• Getting My Chi Flowing with Acupuncture

    May 10, 2013

    Hi, friends! Happy Friday!

    I don’t know where today went. I guess time flies when you’re having fun, which means I’m just sitting down to my computer now to recap yesterday’s adventures. Working late on a Friday!

    Lunch

    I couple of hours after eating breakfast, I headed out to run some errands at the Derby Street Shoppes. I love this shopping plaza because so many of my favorite stores are there, and I can usually knock off a bunch of errands in no time at all.

    I hit up a bunch of stores and saved Whole Foods for last because I had some grocery shopping to do and didn’t to leave the bags in the car for too long. Well, in the middle of my shopping, it started to POUR rain. I was walking from J.Crew, which if you know the Derby Street Shoppes, is a pretty far walk from Whole Foods, especially when it’s POURING rain. I was going to stop inside a store to avoid getting wet, but I decided to just make a run for it. It was a bad idea because I was drenched when I arrived at Whole Foods.

    008_thumb_thumb

    Long story short, I decided to get lunch from the hot bar, dry off, and wait out the rain. I was also pretty hungry, so it sounded like a great plan.

    007_thumb[1]_thumb

    Snack

    It stopped raining by the time I finished my grocery shopping, so I headed home. On the drive, I snacked on some goodies from the trail mix bar. (By the end of the afternoon, I ended up eating them all.)

    009_thumb_thumb

    I spent the rest of the afternoon watching Meghan Telpner’s “Food for Healing” online. It includes nine modules, so I started watching them on my iPhone during my travels home on Wednesday night and then finished them up yesterday afternoon. And, I have to say, I was really happy—actually MORE than happy, THRILLED even—with the information provided in them.

    IMG_0110 (600x450) (1)

    After I finished reading UnDiet (you can win a copy here!), I emailed Meghan’s publicist and asked her if Meghan had ever talked about what exactly she ate when she was trying to heal her body. I know Meghan’s website has a ton of information on it, so I was hoping her publicist might be able to point me in the right direction. Well, her publicist did even better and gave me free access to “Foods for Healing,” and it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. In fact, the first module, “Inspiration for Change,” had me in (happy) tears (like a big goober) at the airport. As someone who struggles with a digestive disease, so much of what Meghan said really resonated with me and her message was incredibly inspirational. It definitely gave me hope as well as a more positive attitude toward healing myself.

    ibd_tweet

    In “Foods for Healing,” Meghan shares her “universal approach to healing,” which includes a list of foods to avoid (particularly digestive irritants) as well as those you should eat to help heal your body. Having had IBD herself, Meghan’s recommendations definitely keep digestive health at the forefront.

    If you’re suffering from IBD or other digestive issues, I highly recommend “Foods for Healing.” After watching all of the videos, I actually feel like I have a game plan and some control over what happens to me. And “Foods for Healing” is more than just a bunch of videos about what to eat and not eat. It includes a comparison of different diets (i.e. low-residue, SCD), advice on how to manage stress, and even cooking demonstrations to show you how to eat healthy.

    One thing Meghan suggested, in both “Foods for Healing” and UnDiet, was acupuncture. Six days a week for three months, she went for acupuncture to get her “Chi” flowing. In UnDiet, she explains “[Acupuncture] accelerated the physical healing of the lesions in my intestines, strengthened my immune system, and supported my nervous system.” All of this sounded well and good, so I decided to give it a try for myself.

    My first acupuncture appointment was yesterday afternoon at South Shore Community Acupuncture.

    011

    I’ve been thinking about trying acupuncture for awhile now, but I was always a little hesitant because of the price. South Shore Community Acupuncture offers affordable rates from $20-$40 per treatment and you decide how much you are comfortable paying, which is an amazing thing. Around here, a single acupuncture appointment costs anywhere from $75-$125 and typically health insurance does not cover it, so I was psyched to find South Shore Community Acupuncture.

    My appointment started with an initial consultation with an acupuncturist, who chatted with me about my health concerns and then set me up with a treatment plan. After that, we headed into a room where there were a couple of other people receiving treatment at the same time. I had the option of sitting or laying down, so I laid down and got comfortable.

    The acupuncturist put about a dozen pins all over my body—on top of my head, in my ears, on my hands, stomach, and feet. (None of them hurt going in or being taken out.) I was told to relax and then I completely fell asleep—for almost an hour! I woke up feeling totally relaxed and refreshed, but I can’t say that my Chi is properly flowing. I’m still having UC symptoms, but the acupuncturist said it would probably take 3-5 sessions to notice an improvement. I have another appointment next week, so, hopefully, my Chi gets back on track soon!

