Albert Einstein is regularly credited with the quote “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” While he may or may not have actually said it, the concept is spot on. Towards the end of 2017, it became apparent that I needed to make some changes. My first stop was with my doctor (who then sent me to a neurologist) just to make sure I had no underlying health issue. Thankfully, I was given a clean bill of health and the diagnosis was stress and hormones.
Around that time, I got an offer through the DC area Sweatpink group – a chance to visit with a local acupuncturist. I did enough research to decide that it was unlikely that anything negative would happen. I was assigned to Jade and Jasmine Healing Arts, run by local practitioner Beth Burke Farrar. Her credentials are sound and the reviews I could find were all positive. I went in with an open mind paired with a healthy dose of skepticism. I figured “can’t (or at least unlikely) to hurt, might help.”
My first visit included a long discussion of my health. We went through all of the things I had told my doctor, as well as my habits, my exercise, my eating, my family history, etc. I’m pretty sure she knows me better than my husband now LOL. Towards the end of the visit, she did a short treatment with a few needles – one in my head and a few in my feet and ankles. I found the whole process extremely relaxing and only felt one of the needles when it went in. At the end of the time, we agreed that a second visit would be useful.
My second visit included a longer treatment that focused on my back because her thought process was that the symptoms I was having may be from some compression in my spine or a pinched nerve. She even made the suggestion that all of the miles I did using Hansons could have played a role (my issues came on a few weeks before MCM). She also used a few drops of essential oils on various spots. Anyways, it was again a pleasant experience and very relaxing. Since I had determined that my insurance covers acupuncture and she was part of the network, I decided to continue on with the treatments, even though my “free” services were over.
My third visit was a little different. I had experienced a horrible calf cramp the night before and my left calf was so tight I could barely walk. Beth spent most of this appointment focusing on my legs, with needles in my legs, ankles, and hands. Then she did some cupping on my calves, focusing particularly on the tight one. No, I didn’t end up with a red circle like the Olympic swimmers… What I did end up with was a considerably looser calf than I had when she started and the ability to actually go out for a run that day.
In the end, I’ve decided that acupuncture is certainly not hurting and it seems to be helping. While I still had my monthly headache last month, it was less intense and of shorter duration than the previous 12 or so months. I am hopeful that if I get one this month that it will be even easier to deal with. (Not getting it would be even better.) I’ve also had a diminishing of the other issues I was having, with almost none continuing after my third visit. Because of both of these, I have another appointment with her next week and will continue to go in the future as needed.
In the spirit of Friday Five, I’m going to share 5 things I’ve liked about the experience.
- The practitioner – Beth Burke Farrar is extremely warm and makes you feel comfortable immediately. I felt no discomfort at all when I basically shared everything (and I do mean everything) about my life. I also felt like she listened and used that information in her treatments.
- It was so very relaxing – What’s not to love about a warm room and some piece and quiet in the middle of the coldest weeks we’ve had? After inserting the needles, you lie quietly in the room for 20-30 minutes. I almost fell asleep the one day.
- The variety of treatments – Each visit did include needles, some days more than others. But depending on my needs, Beth also used various essential oils and then the cupping to help my calf.
- I learned a lot of new information – Beth explained why she was placing needles where she did and the philosophy behind the practice.
- I feel better – As I mentioned above, I’m seeing real changes in how I feel. Not just the immediate solution of fixing my calf, but my overall well-being.
I really enjoyed this experience and I have experienced some benefits. Would I have experienced the same without due to other things I’ve been changing, like running less and lifting more? Maybe, but I really think all of the changes are working together. As far as I’m concerned, it’s worth it and I will continue as necessary.