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Ladies get thee to your nearest acupuncturist! I’ve just come from a blissful hour-long session of candles and calm with soft music tinkling in the background as I lay there pinned to the table by 18 needles. 

I tried acupuncture on IVF#2 in the Middle East. It was staffed by efficient white-coat clad young chinese women who spoke very little. They came into the treatment room where I lay, inserted a few needles and left the room immediately. No questions asked. They were very nice, but it was rather impersonal compared to my Irish acupuncturist. Here, I climb three flights of stairs in a lovely old Georgian townhouse in the centre of town but far away from the traffic and noise.

I’m greeted by a lovely middle-aged mother figure who has come to be both therapist and acupuncturist to me. She asks me how I’m feeling and I tell her how bad my week has been. “I’ll concentrate on that so” came the reply. I lay down and sighed. This was my bliss. Come heal me woman. 

She checked my tongue (always embarrassing) and my pulse at my two wrists at first. Then she inserted four needles in each of my lower limbs. Then one in my left wrist which sent a momentary jolt of pain down my finger (for anxiety, boy was I stressed), another in my right wrist, about four in my abdomen, three in my forehead and one at the top of my head (to lift all my energy up). 

She twiddles each one to ensure I can feel it (ouch) but apart from an initial prick it doesn’t hurt at all. In fact it’s cathartic. We discussed why I think IVF #3 hasn’t worked and she did point out that some women don’t feel any symptoms at all at first. I told her what the embryologist said about the blastocysts not being ‘perfect’ (as my mother said: who is?) and she pointed out to me that I had hooked onto the negative aspects of the transfer. And she’d be right. I suppose I have.

But do you latch onto the positive aspects and then get devastated at the BFN or do you latch onto the negative aspects and convince yourself you’re not pregnant just to protect yourself from the BFN? You’re never fully prepared for the negative result anyway. I don’t know how many times I’ve steeled myself for a negative result, get it, and still feel heartbroken and angry. 

So anyway, the accupuncturist then put a warm blanket on my legs and left the room. I lay there and relaxed for half an hour. I really did relax. After a while she returned and painlessly pulled out all the needles and gave me a glass of water. I left relaxed, chilled out and strangely energised. I’ve booked myself in for another session next Friday. 

Whatever the outcome on Monday I will need calming. But for anyone else considering acupuncture, I say go for it. 

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