Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Pins and Needles

I have been missing for a few days...mostly due to the fact that I've been trying to be typing as little as possible. I woke up on Thursday with a ridiculous stiff neck. It really hurt.

I did the usual: hot shower, asked C to give me a backrub with some anti-pain herbal oil, tried not to strain it, took some Motrin. Which is tricky when you have a baby that is hitting 17-18 pounds and is a bit needy lately (more detail on that in the next post), having to be picked up a lot and soothed, waking in the night, and generally not leaving you with the ability to sleep well.

It felt a bit better on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, I was quite stiff again but put on a brave face and was feeding G at the breakfast table when she jerked and I had to react. The pain was so horrible I think I cried for 15 minutes. At this point, I figured I'd better do something about it.

I reached out to friends, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations on a chiropractor. I'd had an accident over 15 years ago, and a great chiropractor set my two vertabrae straight that were out of alignment. But, that was in CT. (I should say that I did get one or two great recommendations, particularly one from a friend who had almost the exact same situation she needed help with. So they are filed for future use. Thank you!)

I got to thinking about acupuncture. I had acupuncture once before--long story short, I was taking a mental health day and had a great session, then walked out to find 7 messages on my cell that my major client had fired us. Nice timing. Needless to say, my relaxation and comfort was short-lived.

I am not one to take pills or pain killers if I can avoid it. This was no exception, and I honestly am not sure what motivated me toward acupuncture over chiropractic, but I found her cell number and it turns out she practices in Dobbs Ferry. I was able to get in on Tuesday.

The basic principle of acupuncture, from Wikipedia:
Health is a condition of balance of yin and yang within the body. Particularly important in acupuncture is the free flow of Qi, a difficult-to-translate concept that pervades Chinese philosophy and is commonly translated as "vital energy"). Qi is immaterial and hence yang; its yin, material counterpart is Blood (capitalized to distinguish it from physiological blood, and very roughly equivalent to it). Acupuncture treatment regulates the flow of Qi and Blood, tonifying where there is deficiency, draining where there is excess, and promoting free flow where there is stagnation. An axiom of the medical literature of acupuncture is "no pain, no blockage; no blockage, no pain."

I wound up getting around 20 needles, I think. That's an acupuncture needle, over on the right. They are small, and some you don't feel going in at all, some you feel varying degrees of a pinch. I had a few put in my ankles--she explained that was to draw the energy/blockages out through the bottom; that if you just focused on the localized area, it could backfire.

Once I was set up with the needles, I settled there for about a half hour-45 minutes. (I was face down on a massage/therapy table, so the only part is that the head rest does get a little uncomfortable after a while of not moving.)

She took the needles out and then--I don't know how to really describe this--used her hands to somehow focus the energy in my chest/shoulder/neck area. Probably for about 10 minutes.

How did it work? I started the session not being able to turn my head to the left more than 10 degrees, and I couldn't lift my chin. I left with motion to turn my head to my shoulder and was able to look to the sky. Wow.

There was a little residual bump on the back of my head where one of the needles was; she noted that happened on occasion, and that my condition should continue to improve over the next 24 hours. It has.

I'm going back next Friday, as the stress, baby-carrying, and sleep situation doesn't have a lot of promise in the next handful of days. She thinks she can get rid of "it"...meaning my residual injury. Will keep you posted.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Kwana said...

Wow that is excellent! Sorry I was late with the recommendation, but you seem to be doing just fine.