Several years ago, I sought acupuncture treatment for a series of headaches I had been having for weeks. That first experience ended in a full-blown panic attack complete with sweat pouring off my body and severe nausea. I learned two things – acupuncture was capable of eliciting VERY acute responses and that I had chosen the wrong practitioner for me.
Fast forward to my horrible bout with shingles and I was in a very desperate situation. I was at the end of my rope with conventional, western medicine. My pain was extraordinary and I could not sleep or eat. My regular doctor, an immunologist and a pain management doctor tried a few modalities with no or detrimental impact. It was scary and devastating. When a dear friend suggested I see her acupuncture doctor, I was more than leery. ‘She is wise and gentle and I think she can help you.’ I had to try something.
Upon arriving at Dr. KJ’s office, she told me not to worry. ‘I will help you’, she said. She was gentle, calm, thorough and studious. I had nearly no understanding of acupuncture and realized very quickly that the paradigm was extremely different than what I was used to. She felt my pulse, touched my skin, looked carefully at my tongue and asked poignant and probing questions.
“You are just so depleted”, she said, as my tears fell. “Don’t worry”, she said.
For weeks on end, sometimes two or three days a week, she gently and methodically placed teeny, hair-like needles into pertinent spots on my gall bladder meridian. I opened my mind and heart to words I had never heard and concepts that were very foreign to me. I thought about all the times that I had not had the fully understood the chemical composition of a drug, or completely understood how a medical procedure works, but still put my trust in it and used what was recommended to me. I embraced what Dr. KJ was offering with open arms.
I read about how some people are left with pain and nerve damage for life from shingles. My pain subsided in tiny increments over months. I still occasionally have a bout of pain in the same spots, but now have the resources to get back in balance. Dr. KJ introduced me every week to new concepts about healing and insight into ancient practices and wisdom. Each week I left with a little kernel of information and some small change I could employ to rebuild health and wellness. I needed to constantly check my openness to the new language of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is very different from what many of us are used to. Dr. KJ informed me that the practices she employed had been in use for many thousands of years to treat all type of ailments. It was of no consequence to her whether my “faith” in her medicine was strong or waning. “You don’t have to believe, it works anyway. It’s medicine.”
Sometimes, a treatment seems magical bringing instant and welcomed relief from whatever I am coping with when I arrive for a session – and there have been MANY things over our last three years together. Sometimes, I need to remember we are building a stockpile of health, one brick stacked on another.
The important juncture in my healing story is who and what stepped into MY path. I listen and watch for what is brought in front of me – for me. I have no idea if my acupuncture doctor or acupuncture or AIP or anything else is right for anyone else’s health and healing. Listen and watch for what comes to YOU. Acupuncture was unlikely for me, given my bad experience, but I had been praying and meditating with openness for remedies to the situation I was in.
I choose to believe that what I see and hear is what is meant for me. I make decisions as the process unfolds. Watch and listen carefully.
*I will continue to link all health related posts as I write them.