I’m someone who has a tattoo and has had at least ten holes pierced in my body over the span of my 27 years (sorry mom and dad). And yet, I really don’t like needles. I still feel a special kind of dread having blood taken or getting shots, so it makes sense that I’ve always been a bit wary of acupuncture. This ancient form of medicine helped my father recover from a nearly life-ending accident, and I’ve had countless friends who swear by its capacity to heal, including a dear friend and Reiki master who’s recovering from TBI. Still, it took 6 months of me working with Pete Doyle before the day finally came when I said, alright, let’s stick some needles in me.
I always feel a bit of nervous excitement before trying anything new, but a little bit of fear was definitely present as I lay down on the treatment table. It wasn’t so much the needles going in that freaked me out, but the fact that I was going to have to lie still for an extended period of time with a bunch of needles sticking out of me.
I asked Pete if I should tell him what was wrong with me, or if he’d figure that out for himself. While he said that plenty of his clients do come to him for specific ailments, he can also gauge what a person needs by doing a variety of tests, from taking my pulses to looking at my tongue and poking my shin. He also made it clear that I should run in the other direction if anyone ever tried to “diagnose” me by doing any one of these (or at the very least take it with a LARGE grain of salt).
Pete told me I seemed healthy overall, that my spleen could use a little support, and because of that I had some internal dampness (attractive, I know). He also explained that the needles he would be using were sterile and one-time-use. When he inserted the first needle, which came in a plastic applicator, I felt...nothing! Yay! I was expecting at least some unpleasantness, but it barely felt like anything at all. The needles in my feet, shins, hands, and elbows all felt barely-there. Now, lest you think I’m immune to needle discomfort due to the aforementioned body modifications, I DID feel a bit of discomfort when he placed two needles in each of my ear. But it only lasted for a second, and was still WAY less painful than even the most basic ear piercing.
The final needle went in my forehead, slight above and between my brows. Here I felt no pain, but a very mild sensation of pressure around the site. Pete assured me this was completely normal, as long as it didn’t last more than a few minutes (which it didn’t). This was especially interesting to me because this is the location of the Third Eye Chakra, and I’d been doing a lot of work with my intuition over the past few months.
Lying there with the needles in was less awkward and uncomfortable than I was expecting, especially since you really can’t feel them. I did my best to spend the time meditating and focusing on my breath, and enjoyed the quiet time in the cozy back corner room. Acupuncture sessions are usually one hour, but I only had 30 minutes before I had somewhere to be. Even after that short amount of time, I felt lighter, energized, and centered. Pete is a stellar practitioner, and made me feel safe and cared for the entire time. I now know for myself why so many people I know rave about acupuncture, and while I regret having waited this long to try it, I can’t wait until my next appointment.