More Alternative Therapy: Part 2 – a Scattering of Needles

…As soon as he entered the room, the practitioner began to work on my neck. It felt like he was using his fists; starting from my collar bone and then rubbing them up my neck with vigorous force. My skin began to burn from the friction, and the procedure felt like it would have been more relaxing and pleasant, had it been performed with massage oil. After about 10 minutes of the neck burning massage, the practitioner began to slowly push down on my head, encouraging it to bend towards each shoulder. I couldn’t believe how far I was able to stretch. It was as though the stinging massage had loosened all the tension in my neck.

The practitioner then walked away from the massage table and when he reapproached I could see him putting on some blue latex surgical gloves. He asked me to open my mouth. He then inserted his index finger inside my mouth and started to press gently inside my cheek. His thumb pressed lightly through the outside of my cheek so that it met with his index finger. He massaged using a pressing motion, and in small circular movements. He mumbled something about the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This massage lasted a few minutes and was repeated on the other side of my face.

Again the practitioner moved away from where I was lying. This time he exited the room. After a few minutes he returned, and whilst leaning over me he announced, in a matter-of-fact tone, “Acupuncture”. Oh, I wasn’t expecting that! I had never had acupuncture before. I asked if it was going to hurt. He assured me that it wouldn’t. He swiftly placed the needles in different points around my jaw, forehead, and the top of my head and my collarbone. The needles felt like they were being elegantly scattered in to place. The majority of the needles glided into my skin, with ease, and caused only a slight sensation of my skin being pricked. But, the insertion of a needle in the part of my jaw below my ear, where it forms an angle to make my chin, caused immediate and intense pain. A tender soreness radiated deep into my jaw. I was in pain, I exclaimed and alerted the practitioner to the offending needle. He responded saying, “Oh, yes that one will hurt!” I was asked to continue to lie still for 20 minutes. I heard the sound of the door close as the practitioner left the room, and I was left listening to the soft jazz and wondering how many needles were in my face, and what I looked like.

After about 10 minutes a woman, who I hadn’t yet met, entered the room. She greeted me with a jolly sounding, “Hola” and told me as she was turning the needles slightly, that she was there to do just that. A few seconds later she left the room. I was again left lying motionless on the massage table, listening to the soft jazz.

Another 10 minutes passed and again the door opened. I could see from my lying position that it was the same woman who had turned the needles, who was now entering the room. She swiftly collected the needles from my face and neck, with the ease in which they had been placed.

This new practitioner was a comical woman. She told me that she was a nutritionist and she spoke to me about my diet. She presented me with a list of suggestions for a healthy diet, that she told me she had spent time translating from Spanish to English, and to excuse any unusual translations; blaming Google Translate for such errors. The focus of the diet was on eliminating animal products, dairy, and sugar. I was amused by the Spanish theme of the diet. I was allowed a typical ‘Spanish breakfast’ consisting of toasted soda bread with crushed tomato and olive oil; this was something I assumed the Spanish clients would refuse to abstain from. Chorizo and sugary products from the Pastelería (bakery) were ‘prohibited’. I started to think about the foods I liked. Hmm, there was no mention of Marmite or PG Tips tea…There was also a list of suggestions for dietary supplements including Vitamin C powder, Omega 3, a B vitamin complex and Magnesium.

Next, I was asked again to sit opposite the mirror and she began to explain some exercises, which I would need to carry out three times a day. She laughed each time before beginning her explanation and demonstration. Maybe she was unsure of her translation. Maybe she found it humorous to watch our reflections as we performed the exercises together, which involved contorting our faces into different shapes, putting our tongues in different positions, and making clicking sounds with our tongues on the roof of our mouths.  These exercises I would most definitely be performing at home, in private!

And so my experience of the craniofacial rehabilitation concluded.  I liked the holistic approach. I would continue to attend appointments every week in the hope that some of the pressure in my ear could be reduced…


  1. Glad you are encouraged by this approach. Anything positive is good!

    Just one thing, I’ll send you my email address if you’ll send me a video of the exercises….ha ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Carly 🙂
    I am so pleased that you got through your first session of acupuncture. I had the same sensations when I was treated in Gibraltar. Most needles I hardly felt, but a couple were agony. Anyway, I hope your treatment works. Good luck my friend.
    Ralph 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness, I am going to go to sleep tonight dreaming of needles – my worst nightmare! What a journey you are going on, wouldn’t it be wonderful if after one of these you suddenly realised you were at a turning point and things were improving?
    Sending lots of positive vibes your way for the next round xxx


  4. I didn’t get to read all your posts, but the couple I got to see, being a medical student in my 4th year with my little contact with patients and haven watched a lot of medical movies as well, I feel I can imagine some of your conditions as I read, you are really strong and positive and your ability to give this much details after they happen is also awesome, great job lady. I’ll stay tuned for more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Chinedu. Thanks for reading 🙂 it’s great to hear from someone in the medical profession. I’ll keep posting, and would be interested in your opinions and thoughts on any part of my story. Take care
      – Carly

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I have a loss in one ear and I have been using one for as long as I can remember. Most of my friends don’t even know. I listen to whispers, pick calls with my left ear only because that’s the one that works.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You can ask as much as u want. Yh since I was little even until now. I still have it. And you know about water entering the ear during bath, that makes me mad when it happens. Really not good 😊

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I am excited about the positive aspect of this alternative. I am very happy for you. I have chills as I read this post because even after going through countless needle pokes with cancer, I am terrified of needles. I am a baby at the sight of needles. I love you my dearest sister and continuing to pray for total healing. Thank you for staying strong and positive. Hugs💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, i am willing to try anything that could help.
      I’m not that brave with needles, but I find that as long as I don’t look at them, then I’m not as scared! Lots of love to you too, and I hope you are very well.
      Take care

      Liked by 1 person

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