Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Acupuncture and stress

Thank you all so much for leaving such lovely encouraging and supportive comments again yesterday. I think all your comments mean even more to me at the moment, because we're keeping as quiet as possible about this round to people in real life. As well as finding it very difficult having to tell people we'd failed, I had some issues with people making insensitive comments or asking intrusive questions at inappropriate times last time, so this time we're doing it without so many real-life cheerleaders.

And what with the fact that it's only just over a fortnight since we came back from the most relaxing holiday ever, combined with the fact that I'm keeping busy to try to keep my mind off worrying about the IVF (helped by the fact that most people don't know that we're having another go, so they're not asking about it every five minutes), my stress levels are much lower than last time. In fact, they're much lower than I remember them being for months, if not years.

This was borne out by something my acupuncturist and I both found very interesting yesterday.

When he's sticking the needles in me, he pokes up and down various places in my legs, and there are several places on the outside of each of my legs where when he presses gently with his finger, I usually practically have to be peeled off the ceiling, because it feels as though he's sticking hot skewers into fresh wounds.

He has often told me that he has never known anybody on whom those points are so sensitive, and that this sensitivity is linked to stress. The channel that the points are on is the gall bladder channel, which runs all the way down both sides of the body. Apparently in Chinese medicine it's often thought of as being like a seam. When you're very stressed, it's as though you're trying to hold your body together and this seam gets overstretched.

Anyway, he was halfway through his poking and prodding yesterday and I suddenly realised that I hadn't felt any pain. I mentioned it to him, and he pressed some of the areas that usually have me jumping ten feet in the air, and all I felt was - well - someone pressing his fingers lightly on the side of my leg.

And then he finished putting the needles in, left me to relax, and I promptly fell asleep - something I've actually only done once before in nine months of having acupuncture.

So I may be about to have a busted IVF cycle, I may be totally exhausted after a Gonal-F-fuelled weekend of hectic activity, and I may be a bit emotionally wrung out from spending yesterday afternoon at a funeral, but apparently my body is more relaxed than it has been for months.

It's kind of good to know...


  1. That's great news! I've been wanting to try acupuncture but haven't found one in my area yet... 2hrs away though...

    I agree with you on telling the world about having IVF. We did too, thinking it was exciting and fun news to share. We never thought about the stress of having to tell everyone the moment you're pregnant and then when we had our miscarriage it got very painful to have to share that. We've decided to keep next time to ourselves too.

    I wish you all the best with this cycle and I'm glad you're sharing here!!

  2. Wow, that is great that you are so relaxed! I fell asleep a few times at acupuncture and always found those sessions to reward me with a huge feeling of relaxation for the rest of the day. I know what you mean about telling people about IVF, too. After my first bout with OHSS people kept asking about it and I had to explain why my stomach was so huge and why it didn't work ... it was just too much.

    I hope your relaxed state translates to good luck at your retrieval!

  3. So happy you were able to relax. The entire process is so taxing, as I have endured it recently with a dear friend. As for myself, I'm recovering from loss and what a toll the stress takes on the body, soul and spirit. We have to hang in there and be resilient and refuse to give in :) Sending you love and well wishes for retrieval and praying for complete success.

  4. Thank you all.

    Circus Princess, have you tried the website of the British Acupuncture Council? They have a search facility which allows you to find the nearest registered acupuncturist to where you live - and I would recommend using a registered one.

    Sonja, I did feel relaxed for the rest of the day - and although it didn't last into the next day, I know it was just the hormones talking yesterday.

    Andrea, thank you for your good wishes. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss.