Kris’s Tour of Alternative Medicine: Part Two – Acupuncture
This morning I was checking out the website of the health clinic in the building where I work when I noticed that their acupuncturist claims to help with “gastritis.” That’s how I wound up lying on a table eight hours later with five needles stuck in me. I had a nice long chat with the acupunturist – Sam – and explained how I’d had some mild success with hypnotherapy last year. (I made sure to emphasize that I’m still not sure if it was the placebo effect though.) Then I gave her every single symptom and pain description I could think of. That’s the best part of non-traditional medicine; everything you say is Very Important. You’re craving bread? She writes it down. It’s Very Important. Cold at night? Very Important. Chapped lips? Very Important. It’s all so Very Flattering. Then I climbed onto the table so she could take my “pulses” and look at my tongue. She said we’d start simple: just a few needles in the important spots. I ended up with one on each elbow, one on each shin, and on in the middle of my belly. (I knew that one would get maximum sympathy from the Snook. We think bellies are sacred. I worship his; he worships mine.) They didn’t hurt though, and I don’t think they went in very far. They didn’t even bleed when she took them out. But basically she just put them in, adjusted them, and left me to lie there and relax for fifteen minutes. Then out they came and I was done for the day. I’m supposed to see her twice a week for two weeks, then once a week for a month. And what sort of results should I expect? A “total recovery” from my symptoms. Hey, anything that keeps me away from an H.pylori diagnosis is fine by me! So what’s the verdict? I think it’s too soon to tell whether my “chi” has been unblocked. My stomach had been playing up when I went in to see her and it’s definitely better now, but as Snookums pointed out, that may have been fixed by simply lying down for fifteen minutes. I’m trying to keep an open mind though. I don’t want to buy into any snake oil, but I’m also willing to believe there’s a lot about the body we don’t understand yet. Anybody else tried it?


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  1. I tired it once for a science exepriment for a friend. Really! I was a control though, which means I wasn’t suffering form anything when I underwent the treatment. But I didn’t find it painful in the least and it was actually pretty cool.

    My husband has had lots of trouble with RSI lately and I’ve been begging him to go. Here in Korea it’s like $10 a session! But he hates needles and has yet to give in. I think he just doesn;t want me to be right.

  2. Dammit — haven’t you implemented that “Chack Grammar” feature yet?

  3. I have heard good things about acupuncture from a friend who used it for back pain. However, if you have an ulcer or a bacterial infection, all the chi in the world won’t cure it. Untreated H. pylori infection drastically increases the risk of gastric cancer. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound so alarmist- you may not have a bacterial infection, and if even you do, they’re 100% treatable. Just make sure you get a proper diagnosis and after that you can decide how you want to treat the symptoms.

  4. I might have missed this earlier, but did they rule out all things dietary already? I had a super fun colonoscopy and upper endoscopy 2 years ago to investigate what was thought to be an ulcer or infection or something…but there was nothing but a tiny polyp in my colon (mmm, sexy) that they pretty much removed to biopsy. Afterwards, all of my symptoms went away. My gastro said sometimes that’s the effect of the procedure…kinda cleans your pipes out or something! Oh, and she also thought I might have a sensitivity to sugar AND sugar substitutes (my two favorite things in the world!)

    I thought it was hullabaloo at the time (how on Earth are you supposed to ever avoid either of those two things) but as I’ve gotten older, I think it’s definitely in my best interest to limit both. If I have juice or yogurt or anything with Splenda or aspartame, chances are about 75% that things will go drastically bad in a few hours.

    Maybe wait and see how all this acupuncture business goes first, but if it doesn’t work, you might want to try monitoring your sugar or sugar-substitute intake for a few days and see what happens…

  5. I know, RT, and I’m not doing this as a replacement for my doctor’s advice. It’s just that right now we’re at a weird stage, where I should be feeling better from the Nexium but I’m not. I’m working very hard at controlling the dietary aspects right now – no Diet Coke for six days, no alcohol for three weeks, no chili, no spiciness, no ibuprofen, no apples, etc – but it’s not fixed yet. It’s manageable, but I still get random bouts of really strong stomach pain. (Like yesterday, for some inexplicable reason.) I’ll go back to the doctor in a week or two and if it’s not better, we’ll go the H.pylori route. I was just hoping to see if maybe this could provide some relief in the meantime.

    I’m pretty good on the sugar issue, Aim, mostly because of WW. I have Jalna Fat Free yogurt (either plain or Berry) for breakfast with my WW muesli, and that’s not too sugary. Lunch is usually either a salad, rice paper rolls, or Chinese food. Then whatever for dinner. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, and fruits and juices are out right now because of the acidity factor. So I don’t think it’s a sugar (or fake sugar) sensitivity…

  6. Hmm. I think you got worms then. 🙂

  7. My significant other has a lot of knowledge on Eastern and Alternative medicines, you can always talk to her. I am always the skeptic but she has a way of making me keep an open mind. She has actually had good results from dietary advice from an Eastern medicine practitioner – Meg can definitely recommend you to some good people in that area.

  8. I wish it was worms! Maybe I’d be getting skinner then! 🙂

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