Monday, March 8, 2010

Acupuncture: Quit Crying and Try It...Twice

Around 1997, my mom came to visit me
in Denver. We both hated needles to
the Nth degree, but were curious about
acupuncture as "alternative medicine."
My first argument for both of us was that
it's incomparably older than any medicine
in the west. So we found an old Chinese
guy who said he was brought to the U.S
by Nixon himself and decided to give it a try.

I told him I was having neck and shoulder
pain; I think my mom was having headaches.
He took us into separate rooms, and asked
us to lay down. He was extremely gentle,
which I have found of all acupuncturists since
that time. I told him I hated needles so he
showed it to me. It was wrapped sterilely,
and thin-as-a-hair when he took it out.
He laid me on my side, and worked quickly,
plinking in seven needles from my neck
down to my forearm. When he put one close
to my elbow, I experienced something strange
in my next breath. He told me to hold still
and relax deeply. I giggled for the next 20-
minutes, laughing at the site of needles in
my skin (I really hated needles).

After he took them out, I felt better. So did
Mom. We went back for a second treatment
(understand that it takes at least two), and
my neck pain was gone for at least two months.
You can do it too. It's SO worth it. They
can even give you needles for weight loss.

While some western researchers acclaim its
effectiveness for some ailments, others claim
it's just the placebo effect. "Chi" energy has
not been reconciled with western medicine,
and there is no supporting evidence of the
"meridians" or channels in which the chi flows.

But if you skip a meal, you feel less energy.
If work hard all day, you know you have
expended energy because you have little left.
Conversely, if you feel excited about something,
you feel a high level of energy.

Also, everyone knows that brain waves are
pulses of electrical energy. Muscle motor
units fire when the brain sends electrical
impulses along sodium chains in the body.
Our blood contains iron, which is conductive.
We have a measurable electromagnetic

There are all kinds of evidence of "energy"
in our bodies; the problem is that acupuncture
is "based on a pre-scientific paradigm of medicine
that developed over several thousand years and
involves concepts that have no counterpart within
contemporary medicine."

But as we say in the States,
"The proof is in the puddin'."
Forget your fear of needles and go try it.
You will be shocked at how well it works.

A few suggestions:
1. I like Chinese doctors. Other ethnicities
can learn and administer needles, but the
Chinese invented it.
2. Acupuncture should not cost $100.
I think $25-45 is typical, with a slightly
higher initial consultation. Also, check
your insurance; it might be covered.
3. My Chinese doctor also employs the
use of an infrared lamp. It warms the
needles and feels really good.
4. If you're tough, and really need strong
medicine, they can hook the needles up
to electric charge, and/or use bigger needles.

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