Recently I took the plunge and visited an acupuncturist. I don’t know if I would have done this had it not been for my impulsive nature and the temptations of Groupon. Good ol’ Groupon offered a one hour session for a killer price with a local acupuncturist and I had to buy it. “Try acupuncture” is on my 2011 goals list, so why not? I was happy to find that this needle wielding samurai practiced her art from a cozy converted apartment and she exuded warmth. She had very thorough intake forms that I had to fill out prior to my first session and she asked me a lot of questions about my diseases and my overall state of health (or lack thereof). Curiously, she examined my tongue (which I later discovered is standard practice) and took my pulse from both wrists. And then the “needling” began. I won’t tell you it didn’t hurt, because we all have different thresholds, but I found each prick to barely register a “1” on the pain scale. Occasionally my muscles would twitch with some spontaneous reaction, but not from pain. Once the needles were in place, she turned on relaxing music and left me to lie on the table for 30 minutes. It’s during this time, on my first visit, that I started to feel some woojy magic trickling through my body. It was at once like warmth, and a release of tension, and the tingling feelings you get from a massage. My mind started to free up as I floated away and thought about traveling to tropical locales. I was disappointed when my 30 minutes were up and she removed the needles. Each session ends with shiatsu therapy on my neck and shoulders which is a perfect complement to the acupuncture. I have been back to see my acupuncturist three times and after each visit I have found myself more relaxed, sleepier, and with decreased pain for at least one day. Did I mention no side effects? This is medicine that actually brings me pleasure and healing. How many pills do that?