by Wendy Davila
An average of 22 percent of the population is afraid of needles, and growing up, I thought I was one of them. The thought of getting a shot sometimes makes me quiver, and it’s something I’d just rather avoid. But when I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and later on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, I put all of my fears aside and dove deep into the web, trying to find something to help relieve my pain.
After countless hours of research, I stumbled upon many Eastern Medicines that intrigued me in seconds. Yoga, cupping, Ayurvedic lifestyles, and acupuncture all had captured my attention, and I was ready to try it all. So, I did. Yoga helped me find peace within my mind and body, and Ayurveda let me see that nutrition heals from the inside out.
In October 2020, my sister ran to me gleaming and told me of her acupuncture treatments; she had already noticed her body begin to heal. Her testimonial was all I needed to kick my fears aside and book my first acupuncture appointment for December 29, thinking it would be the best way to start a new year.
On the morning of my appointment, I felt like crawling back into bed because the idea of having multiple needles sticking out of me at once wasn’t the most appealing image. Honestly, it made me want to throw up. I gathered all of my wits and finally made my way to the treatment center after 15 minutes of driving with an anxiety-filled mind. I walked up to the door and grasped the knob firmly, contemplating if I really wanted to walk in or book it while I still could. If I’m candid, I only walked in because I was not ready to pay the 70-dollar late cancellation fee.
A sigh of relief escaped my mouth when I saw Miriam, the lovely receptionist, with a smile on her face. I signed in and was quickly taken to my room. I sat down with a mint tea in hand and my eyes glued to the door, wondering when the doctor would walk in.
After a grueling five minutes, I heard a knock and a slow turning of the knob. Finally, it was time to start the needle-torture, or so I thought. My doctor sat in front of me as she informed me that she would perform a Meridian scan to see how I was truly doing. A meridian scan is a painless way to measure the conductivity between your meridian and their corresponding organs and tissues. As she scanned, I got lightheaded wondering if my insides would reflect the positive things I had been doing to help, or indeed it would be the opposite.
After hearing my results, I laid on the bed wiggling my toes under the heater they had left for me. The doctor entered the room, and she chuckled when she noticed how tense I was. “I am going to let you know when to breath in and breathe out, you won’t feel a thing. But if you do...just let me know,” she said as a last reassurance. I nodded my head and started to breathe in, and when I exhaled, I looked down at my foot to see a tiny needle sticking out of me. I laughed a little because I couldn’t believe how worried about the pain I had been; it felt like the lightest touch. She inserted five needles around my stomach, two in my chest, about ten in my legs, two in each arm, and three in my head, with the most notable one in my third eye.
I laid there in awe, realizing that I had just accomplished one of my biggest fears; I had finally taken the leap of faith and given acupuncture a chance. I laid there for 45 minutes, meditating and listening to the soothing music. I felt vibrations traveling within my body and felt connected to every needlepoint. I was in tune with myself, which is something that I hadn’t experienced in years. After my time had ended, each needle was carefully removed, and I laid there, completely rejuvenated.
After my first appointment, I booked another one right away. I was excited for more, so I updated it to include cupping. Acupuncture seems daunting to most, but it was one of the most relaxing and restorative self-care experiences that I have ever indulged in. This eastern medicinal practice taps into your body’s ability to heal itself. You heal from the inside out and reflect on the physical form, making this technique very special. Next time you wonder if a treatment is truly worth it, remember that sometimes you must take the plunge outside your comfort zone to reap the benefits.