Saved by a Needle Ninja: How Acupuncture Saved My Day When Gluten Tried to Ruin It

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I woke up that morning with my head in the fog, a sluggish body and an uncontrollable sadness that competed with watching The Notebook on repeat. I wish I could have blamed it on a hangover, that would be easy. Instead, I was suffering from a severe gluten reaction.  One of the top three worst in the 9 years I’ve been gluten free. It was Tuesday and I had no desire to leave the dark covers of my bed until it passed.

Letting Down My Guard

I’m usually careful about the restaurants I go to in Seattle, but the 3 pieces of pasta and 1 piece of bread I ate at the little Italian place the night before did me in. Full disclosure: I’m NOT officially diagnosed as having celiac disease, or a gluten intolerance. I’m one of those gluten-freaks that has painstakingly eliminated every inflammatory food from my diet to connect my radical mood swings with foods I’ve consumed.

It took me 3 years to officially proclaim I have a gluten sensitivity and boy does my body tell me when I’m having one! The symptoms are as follows: sinus pressure that feels like my brain are going to explode out of my skull, deep sadness, like the kind you feel when watching a loved one die, constipation or for a change of pace, diarrhea, bricks and cement for muscles and dementia as bad as my grandmother’s. Oh! And vertigo — can’t forget the merry go round spins.

Gluten Karate Chop!

So, back to my horrible, no good, very bad start to a day. Being in a horrific state of mind and having 8 hours of work ahead of me, I needed to do something fast.  Luckily, I work at a health clinic, surrounded by some pretty brilliant providers, including an Acupuncturist name Gabrielle Anderson, aka the Needle Ninja. I was desperate. I put myself on her schedule in hopes she could clear my mind of this cycle of crazy I was in.

After I told her my symptoms she checked my pulse, stating simply “Hmmm, I’ve never felt this pulse before”, to which I replied “does it feel like a bug zapper? Going zzzzzt, zzzzt, zzzzzt”. “Yes!” she exclaimed, “that is exactly what it feels like”. I asked her if she could fix me and she said, “ Yes, I think Acupuncture can help!”

Sweet Relief

It took a solid 75 minutes for the room to stop spinning and for my brain to stop pulsing against my skull, but it worked. It worked! I asked Gabrielle how Acupuncture resolved my gluten reaction, she explained that Acupuncture reduces inflammation, soothes the digestive system, and facilitates rebalancing of the digestive organs. She also addressed my emotional distress, by placing needles along my body’s meridians that harmonized both physical and psychological states. Brilliant! Just brilliant, 9 years later and I’ve finally found a way to resolve my awful gluten reactions. Thank you Acupuncturist Gabrielle!

Next on my list: find a gluten free Italian restaurant in Seattle.

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