I’ll begin by saying that—for me—acupuncture is nearly a miracle.
I had a six-week course of weekly treatments this summer, and my painful right shoulder regained mobility along with much less pain and arthritis cracking. So when my back hurt more and more, I figured acupuncture was surely worth a try.
But I had no idea that it could actually shift the scoliosis I was diagnosed with when I was 11 years old!
Bret, my acupuncturist, was amazed at the uneven nature of my back. He said the muscles looked as if someone had scooped an indentation from the left side and piled it on the right. So he went to work on my right side, which is typically very tense.
His comment was:
Muscle moves bone. Bone doesn’t move muscle.
I had realized that fact about a decade ago when it became clear to me that my scoliosis was caused by the knot of tension that seemed to originate around my right waist, a bit toward the back. But as I consider more deeply, it seems that the tension actually begins in my left toes and runs up my left leg across to my right waist then up to my left shoulder into my neck.
My tension zigzags.
The most obvious result is that my left shoulder is higher and my head tilts to the left.
Bret is working on shifting all of this to get rid of the zigzag.
And—amazingly—it is working!
I’ve had eight sessions now, and each time Bret puts the acupuncture needles in different places because the energy is shifting more toward balance. In my fourth session, he also did cupping. That really helped the muscles release. This below is what the effects of the cupping looked like immediately afterwards.
Though I still hold tension in the same pattern, I can feel it lessening. I never would have thought that a handful of acupuncture sessions could start shifting a pattern of muscular tension that started before I was 10 years old. I’ve been carrying myself askew for over 50 years, and now acupuncture is helping balance me.
Though I didn’t have an x-ray before I started this course of acupuncture sessions, I bet an x-ray now would show my spine straightening. I have some pain as my body adjusts to a new posture, but overall the pain is lessening quite a bit.
I’m also using yoga to stretch muscles that have been strung tight on my bones for most of my life. I am especially working on stretching the right side of my back and strengthening the left side.
But I find that as I stretch one place, another needs it, too.
Because everything is connected!
That tension in my left foot is responsible for the tilt of my head. Because the energy runs throughout my body.
Bret has been working especially on my urinary bladder meridian, which is the longest in the body (from the eye over the head all the way down to the toe) and runs along the spine. Sometimes when he hits a point, it lights me up with pain for a second. I know there’s blockage when that happens. Bret says it feels “gummy” when he hits a blocked point.
Sometimes my back has been very sore 24 to 48 hours after a session. The pain often moves up my back to my shoulder. But after the 48 hours, I feel much better.
Through the whole course of treatments, I have felt the energy and tension shifting. Bret says I’m one of a handful of his patients who has very significant response to acupuncture. He attributes that to my being mindful of what I’m feeling.
I still catch myself holding tension in my muscles, but I can feel that the most tense places are moving with the acupuncture treatments. I can also tell with my daily yoga that there is a shifting of energy and tension.
The yoga is working hand in hand with the acupuncture. I can feel the difference in my body, especially when I’m standing. I’m also working on not standing in my usual crooked ways and instead focusing on standing in a balanced way.
I’m learning, little by little, to help my muscles move the bones back to balance and straightness.
Acupuncture is making a huge difference in making that happen.
Who would have thought that using very, very slim needles to hit energy points could change the posture I’ve had since I was in elementary school?
I was skeptical.
But my experience is making me a believer.