    Dinner

    After my acupuncture appointment, I stopped at home quickly and then immediately hopped in Mal’s car to drive to a surprise engagement party for our CrossFit coaches at Hingham Beer Works.

    crossfit 781 engagement party

    How adorable is this cake?!? (Obviously, I ate a piece of it last night. It was wicked good, especially the frosting!)

    012

    There was a big buffet for dinner, so I helped myself to some salmon, steak tips, green beans, and a little mac & cheese. Everything was delicious! Yum!

    013

    Question of the Day

    Have you ever tried acupuncture? Did it work for you?

    P.S. Be sure to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Meghan Telpner’s UnDiet! I will pick a winner on Monday morning.

    Pin It

    { 50 comments… read them below or add one }

    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I haven’t tried acupuncture but I’ve heard nothing but good things about it! I want to try it but I’m a little nervous (and don’t really have the $$…)

    Reply

    Kelly May 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I am SO HAPPY that you are finally going the natural route~best of luck!!!

    Reply

    Jen W. May 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I had acupuncture for a shoulder rotator cuff injury. It took 3 sessions of 1 hour each but yes, I feel it helped with the healing process. It didn’t cure it overnight but I believe it did aid in helping. Hope you get great results also. PS… I have UC and had not heard of using acupunture for it. I definately will be doing it!

    Reply

    Hannah May 10, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Accupuncture has kept my migraines away for more than two years. I continue to go for sinus/allergy issues and it helps! I am a firm believer in it!

    Reply

    Jessica May 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I’ve been getting accupuncture for about a month & a half, weekly, to help with an autoimmune disease (Hashimotos) & aide in fertility. I think I’m the only person that thinks it’s SUPER painful…but it really seems to be working. I’ve never been so relaxed, and I’m in graduate school! I’m going in for blood tests in a month, so I’m not sure if it’s had an effect on my AI or fertility, but I’m expecting to see an improvement just based on how I feel!

    Good luck! I hope you have great results!!

    Reply

    Mia May 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Love acupuncture, although I haven’t been in over a year. I’m long overdue and really enjoyed my needly naps. The place I go to is also sliding scale and you pay what you feel is good for you.

    Drats for getting caught in a downpour. Happened to me last weekend at Trader Joes. I was drenched! Thank goodness for cloth reusable bags that don’t break. :)

    Reply

    Danica May 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I really hope all of her advice works for you!!
    I’ve never tried acupuncture but I’ve heard more and more about it lately – it seems to be the go-to for a lot of health concerns/troubles right now – and from what I hear it works well for most!

    Reply

    Monica May 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve never tried it but both my sisters had good results from it. I hope it helps you. Dealing with a chronic illness can be debilitating in itself.

    Reply

    Gina May 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Tina,

    I have a wealth of digestive and other issues. I went to one acupuncture treatment and didn’t find anything changed from it but the acupuncturist said I’m so tense and completely messed up digetsively that it would take several appointments (many many) to begin the “release”. Another thing was that in that first session I could only tolerate like a couple of pins in my ankles, my head, my wrists…and they did hurt going in . I could not at all tolerate any pins near my back or stomach (way too painful) so he couldn’t do much.
    So, I’ve heard that acupuncture can be SO helpful and would like to pursue. BUT I’m worried about that first session…it seems like it would take several several several sessions to get some “release” for me and if each session is $45-55 , I’m not sure I can or should even consider doing…
    do you or your readers (or maybe Megan) have any thoughts?

    Also, I don’t do well with overwhelming/complicated diet plans or elimination trials…I struggle with eating issues and a lot of emotional issues also (which lead to heavy nighttime eatnig and not the best choices…), and I’m wondering if you plan to adopt Megan’s approach? I know there are a 1000 opinions out there (go vegan, go paleo, go SCD, go GAPS, etc etc ) or there are people like your doctor who say “enjoy life”. So, I’m wondering your thoughts?

    I’m going to try to read a book called “Dying to be me” because it chronicles the story of a woman with cancer who started obsessing over diet and other aspects of life and soon realized that those stresses were indeed the true source of her strains. I do believe mental stress and mental attitude are huge factors for me. But it still doesn’t lessen the extreme physical issues I’m experiencing for a long while now. (But with so many competing opinions on what to do and with so much “imperfect” wilpower and shameful choices/actions , its mesmerizing.

    Like Megan’s approach is just one out of so many. I’m confused. Truly!

