Healing Comes in Many Forms

Acupuncture has helped quite a few of my friends with various health issues like chronic pain or fertility. For me, my heel spurs and lower back pain is enough motivation to find pain relief without surgery or pain-killers. I’ve tried chiropractors, physical therapy, and icing and while these options ease the pain temporarily, I would like to be rid of it altogether.

As I continue to learn more about alternative lenses to view the world and my life’s circumstances, I have become more curious about alternative medicine. The more I reconnect with my body through life coaching tools, the stronger pull I feel toward Eastern medicine for a deeper connection, release of pain and shifting of energy to heal. I’ve never tried acupuncture before today because I cringe at the sight and thought of needles. (I have a couple tattoos, so go figure why my mind is creating a difference between the two, yet it has.)

Therefore, I reached out to a friend who regularly sees an ACM (Alternative Chinese Medicine) practitioner in Huntington Beach. She gave me her doctor’s info and thankfully, Dr. Brown had an opening today to fit me in.

Our appointment started with a 40 minute consultation where we went through my entire health history and that of my family members. (Nothing out of the ordinary compared to Western medical practices.) Then she started to nod and connect the dots between a variety of symptoms that I, nor my previous doctors, had related to each other. Even my horrid menstrual cramps seemed to be part of a bigger issue.

Her initial thinking was that she wanted to run more tests on where whether my bones have any calcium deficiencies. Then she checked my chakras and asked whether I’ve had any major “shocks” in my life.

I certainly didn’t make it to 37 without having experienced shocking events. So I wondered which one was the cause of this pain. She asked about things that happened in my life on the dates when I first noticed my pain. Well, the biggest shock from that period when my back pain showed up was my mother’s suicide. My back went completely out on my 30th birthday, which was the year I was laid off for the first time. My heel spurs showed up when I was laid off the last time from a VP of Marketing position at a tech startup that lost funding.

She correlated all of that as a series of shocks to my root chakra and suggested we clear it out.  Interesting.

After the initial consultation, she did a quick physical scan of my body posture, took my blood pressure, examined my range of movement and finally asked to look at my tongue, which she commented that mine is very long. She didn’t share what length meant for my health status, but her body language suggested I wasn’t going to die immediately.

Acupuncture Table

Then she asked me to lie down, face-down on the table and she went to work fairly quickly. She started with about six or seven cups on my upper back and shoulder blades. Then she added needles to my lower back, the back of my knees, achilles, ankles, front of my right foot and on my hands.

Once she was done, she said, “Oh good, your chi is coming through.” She took a photo of my lower back, which had large red circles around where the needles entered my skin, and showed it to me through the face rest.

At first I felt only the slightest twinge and then it felt hot. It was burning, though not in a bad way. Almost like when you soak your muscles in a hot bath. After about 15 minutes, I felt my muscles and tendons release and loosen. It was like when you’re stretching and the muscle releases in small spurts until there’s no more tension. At one point, I felt a wave of pain run through what could have been either my gallbladder or large intestine. It lasted only a few seconds and then subsided. In my left calf, I felt a twinge of pain, which also subsided after a few seconds. Something was happening even if I didn’t exactly know what.

When it was all over and I stood up, it felt like a whoosh of blood and flowing energy through my head and it made me woozy. So I sat down and drank some water while chatting with Dr. Brown about what happens next. She recommended some herbal supplements like Zypan for my digestion and Chaste Tree for PMS.

Herbal Supplements
An overview of what herbal supplements help which symptoms.

For the rest, she prescribed more acupuncture treatments….twice a week for three weeks, to be exact, for balancing my root chakra. Then once a week for about a year to rid my foot of heal spurs.

I shouldn’t have found it surprising that my body was storing emotional baggage that was showing up in my health. After all, a good chunk of life coaching is dedicated to untangling and dissolving painful thoughts which result in emotional suffering and health issues, and at the root of those thoughts and emotions are various traumatic events. So while I work on whatever painful thoughts I have yet to dissolve, my doctor will work on releasing the unhealthy “junk” that is stored within my energy levels and physical body.

Our practices are quite complimentary. I’m grateful I finally decided to see an acupuncturist and looking forward to the results.

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