I had a real giggle at myself this week. In a not so funny turn of events, my back went into spasm a few days ago. Knowing there’s only so many acupuncture points I can reach myself I asked our acupuncturist, Tony, if he could squeeze me in for a treatment. I’m very fussy about who I let treat me, much as any professional is very exacting about who they will and won’t let look after them, so I was lucky he had space to see me as I’m not sure where else I would have wanted to go at short notice. Knowing I had my appointment that morning I found myself making sure I’d shaved my legs and hadn’t put on inappropriate underwear! I ended up laughing at myself as we acupuncturists spend our days telling people not to worry if they’ve forgotten to shave their legs (we genuinely don’t care!) or if they feel they’ve worn the wrong pants as we have towels and ways of preserving modesty. But there I was anyway, having just the same worries as all of my patients. It’s a good thing to be on the other side of the experience every so often.
It was lovely to flop onto the couch and know I was in safe hands. The treatment was super relaxing and I wish I could have stayed there for longer. As someone who has been needled by many different people in my acupuncture student days and by a number of acupuncturists since I can truthfully say Tony’s needle technique is excellent. I drove away afterward feeling much more relaxed and my back feeling easier. I’m grateful to have had the chance for treatment.
It’s also reminded me of what it’s like to be in pain that won’t seem to go away, an experience that many of our patients have prior to coming to us, except they’ve not just hurt for a few days but often for months or years. Pain drags you down and changes you, not for the better. It lowers your mood and darkens even the happiest of lives. Today reiterated to me what a privilege it is to be able to help people.
The other thing this week has made me do is to think about why my back went into spasm. In my case, it’s probably because recently I’ve spent too long sitting down and not enough time exercising or moving. My body is trying to tell me it’s not happy. I need to listen. But first, if I could just have another 5 mins relaxing on the treatment couch….