Aromatherapy Roll On Recipe for Rest & Relaxation (Plus How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Learn how to make your own aromatherapy roll on recipe for rest and relaxation! Plus other natural alternatives to help you get a restful night’s sleep.

DIY Aromatherapy Roll On For Rest and Relaxation! Learn how to make your own DIY aromatherapy roll on for rest and relaxation! Plus other useful natural alternatives that will help you get a good night's sleep. Find the recipe for this natural home remedy now at Soap Deli News blog and start down a new road of a life filled with restful sleep. It's also great when used in conjunction with yoga & meditation! #sleepaid #health #wellness #aromatherapy #sleep #holistic #essentialoils #homeremedy

Prescription Sleep Aids Can Be Scary

Whether it’s through pure exhaustion coupled with stress, insomnia or changing hormones, a question I often hear is “How do I get a good night’s sleep?” Automatically turning to big pharma for the answer can be quite terrifying these days. From drugs like Ambien that have side effects that include sleepwalking and even sleep-sex and other drugs such as trazodone, an anti-depressant often prescribed to help with sleep, has side effects that range from constipation to feeling like you threw one too many back the night before.

And of course none of these drugs actually help to root out just why we are having difficulty getting a good night’s rest. They simply offer a temporary solution that continue the cycle and can cause additional problems.

It’s no wonder that, as we become more aware of our health concerns and the potential dangers of slapping on a band-aid, that more and more people are seeking out natural solutions for their sleep issues. From smoking marijuana in addition to other natural supplements, as well as exercise, yoga and even meditation, there are natural sleep remedies that offer the benefit of better sleep without compromising your health.

It was only a year ago, when I was still working my day job prior to taking the leap into writing full time, that I actually ended up with TMJ from grinding my teeth so hard at night. So while I was sleeping, I wasn’t getting quality sleep and a big part of that was related to a high stress period in my life.

So I wasn’t at all surprised when last week, while having a conversation after my mammogram and checking out the difference between last year’s scans and this year’s with the new 3-D imaging, that our conversation naturally fell onto the topic of sleep during perimenopause and menopause.

I had been discussing my fibromyalgia with the mammography technologist and the improvements I’d made through holistic medicine. And it came around to how I handled not only sleeping through the night, but how I actually got a good night’s rest when my pain level would spike. In turn, she indicated that she also had trouble sleeping through the night since menopause hit and it led to an entire conversation on restful sleep. Or rather in our case, restless sleep.

She had been taking Benadryl at night in order to sleep. An option that’s considered safe for those not wanting to take something stronger and potentially scarier medications, some that come with the risk of addiction.

However, she was at the point that she was genuinely uncomfortable taking Benadryl every night. So we discussed the herbs and vitamin supplements I was taking and she was excited to look into more natural options.

What If I Don’t Want to Take Supplements?

If you prefer to avoid supplements altogether, then it is first important to consider whether your body is deficient in any vitamins and minerals that can affect your sleep. You’ll also need to root out the cause and determine if it can be tackled without herbs or supplements. (A holistic counselor can be extremely beneficial in this case.)

If it can, then exercise, yoga and meditation are great options. You can also use aromatherapy for an extra little push. However, if you find you do need something more to get you through a particularly stressful period, I do share some of the herbal supplements I’ve tried with success further down.

Learn How to Make an Aromatherapy Roll On

However, I’d first like to share a simple aromatherapy roll on recipe that can help to promote rest and relaxation. Because an aromatherapy roll on isn’t a product that is taken internally, you can easily combo this aromatherapeutic sleep remedy with other natural remedies that work for you.

