Thursday, October 14, 2010


I had my first acupuncture treatment yesterday. I'm glad I am trying this route before venturing down the traditional medicine path, which could lead to drugs and surgery.

As Victoria inserted the needles into my feet, legs, hands, and shoulders I felt little pricks and tickling sensations. Only once was it sharp and uncomfortable, and she readjusted the point. She said it's normal to feel something, but it shouldn't hurt. After all of the needles were in she put a heat lamp over my abdomen and right hand, and left the room for 20 minutes.

I was supposed to relax and turn inward, because the more you can relax, the easier it is to get the energy flowing the right way. I wanted to look up to see exactly where she had placed the needles, but I was afraid to move - I wasn't sure if movement would tweak one of the points/pathways and cause a twinge.

So I closed my eyes, breathed, and pictured myself floating on my back through a canyon on the Main Salmon. It's a snapshot from a river trip four years ago, and I always go back to it when I am doing relaxation visualization. The cool water, warm sun, high canyon walls sliding by, the river carrying me. And then, I fell asleep on the table.

Victoria is great, and was glad I took a little "acu-nap". She is pregnant, and so was sympathetic to my theories of how hormones/nursing/carrying A. with my right arm might all be contributing to the pain.

I am already seeing some improvement. I had a pretty good sleep last night. Woke up with some numbness/tingling/pain, but not as bad or as often as other nights. I need to make an appointment for next week.

One of the reasons why I think I gravitate toward acupuncture is the river metaphor-- just as we restore rivers of the water variety by removing dams, etc, we can restore the rivers of energy that flow through our bodies.

Here's the short description:

The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called Chi or Qi present in every living creature. This energy is said to circulate throughout the body along specific pathways that are called meridians. As long as this energy flows freely throughout the meridians, health is maintained, but once the flow of energy is blocked, the system is disrupted and pain and illness occur. Imagine rivers that flood and cause disasters or an electrical grid short-circuiting that causes blackouts. Acupuncture works to “re-program” and restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the Chi energy.

Thanks for the photo, British Library.

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