I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post. But seeing as you’re reading it…
Last year I was depressed. At the time I didn’t realise I was depressed. I was never diagnosed as depressed, I just knew I was unhappy.
I was fluctuating between feelings of extreme frustration and anger followed by complete desolation. I didn’t want to socialise and distanced myself from my close family; I was grumpy and disinterested at home, and the littlest things would trigger a totally irrational rage. I was emotionally fragile.
The feelings would be at their worst before my period, so at the time I thought it was triggered by PMT, and might possibly be the start of my perimenopause.
At a particularly low point I made an appointment with the doctor, who, after a frank conversation regarding my moods prescribed Prozac.
I was torn. I wanted rid of the moods and the low, unhappy feelings, but at the same time I didn’t fancy the side affects or the possibility of being addicted to Prozac.
I did what any desperate person would do and turned to Google for help. I came to the conclusion that I would try some alternative methods before turning to Prozac, as a last resort.
Energised by the positivity of doing something proactive was like a tonic in itself. I decided on a combination of high intensity exercise (mixing up bootcamp, running and circuits) with yoga, supplements and acupuncture.
I had read that acupuncture has had some positive results in treating PMT and I have had a lot of success from previous acupuncture therapy sessions that I’ve had for sports injury and skin beauty. Unfortunately my previous therapist had stopped running her clinic so I needed to find someone new. I found a local therapist who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and booked an appointment.
Now I’ll be honest with you, if I hadn’t had such positive results from my earlier treatments, I probably wouldn’t have gone back for a second session.
The first session didn’t go particularly well. The therapist came across as scatty and opinionated. She was also in and out of the room so many times I felt like she might be treating another patient as well as me.
TCM Acupuncture is very different to the more western approach I had been introduced to previously. It requires a certain level of belief, much like religion. She checked my tongue and diagnosed Liver Qi (pronounced chi) Stagnation and talked about how blockages can affect my moods! Hmmmm, not sure I’m buying this mumbo jumbo!!
However, at the end of that first session I decided to give it a chance and booked the second appointment a couple of weeks later, on a Saturday morning.
I arrived much more relaxed. We discussed my moods and how they affected me, as well as the boys (Mr. and Boy Brits). She checked my tongue again and then directed me to the bed.
She placed the pins into my main meridians (the path through which the life-energy or qi flows), which included my feet, shins, wrists, face and head. When she placed one of the pins in my right wrist I experienced a very physical surge. It wasn’t pain, but it was an ache which travelled the full length of my arm.
I asked about the ache and was told the pin was positioned in my Lung point, which can be responsible for holding stress. Apparently the ache is a good sign as it can mean my energy is receptive and responding to the treatment. OK I thought, aches are good.
After she’d finished applying the pins she gave me a bell and buggered off out of the room to see her next patient. This time I was prepared, I had my chill out playlist on and began meditating. I’m getting much better at this as a result of my regular yoga sessions.
15 minutes into my meditation I was completely relaxed and at peace. 16 minutes in and I started to feel a dull ache in my forehead, around the point of one of the pins. I deliberated should I ring the bell or not? Normally I’m not one to complain and would put up with it. But I laid there thinking ‘I’m bloody paying for this!’ And rang the bell.
She came in and explained the dull ache was at the point of my third eye and my spiritual energy was being activated. Something that had never happened to any of her patients before; in her twenty years of practicing. It turns out I’m special!
But special or not, I cannot get away from the very physical and emotional results I achieved in that second session. After she removed all the pins at the end of the session I lay grounded on the bed. My body felt so heavy I couldn’t move. Now this could be the result of some deep meditation. Although I doubt this as I wasn’t meditating for the last half of the session.
After a couple of minutes of mobilising and getting my balance I got off the bed, got dressed, booked another appointment and left. Still feeling very heavy.
As I made my way to the car on her drive I started to feel lighter. It was less a physical lightness and more emotional. Like a dark thunder cloud dispersing and dissolving away leaving clarity.
By the time I was driving home I had a big smile on my face and was looking forward to cleaning the house, doing the Asda shop and cooking tea. Yes, I know. Who the hell looks forward to that on a Saturday? I felt bewitched. I also felt happy, light-hearted, optimistic.
I’m now four months into my ‘Prozac Alternative Plan’ and I am currently feeling on top of the world. I know the exercise and yoga are helping and I hope the supplements are having some benefit too. But without a doubt, I am certain it is the acupuncture that is responsible for shifting the thunder that was bringing me down.
I continue to have acupuncture sessions once a month, it is maintaining my mental health, and as a family we are much calmer and happier.