DIY Aromatherapy Roll On For Rest and Relaxation! Learn how to make your own DIY aromatherapy roll on for rest and relaxation! Plus other useful natural alternatives that will help you get a good night's sleep. Find the recipe for this natural home remedy now at Soap Deli News blog and start down a new road of a life filled with restful sleep. It's also great when used in conjunction with yoga & meditation! #sleepaid #health #wellness #aromatherapy #sleep #holistic #essentialoils #homeremedy

Aromatherapy Roll On Recipe for Rest & Relaxation

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1.5 mL lavender essential oil
1 mL mandarin essential oil
1.5 mL bergamot essential oil
.5 mL ylang ylang essential oil
20 mL clear jojoba oil

Instructions:

To make your aromatherapy roll on recipe for rest and relaxation, begin by measuring out 20 mL of clear jojoba oil in a small glass scientific beaker.

Next, measure out the essential oils using a fresh graduated transfer pipette for each essential oil. Combine with the jojoba oil and mix.

Now use another graduated transfer pipette to fill a glass roll on bottle(s.) I used 10 mL glass roll on bottles with metal balls and silver polypro caps. (You can find these bottles along with a great collection of other glass roll on bottles in various sizes at SKS Bottle & Packaging.)

To use, apply your aromatherapy roll on to the crown of your head, on your temples, between your eyebrows or behind your earlobes. Other essential oils that help to promote sleep include Roman chamomile and marjoram essential oils.

Herbal Alternatives for a Restful Sleep

Natural herbal and vitamin supplements that I recommend include Gaia Herbs SleepThru Liquid Phyto-Capsules, Gaia Herbs Valerian Root, and for stress, Primal Calm Stress Relief Formula by Primal Blueprint.

If you also suffer from chronic pain that affects your sleep, you may find that herb blends that strengthen healthy inflammatory responses such as Gaia Herbs Mushrooms & Herbs Reishi and Turmeric Supplements and Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Pain P.M. especially beneficial.

As quality organic herbs and supplements can be difficult to purchase regularly on a tight budget, I shop through Thrive Market for the best prices on not only my herbal supplements but also on organic dry food staples, homeopathic medicines and even skin care products. (When you sign up for Thrive Market you also get 25% off your first order with free shipping on all orders $49 or more.)

If you enjoyed this article and my aromatherapy roll on recipe for sleep and relaxation, then you may enjoy some of my other recipes for making natural lavender bergamot deodorant (with magnesium,) lavender body butter (with neem oil) and a turmeric ginger ACV tonic.

For more great health and wellness recipes, be sure to check out my boards on Pinterest. You can also follow me via all of your favorite social media platforms including G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

The kids are in school, the holidays are fast approaching and there’s so much planning and shopping still yet to be done. Who can afford to get sick? Whether you’re making soothing medicinal teas, immune boosting syrups or something else entirely, these natural ways to fight colds & flu will keep you in shape to do what needs to be done.

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall! The kids are in school, the holidays are fast approaching and there's so much planning and shopping still yet to be done. Who can afford to get sick? Whether you're making soothing medicinal teas, immune boosting syrups or something else entirely, these natural ways to fight colds & flu will keep you in shape to do what needs to be done.

After all, we can’t always afford to take time off from work or home life. But it is important that we take time out for self care. This way we can still perform at our best even when we feel bad. And who knows, you may find that you enjoy some of these natural ways to fight colds & flu even when you aren’t sick!

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu

Natural Ways to Fight Colds & Flu This Fall! Learn how to make custom herbal tea blends to fight the cold & flu! Learn how to use herbal ingredients to create your own herbal teas for fighting the cold and flu. For example, peppermint helps to not only cool down the body, but it also soothes irritated lungs and eases colds. Hibiscus flowers, which are naturally rich in Vitamin C, help to “dry” out excess mucus in your lungs. While marshmallow root adds a coat of mucilage that can sooth a dry cough and sore throat.

Medicinal Tea for Colds & Flu

You need look no further than tea brands like Yogi and Traditional Medicinals to know that tea can help with a variety of ailments from insomnia and constipation to weight loss and energy. But if name brand teas don’t quite cut it, you can create your own custom tea blends to help ease a cold or flu.

