As soon as I walk into the acupuncturist office, the whole vibe is different from what I had expected it to be.

Somehow I had imagined a nice curl of incense, an ohmmm-track playing in the background, decorative pillows on the ground, and a Buddha or two. I mean, this is an alternative treatment, right? Holistic and stuff?

Instead, the waiting room is entirely empty and bleak. It smells like a doctor’s office. There are health and women’s magazines, ten tips to please your man, things like that. This summer’s crash diet!

The acupuncturist, when she shows up, is a middle aged woman. She guides me inside an equally white and boring office, sits behind her computer, and speaks to me like a doctor. What is your primary complaint?

I tell her about our baby plans, and that I would like some help in preparing for IVF treatment.

She asks me to stick out my tongue, which I do, and she judges it from behind her desk. I doubt she can see much of anything, but she concludes that I’m a healthy eater. Then she touches my wrists – stretched out over her desk to reach her – and says I have a weak heart, liver, and lungs. And that I am a very emotional person. I don’t know if that’s true at all, but hey, I’m willing to roll with it.

Then she tells me to strip and lie down onto a treatment table. I do so and then observe her from the corner of my eye as she takes a handful of tiny needles. I’m unclear as to what the needles are going to do exactly – zap my energy points? Unplug them? There is no explanation about it, so I just let her do her thing.

She sticks some in my feet and legs. It hurts a little as they go in, but that’s about it. Then my collar bones and my chest bone. The next series go into my forehead, and then my lower stomach. It doesn’t feel like anything in most places, in some it produces a faint stab.

And then she says not to move for twenty-five minutes and leaves me lying there.


I’m surprised she actually leaves the room. It’s not like I have anything to say about it though, so I lay there.

It’s hardly relaxing, whenever I shift or flex my hand, the needles remind me of their presence. I’m way too uncomfortable to nap, so I just stare at the ceiling.

I’m cold.

Bored, too.

It feels like a very long time, and I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed in the whole experience of being stabbed. Where is the smudging, and the candles? The Namaste, and the talk about energies? I had imagined a warm, alternative person clucking their tongue at me, and feeling my aura and various chakras. I had imagined more personal attention than a regular practician would give as well.

When the woman eventually comes back to release me of the two dozen or so needles, I’m more than ready to go. She quickly removes them, asks whether I felt anything, and when I say no, she seems vaguely annoyed and doesn’t speak to me anymore.

I walk out feeling disillusioned. Is this all it is supposed to be, really? Honestly, I’d much rather have a nice massage to relax!

Does anyone have a better experience? If so, please point me in their direction.

…Ohmmm-music and incense preferred!

4 replies
  1. Paula
    Paula says:

    No, no, no

    I saw the post amazing acupuncturist who specialised in fertility.

    She did the tongue and pulses but she explained everything.

    Don’t give these people your money xxx

    • Nele
      Nele says:

      I’m not going back to this one… I might try another one and see if they’re any better. You’re right, it’s really not worth giving someone like that money!

  2. Emmy
    Emmy says:

    I haven’t seen an acupuncturist myself but my mum has and afaik she always explains what she is doing and why. If I had had your experience I also would have been disappointed! Maybe ask around for references? I could ask for mums but it is near or in Bruges so i don’t know how far you are willing to travel. I do think you should try again. :)

    • Nele
      Nele says:

      There are several in Ghent so I could try another here… This one was paid back by my health insurance though, a lot of them aren’t (figures that the bad ones are the ‘accredited’ ones!) I think I will hear around for recommendations some more, Bruges is quite far to have to go multiple times. I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that this one wasn’t all that great though! People do seem to have really good experiences as well, I should have researched more before going to one. Thank you :)


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