    Reply

    Angela May 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

    @Gina: Hi Gina, It sounds like you may need some help to get you through this tough time. Have you thought of seeing a dietician who can work with you to come up with the best eating plan that works for you? Or seeing someone that you can talk to about your daily stressors? Sounds like you got a lot going on right now, and this could really help sort out how to deal with it best.

    I agree, there are so many books and opinions out there on diets that it can be extremely overwhelming, and often less helpful for us.

    No one is perfect and no one eats perfectly. There is no such thing.

    Reply

    Alexandra May 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    @Gina:

    I have a ton of digestive issues as well and started going to acupuncture a year and a half ago, luckily my insurance covers 12 sessions a year and at first I had to go several times a week and now I just only go once every few months more for a check-up. I am not sure if you have the same sort of digestive issues as me (really bad constipation, sensitive stomach, etc) but just in case I was going to offer whats helped me with diet just because I know how horrible it is to feel this way. I went to a gastro doctor years ago and all they could offer up was maybe im lactose intolerant or maybe I have IBS. I notcied when I stick with foods in their pure form I do a lot better with digesting and being regular (meats, vegtables, fruits, no grains, dairy etc..kinda similiar to paleo). I woudl also recommend going back to your acupunturist or finding a new one, they should be able to offer you help besides just needles, my acupunturanist has prescriped me several herbs that have worked amazingly well, they can also usually make recommendations about your diet to help out as well.

    Reply

    Andrea @pencils and pancakes May 10, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I kind of want to try acupuncture for my back issues…. Nervous and I know it’s expensive

    Reply

    Cate May 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    @Andrea @pencils and pancakes: acupuncture has done wonders for my piriformis syndrome. It can be uncomfortable at times, but that was just in the localized areas that were really blocked. I go once a month for maintenance and it really helps! I find more and more insurance companies are reimbursing for treatment, and you can also use your FSA, so it never hurts to call your insurance company to find out.

    Reply

    Gina May 10, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Also, is there any way for the rest of us to know her “foods for healing”? I cannot afford a 250 dollar online course! Nor can I afford some of the stuff I’ve seen her recommend (chlorella, spirulina, gogi berries, raw this and raw that, etc)…its just so expensive or inaccessible or overwhelming for a regular, simple, very financially strapped person. Any thoughts? Truly appreciated.

    I have these habits you see (and they include healthy eating but also a lot of not so healthy eating because I don’t want to stress over things — but I admit to a lot of failure in the late night that includes a lot of chocolate (I’m a chocolate lover – especially Lindt) among a myriad of other things. Dairy and a hearty loaf of bread also get me and I won’t detail the rest because this could turn into a very long novel!

    Reply

    Alyssa @ Road to RD May 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I would be so scared to try acupuncture! Even if the needles don’t hurt, I don’t know if I would be able to look at them (or know they were there)

    Reply

    Eating 4 Balance May 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I love hearing your thoughts on “Foods for Healing.” I truly hope it helps you heal and that you feel much better soon. Please keep us updated on how everything is going. :) I really want to get better as well but there is so much information to sort through online. Bloggers are a great resource to hear what works and what doesn’t!

    Reply

    lynn @ the actor's diet May 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve done acupuncture several times but it never worked. My mom insists this is because I didn’t see someone Chinese!

    Reply

    Miranda @ Miranda Runs May 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve never tried acupuncture. It just seems so OUT there and it’s hard to believe it works. But there’s been so much positive reviews of it lately that it must do miracles! I hope it makes your illness better :)

    Reply

    Gemma May 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I hurt my shoulder during the open and have been using acupuncture to help heal it. It has had such a positive impact on my recovery and I plan on continuing to visit once a month to keep myself in the best health possible! I hope it goes well for you!
    .

    Reply

    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve never tried acupuncture but I’ve heard great things about acupuncture and helping migraines. So far for me getting regular chiropractic adjustments has been HUGE for my headaches!

    Reply

    Megan May 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I tried and acupuncture so much that I decided to become an acupuncturist myself! One year left till I can call myself an LAc. and I could not not more excited. It truly is a special medicine.

    Reply

    Beth Sheridan May 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve never tried acupuncture and I don’t even know of anyone who has, but it has ALWAYS intrigued me! I hope that you’ll continue to recap after your next appt so I can get an idea if it’s worth the time and money :)

    Reply

    Luv What You Do May 10, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I loved acupuncture and had a great response to my back pain. Hope you have a positive experience as well. Also, those blocks from Whole Foods are my FAVE! I always try a few in the store before I pay : )

    Reply

    Laura May 10, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    My husband and I tried for two years to get pregnant with conventional fertility treatments, and after feeling like we hit a wall, we decided to take a break. I cleaned up my diet and started acupuncture 2x per week. Eight months later without fertility treatments, we were shocked to find out I was pregnant. I believe in its healing properties 100% and would recommend it to anyone for just about any health problem. Hope it helps you, too Tina!