Within the article, How to Make Custom Herbal Tea Blends by Jes of Good 4 You Herbals, you are provided with introductory information on herbal ingredients and tips for mixing these ingredients to create custom herbal teas. For example, peppermint leaf helps to not only cool down the body, but it also soothes irritated lungs and eases colds. Hibiscus flowers, which are naturally rich in Vitamin C, help to “dry” out excess mucus in your lungs. While marshmallow root adds a coat of mucilage that can sooth a dry cough and sore throat.

Cayenne, and this one is often used in cold & flu tea blends, heats up the body and acts as an expectorant if you have a stuffy nose due to a cold or flu. In addition it also has amazing antibacterial properties that help to promote wellness.

You can find Jes’ article on how to customize your own herbal teas here. (Jes also uses her herbal knowledge when developing her own natural plant based makeup. You can purchase her products via her Etsy store here.) Or try this simple and easy cold & flu herbal tea recipe with echinacea, ginger and cayenne to get you started.

If you’re not quite up to the task of customizing and preparing your own medicinal herbal tea remedy, you can purchase pre-blended cold & flu herbal teas from these artisanal sellers based on your symptoms. Or simply gleam ideas for the types of ingredients you’d like to use when making your own teas.

Fight cold & flu naturally with this Cold & Flu Loose Herbal Tea from Arogya Tea & Holistic Healing. This natural home remedy and herbal tea contains an immune-boosting and antiseptic blend of herbs to help strengthen and defend your reserves. Ingredients include Elder Flowers, Licorice Root, Fennel and Cinnamon to battle congestion, Calendula to ease fever, Lime Blossoms to calm the stomach and Echinacea to boost immunity.

I am particularly partial to this Cold & Flu Loose Herbal Tea from Arogya Tea & Holistic Healing. It contains an immune-boosting and antiseptic blend of herbs to help strengthen and defend your reserves. Ingredients include Elder Flowers, Licorice Root, Fennel and Cinnamon to battle congestion, Calendula to ease fever, Lime Blossoms to calm the stomach and Echinacea to boost immunity. Get it here. Or try Folke Magick’s Cold & Flu Herbal Tea as an alternate version.

Why drink apple cider vinegar during cold & flu season? Drinking raw apple cider vinegar everyday is a great way to keep your immunity up. Not only can it help to prevent you from getting sick, but it also gives your body a boost to fight a cold or the flu if you do get sick. I have a great recipe for a turmeric ginger apple cider vinegar tonic here. If you already have a cold, adding a dash of cayenne pepper to suit can give this tonic an extra kick to help clear out stuffy nasal passages.

Immune Boosting Home Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar

Speaking of boosting your immunity, drinking raw apple cider vinegar everyday is a great way to keep your immunity up. Not only can it help to prevent you from getting sick, but it also gives your body a boost to fight a cold or the flu if you do get sick. I have a great recipe for a turmeric ginger apple cider vinegar tonic here. If you already have a cold, adding a dash of cayenne pepper to suit can give this tonic an extra kick to help clear out stuffy nasal passages.

Natural ways to fight colds & flu! Learn how to make elderberry syrup this cold & flu season to help naturally boost your immunity! Black elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal value in treating colds, the flu, allergies and to boost overall respiratory health. Found along rivers, forests and even roadsides, this common botanical yields ripe berries that are rich in antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Elderberry syrup is a simple and tasty way to ingest the nutrients offered by elderberries. It’s believed that taken daily, it can help to prevent flu and colds as well as aid in the recovery of an existing illness such as the flu, colds, excessive mucus and even a sore throat. You can learn how to make your own homemade elderberry syrup here.

Black Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is another immunity boosting remedy! Black elderberries have been used for hundreds of years for their medicinal value in treating colds, the flu, allergies and to boost overall respiratory health. Found along rivers, forests and even roadsides, this common botanical yields ripe berries that are rich in antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin C.

