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My Journey: Step 8 — Acupuncture

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

June 26, 2011. Written by Leila Ruth Novales

There must be something to acupuncture -- you never see any sick porcupines.

~ Bob Goddard

Will any sick porcupines out there please stand up?

I laughed when I first came across the quote above. At first glance, it seems to be making fun of acupuncture, a traditional Chinese treatment which I'm sure everybody is familiar with. But really, so many people have turned to acupuncture when nothing else has helped them. Stories vary among those who have tried this ancient Chinese method of healing. Some swear by it while others say it doesn't work at all. Regardless, I decided to look into it.

After reading several articles on the internet and asking friends who have tried acupuncture, I decided that there was a chance that I could benefit from it. I read in several articles that acupuncture has been proven to be beneficial for conditions that I have: back pain, fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, asthma, and hypertension. Hmmm....seems to cover almost all bases so I said to myself, "Why not? I'll give it a shot."

So today, I found myself meeting up with my friend, Lynn, at her acupuncturist's clinic at Tong Ren Tang. The doctor first took my pulse on both left and right hands, looked at my tongue, and asked several questions. His diagnosis: I have too much wet and cold in my body which is causing circulation problems. As a result, my stomach is not functioning well, I often feel tired, and my neck has become stiff and painful. He then proceeded to write out a prescription for a concoction of herbs that I am to take twice a day.

Then, came the needles. He placed two needles into the side of my left hand, and I was to let it remain there for 40 minutes. He asked me to move my neck around and asked if it was painful. Well, my neck is always painful due to a herniated cervical disc pressing against my spinal cord. However, when he asked me, my neck did not feel particularly painful at the time. (But because I was afraid he'd stick needles in my neck, I said there was no pain. I don't know if this was such a smart thing to do.) During those 40 minutes, I was advised to keep moving about to get my circulation going. The needles didn't really hurt but they DID feel uncomfortable and weird. As the minutes ticked by, I felt myself getting sleepier and sleepier. Lynn, with two needles in the back of her left hand, felt the same. She said that she always ends up feeling so sleepy during and especially after her acupuncture treatment. After the needles were taken out, I was about ready to just lie down and sleep, if I could. So, did I feel better? I can't really say but I did feel lighter. And very relaxed. At Comptoirs de France where we had a light salad afterwards, I could hardly keep my eyes open.

As for the herbal medicine, I have no idea what's in them since everything is written in Chinese but from the conversation with the doctor, Dr. Zhang (a nurse with rudimentary English was translating for us), it seemed to be for my circulation problem. Besides drinking the medicine, I was told to avoid spicy and oily foods as well as cold food and drinks (salads are okay, when I asked). So tonight, I drank the first pack. I was expecting it to taste really horrible. Surprisingly, it was not so bad at all. It tasted like bitter wood with cinnamon and coconut sugar in it. Sugar-free Ventolin syrup tastes much, much, much worse! So, I'm excited to see how it will turn out for me. I'm not expecting this treatment to cure all that ail me, but if it makes me at least feel less pain and gives me more energy, then it would not have been a waste at all.

To get the most benefit, I need to go regularly, like every other day, for acupuncture. I live and work far from this acupuncture clinic but I will try to come back on Monday.

I will not write or share any article on acupuncture as information on it abounds on the internet. Basically, it works on the principle that qi, or the life-giving force/energy, flows through the body through meridian channels. When one or more of these meridians are blocked, the qi cannot flow freely and disease ensues. Needles placed at the right places helps the qi to get going again and eases and heals the ailment.

Parting Shot: Why don't you share any acupuncture experience you may have had and what the result/s was/were for you.

My Daily Health Journal

Breakfast: Falafel and hummus, tabouleh salad, 1 spinach patty, ginger ale

Lunch: Vegetable salad, pineapple orange ginger juice

Dinner: 3 pcs. shrimp and pork steamed dumpling (siomai), chives omelet, mint tea with pear juice and bits

Snack: 1/2 c. Chicken Caesar salad

Physical Activity: Just 10 minutes leisurely walking

Treatment/Therapy: Acupuncture

Relaxation: Meeting up with old friends--Lynn, Judith, and Ellen

Medication: Yes --Cozaar and the Chinese herbal medicine

Sleep: 6 ½ hours

Positive Thoughts: It's great to have wonderful, supportive friends!

Blood Pressure: AM: 142/90 PM: 138/97



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