Friday, November 16, 2012

Thoughts For Today -- Acupuncture Anyone?

Sometimes in order to take a risk, we have to be backed into a corner. For me that corner was my feet. I have peripheral neuropathy, and all that comes with it pushed me out of one of my comfort zones.

I couldn't take it anymore--the pain, burning, cramping and feet that felt like blocks of wood attached to the end of my legs made me wonder if amputation might be an option. Drastic, I know. But I was desperate.

There was no clearly defined cause for my condition and traditional methods were of no help. I needed to try something unconventional. I turned to acupuncture. I figured I'd give it a try. What did I have to lose?

That was a couple of years ago and I'm still seeing an acupuncturist two - three times a month. It has been a great help to me. I'm not "healed", but I'm still sane, or so I'm told.

Yesterday was my bi-weekly appointment with my acupuncturist, Heather. And believe it or not, I look forward to my visits, even though it means there will be a bunch of needles stuck into my body. Most of them don't hurt, but occasionally I get an ouchy one.

Seeing my acupuncturist is not just about needling. She does so much more. She listens. When I go in, we spend the first few minutes just talking. She gets a feel for what I'm dealing with in my life and what my pain levels are. She takes my pulses--each wrist. But these are not the "normal" pulse-takings we're used to. She's looking for much more than my heart rate. She understands a great deal about what's going on in my body from my pulse. It's an art, really. And I always have to show her my tongue. She can pretty much tell me all about my life just from my pulses and my tongue. I don't get it, but I can't hide anything from her. She gets so much information from these simple observations that I am often flabbergasted. Weird, I know. And then there are the needles. And they make my feet happier.

After a short visit, pulse-taking and tongue check, then come the needles. I get to lay on a cushioned table with a heating pad beneath me and I listen to melodic music with eye pads on and I rest. Sometimes I sleep. And I let the needles work.

I don't claim to understand the science of acupuncture, but I do know that it gives me a better quality of life. Those needles can quiet anxiety, stomach aches, headaches, hot flashes--in a matter of minutes. And then of course there are things like my neuropathy, back pain and fibromyalgia that feel sooo much better because of my acupuncturist's skills.

I've learned a lot from my sessions with Heather--simple things like really breathing and listening to my body and being sensible about what I can and cannot do. I face personal issues with more courage and I'm learning not to dodge the hard stuff.

I guess you'd say, I'm sold on acupuncture as a truly beneficial form of health care. It may not be right for everyone. I get that. As I said, I don't understand the science behind it, at least not enough to offer a lesson on it. But I'm thankful that I put aside my fear and skepticism and made that first appointment.

Have you tried acupuncture or some other form of health care that is not main stream? I'd love to hear more about it. And whether or not it was helpful.

Modern medicine doesn't have the only key to wellness. There's a lot we don't understand in this world. I think there are doors to health care with unusual keys, some of which are outside our comfort zone. But then, who really believes that living only within our comfort zones is good for us?

Grace and peace to you from God,



  1. Wow Bonnie, I am amazed because I always feel like you're posting something just for me! LOL I'm struggling with similar pain issues -- mine from a serious infection I got in my foot that wasn't treated properly. I've been left with deep tissue damage and chronic pain. Like you, there are days when the pain is just too much and I wonder if lopping off the foot wouldn't be a better option. Someone mentioned acupuncture to me a few months ago but I'm so squeamish I immediately dismissed it. Now you have me wondering. Can I be as brave as you?

    How did you go about finding an acupuncturist? One that you could trust knew what they were doing?

  2. Hi Kav. I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling with pain. It's not easy and for many it's unrelenting, which wears people down.

    Finding a good acupuncturist is similar to finding a good doctor. In fact, some doctors and acupuncturists work together to aid patients.

    I would begin with your doctor to see if he/she has a recommendation. Mine didn't, but I've since updated him on one who is local and good.

    I then asked a nurse I knew. She didn't know.

    And then an acquaintance recommended one. I made an appointment, which for me was mostly a job interview so I'd know whether or not I wanted to hire this person. After a long visit I knew we were not a good match.

    I headed straight for a local health food/vitamin store where a woman I trusted worked. She recommended my present acupuncturist.

    I called her and she was extremely professional and sent me a large informational packet about her and her practice and also included indepth medical information on me. I was impressed.

    My first appointment was about 2 hours long. I got to ask any question I wanted. She reviewed my medical history and we talked. I liked her and so when she asked if I'd like a treatment I said, "Yes."

    I had good results and so I've continued to work with her.

    She had a good deal of experience and extensive training, which was important to me.

    I hope you'll find the help you need. Let me know how it goes.


  3. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Acupuncture treatment is safe and trusted treatment with very less side effects so anyone take this treatment without any hesitation.