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Needles are not my thing. I know people say that acupuncture needles are very thin and so they don’t hurt, but I thought they were lying.

Okay, maybe I don’t mean lying, I just mean they are trying to make themselves look good. You know, when people say, “Oh, the hike is not that challenging” and then look surprised and full of smug pity when I am panting and falling down the side of a mountain. Or they say “that dish is not that spicy” and I’m choking because my mouth is on fire. Then they look at me like I’m a wuss – which I totally am when it comes to long hikes and spicy food.

But this ankle injury was dragging on and by month number two, I was ready to try out acupuncture.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Acupuncture doesn’t hurt. Not just like I’m trying to be cool. For reals.
  2. My ankle immediately felt 90% better and within a few days was totally back to normal. Awesome.

When I went for my acupuncture session I was a tad nervous, but my acupuncturist was the perfect mixture of competent medical practitioner and huggy Earth Mother and she made me feel comfortable immediately. She asked me to show her what hurt my ankle most. I pointed my right foot and she asked me for a pain number. I winced and told her it was an 8.

Then, she poked around my left wrist and asked if I felt anything. I didn’t, and I kept thinking this was odd since my wrist was fine. Until she got to this one spot that sent shooting pains up my arm and I told her so – by yelling “OW!”

She said “great” (it didn’t seem “great” to me, but whatever) and put a tiny needle in it, which honestly, I didn’t feel at all. She then asked me to point my foot again and asked me the pain number. It was a zero. There was nothing. Incredible.

She added a few more needles in various places, apparently to knock out my lingering cold and give me a little energy boost. Then, I just laid there in meditation for about 20 minutes. It was lovely in a way that you wouldn’t think meditating while you have needles in you would be.

After 20 minutes, she came back and removed my needles and told me to drink lots of water and then instructed me to not have sex for 24 hours (oh my!) so that my meridians could adjust. I don’t actually know what my meridians are, but apparently hanky panky can jostle them out of place.

I floated out of the room with this deep sense of balance and calm. I felt like I’d just had a 90 minute massage. Within a few days my ankle was 100% better and it has stayed that way ever since.

I am totally sold on this thing that I don’t understand at all. I know there is science and research to back it all up but I can’t explain any of it to you. All I know is it worked and I am truly grateful. And it was totally worth 24 hours of abstinence.

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