Thursday, January 18, 2007

East Meets West

I'm off on a new adventure. My ever aching back and hip are the catalyst.

The pain in my back came out of nowhere as did the lump on my hip. Degenerating disc, a bit of arthritis and bursitis in the hip was the diagnosis. Off to physical therapy. The doctor approved eight sessions. A months worth at two a week. Both were still there. The physical therapist said it would just take time. That was mid-August. I've been so faithful to the routine I'm beginning to think I may even have inherited some of my Mom's unbelievable discipline. The condition remains.

The therapist tells me cortisone shots have only a 33% chance of working to any degree. Surgery is the absolutely last choice. So what to do. Chiropractic didn't appeal. When you hurt as bad as I do the thought of hearing your own bones snap, crackle and pop held little appeal.

So I decided to investigate acupuncture. I learned more from an hour with the Dr. of Oriental Medicine than I have in the past three years from practitioners of western medicine. For instance the pain may not be from an injury at all but from imbalances in my system. I filled out detailed questionnaires, was given a variety of tests, none of which I was ever given in a doctor's office, and sent on my way while an evaluation was done.

Yesterday was my first treatment. I had no trepidation for some reason. Probably because I liked the Doctor and left the first appointment feeling I had been listened to; not merely heard.

I was shown the needles. They were so fine I could hardly see them without my glasses. I felt absolutely nothing as they were inserted. Then I was left to relax to soothing music for a half hour while my yin met my yang or whatever happens.

By the time I got home the ache in my hip had greatly subsided and the pain in my back had dulled to an ache that was bearable. After only one session! I can hardly wait until the next one.

We also addressed some other health issues and have worked out a plan of healing. I would say "attack" but it somehow doesn't seem appropriate.

Oriental medicine has been effective for centuries. Even my guy, who mistrusts doctors even more than I do, felt it was worth a try. I rather like the idea of a whole body approach since everything is intertwined. More than that I like the idea of trying a natural approach to healing before pumping my body full of one drug after another.

I'll keep you posted as to my progress. It's a learning process and rather fascinating.

There is a place for Western medicine to be sure. I have and certainly will continue to utilize it especially as I age; however, patients might just be better served if practitioners of both disciplines would communicate more with one another rather than being at odds. Sometimes its like they are red and blue states!

Oh, yeah, next week is cataract surgery. I'll report on that too. I may actually be able to see well enough to type!


stebbijo said...

My sister in law who married my brother had my neice in Japan with acupuncture -- absolutely no pain.

Glad to hear this alternative is working.

Word Tosser said...

My cousin swears by it... has been doing it off and on for about 20 years.

waupacawinter said...

Glad you shared this experience. I used to think acupuncture was all hocus-pocus but I don't believe you would be all that susceptible to a placebo affect. This opinion is formed from reading your blog for the past year. Should I or my wife be having similar problems, I will keep this in mind. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist and a Psychologist but has always believed in alternative therapies. She is also a Reki Master and still swears that she even fixed the CD player with it.

tumblewords said...

I've used accupuncture several times and find it extremely effective. Good luck with all this!

There's a good topical rub which works very well - available through Canadian pharmacies: Rub A535. It's helped me out of some twisted things which hurt to tears. Call or E if you want more info.

Phil said...

Very interesting... I've always felt that if I was in a similar situation I would explore alternative therapies like acupuncture. I've heard way too many horror stories about back surgery to feel good about that course of action. Do let us know how the acupuncture continues.