Elderberry syrup is a simple and tasty way to ingest the nutrients offered by elderberries. It’s believed that taken daily, it can help to prevent flu and colds as well as aid in the recovery of an existing illness such as the flu, colds, excessive mucus and even a sore throat. You can learn how to make your own homemade elderberry syrup here. Alternately you can also buy a DIY elderberry kit or premade elderberry syrup. (This stuff is delicious! I highly recommend trying it on pancakes.)

In addition to apple cider vinegar and elderberry syrup, you can also purchase immunity boosting herbal teas. Moose Head Homestead sells an ImmuniTEA-herbal tea blend that combines elderflowers with organic ginger root, calendula, yarrow and peppermint leaf that you take at the first sign of discomfort. Earth Witch Herbals also sells an Immuni-TEA tea blend with a slightly different formula.

Alternately, if sipping on tea isn’t really your thing, Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Immune A.S.A.P Supplement is a wonderful alternative in pill form. (FYI Thrive Market has great prices on the entire Gaia Herb line. I shop with them regularly. It’s kind of like a Costco but for the world’s best healthy food and natural products at wholesale prices.)

Turmeric Golden Milk

Speaking of turmeric, golden milk is another great option for not only boosting your immunity, but it’s also a pretty powerful antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Golden milk, also sometimes called turmeric tea, can help stop a bacterial infection in its tracks as well as soothe a sore throat. It can also help with digestion issues such as with gas, bloating, and digestive comfort as well as ease muscle and joint pain.

An immune boosting turmeric golden milk recipe from Wit & Delight blog!

This turmeric golden milk recipe from Wit & Delight is a great option. You can swap out the non-dairy milk for dairy if you prefer or swap the honey with light agave syrup to make it vegan. (Wit & Delight is one of my long time favorite lifestyle blogs covering topics that include beauty, fashion, interior design, health & wellness, parenting and more.)

You can also find a simpler golden milk recipe at It’s a Healthy Lifestyle blog which focuses on nutrition, veganism, health and lifestyle. There’s even a golden milk frozen dog treat recipe for your pup at Dalmatian DIY because, after all, pets are family too.

Or, if there’s a bit too much work involved in the process of making turmeric tea for your hectic schedule, Laird’s Superfood Turmeric Creamer makes a great nutrient rich, vegan alternative for adding turmeric to your diet along with your morning cup of jo. (I also purchased this product from Thrive Market recently.)

Twig + Petals Immunity Boost Organic Essential Oil Blend is a natural way to help fight colds & flu! The natural blend of Pine, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Thyme essential oils can be applied to feet or added to warm bathwater to help support your body's natural immunity. 

Essential Oils

If your preference lies more in the realm of essential oils and aromatherapy then you might want to consider giving Twig + Petals Immunity Boost Organic Essential Oil Blend a try. The natural blend of Pine, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Myrrh, Tea Tree, Thyme essential oils can be applied to feet or added to warm bathwater to help support your body’s natural immunity.

Alternately, if you enjoy making your own homemade products, Humblebee & Me has a great recipe for making your own Essential Oil Cold & Flu Aromatherapy Roll On. It contains eucalyptus, peppermint, clove bud, wintergreen, lime, cajeput and tea tree essential oils as well as menthol. If you are allergic or sensitive to eucalyptus and/or clove bud essential oils, cedarwood and cinnamon essential oils make a wonderful substitute.

Now that you’re better armed to take on cold & flu season – and really, basically be Wonder Woman for the entire holiday season – be sure to let me know in the comments what some of your favorite natural ways to fight colds & flu are! And don’t forget to check out my Natural Home Remedies & Herbal Health Care board on Pinterest for more great ideas for taking charge of your health.

For even more great ideas and homemade skin care recipes you can find and follow me on all of your favorite social media platforms including PinterestG+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Alternately, you can also sign up to receive new posts from Soap Deli News blog to your email via FeedBurner so you never miss a post.

This article is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice and is provided for informational purposes only. Information on products mentioned are based on my own personal experience and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult a physician prior to making any changes that may impact your health.

