So for those of you who follow me on Instagram, you already know that tendonitis has negatively impacted my quality of life since December 2015. By suffering from tendonitis for ten months and counting, I wasn't able to do the things I loved most to the best of my ability. Tendonitis hindered simple everyday tasks such as blogging, photography, driving, exercising, and more. If I were to do any of these activities for more than one hour, my wrists would experience both an excruciating and lingering type of pain for days on end. After three useless doctor appointments, an expensive shopping list of ergonomic equipment, and ten months of continuous suffering, I sadly forced myself to accept the harsh reality - to live with this pain forever. However, once I started getting acupuncture, I became hopeful once again. Maybe acupuncture is the solution to all of this pain and suffering...but only time will tell. Today on Missmisschelle, I answer common Q&A's or the general questions that you guys have asked me over Instagram regarding acupuncture.
However, let me give you a little background information before we dive into the Q&As.
It's been one week since I've begun seeing an acupuncturist and it's been nothing but a positive experience for me. I know that needles are terrifying (they still are!) to some of us and that we all want to find a trustworthy acupuncturist, so I advise to do a bit of research on your acupuncturist and the overview of his/her company as a whole before going into acupuncture. To me, good customer service, reasonable prices, and feeling comfortable around your acupuncturist are priorities that I look for when it comes to dealing with health issues. Not only was my acupuncturist referred by my sister's friend, but he also received all positive and detailed reviews on Yelp. I wouldn't suggest putting 100% of your trust into the Yelp reviews that you come across, but sifting through enough detailed reviews by credible Yelpers may help you acquire a better understanding and overall impression of the company and acupuncturist.
I also decided to go through with acupuncture because it was literally my last resort. I've tried everything from purchasing ergonomic equipment (mouse, keyboard, braces) to setting up an ergonomic friendly work environment to soaking my wrist in lukewarm water mixed in with Epsom salt multiple times per day for months - none of these techniques permanently healed my wrist. I was about to surrender to the pain and wave a white flag, but blogger babe Kimberly Kong from the Sensible Stylista encouraged me to try acupuncture since she has been in the same boat I am currently in when tendonitis stopped her from pursuing her passion as well.
After going to two acupuncture appointments (and my third one is tomorrow!), I am now hopeful that my wrists will make a gradual, but effective recovery. Right now, I'm doing everything in my power to decrease the amount of times I use my wrists, and it really helps. However, this also means that I unfortunately will be blogging, responding to comments, and editing photos less often as I rest.
Now, let's move on to the FAQ's that you've been waiting for!
Q. Does acupuncture hurt?
A. Going into acupuncture for the first time with a serious fear for needles, I had no clue what kind of sensations or pain to expect. As the acupuncturist made casual conversation with me, he began to quickly, yet strategically, place the needles through my skin one by one. Honestly, each needle felt like a tiny prick that came nothing close to the pain of an injection at the doctor's. If anything, I would say that there is minor discomfort here and there, but it is definitely not as bad as I imagined. However, you do get used to the needles sitting through your skin anywhere from 10-30 minutes - honestly, I think lying down in a stiff position for that long is more uncomfortable than the needles themselves. For anyone who is suffering from tendonitis or any body part that constantly aches, I would definitely recommend acupuncture. So far, I can safely say that it has been the best treatment for my tendonitis in such a short amount of time.
Q. What happens during acupuncture?
A. I have only had acupuncture twice in my lifetime, so there is still a lot for me to learn through future acupuncture sessions. However, I can tell you that my first acupuncture session comprised of sticking 6-10 needles through both of my wrists followed by an electric voltage pulsing through my skin to relieve the inflammation. For my second acupuncture session, my acupuncturist left the same number of needles in for a longer period of time. After each session, my wrists definitely felt more relieved and less inflamed :)
Q. Are acupuncture needles huge?
A. I feel like I've seen movies or comic strips that depict acupuncture needles to be inches tall, but I definitely overestimated the size of these needles. The needles actually look like your average sewing needles, but maybe just a tad longer. Acupuncture needles feel nothing close to a shot from the doctor's and I would honestly pick acupuncture needles over injections any day.
Q. Is acupuncture pricey?
A. All acupuncture places vary with price so be sure to do your research on Yelp/Google or ask any neighboring friends if they have a go-to acupuncture place. For my location, each acupuncture appointment costs $85, which definitely adds up when I go to multiple appointments per week. However, I cannot put a price on my health and quality of life so I would rather pay more for an effective treatment versus less for an ineffective one. Also, some places may ask for your insurance card, so that can definitely help you save some cash as well.
All in all, I definitely feel that acupuncture may be the best solution towards eliminating my tendonitis once and for all. With four sessions (or more), I hope that I will be able to do the things I love again painlessly and with ease. With acupuncture, I definitely feel and see improvement from my very first session and I know that as long as I properly rest and care for my wrists, I will make a safe recovery.
If any of you are asking how I managed to type this blog post while resting my wrists from acupuncture, I used the voice-to-text function on my Macbook Air. As inconvenient as that sounds, I am actually very grateful and excited that I am still able to communicate my thoughts with you guys without having to injure my wrists any further through typing. Honestly, I find the voice-to-text feature very useful for both typing and texting and I'm getting quite used to relying on it heavily if I need to send a quick text to my friends or type a new blog post.
Lastly, I just wanted to give a huge shoutout to Kimberly Kong from the Sensible Stylista for giving me the extra push that I needed to try acupuncture, as well as telling me her positive acupuncture experiences when she had tendonitis. Without talking to her, I may have carried my fear of needles and acupuncture with me forever and I would have never discovered the benefits of acupuncture. So thank you Kimberly for encouraging me to face my fear of needles. By doing so, I am chasing a better quality of life.
Have any other questions about acupuncture? Please leave them in the comment box below and I will get back to you guys!