About two years ago I injured my shoulder in an incident involving my house, a cat and Mr. Daniels. I didn’t break any bones but damaged the muscles and ligaments. I’ve had loads of treatments from drugs to physiotherapy and it hasn’t improved at all. Somedays its ok, but other days its terrible.
My Taiwanese friend suggested that accupuncture might be able to help. Has anyone tried this to treat long-term injuries? Also, as I’m allergic to pain, is it as painful as it sounds?
I’ve had accupuncture for many ailments, many times. The only time it hurt was when he pricked a nerve in my lower leg to “wake up” the nerves and tendons in my feet…holeeeeeee shit…that hurt, but just momentarily.
Try it, and go back a few times. The first time may not cure you. I can say that my carpal tunnel in my wrist DID go away and never returned.
If you have National Health insurance, acupunture treatments are covered. Clinics doing chinese medicine, and some hospitals offer acupuncture services. I have had it many times for various reasons and have always found it effective. Some Chinese clinics also provide tui na as a part of the treatment.
Regarding pain: virtually none, more like getting a mosquito bite. There have been times when I have felt more discomfort than others. Various doctors have generally told me that if there is some discomfort that is where the blockage is, not hitting a nerve. While the needle is activating that point on the meridian it feels kind of hot and sometimes itchy. When the needle is pulled out sometimes the area looks like a mosquito bite - red and a little swollen. To the chinese doctor, that is a symptom of something. Most of the time there is no feeling when the needle is put in or pulled out. Having electrodes attached to the needles also helps breakup the blockage.
Much of the massage done here works on the same points and meridians.
I think different people have different answers concerning the pain/discomfort of accupuncture. For me the needles going in and out are usaully unnoticable. However, I have experienced some nerve pain when there is a “blockage” or when you accidentally move during treatment, and that can hurt quite a bit. One thing that may be hard is lying still for 20-40 mins, for me it was hard at first but with each subsequent vist the discomfort went away and I finally reached a point where the time in treatment was extremely relaxing.
I had a very strong reaction to my first treatment, so many endorphines were released that I was sweating and “high” for hours afterwards. I also had very stong floating sensations for a while. My body quickly adjusted and treatments are no longer heavy-duty experiences.
Today I experianced accupuncture for the first time, recently been sleeping badly, pretty stressed, started getting a lot of aches & pains in my joints and generally feeling run down.
Decided to try accupuncture as my wife had treatment after having our child and said it really perked her up.
I had a total of 7 needles stuck in me (2 neck, 2 hand, 2 foot, 1 ankle). All but one went in painlessly, the one in my hand made me jump a bit (they said the blockage is worse there?). Soon after the needles went in there was a warm feeling and slight pressure at each of the points, I also felt very thirsty.
During the 20 mins I went through different stages of comfort/discomfort, for the most part is was not uncomfortable but I can’t really say it was relaxing. A couple of times I got a bit ‘wiggy’, once when I wiggled my toes I felt a sharp pain then after felt a sensation in my ankle like the vein had a blockage (sort of like sucking milk tea pearls through a straw). Another time my hand spasmed I tensed all my body, shook momentarily and was ready to call it quits. After a couple of deep breaths I went back to the relative vague state of not being entirely sure if I was comfortable or in discomfort. :loco:
Needles coming out were painless except for the same one that hurt going in, again made me jump. I had some redness around one point (the hand that did not hurt) this faded after 15mins
I also have a big bag of Chinese medicine soup to take twice daily, which tastes pretty awful.
6hrs after treatment I am not feeling any better, if anything some localized discomfort around the areas of the neck/hand needles. When I say discomfort best I can describe it is like the day after you do a lot of exercise and your muscles ache. I am not ready to discount anything yet, my wife said the day after she felt bad but 2 days later she felt great… I have medicine for a week so we shall see…
As an acupuncturist myself I’d like to add my opinions to the mix:
The more the better, when it comes to acupuncture. If you can afford the time/money, try to go a few times a week, at least in the beginning. Once your body becomes attuned to acupuncture, you’ll need fewer treatments.
Needling styles vary greatly. Northern Chinese like to really work the needles and get strong sensation. Southern Chinese and Japanese tend to be more on the subtle (and thus more comfortable for us Lao Wai) side of things.
Red marks where the needles have been are common. However, they should fade fairly quickly (within 30 minutes). Any longer and I’d suspect poor needle quality causing a local reaction. Still not a big deal, but it would make me re-consider who I was seeing for treatment.
It can take time to see results from acupuncture and Chinese medicine in general. Be patient. As one of my teachers said once, “Western medicine is like fire fighting: it is dramatic and generally noticeable, with quick results. Chinese medicine is like gardening. It takes time for the flowers to bloom, sometimes.”