by Lynn Kim Do

I tried Acupuncture for the first time.

Acupuncture can be intimidating for many reasons. For one, the needles. The MANY needles. I have never met anyone in my life who have said, “OH MY LAWD! Needles are my FAVORITE THING. Ever. EVER! I just love them so much.” So, I don’t think I’m alone in this sentiment that needles freak me out. I mean, when I was 12 and very overdue with my immunity shots, I convinced myself that if I made my doctor laugh really hard, he would decide not to prick me with needles and inject whatever fluid my school deemed valuable to my existence. Moral of the story there was that humor doesn’t fix everything. But it definitely made us both laugh through the experience, even if they were nervous ones. My next experience with needles were tattoos. My fear of needles was collapsed by my higher belief in body art. And the permanency is real so, yeah, if my artist had already started, then god damn, she better finish!

So here I was at Rest Acupuncture, talking Yukiko’s ear off (my nervous defense mechanism kicking in) and I asking a bunch of questions. In retrospect and highlight and in current conscious thought, I shouldn’t have been nervous! Acupuncture has been around longer than modern medicine and probably penicillin (don’t quote me on that!). I have met people who swears by it. It’s holistic! No GMO. Hella organic. No substance. All good vibes. I am such a believer in preventative care and self love, which means that I will try almost anything at least once that promises a balanced body and mind. And ANYTHING to reduce anxiety. After all, New York City breeds it. The road of success is the only road I’m walking on. And success doesn’t come stress-free.

Okay, let’s back to the acupuncture room. Yukiko took her time with our initial consulting, easing my mind, catering the process to my needs and concerns. There are four Rest Acupuncture prepackaged options her clients may choose from. They’re like bento boxes (but acupuncture style). I told her that I’ve been having digestive issues, nightmares, stress from moving, and then added “I just want to connect my mind and my body.” Yukiko in her wise form suggested that we do the “Calm” option, “the most pokiest one.” I low-keyed panic but I knew that whatever it is, it can’t be worse than my five hour tattoo. AND I knew I would walk out of this feeling like a BRAND NEW WOMAN. I followed this saint into a bed of my choice in an open yet inviting space. The minimal space filled with the freshest oxygen courtesy of the prettiest plants felt like everything my apartment should be but isn’t. Yukiko dabbed a small alcohol wipe in all the areas she planned to poke, put a bit of pressure on the spot, and the quickly pricked me with the sterilized (and one-time-use only) needle. The first one on my foot was totally FELT. It wasn’t intolerable though. The rest felt easy. The ones on my arms, chest, and face felt like nothing. My body felt heavy and sunk into the bed. “Enjoy your nap,” she said. And just for context, I do not nap. I can not do it. I envy those who do but I am not built that way. So to be completely honest, the mix of this new experience, the needles, the nap, I had some anxiety at first. And then I reminded myself to give in to the experience. To let go. Wow, I am so glad I did because I quickly fell asleep. 40 minutes go by and I am gently woken up by Yukiko’s voice. She advised me not to drink alcohol or do anything too active after because it can undo the work we just did. I left that studio feeling like I was floating. I have never been so chill. And I am not “chill”. The best way I can describe it was that I very much felt in the moment in every moment. I wasn’t thinking about my day earlier, what I was going to do next, or the day after. I was just existing. That night, I slept so peacefully and the next morning, I still felt incredibly chill. I barely recognized myself because of this just loose and relaxed feeling. I never wanted this feeling to go away. But then I walked into a stressful meeting and yeah…it left me.

So I’ll be back to Rest very soon. I suggest everyone and anyone to try it. There’s nothing like getting to know yourself, your mind and body connection, and receive some benefits like acupuncture.

I came back a second time because I am a firm believer that the first and second time are usually drastically different. A month or two had gone by and I was in dire need of Yukiko. I possibly created an illogical correlation to being the best and zen version of myself to Yukiko but it was wonderful to see her. I was so excited to be in her presence and tell her my problems, all the internal and physical manifestations. We did a more personal session because of the high levels of anxiety I had and stress prior to the visit. The pokes felt less "pokey" because I think I became a bit familiar with the sensation. I sunk right into the bed upon her magical touches. I did feel paranoia at first, just like the first time, but I think that comes with my personality. I then told me self to trust the process and let go. I fell asleep and woke up gently feeling alert and well-rested. I realized that the 30 min that I felt asleep felt like 3 hours. I took the extra 15 minutes to meditate and process some lingering thoughts in my mind. I made many wonderful ideas and self-realization during the last 15 minutes. Yukiko took me out of my own head at the end of the process and I felt absolutely wonderful. And floaty. And stressed-free. Yukiko told me that many people just nap through it, others find their best ideas through it.

131 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002

Images by Lynn Kim Do & Kim Geronimo