Pain does not have to be your legacy. Twenty years ago I was driving my brother’s massive Durango and somehow the driver behind me missed the fact that this hulking car was stopped and slammed into the car’s rear. The other driver and I dutifully examined damage, exchanged information and went on our way with not much fuss.
What I didn’t realize then was the accident was the start of a lifetime odyssey of back issues and pain. While intermittent, pain would sneak up unexpectedly and I learned to listen to that “twinge” that meant putting down my foot the wrong way would leave me flat on my back unable to move. Two decades of chiropractors, massage therapists, therapeutic muscle workers, orthopedists, pain specialists and well meaning GP’s later, I figured this was my lot in life. I learned that yoga helped stretch out the time between recurrences and, during one particularly acute episode, reiki helped mobilize me.
Then I started a new job and six months later when the “twinge” hit me again, my CEO told me to go see Brad Hill, an acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine practitioner. He shared that acupuncture, and this practitioner in particular, “cured” his young daughter after all traditional medicine approaches failed and they were referred to this “healer” while sharing their odyssey in tears of frustration with friends.
This gentle man (and gentleman!) has changed my life. The twinges are all but gone, my back hasn’t gone out in three years and living pain free has changed me. As someone who used to faint near needles(really..the smelling salts had to come out more than once), the acupuncture treatments bore no resemblance to my pre-conceived thoughts of “needles!” and pain. The treatments took me by surprise at first as a deep sense of calm swept through my body while lying on the table and I found myself dozing off while “resting with the needles”. I grew to look forward to treatments as the most peaceful time of the week with the added benefit that my pain diminished over continued treatments.
Now pain free, I continue with acupuncture for everything from allergies to respiratory and digestive issues. Acupuncture is the gift I give myself and continue to share with others, who have now joined me in drinking the proverbial acupuncture kool-aid. I now find myself frustrated when someone shares their pain and won’t try acupuncture because they “don’t believe in it” although multi other interventions have not resolved the underlying issue.
So, this blog is my gift to all of you who find yourselves in pain for a variety of reasons. Try it. If it works, pay it forward and share your story. The gift of acupuncture when you are suffering can change your life.