There are few words to describe my first experience of Acupuncture, but amongst them are:-paleo crossfit





I was reliably informed by the charming elderly Japanese lady who tortured me that the ‘normal’ kind of acupuncture would not help me with my problem (very painful joints in my foot), but that she could ‘unblock’ me (nothing to do with my bowels as far as I know. No real idea what she was unblocking to be honest…presumably my chakras or summat) with a different kind of therapy.

I agreed in that naive kind of ‘this should be a lovely relaxing hour on a bed’ way, and as I settled on to the bench at the point of no return she remembered to tell me that it was going to hurt like buggery (my words, not hers).

She proceeded to ‘bleed’ me repeatedly by stabbing me, rather like an angry child with a voodoo dolly of the school bully. In her innocent looking hand she held a fat pin, not unlike those that a diabetic might use for blood tests, until the skin gave a little ‘pop’ and the red stuff was drawn. Over and over again up and down my legs, toes, around my ankle 20130211-171331.jpgbones and on the soles of my feet. This latter manoeuvre was so despicable that she asked me to cough every time she stabbed me, to fool me in to thinking that I was not in agony. It was particularly pleasurable in the areas where there are no fleshy or fatty deposits, which to be honest, on my feet is pretty much all of it. Just skin, bone and a serial stabber.

No pretence here, no twinkly music or the sounds of a Caribbean shore 20130211-171343.jpgto drift off to, just a butt-clenching white knuckle ride of terror and the smoke from what now appeared more and more like an opium den.

I was charged £100 for this tremendous experience, and sent off with a polite smile and the request to come back for at least 4 or 5 more sessions. Whaaaaa?!!

My first phone call was to the British Association of Acupuncturists to check that she was registered. She was.

My foot, of course, is predictably no better. Even if we look beyond the bruising and the join-the-dots abuse to my surface flesh, pains still lurk within.

Assuming I live through 4 more sessions, can someone please tell me whether this is going to fix me?



4 thoughts on “Acutorture

  1. Hi saveeverystep,
    I came across this page, intrigued by the photo, and after reading your post I’m unsure what method or intention this treatment was for?
    As an acupuncturist myself, I know that your treatment should not have been ‘torturous’ and left you with these marks.
    I’d suggest you check out the British Acupuncture Council website: for a local practitioner, you can then be assured that the acupuncturist follows strict guidelines of conduct and methods and is trained to a degree standard. If you’re in any doubt always ask your acupuncturist questions, they should be able to talk you through your treatments and explain what they are doing and why? Also….I think £100 was rather expensive??
    All the best, good luck!

    • Thanks for your comment! I actually called the British Acupuncture Council for some advice after this treatment. I am confident that the lady who treated me is actually highly qualified (a practitioner for some 26 years) but everyone seems a little bemused by her method! I had a good chat with her about it before I committed to a second session, and felt much better about it. Only the 1st session was £100, all others are £50. The second treatment was not as bad, and I think she learned this method in Japan. She is utterly convinced that it is the only thing which will help my problem, and she came highly recommended by a personal friend who had used her before. I will persevere and see how it goes. I have no problem with ‘different’ as long as it helps!!!

  2. Hey, I’m an acupuncture qualified physio. It looks like she is using a method commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (tcm). The Chinese believe that ill health is brought about due to an imbalance in your 2 types of energy (yin or yang) known collectively as Qi (pronounced chi), or a blockage of one or more of the channels (aka meridians) in which this Qi travels. Acupuncture is thought to be able correct the balance by “borrowing” chi from another channel or by unblocking a blocked channel.

    Simples, but here’s the complicated bit, with some conditions such as arthritic joint pains it can be attributable to an external pathogens such as heat cold or damp. In tcm if you are suffering from an external pathogens then they may use points that tend to bleed in order to let heat or the pathogen out if the body and thus unblocking your channel.

    That said I would treat from a more conservative western viewpoint of pain control and stick to the meridians (from your photo’s it’s clear she’s gone off piste so to speak). I’m sure many TCM acupuncturists would do something similar, but it does seem to be an aggressive form of treatment, particularly for your first session.

    Hope that helps

    • Thanks indeed Jamie. Not sure we’ve met at the gym, but I do recognise your name! I think I’ve given up (chickened out) of this treatment now!!! Resigned to the fact that surgery is necessary, and praying for a swift recovery so I can get back to CrossFit!

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