Growing up, it was a common sight for me to see my grandmother return from an acupuncture appointment with needles in her face. As a 10-year-old, I would never have imagined I would try it. I’ve always been scared of needles, so why would I want them anywhere near my face?
Then, over a decade later and in the middle of a global pandemic, I suddenly realized that my health was taking a hit from the stress of Covid. I constantly felt anxious during the day and had a hard time shutting off at night. I felt bloated and had random bouts of fatigue. That’s when I started looking into the benefits of acupuncture, specifically acupuncture for anxiety.
What Is Acupuncture and What Is Treatment Really Like?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involves inserting thin needles through the skin at strategic points on the body to activate the nervous system.
I went to my first session at WTHN Flatiron in NYC without makeup on, fully expecting needles to be inserted in my face. But I was surprised to find out that there are many more acupuncture points on other parts of the body. In fact, based on a 15-minute intake session to cover my physical and mental health, my acupuncturist decided to focus mostly on points on my forearms, legs, and feet.
Before treatment began, my acupuncturist gave me a detailed download of acupuncture benefits and showed me how each needle came sterilized, which made me feel better. For those like me who are afraid of needles, there are actually a few options of needle thickness you can choose from. As a newbie, I went with the thinnest needle just to be safe.
My acupuncturist then placed each needle on my body, lightly tapped on the end to make sure it was secure, and that was it. I felt a split second of pressure during the tap, but no pain at all. I was given an eye mask and noise-canceling headphones to listen to meditation music, and I felt so relaxed that I fell asleep for 40 minutes. The acupuncturist had to wake me up when the session was over!
Would I Do It Again?
Yes, I would do acupuncture again especially as I learned that, like most other treatments or new fitness regimens, you must be consistent about it to see results.
After my first appointment, I felt tired for the rest of the day (which is normal), but a few days later, I felt lighter, more refreshed, and more relaxed. I found myself more focused at work and less distracted when trying to sleep. Depending on the person, the effects generally last a few days to a few weeks, so you will need to stick to a consistent acupuncture routine to feel the benefits for longer.
Would I do it again? Definitely! Fear of acupuncture needles is now a thing of the past for me.