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 - ooh – tender 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.