Don’t Tell My Mom I Got Acupuncture

I was lying face down with my bare ass sticking up, and I grimaced each time she poked me with those needles. I kept thinking about my mother who would drop dead in front of the azaleas in her Dallas yard if she could see me now.  My mom had lots of dreams for me, but none of them included me hanging out thong-side-up in an acupuncture clinic.

Growing up, my mother peppered our dinnertime conversations with cautionary tales from her medical mal-practice firm job.

Never see a chiropractor. We just got a case where a woman is paralyzed because she went to a chiropractor.”

“Whatever you do, do not see a doctor who has a last name you cannot spell.  You should see the names of these doctors who almost killed our clients.”

I remembered every story my mother told about the perils of quasi-medical treatment.  The details were always graphic (“he left the sponge inside the patient”), and the theme was always the same (“go see Dr. Smith or Jones at the most prestigious university within a 2-mile radius”).  She was adamant that failure to follow her rules would result in certain death and protracted legal battles for your next of kin.

When it came time to have my babies, I avoided midwives as if they practiced voodoo, and I was proud that my babies were born in state-of-the-art hospitals.  I knew how to spell my doctors’ names forward and backwards.  I was my mother’s girl.

But, I pulled a muscle in my rear that wouldn’t heal, and I got desperate when mainstream medicine failed me.  My ass-ache was debilitating, and I spent weeks limping, trying to explain to my children why I couldn’t possibly pick them up.  When I saw my two-year-old daughter holding her butt cheek imitating my limp, I knew I had to do something.

But what? All of the suggestions that friends offered were forbidden under my mother’s code.

My healthiest friend (a yoga teacher!) insisted acupuncture would help.  I made an appointment.

I feigned confidence when I was introducing myself and my posterior ailment to the acupuncturist. It was not easy to pull off, since I was afraid I would die on the table.

She told me to relax. She had to tell me several times. I finally decided I might as well relax, because either I would leave there in a body bag, never having to witness the disappointment in my mom’s eyes or my ass would stop aching and it would be our little secret.

Trigger Points (photo courtesy of

Trigger Points (photo courtesy of

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Have you done something that would give your mother a heart attack? Did you tell her about it?  Is she ok?


26 thoughts on “Don’t Tell My Mom I Got Acupuncture

    • I think it did. Is that too woo woo? I swear. I was really relaxed and now I can feel the knot in my bootie enough to try to work it out. She told me my husband should dig his elbow into the knot every night. Not sure how I feel about that suggestion!!! I have missed you!!!! Great to hear from you.

    • OMG, my mom would too! She almost had a coronary when I was doing on-line dating. I didn’t mention it was J-date, but that’s a whole other post. Not sure if it worked, exactly. I feel relaxed, other than being afraid that today will be the day my mom decides to tune into my blog. If so, HI MOM! Meet Banana Wheels– she’s good people.

      I will keep you posted on the recovery because everyone cares about my butt injury!!!

  1. Your most fascinating post to date! Your mom is a lawyer, wowza. Your sister too?

    I am in awe that you went for acupuncture – I can’t even tell me how happy that makes me. Almost as happy as I was to hear you have a yoga teaching friend!

    I do agree with your mom on one point – don’t EVER go to a chiropractor!

    • Funny! My sister is actually an accountant for a big firm, which is good b/c if we were in the same field I would slit my wrist. My mom is an office manager at a med mal firm, but not a lawyer. And my yoga teaching friend is a life saver. You’d love her– creative, vibrant, nurturing, artsy and a great mama. You gotta tell me about your chiropractor story….sounds juicy. I can tell my mom about it!

  2. Since my mom worked at a Dr.’s office and her BFF was a nurse, we had no need to consult a “quack-a-practor”, the likes of which had nearly rendered a friend’s mom paralyzed…or so the small town tale goes. It is fresh in my mind after 30+ years, and a deep tissue massage is the closest I’ve come to alternative medicine. The combination of my mom, bestie nurse, our communal medicine cabinets, some free pharma samples & health insurance that only covered catastrophic events meant there was no running willy-nilly to see anybody unless things were really dire. I’m kind of surprised the farm vet didn’t sign our school forms.

