Saturday, March 10, 2007

The A Team

Given Alexandria's warning about the encroaching crazies in response to my last post, I hesitate to let you all see the depths of my madness. Aw, screw it.

As long as I'm introducing new characters to this drama, let me introduce you to my Ace Team of Acupuncturists.

Okay, they're not really a team, strictly speaking. In fact, I'm trying to make a choice here and if those of you in TV Land have any opinions on this, please just blurt them out.

ATeam Member #1: The Venerable. She's famous in certain circles. Published a book. Photos of her miracle babies cover every available surface. She was pleasant enough, but a little bit cold. She has an on site herbalist who mixes rather tasty powdered herbs for each patient.

Upsides: Great success rate over all, good herbs.

Downsides: You only see The Venerable about once a month. Her young assistants take your pulses, look at your tongue, write stuff down, jab you with some needles, and then come back 40 minutes later and take them out.

ATeam Member #2: The Hippie. I've been going to him since last August. Since then, my FSH has dropped, my antral follicle count went from one to four to seven, and I've responded really well to meds. He practices a somewhat unusual type of acupuncture known as "Five Elements," which involves a lot of moxibustion (burning herbs right on the skin until the skin warms) and only momentary needling, with frequent re-checking of pulses. He has an off site herbalist who provides a pretty generic liquid herbal mixture. He's not a fertility specialist, and on a social level his boundaries are somewhat lacking, which makes me a little uncomfortable.

Upsides: (1) Whatever he's doing seems to be working. (2) Treatment is very individualized, not one-size-fits-all.

Downsides: (1) I might get better results (like, you know, an actual healthy pregnancy) with a fertility specialist. (2) The somewhat creepy factor. (3) I kind of hate the moxa.*

ATeam Member #3: The Auntie. She's very personable, and has done wonders for several friends of the friend who referred me to her. She does only fertility work, and has a calm, reassuring presence. Like the Venerable, she does the more standard Eight Principles type of acupuncture, leaving the needles in for at least one full circulation, and also showed us some massage and acupressure stuff. She has a lot of rules, some of which I think are ridiculous but all of which I'm trying to follow on the off chance that avoiding all delicious things on earth will demonstrate to the universe that I've got enough self-discipline to merit a baby.

Upsides: Experience, good track record, the reassurance of the traditional.

Downsides: (1) Her herbs are in capsule form, which I don't like; (2) she had me order about $200 worth of nasty supplement powders and wants me to put them in a shake every morning. They're completely disgusting, and frankly I hate the idea of consuming supplements instead of actual food. (3) The rules are a bit much.

Of course, I could always try someone new.

What do you all think?

*Not to be confused with moxie. Moxie = good. Moxa can sneak up and burn you if you don't pay attention.


hope4future said...

I'm partial to hippies, but Auntie sounds nice, too.

Anonymous said...

You can't just tell us there are RULES and then not share them... Inquiring minds must know rules...

Binky said...

The rules aren't that interesting. They're things like always keep your feet warm and don't eat any cold foods and don't do ANYTHING during your period and blahblahblahblah.

Georgia/MB said...

The auntie sounds a LOT like my acu...and I liked the results I got from her (I didn't get pregnant ever until after my first appt with her), and a lot of the stuff she suggested (her "rules") made sense in retrospect, kind of in a western medicine way. She was very into the warm feet/warm food.
I'm partial to the auntie I guess...

Alexandria said...

Why the apology? Acupuncture has a very respected track record treating conditions that Western medicine has had a lot of problems with. I went to an acupuncturist when my labor would not start.

I am tempted to cast a serious vote for A1. Her manner reminds me of a few Chinese teachers and mentors I have had - don't be put off, formality is still very strong in Chinese-style professional training. However,I am also interested in "the Rules" put out by the Auntie. Chinese medicine is ahead of western meds in the synergistic actions of behaviour, foods, the chemicals our brains make, and the chemicals we call medicines and herbals. Some of the stranger rules might be an prescription to alter body chemistry.

Luck and double happiness symbols to you, incense in front of Quan Yin's altar.