Acupuncture Diary, Weeks 2-3: Making Progress

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I’ve now completed my third week of acupuncture and I’m so happy to report that I’ve seen some positive changes! I am continuing to see Jenny at the Barefoot Doctor twice a week. I have been taking coptis & evodia tablets three times a day, and I should mention that I also take probiotics daily, which I began around the same time I started doing acupuncture. For those of you who missed out on my last post, feel free to check out my diary from week 1. Here’s a little recap from the past two weeks!

Barefoot Doctor Acupuncture

Week 2

During my second acupuncture session with Jenny (and third session altogether), she noted that my skin was looking clearer. I agree that I’ve been noticing some positive changes in my skin, but for me these changes have not been significant enough for me to attribute them directly to acupuncture. My acne fluctuates from week to week, so this could have just be a good week for me. I also recently began using a new cleanser and toner combo that I like a lot, so any changes in my skin could be due to that, as well.

I told Jenny that I recently had an issue where my stomach bothered me after eating a banana with (a lot of) almond butter. I explained how I thought this was due to the almond butter, as I sometimes notice issues after eating nuts and beans – although sometimes I eat them and feel totally fine. Jenny responded by shedding some light on something that had never even crossed my mind: food combinations. Apparently, there are certain foods that are great when eaten together, while other combinations take quite the toll on your digestive system. Before I left, Jenny lent me a food combination chart, so that I could start seeing if I could make any connections between what I’m eating together and how I’m feeling afterwards. She made sure to mention that there’s no proper formula and that many different versions of this chart exist, but she still felt that this would be a good reference for me.

Food Combination Chart

During my third session, something cool happened. I was feeling more relaxed than I had been during my previous two sessions, and I began paying close attention to what was going on inside my body. What I noticed was that, at one point, for about five minutes straight, I felt a sensation that seemed to be within the palm of my hand. Nothing was physically in the palm of my hand, not even any needles, but I could feel a force of energy circling inside of it. I’ve heard that people experience lots of different sensations during acupuncture and it was awesome to feel this first-hand!

Here’s a quick look at the treatment:

Acupuncture Needles in Legs

Acupuncture Needles in Hand

See how tiny the needles are? Piece of cake. And here’s the view from my chair:

Barefoot Doctor Acupuncture Clinic

Pretty relaxing.

Week 3

During week 3, something even cooler happened. Ladies and gentlemen, my tongue is no longer an unnatural shade of orange, which has been a symptom of mine for over 7 months. I’m still experiencing an acidic taste in my mouth, but the change in tongue color has me feeling quite optimistic! I can’t be sure if this change is due to the acupuncture, the probiotics, the herbal tablets, or a combination of these things, but either way I am so stoked!

Here’s a really awkward before & after picture I made just for you guys!

Orange Tongue - Before & After Acupuncture

The before picture was taken back in June when I first noticed my tongue discoloration. In the months following, it actually became a lot more orange than what you see above, but I never took a picture. I also realize that I have a combover in that photo.  I mean, YOLO.

This week I also noticed that there’s one particular point on my body that has been giving me an issue when the needle is inserted. It’s a point just below my wrist, and it always seems to feel itchy or very slightly painful, with redness surrounding the point. Sometimes Jenny inserts the needle into this point on my left wrist and sometimes my right, but either side gives me this issue. It’s nothing crazy or unbearable, but I brought this up to Jenny as a precaution. Interestingly enough, it turns out that this particular point is directly related to the stomach (AKA the entire reason I’m even getting acupuncture). In Chinese medicine, it is believed that the skin turns red from the release of toxins from the body, so it looks like this is actually a good sign. Yes!

Three weeks of acupuncture are complete, and things are definitely looking up. Check back next week to keep up with my acupuncture journey! If you’ve had a similar experience, please tell us about it in the comments!

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Comments

Chloe -January 17, 2013, 7:53AM

I have had stomach issues all my life and acupuncture was finally my cure. Two of the doctors I had seen before put me on probiotics. My acupuncturist actually took me off the probiotics. She said that there are naturally things in your body that do the same thing and 1) it’s a waste of money and 2) if your body gets used to the probiotics it can stop naturally making this thing inside your intestine or stomach I can’t remember. I’m not sure if this is true for you too but check with your acupuncturist! (:

fp brigette -January 17, 2013, 9:09AM

That’s so interesting, Chloe! Thanks so much and I’ll definitely check with my acupuncturist! How long did you do acupuncture before you truly started to feel a difference? Did you go multiple times per week?

