Further adventures in acupuncture

I opted to give acupuncture another go, hoping to help with the recent increase in migraine frequency, as well as to maybe take the edge off of the crazy anxiety that was the unfortunate side effect of the drug I had hoped would help me regulate my migraines. No more of that drug, but it’ll be a few days before it’s completely out of my system.

Acupuncture was intense this time around, more so than last time, though I was somewhat prepared for the hallucinations this time. I wonder how many other people have such wild sensations? I tried to document what I experienced as accurately as I could before I forgot:

A flash and pain when she did the needle between my eyes, and then a surprising throbbing pain when she did the needle on the back of my right arm just above the elbow.

Some interesting altering of perception: at first I had the distinct sense of my father sitting beside me. That changed as time flowed, becoming a less distinct sense, a feeling of someone else to my left standing beside and a little behind me, watching me.

A sudden sensation of fur, not on any particular part of my body, but definitely fur.

Scene, as if a very vivid memory: I’m rolling over in bed to playfully put my arms around T while he’s wrapped in quilts. I can feel the thickness of the quilts between us and the softness of the textiles. It’s all very vivid. A room lit with sun coming through a window to my right.

Another scene: I’m standing hand-in-hand with a small child who has the head of a black kitten rather than a human head. We’re standing together looking down into something, a grave?

I began to have an intense feeling of bodily weakness, feeling too weak to move but still with the giddy flip-stomach feeling going on. I tried to relax into it, let the feeling take me wherever it was going to.

The flute on the acupuncture room’s soundtrack transformed itself into a large translucent tulip-like flower made of pastel lace. I rubbed the fibers across my lips and cheeks, feeling the soft yet scratchy texture, again with amazing vividness.

A scene: an emaciated man, possibly an amputee lying in a disreputable hospital cot. My gaze catches him in the act of reaching over the side of the bed to pull something from under the mattress. He hesitates, looking back at me.

A flash of light in my lower left eye. A vibration on my right hand between the third and fourth knuckles (where one of the needles were, I later confirmed).

A recurring sense of being flipped upside down. One such scene, particularly vivid in detail: a tiled room with a staircase, insufficiently lit, possibly neglected, a feeling of sadness. Suddenly I flip upside down, an inversion, so my face is hovering inches from the tile floor. I can see it in such detail, the texture of dirt/dust on black/white checkerboard tiles. My feet are in the air where my head was, a sense that gravity has inverted me. It’s right this way, though it’s wrong.

An image of a forest, black under blanket of night. They poke tiny holes in the sky with their upturned branches, allowing light to twinkle through.

Scene: holding hands with the cat-child again, tears on my cheeks.

Waves of soft round sadness.

Recurring flashes of T’s face in hyper-detail. It’s like an image I can hold onto and examine with multiple senses, more solid than a normal memory.

I could tell when the acupuncture began to wear off because images become less-formed, more transparent, harder to hold onto, and less frequent.

By the end I was merely lying in a recliner again, in a softly lit room with some New Age music playing gently in the background. She came by the remove the needles, I gathered my things and left.

Adventures in acupuncture

I tried acupuncture for the first time, and I have to say it was a very interesting experience and not at all what I was expecting.

Without much preamble she placed needles in my elbows, my wrists and my hands, then my knees and my ankles, then my ears and the top of my head, and one between the eyes. She left me to “cook”, and I closed my eyes and sank into myself.

At first it felt awkward, like I was waiting for something to happen without result. The usual muddy grey thoughts churning away inside my head, I tried to focus on the music, a New Age-y mix with flute and some sort of plucked string instrument. After a while I found myself identifying melodic intervals a la college ear training class, and then sinking further into it in such a way that I felt I could predict what the next phrase would be.

And that’s when the weird things started happening.

My ankles twitched a couple times, moving my feet further apart. My wrists and fingers twitched a number of times as well, so that when I opened my eyes I found my fingers spread wider and my hands on the inner edge of the arm rests rather than the outer where they had started.

I went on to experience a strange sort of in-and-out of consciousness. The plucked instrument on the recording began to have a jolting sort of effect that was initially distressing but eventually passed.

Split-second dreamlike scenes and impressions began to interrupt the grey-mud-disorder at random intervals much like hypnagogic hallucinations. These seemed particularly emotionally charged and I moved quickly from one context to another, feeling intensity and then letting it fall away.

Meanwhile the pins in my ears ached and my face felt weirdly distant.

And then she came and pulled the pins out, and it was all over. When I moved my hands at first they felt like wood, very dry and stiff. I collected my things quietly, paid and left.

Veeery interesting …