Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

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A few weeks ago, I found a Groupon for acupuncture, the deal was amazing, I was craving novelty/adventure, thought that a few treatments would satisfy this urge without violating the law, and got a few treatments, not expecting once.

Now I’m completely amazed.

In the last three weeks, I have

*lost 12 lbs (caveat: a large portion of this is water, but I don’t seem to miss it, either, and there’s also my recent adherence to a decent vegetarian diet & regular exercise is involved in this, but still.)

*less joint pain

*lost my generally ever-present anxiety and feel like the energy inside my head is different.

*improved circulation

*have achieved this without the use of herbs

* Started to realize exactly how crappy I felt before I started going, now intensely more hopeful about the future.

The diagnostic process in Chinese medicine is a bit different than Western medicine. An acupuncturist looks at your tongue, and takes your pulse from three points in your wrist, and looks at your medical and personal history. I guess there’s an individual level of response to treatment, my accupuncturist tested mine by having me turn my neck to the right  (neck stiffness is a thing with me) and pressed a point in my right wrist and the tension in my neck was about 70% gone. Doing this on max aggression level, twice a week so, this should all be pretty interesting.

What is really interesting to me is that the core of this practice is based on balancing your internal energy, and balancing the way your body interacts with itself, and maintaining personal habits that promote well-being. Essentially, this is built on the taoist principle of yin and yang, and too much of either will cause certain types of imbalances and eventually disease, and if one organ system is overly affected, it will throw the other ones out of balance.

There’s also a theory of balancing elements in a person, they use 5 representing earth, water, fire, metal, and earth, and the seasons-late summer is considered its own season.. I’m overly water-y and earthy, apparently, lol, and have long-lasting imbalances/childhood illnesses, so while my primary issues are my stomach and my liver, everything else is out of balance because they’ve been over-working.

Also have a cold, damp consistitution, the early stages of “cold bi”, which is a form of arthritis (again, split into 5 categories), “blood defiency”, so I hope that my health continues to improve. Also being treated to help me quit smoking- not a lot of progress with this yet.

The clinic I go to uses a Japanese style of acupuncture, and they insert needles in my wrists, feet, knees, and ankles more than anywhere else…they do some insertations in points in the back, and the needles they use are tiny and fresh every time. 🙂

Healing reactions/acupuncture hangovers are kind of a thing here. The first time I work, I ended up with a mild headache about a day and a half, and the 3rd time turned into some kind of massive peeing episode to the extent that my kidneys/lower back were sore for about 2 days afterward. Crazy stuff. There’s some minor stuff too- draining sinuses and increased salivation (they’re opening my “water channel”, I guess).

Also trying some weird hippie crap like alkalinized water, been eating more fresh vegetables vs. frozen, actually eating in the morning (usually have a stomach ache when I wake up, get sick if I eat too early…now I eat half a grapefruit, wait for 15 minutes and then I’m good to go?)

Cut most dairy, besides occasional small bits of cheese, only occasional caffeine, ginger tea is the love of my life, no meat….things are good. Trying to eat more often and early in the day, but that’s so against my nature, so it’s a work in progress. Got myself down to eating cooked vegetables when I get home from work at night.

I don’t know. I like the idea of looking outside of western medicine and it’s super linear cause and effect, I’m reading “Between Heaven and Earth”, right now, on traditional chinese medicine, which explains the differences between the two different approaches-the author is a western medicine doctor, who went to China with a team of other doctors in the 70’s to look into this, so I’d consider her to be a pretty decent source.) Really love how it’s built into a philosophy, really, on living in harmony with self, others, and nature.

3 thoughts on “Acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine

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