At my first post-college job in the mid ‘90s, my co-worker Renee used to derive great enjoyment from describing her acupuncture sessions in disturbing detail to the entire proofreading department. (“And then she stuck this really long needle right in my third eye — you know, my forehead — and left it there for, like, 30 minutes!”) There were times when I actually thought I would pass out just thinking about it.
I finally worked up the nerve (pardon the pun) to go to an acupuncturist about a decade later when looking for an alternative way to alleviate allergies. At my first session, the acupuncturist put needles in points all over my body, most of them corresponding to my lungs and kidneys. She inserted no less than a dozen, yet I hardly felt them at all. If you’ve had acupuncture, you know that the needles aren’t anything like the ones used to inoculate or draw blood. You can run your finger across them and they bend. Strangely enough, when she left the room for 30 minutes, I actually drifted off to sleep.
The most exciting part of the whole session was cupping, which reminded me of the small doses of arsenic a holistic doctor once had me take to cure my allergies. It didn’t work, but there was something so Keatsian about it, a la smelling salts and consumption. Even though the cupping marks lasted for weeks, I took comfort in the fact that Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Dangerous Liaisons gets cupped right before she dies of a broken heart. Talk about romantic!
I was terrified of acupuncture, but it turned out to be really relaxing. Acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care are just some of the holistic health treatments that are now considered preventative care by many insurance plans. Check your health insurance plan to see what alternative health care options might be available to you and consider giving them a try.
Tags: acuputure, chiropractic, cupping, holistic healthcare, massage