Acupuncture – My Journey Into Testing the Waters of Eastern Medicine to Treat Fibromyalgia

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

A Personal Account into Testing the Waters of Eastern Medicine and Using Acupuncture to Treat the Pain of Fibromyalgia

First a little background.

Being diagnosed with fibromyalgia was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something I’d wish on anyone, but with this diagnosis everything about me suddenly made sense and fell into place.

I’ve literally had symptoms of fibromyalgia since high school. Some days were better than others some were worse. By college I’d get pain so bad it would make me nauseous. It was worse in my hands then because I was a fine arts major and I was constantly using my hands to take notes, paint, draw, and make pottery. There were many times when I had this foreboding sense that something was wrong, but I didn’t know what was wrong. Doctors dismissed the pain. I remember telling a dr. once that I thought I had arthritis only to be told I was too young to have arthritis. I was 25 then.  I suffered much of life with anxiety and depression. I often felt stiff and awkward. I would constantly bump into things and figured it was simply me being clumsy. PMS and menstrual cramps were both brutal for me. I had prolonged headaches for days and sometimes weeks. I either had trouble sleeping or I felt as if I was simply tired all the time regardless of how much sleep I got.

While there is medical documentation that fibromyalgia existed as far back as the 17th century, it wasn’t recognized as a real illness by the American Medical Association until 1987. Prior to 1990 there were no guidelines for treating fibro and many doctors had not heard of it or would not acknowledge it as a real illness. In 1992 the criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia was expanded and refined. However, patients with this illness would go through an average of fifteen different doctors before they were properly diagnosed. 50% of fibro patients are misdiagnosed and many go years before receiving a correct diagnosis. Even with the new attention this illness has received, there are still many doctors who refuse to believe fibromyalgia is a real illness or they simply have no idea what to do with it or how to treat it. For me it took two decades for me to receive a correct diagnosis.

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and treated with SSRI’s off and on. Eventually I developed agoraphobia where I had multiple panic attacks in succession any time I left the house. Eventually I started having panic attacks in my own home as well – in every room in fact except for my bedroom. Luckily it my being stubborn that saved me and I sought a diagnosis to treat the panic attacks that I refused to believe were happening because of “something in my head.”

The medicine for the anxiety and depression – which were actually being caused because the effects of the fibro on my body – led to misdiagnoses. The drugs to treat the anxiety and depression did serve to mask much of the pain, but unfortunately, they also led to side effects of their own that the doctors treated as new or worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety which led to me being misdiagnosed over and over as the drugs stopped working.

When I lost my insurance as a result of my divorce I went off all of the drugs I had been on. Eventually the pain came back and it was worse than ever. I was tested for a number of causes and was also given an ANA ( Antinuclear Antibodies) test. The ANA test is used to help detect and diagnose auto-immune diseases such as lupus. My test was positive which meant testing for everything within that realm basically to see if it was a true positive or a false positive. In the end it was a false positive. I was told I’d always have a false positive test because my brother has lupus. This also means I should be tested on occasion as having a sibling with a lupus puts me at a 50% risk of developing the same disease. I still didn’t have answers. However, I was referred to a rheumatologist who in the end, was the doctor who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.

I finally had my answers. I finally knew what was wrong with me and why I felt the way I did. Unfortunately I was still going to the free clinic – which incidentally isn’t free as you pay a co-pay based on your income – and was seeing an Nurse Practitioner who had doubts and also no clue how to treat fibro or what it really was.

Soon after I was able to start working full time at my job and acquire health insurance through the company which proved to be my second life saver. Since that point I have grown to be not only self sufficient but mentally healthy. I could see a doctor regularly which has greatly improved my quality of life which in turn has allowed me to do more and work more. I can now also recognize the signs my body gives me and treat them accordingly to stave off the depression and anxiety that used to follow due to my lack of information from feelings and pain I couldn’t explain.

Since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia last June, I have gone without any panic attacks or depression for over a year. And that is why being diagnosed with fibro was the best thing that ever happened to me.

What people say.

