First Acupuncture Treatment

Today, I received my first Acupuncture treatment.  Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that incorporates tiny needles puncturing the skin, into the tissue of the body.  These needles are strategically placed by a trained Acupuncturist along the meridians of the body.  Acupuncture helps to treat many various forms of ailments, addictions and underlying emotional problems that an individual may have.  My visit started with seeking out another treatment, the Gua Sha.

I saw a video where Gua Sha was used on a person to help treat the pain they were experiencing.  Another Chinese technique was used by scraping the tissue with a spoon.  I became curious and wanted to experience this treatment.  I’ve tried cupping.  This one was a similar idea, to bring blood flow to the surface of the skin.  After watching the video, I Google searched for the nearest Gua Sha treatment and came across one close by me.  After I spoke to the friendly receptionist, it was determined that I needed to receive Acupuncture along with the Gua Sha (Gua Sha usually is not performed by itself).

I booked my Acupuncture visit and arrived to the Las Vegas Integrative Medicine with no expectations of what to experience.  I have never received Acupuncture but had been trained in Acupressure and knew about the meridians and the points that is used in Acupuncture.  With this knowledge going into the treatment, I knew that the chi within me was going to get treated.

Dr. Yoojin Lee-Seders, ND, OMD warmly greeted me when she walked into the room.  Very petite in frame, a soft-spoken voice and a genuine sincerity of wanting to know my medical history and current ailments, I felt at ease as we went through my consultation.  My main concern was my right neck, shoulder, hand and knee.  Everything on the right side of my body has been in discomfort.  She digested my information.  Before stepping out of the door, she directed me to put on a hospital gown when she is out of the room and to lay face up on the table.

As I was laying on the table in the hospital gown, I got a little butterflies in my stomach.  For the first time, I felt a little nervous.  She came back into the room, placed all the sterilized needles out on her work station, turned on some soothing ocean sounds (coincidentally, the same ocean sounds I listen to when I take a bath) and started to palpate the areas on my body that I had told her were causing pain.  Stating if the pain was either greater or less when she’d press into my body, she got a clearer vision as to where to place the needles.

After wiping my body down with a disinfecting alcohol wipe, she began to perform the Acupuncture needles, one-by-one into the meridian channels of my body opposite side from where I was feeling the pain.  It felt like a sting, a sharp pain in some areas and sometimes just a tiny poke.  There were two areas on my body that caused a deep, achy, almost unbearable pain.  One was on my left outer knee, the stomach meridian and the other was on the inside of my right heel, the kidney meridian.  Needle after needle were placed into my arms, legs, feet wrists and one in between my eyes.  She then asked how I was feeling before she placed another layer of cloth over my body and an infrared lamp at my feet.  Dr.  Lee-Seders then told me that I would be lying there for 3o minutes and she exited the room.

During this time, I was allowing my body to go through the motions.  I let go of all control and let the work of the needles puncturing the meridians go to work.  At times I could feel some throbbing pain but it only lasted seconds.  Tingling and numbing sensations came and went in waves throughout the 30 minutes.  At one point, I felt a heavy weight laying on my chest.  The weight got heavier, my ribs became compressed and my breathing grew shallow.  I reminded myself that I was letting go and allowing the work of the needles to perform their job within me.  Within a couple minutes, the heavy weight was lifted off my chest, my ribs expanded, my breathing became effortless, I felt like my body was a light weight of air.

The doctor came back into the room to check up on me, asking me if I was relaxed.  I was indeed relaxed, very relaxed, elated even.  She told me I had about 10-15 more minutes left and asked me I would be okay for that length of time, which replied, “Yes”.  I was very happy to hear that I could keep experiencing more work of the Acupuncture needles.  For the remainder of the time, I rested.  No pain, no discomfort, just complete uninterrupted rest from body and mind.

Time was up.  Dr. Lee-Seders began to remove the Acupuncture needles, one-by-one from my body.  I felt like I had just did an intense weight lifting session.  My body felt swollen but was not swollen at all.  She gave me after treatment instructions by using Castor Oil to rub into my skin on certain areas of the body.  The Castor oil helps to bring warmth and promote healing.  We discussed the Gua Sha and decided that she will perform in on me after my next visit.

I purchased some Homeopathic medicine to treat my sinus issues and inflammation in my body and purchased a package for treatment.  With a 5 session package purchase, she gave me the 6th treatment for free.  I now have my sessions booked and look forward to receiving more Acupuncture treatments with Dr. Lee-Seders.  This was a great experience and she was phenomenal.  A great doctor with patience, kindness and ease with performing her well-mastered Acupuncture.



Train Like a Bikini Athlete

Front Pose (Photo by Mark Mason)

Transitional Pose (Photo by Mark Mason)

A year ago on March 26th, 2016, I participated in my first Bikini Competition, NPC’s Jay Cutler Las Vegas Desert Classic.  A four month, 16 week preparation of training and dieting transformed my body to a muscular frame I knew I had but never trained it to its potential until then.

When I first started my competition, I weighed in at 158 pounds, on stage I was 141 pounds.  I lost 17 pounds of fat and water off of my body within the 16 weeks.  Had I been true to my diet, I would have lost a few more pounds and would’ve been leaner and tighter on stage.

Back Pose (Photo by Mark Mason)

Waking up early to do fasted cardio and evening weight training took up much of my time besides work and spending time with my kids.  Training 6 days out of the week become second nature.  The wear and tear my muscles took made me exhausted and I found myself needing a good straight 7 hours of sleep with a 20 minute power nap during the day before my weight training session.

I trained at Phase 1 Sports, an elite training center with top of the line trainers that build athletes.  I soon found myself being called a Bikini Athlete.  I’ve never trained my muscles as hard as I did training at Phase 1 Sports.  They had ingenuity when it came to pushing my body past its limits with valuable knowledge of breaking from the norm of using only weights and adding natural body resistance with multiple techniques.  Mike Waters and Royce Boone opened my mind to fun in the gym!  Although it was tough, I was never bored working out and I believe that is what made me continue training.

I never thought I would ever step on stage in a bikini, yet compete against other women in one being judged off of the muscular development of my body.  I’ve done triathlons, played basketball, baseball, volleyball and was a sprinter in track and training my body to be stage presentable does deserve the title of Bikini Athlete.  “Athletes are people who train in or are good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength” (Merriam Webster).  The physical skill and strength are required to develop my body where it needs to be for competing.

I’d like to share my Fitness with you and even if you may not chose to step on stage, your body can still be worked hard to where your strength and physical skill could let you perform any fitness task.  I’m making my Fridays on my blog, #FitnessFridays, where I will show ways of training your body like a fitness bikini athlete.