Updated: Mar 27, 2020

No idea if it works but it makes me feel good!

Having acupuncture again this evening reminded me to tell you all about Eleanor.

So Eleanor Breen was recommended to us by a school friend of Tom's who has recently had some success with IVF alongside treatment with Eleanor.

I don't know if it was the fact that this person is now pregnant (which meant it was a good omen) or whether I just wanted to try it out of desperation but I had a good feeling so just went for it. Tom and I decided to go for a joint 20 minute free consultation to have a chat with Eleanor and go from there.

We left 45 minutes later! Got on really well and felt really comfortable around Eleanor.

Tom and I have both had acupuncture before, Tom for muscular related injuries and me for helping to manage heavy periods which turned out to be endometriosis.

I must admit I had always enjoyed it in that I always felt good afterwards but didn't feel like I had ever had it or the benefits explained to me so specifically in the way that Eleanor did.

It's a form of Chinese Medicine that views the human body in a holistic way, emphasising the connection between physical and emotional health. The Chinese philosophy is that good health involves a continuous smooth flow of energy (Qi) through channels within the body. Illness, injury or emotional stress occur when Qi is out of balance or unable to circulate freely. Acupuncture works to maintain the body’s equilibrium and the flow of Qi, by inserting fine needles into specific points on the body. There are also benefits specifically around blood flow when it comes to fertility.

Eleanor was fantastic at really listening to us, how we felt, what we've been through to get to where we are and what we're about to go through with ICSI treatment. She asked loads of questions about my cycle, our general health and anything we thought she should know that was affecting us getting pregnant naturally. We felt really important and like she really wanted to help us on the journey.

This continued into my first full session with her on Friday. It was part counselling, part acupuncture! She always starts by asking me how I feel and what the updates are before she starts treatment. I guess this helps her decide where to focus the needles but it also really helps me to focus on areas where I feel like I might need support and it feels really good to get those emotions off my chest with someone who is less connected to our situation. Today for example, was the day after we've been given our personal treatment plan so I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the information and it was good to chat about it and put it into perspective.

Friday and today, treatment started with a needle in my forehead. I've not had them in my face before but it feels bloody good. Then I have one in each trapezius muscle (because my shoulders are where I hold and carry a lot of my tension) and one in the top of each foot near my big toes. These ones stayed in for a good 10-15 minutes to get to work. When they're put in, she asks me to take a deep breath in and then she inserts them as I breathe out so I feel a lot more relaxed on the out breath. It's silly to say that it doesn't feel like a pin or a needle piercing your skin because it does. Some of them I don't feel at all until she wiggles them to get a response. Some of them just feel like an injection but without the fluidy bit. Once they're in, she wiggles them a bit until I respond with some sort of feeling. That feeling is much deeper than where the pin point is, it's like a stretchy sort of pulling feeling that's hard to describe and can often make you twitch out of relaxation rather than pain. It's like you can feel the force of the energy in that moment which feels all tingly and a bit light headed. What was really impressive to me is that Eleanor could tell when I had that feeling and doesn't always ask me to tell her. That's real intuition I think and made me feel more confident in her ability.

She takes my pulse a few times throughout that 10-15 minutes and nods approval to what I can only assume is me relaxing and calming! Then she does some needles which are more "in and out" rather than staying put. One in each ankle and one in my lower abdomen. She pops them in, wiggles for a response and then takes them out again. Then they all come out with my forehead being the last one.

After it's completed I feel so goddam good! I generally feel lighter and like a bit of a cloud has lifted, overall more positive.

I guess what I don't know for sure are the benefits of the treatment alongside IVF and I'm sure there is tons of research to prove and disprove this the effects of the treatment. What matters to me and what I believe should matter to anyone looking at a more holistic therapy is that you feel good doing it or that you generally feel it's beneficial for your general health. For me, acupuncture clears my head, helps me see perspective during a busy and overwhelming week and helps me to focus negative energy out of my body. I've also heard so many positive outcomes alongside IVF and fertility that I can't not try it!

My treatment will continue with Eleanor throughout my cycle which starts on Sunday and I can't wait to see what happens.

If you're Bristol based, I highly recommend giving Eleanor a call. But be aware she is pregnant (and did check that I was comfortable with this before we met, which is really kind) so might be triggering for some people but may also mean she's not available in a couple of months time. If you're not Bristol based, I still recommend this sort of treatment but would advise you to ask for a free consultation or welcome appointment to see if you're comfortable with that person and suggested treatment.


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