Accurate Puncturing

December 16, 2009
Leslie at the acupuncture clinic

Leslie with acupuncture needles

This little play on words occurred to me earlier today as I lay prostrate with various needles in me. It’s a monthly habit. Sometimes there are good habits.

Several years ago a couple of acupuncture student interns were guest speakers at my MDA support group. They gave a little history of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and promoted a study. They were looking for people with mobility problems. At that time I didn’t qualify. But they discussed a number of ailments that acupuncture has proven helpful for. One of them was carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

I was coming off of a project that had me at the computer for hours and hours. My right forearm was killing me. I decided to give it a try.

During the initial meeting I filled out forms and was asked a lot of questions about my health. Naturally I discussed my chronic health condition but at that time I was also feeling weak, a lot of fatigue, and experiencing intermittent bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Apparently acupuncture and Chinese herbs could address these issues as well.

The focus for the first few meetings was my CTS. I can’t recall how long it took to alleviate some of my pain and discomfort but eventually the other issues were addressed.

I had heard many stories about friends boiling Chinese herbs and stinking up their house. I’ve been fortunate to mostly have herbal pills prescribed. Usually I respond very well to them. There are a couple formulas that I rotate depending on the weather. There have been a couple times I’ve boiled raw herbs, or flowers, for a  more pressing issue. Boiled chrysanthemum liquid compresses helps alleviate eye puffiness from a chronic condition I have called blepharitis.

When I was a child I suffered from allergies and had weekly allergy shots for several years. Even though I grew accustomed to the shots, I still don’t like needles. In fact, I close my eyes when the acupuncture practitioner is inserting the needles. It helps me relax. The needles never hurt me. Sometimes there’s a little stinging sensation but it subsides.

It’s really just another soothing body treatment like massage or a hot tub.

Suffice it to say, my now monthly visits and daily herbs keep me stable. I can’t say that acupuncture and herbs alone are the silver bullet but combined with other self-management behaviors, I generally keep my emotional and physical health in balance.

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