try it. Call/email if I can share more details and good luck!

Anonymous said...

Like you said... you won't see them!!! No big deal. You can do this!

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