Stick a Needle in Me: The Healing & Hilarity of Community Acupuncture

I would go to the ends of the Earth for my children and do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby and pregnancy. With both my girls I experienced extreme nausea, vomiting and headaches. I had a lot of success with acupuncture when I was pregnant with Charlotte, however it is considered an “alternative treatment” so it wasn’t covered through our insurance. In fact, when I asked my doctor if acupuncture was safe for the baby she said smugly, yes it’s safe, just as long as they are using new, clean needles. Thanks for the heads up Doc, although it is a little hard to hear you up there on your high horse atop your mountains of Western medical education. Good things she warned me, otherwise I would have made an appointment with the friendly bearded man outside the Hepatitis Clinic.

This pregnancy I found an acupuncture place that is about as hippy as I will get. It’s called “community acupuncture” and we all lay in chairs together in the same room and the “community feeling” is supposed to be beneficial and therapeutic. Let’s call a spade a spade: Paying $95 per session everywhere else once a week to be poked with needles feels a little like highway robbery and we are all trying to save a buck. For $20 a session and to be vomit free, I’d do community acupuncture in the nude if they asked me to. Let the healing begin.  

When we are all getting treated together it is impossible not to eaves drop on other people’s medical ailments. Plus, we have to sit there for 45 minutes “meditating” which is impossible because being there is like watching Grey’s Anatomy back when it was good. One woman next to me was talking loudly –apparently she didn’t get the whisper memo – and she explained to the acupuncturist just how well everything was going, but that she was still really struggling “verbally”. I cannot control my verbal compulsions. I just blurt things out and have excessive word vomit. Oh look, the grey patch on your head is getting bigger. She may need to try coming twice a week.

There was another girl, in for constipation, who looked to be about 90 pounds soaking wet. It got pretty graphic when she began—in a thick Russian accent—going into detail about her stool’s shape, color and consistency, at which point I was grateful my nausea needles were firmly in place. When all her points were in, she thanked the acupuncturist profusely adding:  I am a poop machine. Acupuncture works. Enough said.

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