A Patient’s Perspective

Week One

For me, acupuncture always seemed like a painful or uncomfortable experience; something that looked a bit like the movie Hellraiser. I also didn’t know if it was effective or not. Most of my friends and family had never gone before either.

However, for roughly the last two years of my life, I have dealt with debilitating migraines. Over-the-counter painkillers didn’t even come close and the prescriptions I had made me feel like I had been run over by a semi-truck.

For weeks at a time, I would have a migraine that would last for three days, then a three-day hangover, and then the cycle would begin all over again. Needless to say, it was starting to affect every aspect of my life from relationships to work to my overall wellness.

Over this time, I gained weight, felt continually depressed, and it always felt like as soon as my life was back on track, I’d get slammed with another mind-numbing migraine. I finally made the choice to try acupuncture after being told that it could really help.

Even though I felt a little nervous about being stuck with a bunch of needles, the pain I was currently experiencing was much worse. My first session with Kimberly, however, got me instantly hooked.

We took some time to chat about my current state of affairs – what was bothering me, where I experienced pain, what triggered my migraines, etc. After that, it was time for my first treatment. Kimberly gave me a very basic (almost beginner) treatment that was intended to release built-up energy in the body. The next session is when the real work would begin.

After my first acupuncture treatment, I felt great. A little woozy and sleepy, but great. I felt totally relaxed, so much so, that all I wanted to do was take a nap.

I remember being surprised at how efficient and painless the treatment was. I was in-and-out in no time at all. And all I could think was, ‘I sure hope this works.’

Week Two

By my second visit, I was actually looking forward to going. Acupuncture was not at all as nerve-racking as I thought it would be. It was kind of nice to have an appointment that I didn’t need to dress up for, as comfy clothes were recommended, and nothing was expected of me, other than to simply show up.

This time, Kimberly gave me a ‘regular’ treatment. The needles were a little bit more noticeable this time, but it was still completely painless.

It also felt nice to have someone actually ask about how I felt that week. Typically, I felt like the people in my life were tired of hearing about me and my migraines, so I usually just suffered in silence, or I just figured they would figure it out once they came home and found me in a pile of covers, in my dark bedroom, wearing an eye mask.

Finally, someone cared to know how long my migraines lasted, how I felt before, during and after, and how I was coping. I had someone to tell me how to take care of myself.

After this session, I seemed to feel more tired then usual, but I liked having the excuse to either take a nap or a relaxing bath. Self-care had always been a low priority for me. Something I would do once everything else is taken care of, which of course never happens.

I didn’t have a migraine once that week.

Week Three

Going to see Kimberly was now starting to feel routine. No stress – I now knew every turn to make to get there, and when to leave my house. My usual ‘helpless’ feeling that I would get every time I felt a headache or migraine coming on was fading.

Kimberly recommended a Chinese herb supplement to take that would help with my migraines. I had to take one in the morning and at night, but I could also take them during the day as often as I needed. She was attempting to wean me off of the painkillers that I popped like candy throughout every day just to get by without incident.

Immediately, I noticed a difference with both the treatments and herbs combined. Life was starting to feel good again, without the constant, paralyzing fear of a possible migraine coming on.

Week Four

The more and more comfortable I became with Kimberly, the more I opened up about how I was really feeling. Most of the time, I avoid talking about any discomfort or pain I feel when asked how I’m doing. It seems rude.

With Kimberly, however, I never felt judged for being whiny or complaining. She simply listened to my symptoms or annoyances with care and concern.

For instance, this week, I had been feeling a little ‘off’. I had a bit of a sore throat and was feeling lethargic and achy. Normally, I wouldn’t even mention being sick unless I was dying. But this time, I shared how I was feeling.

The only thing Kimberly said was, “Okay, I can fix that for you,” and she proceeded to give me a treatment intended to make my sore throat go away.

And it did.