So last night was my first session of voluntarily getting needles stuck in my back and wiggled around, in the hope it would help. I'm still in shock I volunteered for this stuff - previous needle experiences haven't exactly filled me with joy (the whole open face wound from the BMX'ing incident when I was 15 still gives me the shivers when I think about it).
Anyway, a quick rundown on the technicalities of it. I first thought it was more along the lines of accupuncture, where they just stick those tiny needles in and leave you to meditate for a bit, until I read up a bit more on it. They actually use slightly thicker needles (which I deliberately didn't look at - old habits die hard), and then once they're in there, they wiggle them around until they hit the center of your muscle, and it involutarily cramps up. The idea behind it is (and I'm not a doctor, so this could all be complete crap, but I'll take a shot anyway) that your muscle gets worked so hard, that it has no other choice at the end of the procedure but to be completely relaxed. The body then sends blood and whatever else it needs in huge doses to the affected area, speeding up healing, and allowing the muscle to realize what it's natural state is supposed to me (only tightening when you really want to use it), rather than just tense all the time to try and protect the bits in your back that hurt.
So, what did I think. Good question - the needles themselves didn't hurt - I only felt one of them going in a bit, the rest we pretty painless. But then the wiggling starts..... It was pretty weird to start off with - nothing much going on, and then all of a sudden (if it's working properly and the doc hits the right spot) you get the most intense feeling of cramp ever. What's weird about it is that it's not like regular cramp, which typically takes up the whole muscle (like your thigh, or calf or something) - it's really localized, like the size of a quarter (or 10 pence piece for back home). One muscle somehow managed to send a shooting pain all the way down the back of my leg though, as the whole think locked up, which resulted in the needle inserter saying "good job!". I thought it was because I had somehow managed to keep the large amounts of profanity that was flying through my brain from entering the world, but apparently the more your muscles react, the better it is.
Anyway, this went on for about 20 minutes, and it was pretty survivable. Once I was done, I had to ride the bike for about 10 mins, just to make sure the muscles stayed loose, and didn't lock straight back up, and then do a bit of light exercise that night (walking Fynn was enough). I was a little sore last night (and no anti inflammatories allowed), and today it just feels like I had a decent workout. I'm still trying to work out why I feel so good today - it's either the effects of this, it's Friday, or Fynn managed to stay asleep the whole night so we got a decent nights kip. Anyway, it's probably a combination of all three, but apart fromt he soreness, the back feels better than it has in a long long time. Here's hoping it only gets better from here...