Acupuncture. Does it really work or is it all just crazy, new-age, hippie hype? I'd never really thought too deeply about acupuncture and when I did, my thoughts were laced with strong skepticism. How is sticking needles all over my body going to relieve my anxiety, help me relax, heal my injuries? But then I tried it, and something completely unexpected happened...
It worked. And I don't just mean - yeah, it was okay, it felt fine, I'll do it again. It had a powerful, legitimate, tangible, overwhelming impact on both my body and my mind.
For years, I had been dealing with a deep strain of the intercostal muscles (the muscles in between the ribs) at the front of my upper left ribcage. Certain yoga poses were quite painful for me to do (side plank, especially) and I would sometimes feel pain or strain even just walking around carrying on with my daily life. I tried stretching, tried physical therapy, tried everything to no avail. And then I tried acupuncture.
One session did wonders for my physical injury (and after 3 sessions, it was practically healed). But the unexpected byproduct was the wonders it also did for my mental well-being.
Taking a recommendation from a friend, I went in to see Liz Carlson, who is incidentally AMAZING, and we talked about treating both my injury and my entire self generally. And the next thing I knew, I was lying on my back with about 30 very thin needles strategically positioned throughout the surface of my body, from my feet, up my legs, over my chest, down my arms, and even on my hands and face. The insertion process merely pinched, but didn't hurt (and happened in a peaceful, dimly lit spa-like room with soft, soothing music playing in the background). Then, after a brief but out-of-this-world head massage, Liz left the room and left me alone, to just lie there for the next 20 minutes, with 30 needles in me. And here's what happened.
It was almost like I had an out-of-body experience. I fell into a deeply (beyond deeply) relaxed, meditative state. I had never experienced this type of whole body, mind blowing, complete relaxation before - not even after yoga. It was like my body had completely melted away and my mind was finally at peace. And this is the craziest thing - the relaxation did not end after the treatment. For the next 2-3 days, I felt like I was floating. And nothing in the world was able to get me worked up, stress me out, or disturb my blissed out, zen-like state.
The ancient Chinese definitely had it going on with acupuncture. It's seriously powerful stuff and I highly, highly recommend.