My Acupuncture Experience


Danielle Levy, health, chronic illness, nurse blogger, Wirral blogger, Liverpool blogger,

Since I injured my back years ago, some of the treatments I've tried for my pain is acupuncture, seeing a chiropractor and having sports massages. Unfortunately these treatments do become very pricey, very fast when they're private. At the end of last year I mentioned that I was offered acupuncture sessions by my physiotherapists and quite a few people were interested in me talking about my experience so here we are!

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment that uses very thin needles into certain points in the body, that can be used to treat a range of issues, including pain. It is believed to have originated in China thousands of years ago and then entered the Western world around the 1800's. The treatment is performed by someone who is specially trained in acupuncture, I actually found out from one of my acupuncturists that you can either be trained in Traditional Eastern acupuncture or the more Western version. It has been said that acupuncture points are places in the body that nerves, muscles, and connective tissues can be stimulated.

My experiences
I have been having acupuncture on and off for a couple of years now for pain and muscle tension and overall I can definitely see some improvement in the muscular pain I get as a result of my back injury. Both my private and NHS acupuncture sessions have gone pretty much the same. The first time you go for a session, you will need to go through a list of allergies, conditions, medications before you have the treatment to ensure that you are safe to have it in the first place and I am also asked if I've eaten that day and drank enough to ensure that I don't go light headed or dizzy when I get up afterwards.

Before we actually start the treatment, my acupuncturist asks me how I felt after the last session as this allows her to monitor if the treatment is helping with my pain and allows her to make modifications if needed. Now depending on where you are having the acupuncture done/what you are having it done for, you will either be asked to lie face up or face down with the clothing of that area removed. They start by feeling the area of my back to get a rough idea of where they need to place the acupuncture needles then they clean their hands and pop the needles in. I have most of my acupuncture in my back, directly to the areas of my problem but I also get one needle in each of my hand in the hand valley point which is supposed to be great for upper back issues. 

Once all the needles are in place, my acupuncturist then wiggles each needle until I start to get a sensation in each point. Bear in mind that this wiggling is done very gently so don't be put off by this at all! I either get a tingling or heavy, numb feeling in the wiggling stage. Once they've all been wiggled, the needles are then left in place for a little while (I've never actually timed this part but it must be around 10 minutes). These needles are pretty much pain-free, you may notice a slight pinch or muscle twinge when the needle enters but after that they're pain-free. I occasionally have a minor pin prick of blood and the odd tiny bruise at the site of needle placement, but I am on at lot of steroids for my asthma at the moment and honestly I bruise myself worst bumping into things on a daily basis! 

Overall I really notice an improvement in the muscular pain around the joints in my upper back as well as my shoulders. I have been having it every couple of weeks and that's really helped, it's not something you can have as a one off treatment, it's something you need to do on a frequent basis to notice a difference. You should expect to be slighter sore the next day, similar to how you will be sore after a sport massage but it won't be anything excessive. I also notice that for me after my acupuncture sessions I can feel pretty wiped out so I will generally use my acupuncture days as my recharge days where I just chill, I don't put pressure on myself to work but I'll generally just relax and catch up on my favourite programs. I also keep these days pretty workout free as per my acupuncturist's advice but I still get my steps in with dog so I'm not so much of a lazy potato!

Have you tried acupuncture?

Speak to you next time!
Danielle Levy, Wirral blogger, Liverpool blogger,
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Danielle Levy
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