    Reply

    Tina May 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    That’s awesome! I hope it works for me too!

    Reply

    Lauren May 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I love acupuncture! I began regular acupuncture treatments while I was living in Asia a couple of years ago. (An hour of treatment was around $5 after insurance! Can you believe it?!) I have experienced chronic pain for nearly fifteen years, and acupuncture was the first treatment that ever relieved my pain and helped prevent more pain. I even noticed that some skin issues cleared up! Unfortunately, my insurance doesn’t cover treatment here in the US, and I haven’t found a place where I can afford treatment. It’s too bad that preventative treatment isn’t covered any more than it is, but how great for you that you have a local practitioner that offers affordable treatment! I hope you find that it continues to relieve your symptoms!

    Reply

    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 11, 2013 at 3:01 am

    That trail mix looked good!

    Yes I’ve had acupuncture done before and I also had cupping done and took chinese herbs so it is hard to say which of those was what actually what made me feel better.

    That cake looked heavenly :)

    Reply

    Tina May 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    The herbs sound so interesting! They might be part of my treatment plan too.

    Reply

    Alain Alexandre May 11, 2013 at 3:51 am

    What happens with this kind of imbalance is that one side or the other, you stagnate. If you do not charge you enough (Yin), the quality of what you produce will deteriorate quickly. And if it continued, your ability to produce satisfactory results may even crumble. Caught in this vicious cycle you need to work harder and harder to achieve your goals. Health goes, spend relationships, happiness goes, the passion goes. It stagnates.As well as if you do not enable enough (Yang) the quantity of what you produce will be found quickly affected. Over time, the inertia that sets in, you have fewer projects, fewer contracts, fewer resources and less desire to recover. Health goes, spend relationships, happiness and passion going on happening. It stagnates. (It may even be that you set out to justify your position with half-truths and esoteric confuse your weariness with a real letting go.

    Dr Alain

    Reply

    Fern May 11, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I have been having acupuncture for years and absolutely love it. I have found it to be helpful for all kinds of problems from back pain to irritability and insomnia. Would recommend it to anyone!

    Reply

    Kimberly May 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Tried acupuncture for beauty. It supposedly works like botox, you know … relaxing the facial muscles. Only done it once, it tickled.. going on 2nd session soon.. hope it works!

    Reply

    Tina May 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Interesting! That would definitely be a bonus! :)

    Reply

    Katie @ skinnyminniemoves May 11, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Never tried it, but when I was in PA school we had someone come by and try it on one of our classmates. The suction cups scared me a bit. We did have one of those healing balls forced in our ears. They asked you where you experience pain and then according to the chart they place it on the spot in the ear that represents that body part. I tried it because who knows… didn’t work tho :(

    Reply

    Jolynn May 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I’ve tried it twice. Once for my back – herniated disc issues – and I didn’t think it helped at all. I actually felt way worse coming out of the appointment and for the next few days then I did before I went it. The second time was to try to relieve nausea for pregnancy. They put needles all over and then you actually leave the office with two very tiny needles inside your ears that you’re supposed to press on when you feel sick. I don’t know that it really did much other than take your mind off the nausea when you had pain in your ears from pressing on the needle lol! But I will say both times, while the needles were in and I was laying there, I too fell asleep and felt refreshed just waking up.

    Reply

    Pj geek May 11, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I have done a little acupuncture in my past , but I also have seen it work wonders for animals including my own pets. I need to do it more for me now.

    I work for an insurance company and just wanted to put out there to the readers that more and more insurances companies are recognizing alternative health care as an important part of being healthy and promoting things like mindfulness, accucpuncture, yoga, meditation. Many treatments are often covered it depends on what plan your employer or you purchase from the insurance company as to if these things are covered. I attend a company paid weekly mindfulness/healthy lifestyles online class and have a budget I can spend each year for whatever I want that comes to healthcare including anything ‘alternative’. And just because I work for the company doesn’t mean I have special benefits. My husband has much better , cheaper insurance at his company that covers acupuncture also. Check with your insurance companies.