Unfortunately with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia there also comes a lot of unsolicited advice. Some is helpful and some is not. And some is just completely cruel. There are instances of messages I’ve received that blame the person with the illness for the illness. These type of comments you have to learn to brush off as simply ignorance. The other advice, you learn to take to eventually take with a grain of salt. One, no one really knows what truly causes fibromyalgia. It’s believed to be caused by the brain receiving the wrong signals whereas we feel pressure as pain. Two, no two people with fibromyalgia have exactly the same symptoms or respond the same to identical treatments. Trying to take everyone’s advice is not only impossible, but it could also leave you more frustrated and in turn lead to unnecessary stress.

What I believe is that when it comes to treating this illness, there is no right or wrong answer to treatment. Each individual person has to do what works best for them and that’s not the same for everyone. What works for me may not work for you.

However, if you do have fibromyalgia you may want to try things that have worked for others as it is possible it may work for you. Therefore, while this is a personal subject for me, I will share my experiences. Regardless, don’t let anyone judge you for your choices.

I highly recommend first figuring out what triggers your worst flare ups. It can be foods, stress, hormones or immobility. For me my worst triggers are stress – which I can control – and hormones – which I am able to control only to an extent. To help curb the debilitating headaches that came prior to and during menstruation, I went on birth control. Specifically I opted for an IUD as I’ve had a child and don’t plan to have more. This has helped immensely with the headaches and some of the worst pain that comes right before I start my period. Mostly it’s kept the headaches to a minimum. Secondly, I learned how to manage the stress. Learning how to manage stress goes a long way. I know I literally feel the pain start in one part of my body then extend all the way to my toes if I get overwhelmed or stressed. Therefore avoiding stress or learning how to not let things bother me have helped a whole lot.

Medication is another option. However, I can no longer take SSRI’s – which are shown to lessen the intensity of the pain – as they literally make me feel like I have constant morning sickness. They also changed my personality and would leave me with an “I don’t care” attitude. So they aren’t for me. I do know people with fibro who choose to not medicate at all. For me this isn’t an option as I could simply not manage as a productive member of society if I chose that route. Instead I choose to limit the medications I’m on. I avoid class c (meaning they are addictive) prescription pain killers as they a) leave me with migraines when they wear off, b) they are addictive and c) it’s been shown they can actually cause worsening pain over time with chronic use. Instead, I take a flexeril (a non-addictive muscle relaxer) in the morning and one in the evening or at bedtime. I take 1-2 tramodol (a non-addictive pain reliever for neurological pain) as needed only when the pain is not tolerable or I find my patience growing overly thin. These don’t make me pain free when I’m suffering from a particularly bad flare up, however, they do make it tolerable.

In addition, to help minimize flare ups, I try to walk every single day. Walking everyday – even on bad days – helps so much. I also choose to keep working. It’s been shown that those who work fair better than those who don’t, and personally I was able to go from working part time to working full time and doing the blog/soap almost full time as well. I take days off when things get really bad, but for the most part I work 70-80 hours a week. I never miss a regular work day unless I’m honest to goodness sick. I do take breaks from blogging and crafting if my body just doesn’t want to cooperate. And that is when I catch up on my favorite movies or tv series on Netflix and Hulu. I’ve really had to learn to listen to my body when it’s telling me to slow down, but the main thing is I don’t stop completely. Because not moving is how I ended up in the ER trying to get a diagnosis because I hurt so bad I was in tears. It can be a delicate balance.

Additionally, a good night’s sleep is a must, so if I have trouble sleeping I will take 2-3 melatonin about an hour before I want to go to sleep.

I’ve also recently started having acupuncture treatments. I’m hoping to find the time and motivation for yoga as well, but that one keeps eluding me. I can say that the two semesters I took yoga and walking (yes, walking, it satisfied a PE requirement) in college were the two semesters that I felt physically my best.

What is acupuncture?

