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A Tale of an Acupuncture Convert
During my fertility treatment, Sage Acupuncture was my safe place. It was my comfy pillow, my relaxing spa, my therapy couch. Any metaphor in which you can imagine yourself closing your eyes, taking a breath, and exhaling, “Ahh….” Yep, that was Sage Acupuncture for me.
And this is coming from someone who thought acupuncture was a bunch of hippy mumbo jumbo.
I remember the day I finally gave in and fell in love. My fertility specialist had recommended that I give Sage Acupuncture a try. I was reluctant, but I trusted his advice.
Six acupuncture treatments later, and I was holding onto my last vestige of skepticism. But on this day, my practitioner, Kendall, told me she’d like me to utilize a visualization. The ambience was so serene: there was soft music playing, a heat lamp on my toes, a lavender eye mask on my face, and Kendall’s voice was so delicate and warm. She could convince you to give her your wallet with that gentle tone of hers.
“Now, today during your treatment, tonight before bed, and tomorrow during your procedure, I want you to imagine that your uterus is a honeycave,” Kendall cooed slowly. “Imagine that it is warm, gooey, and inviting. It’s very sticky and no one would ever want to leave it.” She started towards the door, “Now take some deep breaths into your abdomen and start imagining the honeycave. Make sure it’s very sticky.” Then she slipped out.
My first thought was, “Did she just say cave? Surely she meant comb. Is there even such a thing as a honeycave?”
Being left alone in a room with my thoughts, my mind quickly went down that path. “What would that even look like? What if you discovered one? You would be flabbergasted.” I imagined a warm cave with stalagmites of dripping honey. And before I knew it, I was there… imagining an odd, yet peaceful place that would be very hard to leave. I took deep breaths and thought, “You know what? Forget the comb. Think big. A cave of honey it is.”
(I should note that when she returned, Kendall checked if I had visualized the honeycave. “Yes,” I told her. “And it was sticky, right?” she asked again. I’ve taken to heart that stickiness is very important in this visual.)
When the idea of a baby first started to awaken in mine and my husband’s minds, I would have laughed if someone mentioned visualizing a cave of honey as a means to fertility.
A year later and six months into fertility treatment, I would have at least smiled and nodded at the suggestion. I’d give credence to the fact that pursuing a mind-body connection seemed to be abundant in fertility literature. But honestly I was wound so tight in my I-will-control-every-aspect-of-this-if-it-kills-me mentality that I would have thought: we are buried deep in fertility appointments. I’m going to trust that all these drugs will do their thing. I can’t add one more “treatment” to my plate if it’s not going to guarantee me a pregnancy. Who has time for that?
Fast forward to two years into fertility treatment, deep within the land of IVF. I had realized a few things. One: I could not control every aspect of this. The creation of life is too complex. And time and time again, I had been surprised and saddened by outcomes.
Two, I had to take care of myself if I was going to maintain the endurance necessary for fertility treatment. I was constantly being poked and prodded and filled with hormones. I’d think at the beginning of each new round, “I’m expected to do what everyday?! There’s no way.” I’d grit my teeth and get through it, but things started to get easier once I found a place that gave my body some much needed grace.
That was Sage Acupuncture for me. Once I gave in and actually let them help me, I couldn’t imagine undergoing fertility treatment without them. It was so comforting to be surrounded by practitioners who knew the multitudes of acronyms involved in assisted reproduction. They actually knew what I was talking about! (In fact, they knew much more than me). Each appointment was “Caitlyn Time”: the practitioners at Sage Acupuncture treated me physically and emotionally. They took a whole-body approach to my fertility treatment. I cried, slept, talked, and released in the offices at Sage.
So after three years of trying, two with the help of a fertility specialist, when Kendall told me to imagine my uterus as a honeycave, I thought, “Maybe you’re onto something, lady.” I love me some hippy mumbo jumbo.
Caitlyn Allen has lived in Austin since 2007 and is married to a native Austinite. She was a teacher for ten years before having a baby and pursuing writing as a second career. Follow Caitlyn on her blog: thehoneycave.com where she tries to provide hope, wisdom, and humor to those seeking to build their families.