    My mom might get over a chiropractor’s visit now, but don’t tell her I’m consulting a pet psychic for my bed-wetting cat.

    As always, a great & funny blog. I sooo needed some medical-related funniness today!

    • Omg. Your vet signing your forms. Love it. And I have had some deep tissue massage that required extensive physical therapy afterwards. They aren’t messing around!

  3. OK first …. I was debating on scheduling a visit with a friend chiro and now I am debating… like you I am in a lot of pain in my neck shoulders and back… I really want to know if this needle sticking thing works… meds have not except to relax my muscles… (btw did you know the bladder has muscles? thats a whole other blog though)

    Second, Have you done something that would give your mother a heart attack? Yes… I married my ex husband….Did you tell her about it? Not until we were on the way to the JP… Is she ok?She has been fine since the day we signed the divorce papers :o)

    • Let’s hear about that bladder!!!! I am sorry to hear you are in pain. It really blows. I hope you find relief. And I am glad your mom is hanging in there!

  4. Bahaha. I sure hope that ass is feeling better. Have I ever given my mom a heart attack? Ive certainly tried. First I became a Christian because Jesus was the only grown up I had ever heard of who looked out for underdogs. I was 12. She survived. Then I became a lesbian. I was 23. She survived. Then I married a (female) communist. In a church. I was 29. She picked out our dresses which contributed greatly to her survival. I’m 3 weeks shy of 40. She’s aging well.

  5. I’m all for acupuncture. I haven’t had it, but I would without a second thought. Seeing a chiropractor – I’m still up in the air on that one. I’ll start with a masseuse.

  6. Oh, butt pain is the worse. It’s amazing how much we use that muscle. I’ve had back problems for years (because of an enormous chest) but my insurance company insists I see a chiropractor before they pay to remove the suckers. It’s kind of freaky, considering all the horror stories, but I’m willing to do almost anything now.
    My mom wants me to do whatever it takes to get my surgery. The one thing that would freak my mom out would be for me to pose for naked pictures, which is exactly what you have to do when you want breast reduction surgery. How’s that for irony?

    • You are kidding? Your comment is renewing my hatred for insurance companies. I do hope you get relief! I know people who adore their chiros and have great success with pain relief. Good luck to you!!!

  7. I went to an infertility accupuncturist while I was going through IVF, and I swear that’s what made the difference. It was a great experience, if not a little freaky. My mom thought I was crazy as well, although her lust for grandchildren kept her disapproval in check. Love the line about dropping dead in front of the azaleas…ha!

  8. My Mom is getting so old that I just don’t tell her things that would scare her or that she wouldn’t understand. My mother-in-law is a whole other story. My daughter describes her as bat-shit-crazy, and has for years. But my daughter was kind enough to wear long-sleeved shirts for an entire in-law invasion one summer just so she and I wouldn’t have to hear the lectures about the new tattoos on her arms.

    I only went to an acupuncturist once, and it was torture, but I know lots of people who swear by them. So my advice is to get personal recommendations before you choose one. I’ve tried chiropractors and didn’t notice any significant improvement in my condition. Massage is good but temporary, but my massage therapist also serves as a psychologist/bartender with his listening abiilities!

  9. Hehe. That sounds like the kind of relax I have to do in the dentist chair, sag the muscles but await immediate death. Leaving behind the rules of our childhood or of our parents isn’t easy even when we realise that we’ve outgrown them or they were never valid. 😉

  10. This is too funny! I hope it helped. It’s about the exact opposite for me. While my mom doesn’t necessarily approve of alternative medicine, my sister, who is in school to be a pharmacist, has a 2 year degree in alternative medicine – herbals, etc. My mom is slowly getting over her issues with alternative medicine thanks to my sister…

  11. Pingback: Acupuncture & TCM | Purpose and Dream

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