Friday, December 05, 2008

How's your Qi?

Acupuncture is a technique of inserting and manipulating tiny needles into specific points on the body with the aim of relieving pain as well as for therapeutic purposes. The Chinese say that acupuncture points lie along channels (or meridians) in which the qi (pronounced Chi) flows. Qi, in a nutshell, is the vital energy that sustains all living beings. (ed note: when I first wrote this I accidentally typed "all living BEANS}

My Qi is all blocked up, friends. The flow is not a-flowin’ so to the acupuncture man I be goin’.
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Listen, I know it sounds strange but there have been reports that acupuncture is better at relieving pain than pills and other types of therapy. I need something to work and I will try anything.

Yesterday, I tried acupuncture as well as acupressure and cupping.

The acupuncture brought forth different sensations. Some times, the needle would cause a warm sensation at the place of insertion and in my belly (which followed the meridian pathway from the point of insertion…cool). Other times, I felt nothing. A few times, I felt a “shock” and the Dr. would say “that is good.”

Let me back up a bit…
First, the practitioner (or Dr.) began with acupressure which is like a massage and that felt wonderful! Then, he moved on to the needles. He did my front first, placing the needles in my neck, shoulders, arms and legs. He left the room and let me relax for 20 minutes. He told me to sleep if I could so I could allow my body to maximally relax. I said “oh, I don’t think I’ll go to sleep………….snore.”

When he came back I flipped over and he put the needles all over my back, shoulders, arms and legs. I relaxed again but this time I did not sleep. I had a bit of a runny nose so all of my energy went into not letting my nose drip all over the floor because I had my head in one of those pillows with a hole in the middle.
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After the needles, he said he would like to perform the cupping. Here is what that looks like:
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Cupping is a method of applying acupressure by creating a vacuum next to the patient's skin. The therapy is used to relieve what is called "stagnation" in traditional Chinese medicine terms, and is used in the treatment ot back, neck, shoulder, and other musculoskeletal pain. A vacuum is created by air heated by fire in a glass cup placed flush against the patient's skin. As the air cools in the cup, a vacuum forms that pulls up on the skin, stimulating the acupressure effect.- thanks, wiki.


Let me tell you, that cupping felt soooooooo good. However, when it was over, I had these big red circles all over my body. As Dr. Wu put it, “you will look like an octopus gave you a hug.”
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The pic is pretty poor in quality, but you get the point.

Here is a better one of some random person.
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The bottom line is this, I went into the clinic experiencing moderate to severe pain and I left with only a mild sensation of pain. Today, the pain is back. Like any therapy, It will take time and more treatments for more permanent results to take hold. I hope it works. I am also going to start pilates or yoga after Christmas to help with the healing.

6 Comments:

Blogger "Miss Bee" said...

It sounds like it is going to work, so I am happy about that! (But I'll be honest, that "cupping" thing freaks me out a lil' bit.) Yay for alternative medicine!

3:19 PM  
Blogger j3 said...

The "it'll take repeated visits to really take effect" sounds like "i'll need additional money to really help you."

4:27 PM  
Blogger sarahsmile3 said...

In his defense, the Dr. did not say that. Those words came from my own assumption. He did recommend that I see him two more times but I have a feeling it will take more than 3 visits.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Tracy Fennell said...

This is very interesting...I give this blog entry 1000 points.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I agree with Rachel - the cupping thing has always creeped me out.

I hope it works for you!

11:26 AM  
Blogger sarahsmile3 said...

Thanks, Tracy. I'll take those points and use them for corn dogs.

7:47 PM  

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