Bring on the Acupuncture!

Last summer I was with a friend going to lunch (she was driving) when we were rear-ended – hard.  The effects on my body were instantaneous – severe neck and back pain radiating to my legs.  The next several months were spent in Dr.’s offices, physical therapy and massage therapy.  I progressed, and progressed, until I stalled. 

At this point, I can function regularly with minimal pain as long as I make my every other week massage therapy session.  Miss one session – disaster – neck, shoulder and low back pain ensue and refuse to go away.  This is completely unacceptable.  I’ve always liked massages once in a while for relaxation and health but I don’t want to HAVE to get one every other week for the rest of my life.  And this is massage therapy, not a relaxing spa massage.

So, I headed to my Dr. to find out what we could do to push past this plateau.  Her suggestion?  Acupuncture.  I know several people who swear by acupuncture so I decided to give it a try.

Before my first visit, I had to fill out five pages of medical history asking for details as specific as what I usually ate.  After the acupuncturist reviewed this novella, she explained to me the different methods she would be using in addition to the traditional needles I was anticipating. 

We started the session with “cupping”; a method that entails pulling the muscles up through glass suction cup type devices.   The muscle release was pretty immediate although not complete.  And as I’m slightly anemic these days it left some lovely round bruises on my upper back – hmmm. 

Next up the needles.  This was fascinating.  For the most part I couldn’t feel the needles entering my body at all.  But once in a while – ping oohtender spots.  Not sure why, and completely random (tender on one hand, not on the other, although in the same place).  In some areas she used an herb called moxa with the needles.  Moxa is warming and apparently helps redistribute energy.  The needles were placed in my neck, upper and lower back, feet and hands while lying on my stomach and between my eyebrows and on my hands, feet and knees when lying on my back.  After all of the needles on a side were inserted, I rested with the needles in place for about 10 minutes, then the needles were removed.  On each shoulder she placed a small magnet strip to continue the treatment for 24-48 hours.  And that was all there was to it.

Result?  I definitely feel better, although I’m still sore.  My next session is on Sunday and then we should be able to go to once a month treatments.  From the people I’ve talked to the treatments build upon each other.  In the meantime?  I need a massage.

8 Responses

  1. Sounds interesting. I have been considering trying this. Let me know how it works with stress release

  2. I’m a big fan of acupuncture too, and I have a good friend who’s a practitioner (and a TCM doctor too – traditional chinese medicine). If you need a great massage therapist int he Seattle area, lemme know! I have a really, really good one. I’m asleep on her table in minutes.

  3. I’ve always been curious about acupuncture – hope it works for you!

  4. The one thing I fear everyday while commuting to work is automobile accidents. So glad to hear that you are getting a positive response from the acupuncture therapy. I have never had this done, but I am open to it should the need arise.

  5. wow – that is interesting. i also wonder about that stuff and if the results are real or just psychological…interesting stuff though sarah! and i hear u on a massage….gosh, if u decide u need a tag-along for some spa-resort weekend i am up for it…i just cannot pay 😉 ha!

  6. I have had good success with acupuncture, I too was in an accident, but it was not in a car, but just as devastating. It seems by body accepts the acupuncture most of the time, but there are times when there is no relief. I started this shorting after my accident and am still getting treatments it will be 20 years in 2011. Best of luck to you….RaeDi

  7. Oh I’ve tried it before and it was interesting, didn’t really help my issue but I want to try it for other things!!

    You know what is strange…after our car wreck the thing that actually seemed to consistenly help me was the hot tub

    ok brass knuckles on my shopping list

  8. I have had much success with accupuncture, once for a rear end accident as well. When all else fails accupuncture will surely do the trick. I have had the needles just about everywhere. I found that the only times they really hurt is when they hit a spot that really needs it. My accupuncturist a Chinese Medical Doctor also hooks up a little power to some of the needles for added stimulation, it can prove quite interesting when she forgets to turn it down when she turns it on… about involuntary movement….lol…she also puts heat lamps on.
    My treatments go for 20 minutes, and I have never had the magnetic tape, that sounds interesting.
    It usually takes 3 or 4 visits before you start to see lasting results…
    Best of luck!!

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