Lauren -January 17, 2013, 12:25PM

Wow, I always wanted to learn about acupuncture … Thanks for sharing!
Can I buy that food chart anywhere?

Liz -January 17, 2013, 2:07PM

I love that you’ve been posting about this and tracking your progress. I’ve always wanted to try acupuncture but felt it was too much of a mystery. After reading your posts I’m feeling a little more comfortable!
On another note you mentioned having issues with your skin and I totally feel the pain! If you haven’t already, take a look into Mario Badescu’s products. From the picture you posted of yourself, your skin seems to be pretty similar to mine and his stuff has worked wonders for me. There’s a lot to choose from but it allows you to find a regime that is unique to your skin. Good luck!

Brittany -January 17, 2013, 2:08PM

Thank you so much for sharing! I have suffered from severe headaches and migraines for 6 years and i’ve tried many different medication and treatments with no luck. After readying your first post about accupuncture I looked into it as a treatment for migraines and I had my first session yesterday. I got accupunction along with cupping treatment which was very interesting. They put these cups that sunction on to your back and bring up all the blood and toxins to the surface for better circulation. My accupuncturist said I should notice a difference after 3 sessions but today was the first day in months that I woke up without a headache and it’s the best i’ve felt in a very long time. I can’t wait to see how i feel after a few more sessions and I’m very optimistic that this could actually help my migraines. So thank you for sharing your experience! I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out for you.

fp brigette -January 17, 2013, 2:42PM

Thank you all so much for your comments & support!
 
Lauren, I haven’t found the exact version, but you can access a million food combination charts online! Here’s one I found: Food Combining Chart.
 
Liz, I will check out those products for sure – thank you so much!
 
Brittany, that is so so awesome! I’m so glad you tried it and even MORE glad that you’re already seeing results!

Luna -January 17, 2013, 11:17PM

I’ve been interested in acupuncture as a potential treatment/therapy for eating disorders, but my long-time fear of needles has kept me from exploring it for some time. your posts have been extremely encouraging and i look forward to reading more of them! maybe i’ll finally get the nerve up to try it myself.

Courtney -January 18, 2013, 1:44AM

I started acupuncture this past summer after I had a bad allergic reaction (coincidentally, triggered probably from food combinations) that didn’t respond to western medication. I don’t know if the acupuncture cured my reaction, or if the allergens were just leaving my body at the same time, but the doctor, through eastern medical philosophy, was able to accurately pinpoint the state of my mental health the months leading up to and after the reaction, which he thought was largely due psychological and emotional stress. And at the very least, I learned that acupuncture really helped with my stress levels and relaxes me! I’m also fortunate that one of my jobs has an acupuncturist come in every other week or so, so I can continue to do it when I’m stressed. I’ve also noticed it raises my energy levels, last week I had gotten virtually no sleep and had to work at both of my part time jobs, didn’t think I was going to survive the second one, but had an acupuncture session before, and when it was over, I woke up feeling way more refreshed than if I had just taken a nap!

Wow I typed a lot, sorry about that! But I had to comment, I’ve been enjoying your posts!

Chicago Acupuncture -January 23, 2013, 12:52AM

Its nice reading stories those who tried Acupuncture and their progress. Your post will encourage people to try Acupuncture! Keep posting!

Tracy Ng, Los Angeles Acupuncturist -February 19, 2013, 3:40PM

Keep up the healing! My 15 year old sister-in-law sent this to me and I am so happy to read that you are responding so well!!

Acupuncture Meridian Points -August 23, 2013, 4:44PM

Thanks for these posts that continue to be interesting!

Calley, Seed of Life Acupuncture -November 24, 2013, 5:48PM

I am an Acupuncturist and I have looked at so many tongues, they are an amazing diagnostic. It is the only muscle that we have that we can actually see from the exterior so it gives us a peak of what’s going on in the inside.
And to anyone afraid of needles, there are many different styles of Acupuncture. Chinese needling tends to be a bit deeper and the needles are slightly thicker. I am an Acupuncturist and I specialize in Japanese Acupuncture which uses thinner needles and the needles are placed superficially, and some of them are just held at the surface at different points. Nothing to be afraid of : )
And if you’re in LA and interested in trying out Acupuncture, please come see me for a treatment. : )
http://www.SeedofLifeAcupuncture.com

Katie -June 23, 2014, 2:51PM

Sorry to be so off topic, but where did you get the bag in the picture? I love it!

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