I go to acupuncture once or twice a month. I go once a month to deal with things I am trying to improve through acupuncture, and I go twice a month if I am sick. My acupuncturist has stopped a sore throat in its tracks while I was on the table with needles in me twice. I love him. Personally, I believe in acupuncture. I’ve amassed too much personal evidence at this point to think otherwise.
I do not go to acupuncture for anything that has to do with yoga. However, my acupuncuturist has a yoga (non-Bikram) practice and loves to talk yoga shop with me. On Monday I got him to give me suggestions for how to do mountain. We’ll see how it goes. He’s got a good track record with me.
My acupuncturist encourages me NOT to go to class the day of or the day following treatment. I have never gone to acupuncture and then followed it with a Bikram class in the same day. That sounds like too much. My body needs to process the acupuncture treatment. However, I generally leave 24 hours between a treatment and class despite the fact that this continues to play out as a poor decision. I believe my acupuncturist means that if I get treatment from him on a Monday (even at 9:30 am), then the earliest I should go to class is Wednesday.
I like to believe I can go to class on Tuesday at 9:00am which is roughly 24 hours after the treatment. This turns out to be a fine decision once or twice a year. The rest of the time it sucks. For some reason, I continue to do it.
Let me start by saying that on Monday, when I had acupuncture, it was a wild and crazy experience. Probably the wildest I have ever experienced in my almost two years of going. My acupuncturist had to remove two needles from my legs that were hurting and wouldn’t stop. They hurt when he put them in, they hurt the entire time they were in, and they hurt coming out. Then the general area where they had been continued to hurt. It was an annoying throbbing sensation. There’s reasons for all this which I’m not going to try to get into because I can’t explain it super well. Don’t let it turn you off if you want to try acupuncture. I think it’s worth whatever discomfort I have to put up with.
So I followed up this lovely treatment by taking class Tuesday at 9:00am. We were literally on the second breath of the first breathing exercise, and I had come to the conclusion that this would be the class I actually died in. No matter how many times I may have thought I would die in class before, it really was going to happen today. We’re two minutes into class and all I can do is wonder why the fans are not on. It’s crazy hot in the room! Can’t the instructor see how badly we are all sweating and near death? Oh wait. You mean not everyone’s Breathe mat looks like they took it in the shower with them by the end of half-moon? It’s just me?
I snuck a look at everyone during party-time. No one was sweating at the level I was. This could only mean one thing: Buckle up for class and enjoy the ride. Something’s coming out, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.
And it wasn’t.
I wanted to lay down on my mat for the entire warm-up series. I considered sitting out the entire standing series. I really thought this was an idea worth serious consideration. I did sit down – twice I think – and it did help. But damn! When we got to standing bow I could see some improvement on both sides, but I felt so bad I had to sit out second set. It was a good decision to sit out, but I was bummed. I wanted to know what was going to happen in standing bow. Twice during the standing series my legs pulsed in the area where the problem needles had been taken out the day before. Crazy, right? Never had that happen before.
The floor series got better – technically. I started to feel better, and I did the postures. But when we flipped over for spine-strengthening I smelled something awful, and that smell was me. I was face down in my sweaty mat, and it was foul.
By the end of class I felt better than when I had begun which is usually the case when I have a rough class.
Again I am reminded that we never know what’s happening with the person on the mat next to us. No one said anything to me, but my experience just reinforced that when someone looks like they are having a bad time, they are probably having a bad time. No need to judge. Maybe flick some water on them out of sympathy.
Does anyone else have any acupuncture and yoga stories? What happens for you?