I remembered that the quality of dry needling was so totalitarian in its brief pain that I had come to a realization that it wasn’t something I could ever do in the morning, or at lunch. But I was desperate enough, my lower back starting to lock up, laying on the ground, using power cords to stretch my hamstrings out enough to get enough relief, that an afternoon appointment between my two sessions of building work would be a risk I was willing to take.

One twitch of the needle felt like an entire day’s worth of pain. No amount of breathing could make it go away. But it would make it tolerable. Almost curious, really, that something could be so painful. And the body reactions, I had to just laugh. Twitching legs, heart rate, sweating. It was literally torture – focused torture. Five minutes felt like a whole day of stress, with all of the corresponding cortisol.

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