Is anyone not aware that I got injured in a soccer game back in freaking August--and still have yet to step back onto a field?  It was/is a weird injury, didn't really twist anything, just a front-on collision (slide tackle from their goal keeper), but lotsa force into it.  Nothing gave way and broke that I'm aware of--no snapping noises, I was able to hop back up, jog back to my side of the field, and then decide it was enough injured that I should take off the rest of the game.  Then it swelled, and I couldn't much walk on it for a week or two.  I finally went to a regular doctor probably a month later when things hadn't progressed much.  Had the x-rays done, which don't show a whole lot really--no grossly broken bones (we already knew that), but a bone fragment or two at the ends of tibia and fibula that may be from an older injury, or possibly from this one.  I've been going to physical therapy sessions ever since, lots of improvement in terms of stability and strength, but there's still something in there keeping me from being able to run without pain.

And so, I decided I was willing to try anything.  Some friends and colleagues said I should give acupuncture a shot, and so I did.  I've always wanted to try this really, but haven't been willing to walk into the office and say 'hey, can you just stick a bunch of needles into me... let's see, maybe we can try to fix uhh, my inability to fall asleep quickly.'  However, this is a very real and physical ailment.  I don't know if I had much real belief this could have done anything.  I think I do believe that acupuncture must tap into something, stimulate the right nerve endings or whatever, and set about some kind of repair mechanisms- but I can't say my faith was too high this would really help. I wanted to try anyway.

It was surprisingly professional. I went to a local Eu Yan Sang clinic (they also have several stores in SG that just sell herbal traditional Chinese medicine) and walked up to the counter.  The woman asked if she could help me. (I didn't volunteer anything immediately just because I wanted to see their reaction to me). I said that I had an ankle injury that was taking a long time to heal and wanted to see if they could help.  She said 'maybe we try some acupuncture' and I said 'yea, that's kind of what I was thinking'.  She showed me their prices (pretty cheap, though I guess if you think this does absolutely nothing you would disagree), asked for my name and contact info, then walked me over and took my temperature and blood pressure.  I waited in waiting area just a couple of minutes, then was escorted to an office where a (nurse, doctor? not sure what the terminology is) sat with me and asked several questions about the injury, all very professional.  I did get a little bit of feeling from her that was kind of like 'well, I guess we'll try'.  She didn't say that, but somehow I didn't get the impression that she thought this was going to do anything either.  Eventually she walked me to the next room with 4 or 5 regular little doctor office tables inside.  I laid down on one, she cleaned my ankle up good with alcohol swabs, then took the needles shown above individually from their sterile packages, and started sticking them in.

I was a little surprised that I felt the needles going in more than I expected.  I thought they'd be those super thin needles that you really can't even feel, but they were decent-sized.  So I felt them but it wasn't very painful at all, just like a regular doctor needle stick (minus any injection that might cause more burning or irritation).    

After she got the needles in, she pulled over a little heat lamp and placed it above my ankle, just providing enough heat to keep the area a little warm.  I should point out that the office was air conditioned, not always a guarantee in SG.  Then she told me to relax for about 30 minutes, so I took a nap.  

She came back, took the needles out, cleaned the area with alcohol swabs again (actually probably the most painful part of the procedure, as the alcohol burns of course) and set me on my way.  

Did it do anything?  Well, not that I can tell.  I've been to one more physical therapy session since, and am now scheduled to go back to the original doctor for a more informative MRI.

But ahh, it was an experience anyway.