|living with shoulder pain|
So again I have been easing up and retraining myself to be ambidextrous...ironing with my left hand, opening doors with my left hand, and of course, leaving my bed unmade! Obviously I'm still avoiding practicing yoga, and I've stopped digging in the dirt. I'm functioning cautiously and taking time out to ice and heat almost obsessively. Yesterday I went to my first acupuncture session at Brooklyn Open Acupuncture.
Liz, I climbed onto the table. I was looking forward to this experience even just for the opportunity to lay on a massage table in a quiet room for an hour! She took my pulse and looked at my tongue, then explained that I might feel a slight pinching sensation like a mosquito bite as some of the needles were inserted. Nothing about it was painful, but because of the severity of the tightness of the muscles around my rotator cuff, I felt some strange sensations. Liz sort of pinched my skin in order to place the needle in the right spot, but because I had such huge, dense knots, it was clearly difficult for her to insert some of them. The knots and/or the muscle kept sort of moving around and seizing up (?) it's hard to explain what was happening, but it was crazy! It was as if the knots were moving to avoid the needles. Liz explained that I had particularly tense muscles and seemed to have a surprised/shocked look on her compassionate face. Finally she was finished left me to lay there for a very long time.
Once all the needles were in, I tried to stay relaxed but was so aware of the minute movements in my muscles and the degrees of tension/release within them individually that I didn't fully drift into a tranquil state. I wasn't nervous or anything, just aware. It was really neat to notice the different sensations related to each point where there was a needle. Some places tingled a little, like a mosquito bite that I wanted to scratch, while other places, like my back muscles-specifically my Teres Minor (maybe?)- seemed to actively tense up and then release then feel light like air. This tension/release action repeated several times until either it stopped, or I drifted into a less self-aware state and no longer noticed it.
After a while, I felt that I was ready to get off of the table. Liz came to check on me and remove the needles. She told me to take my time getting up and I heeded her wisdom. After laying face down on a table for over an hour and having the treatment, I was O U T of it! I felt so heavy, yet light headed, I didn't dare to stand up for a while. (I'm used to getting dizzy and light headed, so I wasn't overly concerned, but this one was a bit of a doozie) She could see that I was feeling funky, and was very attentive, getting me some water and reminding me to take it easy. After what felt like 5 minutes of sitting, I decided I was ready to stand. I slowly gathered my things and thanked Liz and wandered out to the street. I was floating, and I kind of liked it.
At this point, I was so floaty, feeling like I was on drugs or something, that I couldn't even tell if my shoulder felt better. Plus, I wasn't concerned with that. I just wanted to make sure I could walk down the street without getting run over or having my acupuncture-buzz killed. Was it just me, or was everyone looking at me? Yes, I did have a super-cute outfit on and my hair looked great, but I also felt like maybe I even had a special glow, a supernatural aura that came out from the acupuncture, and that's why it felt like people were looking at me- they could see it! Ahhh it's silly, I know, but that is actually what I was thinking at the time.
So, eventually the heady weirdness wore off and I noticed that indeed my shoulder felt better, it was lighter, it hurt less. At the end of the day I reflected upon how I had felt physically when I entered the acupuncture clinic that morning compared to how I felt now. There was a remarkable difference and a great reduction in my discomfort. I'm not saying that this will cure me, but it seems to have helped and I surely plan to follow up with more treatments.