    Reply

    mindy May 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Hi Tina! I have not done it – but my father did, and had an amazing amount of success. He has sleeping issues which got worse after 9/11 (he’s a WTC survivor). He tried everything and accupuncture was the only thing that really helped. And he was very skeptical. Am curiuos about your success – please share! :)

    Reply

    Alexis May 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I never used to believe in acupuncture until I tried it 2 years back. It totally works and has helped my back pain tremendously.

    Reply

    Tina May 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    That’s great to hear! :)

    Reply

    Cortney May 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    My husband has done acupuncture for what used to be his chronic migraines (he has had them since age 7 and I met him at 21 and he had been suffering all those years). Along with diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercises changes, yoga and chiropractic care he now RARELY gets them. He use to get 4-6 per week that were 8-10s on a scale of 1-10.

    Something else that also helped him was Tai Chi. We do it together in the mornings (even my 2 year old loves it!). I just finished reading The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi and it is an excellent resource on not only Tai Chi but the importance of a mind/body/breath connection for balance as well as managing chronic disease. I have read A LOT of material on Tai Chi (and even went through my certification to teach it ) and this book is the most comprehensive and modern guide I have read.

    I think you would REALLY like it and sounds like it really lines up well with the Meghan’s material as well as the acupuncture treatments you are receiving. It is an easy read and you can devour it straight through or read the sections that spark your interest the most, first.

    Whatever you decide, I hope it works for you. And I can tell you, as and advocate for my husband I NEVER stop looking for things that will help him!

    Reply

    Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 11, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I loooooooove acupuncture, and it worked wonders for my PMS-y misery. I truly think its stress and anxiety relief benefits also helped me get through grad school and, shortly thereafter, a spectacularly bad break-up. I hope it helps with your IBD — and, on that note, it’s wonderful to hear that Foods for Healing has already been so encouraging and uplifting for you!

    Reply

    Jason May 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I had some acupuncture for whiplash after a car accident. found it peculiar at first. Had some “cupping” done to various points on my back. I did improve though. Hard to say whether this was natural healing or down to the acupuncture, but I would try it again should I need to.

    Reply

    Ali May 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I love community acupuncture! It always irked me to pay $80 to my chiropractor so she could stick needles in me for 3 minutes and then walk out of the room for the rest of the time. Community acupuncture was the only reason I came back to trying it again. I’m currently doing it for blood pressure. It’s one of those things where you don’t have instantaneous results but I feel like I meditate while I’m doing it so I kill two birds with one stone :-)

    Reply

    Katie May 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I’m sooooo happy you have found acupuncture!!!! I’m in school for it right now and it has changed my life in so many ways:) It was what made it able for me to be 8 months pregnant right now, and life is so sweet! It can definitely help with digestive issues, so keep at it if you can!

    Reply

    Tina May 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Yay! :)

    Reply

    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat May 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I was doing acupuncture for about a year and loved it! It got pricey though, so I had to stop. :( I always found it so relaxing and I always felt great afterwards.

    Reply

    Andrea May 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I’m reading The UnDiet right now and I love Meghan Telpner! I have a kind of “temperamental” digestive system and have been changing different things for a while in search of improvement. I’m also working on my master’s in nursing and have been considering pursuing a master’s in nutrition, as well. Meghan has inspired me to do so even more. So interested to hear about your acupuncture too!

    Reply

    Alexis May 13, 2013 at 12:46 am

    My sister is somewhat of a hippie and swears by accupuncture for her shin splints, allergies and headaches. I don’t think her’s are too pricey and she has been trying to convince me to do it because of all my digestive issues. I guess if youre both on board I will be too. BTW, that book sounds super interesting!

    Reply

    April May 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’ve been having chronic upper back/shoulder pain for years and nothing was really helping. My rehabilitation Doc recommended that I tackle the pain from all angles, including PT, acupuncture & massage. Every time I go to acupuncture, I sit in the dark room with the needles in my back & ears thinking “this will never work.” But, the next day, my pain is significantly better! I don’t understand how it works, but it does!

    Reply

    Rachel May 13, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    My naturopath suggested acupuncture for the recurring stomach pain I’d been experiencing for years, with no successful treatments. I’m a natural skeptic, so I honestly went in thinking that it wasn’t going to do anything, but it was covered by my medical, so I figured I’d try. And it actually made a difference! It didn’t stop the symptoms from recurring, but it made the pain go away within a day each time. So that was great. And I found it kind of entertaining – the needles didn’t hurt at all, but I did have this odd feeling of being pinned down, especially with the ones in my head. Very odd.

    Reply

    sunshine May 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Oh wow this looks so cool.

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    { 1 trackback }

    Previous post:

    Next post: