Acupuncture Update

It's been five weeks now that I've been seeing Jackie, my acupuncturist. I've been going once a week. I think the results are very slow in coming, as she said would be the case. It must be hard to be an acupuncturist; because her clientele are American, and impatient, they may just give it a couple tries and then quit. Chinese people are far more patient. They can wait forever to see a little change. 

I am most definitely happy with Jackie's treatments. I would keep going to see her even if I didn't see or feel that anything was happening. She is so good to be around! She is like a little happy spot and I like her. Modern medicine is so damn hurried, everything is going a little faster than it should and there are too few nurses and paperwork is always messed up. They feed you pills like it will answer everything. I would tell you about my experience with modern medicine, excluding my time in Boston, which was mostly wonderful, but I would feel like I am just ranting and whining and pouting. It is far better to talk about my steady recovery and Jackie.

Acupuncturre is always kinda the same, but kinda different. I go in and relax on the bed while we talk about my health over the past week. She then puts magnets on my feet, hands, and forehead, and an increasing larger number of needles around my head - I think we're up to five? -- so I look like the Statue of Liberty, if I could see myself. Then she lights some incense and sets soft music to playing (meditation music, like Tibetan singing bowls) while she leaves the room for about 10 minutes and I can relax totally. After a while she comes back in, takes the magnets off and gives me an infrared treatment on my arms and legs, especially on my right arm. She takes the needles from my head. I feel wonderful when she is done!

Is it working? I feel like a Zen master if I tell you, you're asking the wrong question if you have to know if it works. But, yes, I feel that it is. The circulation in my right leg is getting stronger. My right arm hurts far less than it used to. It's working. But it's like the difference between being a process knitter and a product knitter; acupuncture is all about the process, not the product. The harder you try to pin-point what it does for you, the farther you are from having it work. Does that sound too Asian for you? Maybe. But I have nothing to lose.


Something New

Yesterday I visited an acupuncturist! Jackie George, M.Ac, L.Ac. is soooo sweet and nice and knowledgeable that it was a pleasure to go and see her. You can go to Abundant Health and read up on her for yourself. I am scheduling acupuncture treatments eachweek, and we'll see where it leads. I am primarily going for relief of my muscle pain which I've always had in my right arm since my stroke, and relaxation techniques, because hey, who doesn't need that? The muscle pain aggravates me though. Why does it exist? When it's really bad, it seems like my whole right side, including my leg, aches and throbs and I can't do anything. Besides, going to have acupuncture is different, and I will get to tell you about it, as well as anything that happens -- I'm not saying that anything will, but it's a way of trying.

Jackie started by just talking to me, asking questions, getting information, and she told me about what sorts of things she wanted to try this first day. Then she got me in a prone position, and I was very relaxed. I was in bare feet, but she has heat lamps on the feet, which is really relaxing and wonderful. She felt my joints and muscles and stomach, and she asked me to stick out my tongue.

Since I had a heparin shot in my stomach every 8 hours for 14 weeks, I wasn't squeamish about needles in weird places; but even if I were, it was still no problem. I didn't even feel them going in. She place one on top of my head, one in the center of my forehead, one each in my hands and feet, and she left me alone for awhile after setting some incense alight and playing some soothing music. "Just relax," she said, but I was already relaxed. I felt wonderful.

When she came back, she took the needles out, sat me up, and did an infa-red treatment on my right arm and on my right foot to help them relax. That part seemed a bit useless to me, but she said it wouldn't show up until I had the treatments a bit longer. We will see.

I'm keeping an open mind. If nothing else, it's a good way to relax, and Jackie's positive nature is wonderful. I trust her; she is a friend of the family, and several of my relatives think very highly of her, people I trust, so I trust Jackie too. Acupuncture is not something I thought of right away when thinking of stroke rehabilitation, and certainly no one in the medical community mentioned it, but it has been used for centuries in China, and Jackie has mentioned helping several people with strokes. I think it is worth it for the positive feelings it engenders, and I am nothing without those positive feelings :) A little bird keeps telling me to BE POSITIVE, and I'm trying!

I will let you know how my next treatment goes! Stay tuned :)