You might recall me mentioning going for an acupuncture session last week. The whole thing came about rather randomly. During my Pilates-for-runners class last Wednesday, one of the guys mentioned acupuncture. Our instructor, who is also a certified physio and acupuncturist was fighting the pro-needle corner while the guys were clearly all anti (typical).
Although I had never really considered acupuncture as a viable option, assuming it was just for those suffering from migraines and such things, Tiina assured me that it did wonders for her IT-band when she was injured, also from too much running.
So I thought, heck, what do I have to lose, other than £30?!
I really didn't know what to expect. It wasn't so much the needles I was afraid of, but I was a bit spooked by the whole concept. How could the process of sticking needles in you possibly take care of ITB issues?
Upon arrival, I duly reclined upon the bed and had my leg pushed and prodded. Then, just like during a 'regular' sports massage, I flipped over on my left side, pulled my knees towards my chest, propped my right knee on a cushion, and watched with curiosity as the needles came out.
Tiina explained that she'd 'only' be using four needles to begin with as people react differently to acupuncture. Some really struggle, for others it's fine. I was of the latter group. Going in, you could barely feel the needles.
I basically just chilled on the bed, having a nice chat with Tiina. Periodically she'd give each needle a bit of a twist, at which point I could feel a strange sensation in my leg. It wasn't so much pain as a bit of discomfort. It's that stimulation, apparently, that gets the fascia and consequently your ITB to loosen up.
About 25 minutes later, Tiina picked the needles out of me, gave me a quick wipe-down, taped me up in the hottest shade of Rocktape out there and I was on my way. I was warned that I might feel dizzy, sore and/or generally a bit off, almost like being drunk. It being a Friday night I was full of anticipation of a free high, but 'twas not so. I'm just way too good with needles, it seems. So a bottle of wine had to do the trick instead.
She did suggest not to run until at least after our second session, which happened last night. So back I went and after a sweat-inducing Reformer-Pilates class I was back on the bed for some more needle-fun. Tiina was quite impressed by how 'bouncy' my ITB was feeling and proclaimed me practically cured after our session. Or something like that.
I had some British patriotism forced upon me and was sent on my way with the instruction of going for a short-ish run (3-4 miles) to see how it feels. Hooray.
So that's precisely what I'll be doing. Going for a short-ish run and hoping that the magic needles will have done the trick.
Have you ever tried acupuncture to deal with a sports injury?
Are you afraid of needles?