I have a penchant for weird shit. Cut to me, Saturday morning, laying face down on a table (similar to a massage table) in my skivvies (‘I ♥ Bad Boys’ underpants and a leopard print bra – natch) while a complete stranger stuck 13 needles (I counted) into me.

To make the process extra awkward, I decided that my first acupuncture treatment would be administered by a student. Two students, actually, under the supervision of a trained instructor. That’s right, I stripped down in a student clinic. For the discounted rate. Booyah.

I hit up the Shiatsu School of Canada. After filling in a detailed questionnaire, I met with the instructor and her two students. They asked me a number of very detailed (like, ‘describe your poop’ kind of detailed) questions about my health and lifestyle and my reasons for trying acupuncture.

My main motivation in trying acupuncture is to hopefully lessen some chronic neck and back pain I’ve had for over a decade. But I inquired, and acupuncture can help with everything from quitting smoking to anxiety to stomach issues to allergies, as well as acute pain, migraines, joint aches, etc.

Because of my particular neck pain issue, the first half of my treatment involved shiatsu massage. It felt like a regular Swedish massage but with more pressure and muscle manipulation, and less weird amazon bird bullshit music. Then it was time for needle-ing (their term, not mine).

The student had just started to ask: “Are you afraid of needles?” when he spotted my tattoos and stopped mid-sentence. “Guess not.” But me being the asshole I am, I cut in with “Yes, I’m actually terrified of needles. I shit myself when anyone so much as says the word ‘needle’. I can’t even listen to music by The Beatles. Too close. Why, are there needles involved in this?!?!?!”



“Just kidding. Stick them wherever you want {under breath: that’s what she said}.”

For the most part, I didn’t even feel the needles going in. I would feel a slight pinch when the needles were ‘flicked’ into my skin. Two needles on the top of my foot hurt for about 30 seconds. But the last needle went into the fleshy part between the thumb  and forefinger of my right hand and that hurtlikeabitch. It felt like fire inside my hand and it didn’t subside. Apparently, this is a common reaction since that’s a point on the body that is closely linked to pain. I was left alone in the room for about 5 minutes and then the student removed the needles.

A quick follow-up interview to see how I was feeling and I was out the door. The instructor recommended one to two treatments per week given the nature of the pain, but I don’t have time for that. At least, not until Bachelor Pad is off the air. Then Jersey Shore. But I did make another appointment for two weeks from now.

Memo to self: Wear the Mrs. Timberlake underwear next time.


One thought on “Acupuncture

  1. Beth says:

    1 instructor and 2 students? Sounds intrusive. I don’t know if I could do it! I actually AM terrified of needles (and yes, I have piercings, but I didn’t like the “getting them” part, just the “having them”.)


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