Feeling low now for the second day. I overdid things lately and now have a ton of body memories (bad memories basically) and fatigue. I’m getting very little done. A load of laundry. A walk to the park. A blog post.

Thursday after the group I had a short discussion with the facilitator on therapy options, and I mentioned that if I had the money, I’d go for all kinds of treatments – shiatsu, acupuncture. She mentioned that she sometimes goes to student clinics.

When I left the building, I took a little walk and walked right past a Shiatsu school offering a student clinic. In I went, and found that Shiatsu clinic was not being offered, but did I want acupuncture. So I signed up.

Ouf. So that evening I went for acupuncture for the excellent price of $20. And the student was extremely nice and very earnest and thorough. I told her my problem was stiff neck, with secondary problem of ‘anxiety’.

So she commented that she thought I lacked energy, then some mumbo jumbo about my liver being in conflict with my spleen…Whatever, I think.

She put in a bunch of needles, and all was fine. But ever since, I’ve been in this state where I’m all emotional plus with the body memories.

The needles definitely affect me. I just have no idea if this is ultimately healing or just re-traumatizing. I did try and tell the student that my system is sensitive and I don’t need a lot of needles, but she thought I meant I was afraid of the pricking, so assured me she would use the lowest gauge. Sigh. If I go to someone more experienced, they are able to modify the treatment to be less aggressive.

Luckily I’m between contracts, because this is a disaster if I’m trying to keep it together and work. So I did a body scan meditation, then I just went and lay down doing nothing. I’m drinking lots of tea. I can’t focus on reading my novel – no great loss, it’s just a mystery, but still, I’d like to read it.

Tonight I am going to a group dinner and a singles dance, God help me. I’ve promised other people I would go, so no chickening out. Must pull self together.

Art: Cookie Paige Paintings

  1. Hi there Ellen. I am sorry that this is a low time. Thinking of you and knowing it will passS x

  2. Ellen:This sounds relatively normal to me. You've faced up to some difficult somatic memories and it takes a while for those to be fully accepted and integraged. In the meantime you'll feel a little emotional and tired and so on.In a few days the wounds will heal over and you'll feel a little stronger.That's how it goes. It's gradual work. For now just be nice to yourself and allow your mind to rest and recover a little ready for the next bit of work.

  3. Ellen said:

    @Happy – Thanks very much. I've actually been dancing since I wrote this post and feel better now. Pretty shallow eh? These things do pass, though we forget at the time. I'll be over to your blog shortly.@Mike – Thank you Mike. It's really reassuring if you think this is normal. I'd like to think this is healing…I'm hoping it is. I will be nice to myself, and hope you will do the same for yourself also, whatever form that may take. A manly type of kindness to self.

  4. I've found that, too. That TCM/acupuncture/pressure can stir things up, in the short term. so far all i've found to do are similar things. be as vaguely nurturing with self as possible in that condition and wait for it to moderate itself. find some balance again. seems to be helping slowly to re-balance things generally but that processing isn't so easy.

  5. Ellen said:

    Thanks CK. It's great to know I'm not totally alone and not entirely out to lunch either, if this happens to you too. I'm re-evaluating if acupuncture is for me – the effects are pretty bad. Hope you keep up the beneficial digging somehow! 🙂

  6. Susan said:

    I totally hear where you're at and yes, this is normal. I think it is part of that healing process. I have found a tai chi and chi kung class locally that doesn't cost a ton and the meditative nature of these classes allows me to slow down my mind and even reconnect with my body in a way that feels empowering..Be gentle and kind to yourself…Susan

  7. Ellen said:

    Maybe I'll try one of those Susan. I did Tai Chi a long time ago, when I was a student. I'd love to find something that made me feel better, so something calming and not activating. I seem to find most things activating unfortunately. Thanks for your comment.

  8. I can second Susan's vote for Tai Chi and Chi Kung. I've found both of them to be very helpful.

  9. Nechtan said:

    Hi Ellen,Its an interesting read for for me as I've never tried any of these therapies but also not good that you are feeling so low at the moment. I hope things pick up soon. It does sound very like when I overdo things when pushing my anxiety. This is what ultimately holds me back as my tendancy is to move too fast. I then get a spell of agitation where I feel exhausted and can't destract myself because of the tiredness and lack of concentration. Maybe things have been moving a bit to quickly and if so then hopefully a few days of recouping will get you back to your old self.I don't know enough about acupuncture to comment on it. I would imagine though that like all therapies if not done correctly then you may, as suggested, have some short term adverse effects. I did read something along those lines once about reflexology which is why I would tend to stay clear of students were I to try it. Not saying they are all bad but I think its probably harder to find a good one.Anyway I hope you are well and finding some of that energy returning. All the bestNechtan

  10. Ellen said:

    Thanks so much to my dear commenters. It's lovely to get comments especially since I have no one in'real life' to tell about my PTSD in any detail at all, so it means a lot.@Mike – I will have to try these. I'm ready to try anything – it's definitely a teachable moment in my case. I find a long yoga class too activating, but I think these are gentler.@Nechtan – Thanks for the support. I hope I am not discouraging you from trying acupuncture though. I know a woman in my support group who has more general anxiety and was helped by acupuncture.To be fair to the student, I didn't explain about the PTSD. And for what I told her was wrong, the treatment was effective. My neck was less stiff, I haven't had a headache since the treatment, and my anxiety was lower, though replaced by a depression. I still believe it can be effective, but the trick is getting the right amount perhaps.You're right – it's all about not overdoing things…

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