On Pins & Needles

Ok, who told me that acupuncture was painless? 

After deciding to try some methods of inducing labor other than just walking (or waddling), I scheduled an acupunture appointment.  A healthy skepticism has kept me from trying it in the past, nor did I ever have an ailment that called for it.  But the midwives swear by the positive effects.  So I just returned from a session with a Dr. Shu Fan, CA, PhD, a very Zen man with a respectable office on K Street.  There was calm asian string music playing and the lights were dim, so I was ready to relax.  The needles in the scalp were fine, totally painless.  Then he inserted them in various other areas (I had confirmed that none would be inserted on the actual belly for fear of the needles puncturing William) such as the area between my thumb and index finger, the calves, next to my achilles heel, and in my big and pinky toe.  And these hurt!  In a sharp scintillating way.  The pinky toe was especially painful.  After they were inserted, I lay in peace on the cot and at 15 minute intervals he would come to each needle and wiggle it around to “restimulate”.  Ouch, ouch, ouch!  I wondered, if I could barely get through acupuncture, how would I make it through labor?  People had assured me in the past that acupunture is a refreshing, relaxing, and definitely “painless” therapy. I felt better when Dr. Fan informed me in my visible anguish that for this particular treatment of inducing labor the pressure points are very sensitive, especially the pinky toe, and that the needles must be inserted 50% deeper than other treatments.  As faith in my pain tolerance was dwindling, this made me feel redeemed. Not to mention I took public transit there and back in at least 100 degree weather.  Yeah, that’s right, I’m TOUGH!

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July 11, 2011. Family.

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