I couldn’t believe it. Community Acupuncture? Yes Please!
I’m at the Co-op at 1st’s Grand Opening in Denver and I walk around the corner, I saw Diane prepping for it. Whatcha doing? Curious as a bee, I stick my face into the schedule. Acupuncture. 2:30-3:30pm. Okay, I guess today is the day.
I waited in the short line outside of the quiet room. When it was my turn, Joanna got me comfortable in the seat.
“It’s my first time,”
I said, looking around at the five other people sitting quietly in their leaned back camping chairs. Yep, those fancy kinds that have the extra lever in them so you can lean way back! I guess they had brought all the chairs in for this event because they were covered in bedsheets. As I clumsily try to fit my long body onto the foot rest so I could push myself back in the normally two-seater loveseat, Joanna reassures me, whispering,
“First time huh? I’ll let you know what I’m doing before I do it, so that you know and can make sure that you are feeling good. Because that’s the whole point, right?”
I nod my head, not sure if I should say anything.
Everyone is so quiet. I had no idea that acupuncture could be done like this, nor knew anything about what was going on. They have needles stuck in their bodies at different points? Are they pressure points? Why there? It made me wish I had paid attention in Human Biology class and actually registered for that Anatomy & Physiology course I always wanted to take. Wouldn’t that be cool to know now? I won’t lose feeling in my body will I? Too late…I’ve already committed.
She went to help someone else for a minute, and I sat there, waiting to see what happens next. Looking around at that other friend that I made in the short wait, her blonde hair flowed
onto the headrest of the chair, her eyelids resting, she looked asleep with tiny needles poking out of her hand. Maybe I should close my eyes like her? My brain was moving way too fast for that. When will Joanna be back? When will I have my first experience? How does she know where to put the needles? Where are those tiny needles and what do they do with them when they take them out? So many questions were swirling in my brain that I impatiently waited. Warily, I watched the two acupuncturists in the room, not even sure if that was the right thing to do. Do they want to be watched? Am I doing something wrong?
With a deep breath, I let myself chill.
Isn’t this about feeling good? That’s what Joanna said. So I watched and found some questions answered.
They deposed of the needles in these tiny little pill containers (like the containers your antibiotics come in). Phew! No one gets poked with them afterwards. It’s not that I didn’t think they were professionals, but I didn’t know! My eyes watched Joanna and I wasn’t sure if Diane would help me or if Joanna would ever come back. The other five people were taking up quite a bit of time. When is it my turn? As soon as the questions stopped swirling and I started to relax with my eyes closed (thanks for the visual advice friend!), she surprises me by appearing on my right side, whispering.
“I’m going to feel your hand to figure out what points to put the needles. After that, I’ll put some needles in your ear first. There is a lot of energy that pinpoints in that ear. Let’s try one first and see how it feels. Let me know if anything feels uncomfortable or needs to be adapted whatsoever. It is easy to adjust and there is nothing that should hurt at any time. Let’s try one and then let me know how it feels.”
I take a deep breath.
“You ready? I’m going to put it right here,” indicating the spot on my ear where she’ll put the needle. After inserting it, she asks, “How does that feel?”
Smiling, she said, “Relax for a second and see how you feel.”
I thought maybe at that point she would walk away and see what was going on with someone else. But then, I felt myself relax.
“It feels warm and a little like a pinch, but it feels good.”
“Good, good.” I was impressed with her patience and her calmness.
Obviously my brain was running sporadically and I needed her calm spirit in that moment. I think she knew that and sensed it.
“So, we’re going to put a few more in. Are you feeling okay?”
Attentive and calm. What an amazing human to meet! I could hear the passion in her voice to help people. Her genuine nature allowed me to relax even further with the uncomfortableness of the newness of acupuncture.
“Yes, it feels weird, but it feels fine.”
“Okay, I’m going to do some more.”
I sit there and smile to myself. No way did I happen on Acupuncture today. NO WAY am I doing this. I could have done it before, but never like this. Where I show up at an event and it is just happening? This is so exciting! And, even though it is scary, I learned that it really isn’t that scary. It didn’t even hurt. I watched as she put a few into my hand and one into my leg. She must be able to sense the energy or pressure points or something that I never have heard of, nor been exposed to. Otherwise, I probably would have tried acupuncture before now.
“That’s it,” she says.
“That’s it?” I asked.
“Yep, now just relax and I’ll be back in 15-20 minutes.”
Some of that time I spent watching what they were doing as they helped other people in and ushered other people out. The relaxed state, the calm, the genuine concern for people emerged from their grace and love that filled the room.
Would I do acupuncture again? Yes. Would I do community acupuncture again? Yes.