 Acupuncture is a part of traditional Chinese medicine most commonly administered to treat pain. It involves inserting needles into specific points along the body to help balance the flow of energy, also called chi, that is believed to flow through pathways (or meridians) in a person’s body. Acupuncture practitioners believe that inserting these needles along these meridians will re-balance one’s energy flow.

My experience with acupuncture.

I am told that many insurance companies won’t cover acupuncture treatments. I personally don’t know if my insurance company will or not. The clinic I use does not file insurance claims and as my co-pay to see a specialist is $40 per visit, I simply pay out of pocket as it costs me less to do so. I am very lucky to live in an area that offers a community acupuncture clinic. Specifically I go to Roanoke Community Acupuncture which offers both private and community acupuncture sessions. Due to the higher cost of private acupuncture sessions, they also offer community sessions at a reduced cost on a sliding scale between $15-$45 which allows for sessions that are not only more affordable, but also allows for more frequent sessions which are often more beneficial.

Roanoke Community Acupuncture ClinicI was nervous about my first visit as this was all new to me, however the nerves wore off very quickly. I actually fell asleep during my first session and in subsequent sessions I tend to be able to nap as well. The community room has a number of recliners around the room, all covered in sheets with a pillow and a bucket for each chair. The linens are changed after each session with each individual patient and there is soothing instrumental music that plays during the sessions.

When you enter the room, you simply choose an empty chair, then remove your socks, shoes and belongings and place them in the bucket. A licensed practitioner (you are scheduled with) then comes around and addressed your needs for the day. Generally mine is pain whether in a specific area or all over. She then takes notes and maps out where she will be placing the needles. During the first appointment as well as some of the subsequent appointments, she also checks your tongue and pulse. You then recline and the needles are placed in your body. As this is a community room the needles are primarily placed on extremities. For this reason I like to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt when I go to avoid having to roll any clothing up. However my last visit I also had needles placed on either side of my upper chest and liniment applied to the top of my shoulders as they were particularly painful that session.

Keeping in mind that I feel pain differently than those without fibromyalgia, the needles – which are new sterilized needles in packaging – occasionally some of the needles hurt going in. This generally subsides within a few seconds. Occasionally a needle will bother a bit past that, in which case I ask to have it repositioned slightly. This generally fixes the issue, however, if you find a needle continues to cause pain, you should definitely ask to have it removed as this is not supposed to be a painful experience. I have personally never had to have a needle removed up to this point and several weeks of twice weekly sessions. Once all the needles are placed I simply lay back and relax with my eyes closed. There are pillows and blankets to make sure you are comfortable.

For some of my pain the acupuncture helps immediately. For other types of pain it succeeds in only dulling it a bit. I’ve had a headache disappear within seconds of having five needles placed in my ear, while other headaches simply did not. However, I always feel better coming out than I did going in and the treatment goes a long way towards also calming me overall and reducing any anxiety and stress I may have going in.

After an hour, the needles are removed – sometimes I feel a twinge of pain on removal but nothing more – and they are disposed of in a Sharps container.

The small, negligent amount of pain on the insertion and removal that I sometimes experience is worth the end effect to me. And I doubt that everyone feels the same discomfort since my pain is amplified. Therefore I am continuing to go twice weekly. If my budget allowed I would probably go three times of week every week, though I am scheduled for three days the first week of September since it coincides with the week before I start my period.

Overall, I find my personal acupuncture treatments calming and comforting. Once in there, I completely forget about everyone else around me. I find that the reduced anxiety and stress I get from a session is just as helpful as the amount of pain it dulls no matter how small. And it’s an hour I feel like I have all to myself with nothing to disturb me. At work I find I have more patience in stressful situations which in turn also leads to fewer painful flare ups since stress is one of my biggest triggers. And on the days it reduces my pain dramatically, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

If you have had acupuncture in the past or you are having acupuncture now, I’d love to hear about your own experiences since everyone has a different experience. However, as this topic is personal – both the acupuncture and the illness – any comments that make judgments or are simply aren’t kind will not be published.