I had decided last year that the next time I got depressed I wanted to try acupuncture- and I even found an acupuncturist that I wanted to go to. Of course I hoped that I would never have another depression so that I would never get to try it, but I knew that this was unlikely.
So I had that plan in the back of my mind when this depression hit. I called yesterday, and they could get me in today. It is to be twice this week, and then down to once a week for 3 weeks, and then reassess.
The needles are really pretty painless. It was really neat how my tender spots became pain free after the needles were placed. There were a lot of needles. Then I just had to lie there for an hour under a heat lamp with a sound synthesizer playing crashing waves and smooth jazz coming in from the waiting room. I played around with mindfulness for a while and relaxed, attending to different sensations and watching my thoughts. But towards the end, my body just wanted to move. I was restless. He had told me not to move because of the needles. I wanted to scratch my nose. Stretch my legs. Etc. He came in just in time.
I think I did feel better after that. But I think that what he did next might have helped even more. He put these acupressure beads in my ear in 3 places. They just stay there until the day of my next session- I can take them out that morning in the shower, he said. Three times a day I have to massage each bead for 30 seconds.
The beads are very activating- as in they even became pretty painful after an hour. I didn't know what to do- call? But the pain has subsided, and in its place, I feel "activated." And activation is kind of the opposition of the kinds of depression that I have.
For a little bit I felt maybe too activated- but I didn't know if that wasn't also that this was the first day that I didn't any extra Zyprexa during the day. I did break down and take some of his Chinese herbs. I took 8 pills for relaxation when I started feeling like I wanted a prn med, and it did the trick. But I only took eight- which is what the box states is a dose, and not 13 pills, which he told me to do. And I did not take it 3 times a day, just once. But it has a very small and subtle but significant effect, and I did not take any klonopin or extra Zyprexa today.
I thought he would put needles in my head, which just shows you how little I know about chinese medicine.
He also gave me herbs to help me sleep- maybe I'll try it another night when I think I am ready to try to decrease my ambien or klonopin at night. But I'm not yet there. I can't make too many changes at once.
He said that I should feel better after each treatment, but then there is a tendency to feel bad again after the time- but with more sessions it shouldn't drop so much between sessions.
I wonder how I will feel tomorrow. Friday I go back for another session. But after this week, it is down to once a week, fortunately. It is $80 a visit (today's was more for this initial evaluation and herbs). That is less that I pay my psychiatrist or my therapist.