Yeah, I’m a bit superstitious, so I’m hesitant to share my good news about acupuncture.
But here goes, jinxes be damned!
First, my background with acupuncture.
Seven plus years ago I had several rounds of acupuncture during my chemo treatment time periods. I think it helped, but since I didn’t have a “normal” baseline, I couldn’t be sure.
I’d feel pretty good after sessions, and I thought it was helping. My acupuncturist was treating me for free, out of his kindness, because he knew my finances were very tight then.
Well, fast forward to now when I’m having all kinds of aches and pains. The types that are exacerbated by weather changes. Nearly every place where I’ve had surgery aches sometime, and most of my larger joints and my back ache with arthritis almost daily.
The latest big ache has been my right shoulder. I know it’s arthritic, and since it’s crackling a lot – much as my knees did before I found out that they were bone-on-bone – I started to worry I might need shoulder replacement.
Since I had (and have) a hard time recovering from my double knee replacements, and since I’ve heard shoulder replacements are even more painful, I started to think about options.
I’m already doing yoga to help with joint mobility.
So I wondered, “What other non-surgical alternatives do I have?”
And acupuncture came to mind.
I already have experience with it. I already have an acupuncturist. And now I can afford to pay for treatments.
So I contacted my acupuncturist and set up an appointment. He remembered me, and we delved right in. I gave him a list – a long one – of my various pains.
He started with the basic points I remembered from seven years ago. Ears, hands, legs, top of feet.
Let me remind you that I hate needles.
But somehow acupuncture doesn’t bother me.
The needles are very thin. Maybe that’s why.
And I keep my eyes closed the entire time. I’ve never looked to see what it’s like to see acupuncture needles sticking out of my body. That probably helps, too.
This first session my acupuncturist put several needles on my ears. I remember that he started with only my ears in my very first session years ago. Points on the ear correlate with parts of the body. I could feel a tiny bit of stinging in some places, but nothing much at all.
Then he put a needle on the top of each hand in the V between my thumb and forefinger as illustrated to the right here. I felt nothing. I think stinging or other pain means there’s a blockage in that meridian. Maybe?
He also put needles at points on the top of each foot.
After the session I felt kind of loopy. I remembered that sometimes I felt that way those many years ago after an acupuncture session.
And during the week after the first session, I felt less pain overall. The acupuncture seemed to be making a difference.
A week later, I had the second session. My acupuncturist put fewer needles on my ears and more on other body parts. He put a couple or three needles on my right shoulder, the one that hurt the most.
And because I mentioned I had a stomach bug, he put a needle on on the side of my left leg below my knee, kind of in the upper calf. Boy, that lit me up! A pain ran down to my ankle. I think he saw it somehow. He commented about my ankle at the same time I was telling him where it hurt. The pain in my ankle gradually lessened and went away. That was the stomach meridian, and yep, it was irritated!
For each of the first two sessions, after my acupuncturist put in the needles, he left me to relax for about 20 minutes in the room with the lights off.
I felt great after each session, and after the second my overall pain diminished even more.
Then I had the third session (of what will be six total) on Tuesday.
I felt like a pin cushion. I think he put in 17 needles, most in the same spots as the previous sessions. Because I’d had migraine aura earlier that morning, he put a needle on my third eye point and another at the crown of my head. And he put a needle on my thigh because I told him about the bursitis in my left hip bothering me. None of the neeedles hurt much this time. Most didn’t hurt at all.
He left me to relax for a longer time with the needles this session. I think it was about 40 to 45 minutes. I got antsy a couple of times, but because I have experience with meditation, I could manage to relax and go with the flow.
I felt a little loopy afterward. I had’t felt that way after the second session but did again this time.
And here’s where I’m afraid I might jinx myself . . .
I feel so much better! Very little pain, even with this unsettled, thundery weather of the last few days. My joint aches are almost gone.
And today at Planet Fitness – for the first time since I started using this machine in the photo below – I didn’t have to ask for help to put this bar on the cable hook. My shoulder has been hurting too much to lift it that far while holding the bar.
But this time I did it myself . . . because my shoulder hardly hurt!
I hope my sharing this doesn’t cause a jinx.
I hope this doesn’t wipe out the positive effects of acupuncture.
I hope my pain continues to be less.
And less and less.
I have another acupuncture session on Monday and then two more after that. We’ll see if one round of sessions gets rid of almost all of my pain.
What I can say now is that this acupuncture seems almost miraculous!
In just three sessions, I feel markedly better.
And I feel generally better overall.
So put acupuncture in your “possible treatment” file. It’s an alternative medicine that is working for me.
IF the jinx imps don’t mess it up!