Tag Archives: Work injury

The Acupuncture Cave

It’s been a long time since my last post; I injured my hand pounding the keyboard at work and have been staying away from computers as much as I can while I’m not working. Mobic, the anti-inflammatory the doctor prescribed, didn’t seem to have any effect besides upsetting my stomach. An old college friend in Colorado recommended that I try acupuncture and that’s what I’ve been doing nearly every day for the past two weeks.  Then I go back to work and re-injure the hand, but I’ve had gradual improvement, so I keep getting the treatments. I’m typing this note by hunt-and-peck method, not using my painful thumbs.

Acupuncture needles with the little springs on the ends gave me the heebie-jeebies, so I never considered getting a treatment. Now, I was desperate enough to try it. I didn’t know what to expect.  A friend had told me about a sliding-scale place right in my neighborhood with a group setting, so that’s where I went.  The acupuncturist, I’ll call him James, explained it to me first and said it would take at least 10 treatments to tell whether it would help my hands.  He pointed to a painting above the couch in the waiting area with sleeping people in chairs floating above the ocean.  He said that’s what it’s like and people usually fall asleep.  He said I could stay as long as I liked.

The treatment room is like a big, dimly lit cave full of recliner chairs.  I just go in and choose a chair, and James finds me. After a whispered conversation, he puts needles in my hands, arms, legs, feet, and head. I don’t know how it works, but in a few minutes, I’m in a deep, meditative state that lasts for about an hour. I do not fall asleep, and I hear bits of the conversations James has with the other clients who come in after me.  I hear the word “stress” a lot.  For this one hour, stress goes away.  A lot of the people in the room are snoring and some of the gasps and snorts sound like apneic episodes. I dissolve and make myself permeable so the snores just pass through instead of jolting me out of my deep state. For me it’s not like floating above the water; it’s more like being on the bottom of the ocean, and coming to is like floating slowly up to the surface. I feel groggy afterwards, and it takes awhile before I’m fully alert.  The spring-loaded needles don’t bother me anymore.