Thursday, January 7, 2010

Needles and Cupping

This is gonna be a long post so go on a potty break or grab something to eat and settle in for my Eastern Medicine Ride...

Well over 20 years ago something happened to my back..what, I don't know. I have had constant back pain for that long. Most of the time it is tolerable and I've learned to just live with it. Over the years I have tried various treatments such as Massage Therapy, Chiropractic, Yoga, stretching and now...losing weight but even that hasn't alleviate the pain. The pain, for whatever reason has flared up recently...perhaps because of the walking that I've been doing or the fact that I feel pretty good, I'm doing more or who knows. All I know is it's time to try something else. I've been talking to some people at work and a couple of friends who have tried Acupuncture and every single one of them have sung the praises of this method.

In my neighborhood to my benefit, is the Southern California School of Chiropractic and the Southern California University of Health Sciences that specialize in eastern medicine and practice state of wellness.. I've been there before for massages and adjustments but always made a bee line past the Chinese medicine and doctors thinking that all this wellness stuff and Chinese hocus pocus was not for me.

So I bit the bullet and make an appointment for a free consultation right? What can I's free. By the way, it's a learning facility so most of who you deal with are students...usually 4th year ones. I fill out the 5 page questionnaire regarding my health...everything from, was I an easy baby to how many babies I've had, to when I first started my period to mental illness. From the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, there was nothing this questionnaire didn't ask and I was told to answer honestly from the nurse. I was ushered into a very small room by 2 people...I'm still not sure what their job titles were....nurse, tech, custodian? They took my blood pressure and each one took my pulse at the same time and then switch wrists and did it again....very strange. One of them asked to see my tongue and I so politely stuck it out for her while the other one was feeling my neck and shoulders. When this was over, they asked me to take off my shoes and left. Enter the doctor...a very Chinese one with a very think accent. You know the kind where you have to focus on every single word as not to miss anything and still your not quiet sure what the heck he said...but I tried. He told me he could help me with needles and that after my 1st treatment I would be feeling better. He tells me "No blood, no pain....very relaxing" and asks to see my tongue....again. What's up with the tongue thing? I had so many questions I didn't ask that one. He looked at my feet and again felt my pulse. Later I learned that they are not timing my pulse like regular doctors but listening for sounds, pressure and tone which in turn will let them know certain things like, what you ate, how you slept, the sex of your baby that your carrying and much was an eye opener for sure.

Honestly, I am so tired of my back giving me problems, I caved, yep, I told him I would think about it but I knew I was gonna try it. I made an appointment on my way out... forward 2 days later.

Again I am surrounded by two interns (i found out what they were) and again, the wrists, the feet and the tongue. The doctor comes in and explains what he will do and then leaves. I lay on my stomach on the bed, you know the type...a massage table and they try to make me feel as comfortable as I can being that I'm on my stomach and that's a position that I don't do well in. One of the interns name is Sabel and the other, Lisa. Sabel tells me that they will apply cupping to my back to help massage and loosen the area before the needles. Very interesting...I've heard of it but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would experience it.
Now that that's over, the man walks in and asks if I'm ready. As ready as I'll ever be, I replied and he and the two interns proceed. I see nothing and I hear everything. Cupboards being opened and shut, things being shuffled about, clinking of glass and all three of them talking out loud and whispering. Let the needles begin...and honestly, I hardly felt anything. Once in a while a little pinch but nothing to speak of. One of them tells me that they will apply some sort of electrode thingy to a couple of the needles and that I will feel an impulse..nothing more. It's true, I felt a little impulse that when they put 2 heaters on me and dimmed the lights and left for 20 minutes....I fell asleep...seriously, I was put to sleep by the impulsing. Someone opened the door at the half way point and said, "10 more minutes Victoria..are you alright?"

When it was all over, needles out, lights on and sitting upright, I have to tell ya...I was very relaxed and had some sort of feeling of calmness. back felt decent. Now I know that after 20 years of back stuff, one treatment does not make a miracle happen, but, I will continue with this treatment until I see something happen...good or indifferent. I'm just sayin'


  1. LOCA! love the cartoon of the big ol elephant with the needles in its butt! But hey, seriously, this sounds very promising Bunny. I wonder if they could do something with my migraines ... and you know how much I love drugs ... gotta stop that. LOVE your background!

  2. Oh bunny....I think that this could be a winning ticket for you....I have never had acupuncture, but I had an accident in Boston that left me with whiplash. I was Luckily, I worked in a physical therapy dept. of a hospital so I got a treatment with ultrasound. THE PAIN WAS COMPLETELY GONE. In this case, who knows....Eastern medicine has been around a lot longer than our own treatments, so I wish you the BEST! Oh dearest Bunny, you are something else. You never give up and you are such an inspiration with your attitude. KEEP US POSTED! Anita

  3. Hopefully your pain will completely disapear. I know how it is to live with constant pain and limitations. Looking back, I am amazed at how well I coped. Just doing my hair in the morning was difficult. I was diagnosed with arthritis, degenerative disc disease and fibromyalgia. They gave me drugs... which I very seldom took. Oh... I forgot about the 30 years of migraines. They lessened after menopause. Not sure why the neck issue got better. Took a few years, but I can now lift groceries, a gallon of milk, and even small children!!!

    Hope this works out for you!

  4. I've had many friends here do acupuncture for headaches and back pain and they all tout the great benefits, and say that without it, they could find no relief. Sometimes alternative methods are better than the medication that too many doctors want to prescribe. I hope you continue to see positive results. Have a great weekend. Tammy

  5. Good luck! I have a terrible back too. It's probably not as bad as yours but if I pick up something like the Christmas decorations boxes it hurts it.
    I was here this morning and my wireless got cut off.....I was going crazy! Could not figure out what happened.
    But I'm back now,

  6. Ok, I'm still laughing from the cartoon you added at the bottom, I honestly don't know how you find these fabulous cartoons!

    Sounds like an amazing experience (and you sure are great with detail!) and I honestly wish we had something like this around us so I could try it. I'm sure it would make a difference and yep... it's been a little of 20 years of back pain for me too, ugh! I'm just so happy you could find some relief! (listening to the sounds of what you ate, eh? hmmmm, fascinating)

    Oh, PS. I'm stopping by under my new a.k.a., hence the lack of a moon. ;-)

  7. I am so glad this could be the ticket to feeling better for you. I have never had back pain before so I can't imagine how you feel but if it's anything like the migraine I have coming on, I hope you get some relief.

    Love to you,

  8. Bun, I told you a friend of mine, also a Massage Therapist, worked for an acupuncturist and says it's the best. We covered a whole lot of Eastern Medicine in school and I can tell you, it works. I remember Mario telling me it was the only form of treatment that could help him with his bad back. Just give it a little time, those Asians know what the heck they're talking about even if you don't!

    Love ya,


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