Friday, 28 October 2011

acupuncture. mmmm.

needles being placed
As you may or may not know I've had a couple of issues with my right shoulder for a while. Basically some kind of impingement, but with the added bonus of a hyperactive scalene that won't stop firing. It's all fairly amusing except that it seems to stop me pressing, and can do some interestingly asymmetrical things to my posture.

I've had it massaged, I've had osteos look at it, but I haven't yet had it acupunctured.

I have had Acupuncture before, when I lived in Japan. I had Shiatsu- (one of the foundation reasons for eventually pursuing massage as a career) during which treatments I also recieved acupuncture. It was all fairly straight forward then. I got a massage and then had a load of needles stuck into me, and I went away feeling fantastic. My Japanese wasn't good enough that I got a decent explaination of what was going on, but that didn't actually matter at the time.

needles in my back and shoulder
I found a practitioner near here, and had a short pre-meeting with him, giving details of the shoulder issue I had, and also asked a good number of questions about his qualifications, insurance, background etc. (He did his degree in biological sciences, so it was reassuring that he had a western base of knowledge to fall back on as well as eastern).
The talk about the shoulder started normally enough, with pain, location, what makes it worse/better etc being discussed. Everything about the shoulder and surrounding tissues was taken into account. Then came the "eastern" questions.
I know a couple of other people who have had acupuncture and have been somewhay put off by these. "I want my *random body part* fixed, why does he need to look at my toungue?!" is a common thing to hear. To be honest, I really don't mind what they ask me, and it all has some kind of bearing as to how to fix me, whether it be from an Eastern medicine, or Western Medicine view point, so what the hey.

As mentioned, my toungue colour was checked, my pulse on both arms, whether I liked hot or cold drinks what I like to eat, that kind of thing. All good fun.

The therapist then decided where I needed needles putting in, most of them were in pretty "sensible" seeming places- around the shoulder etc. I can see why they need to go in those places, then one in the right elbow and 2 in my legs.

needle stimulation
It wasn't all that painful when they were placed, but at various times when the needles were "stimulated" ie. twiddled around, it was a tad on the uncomfortable side.
I lay there, and Lynne took photos, and then after a seemingly very quick 45 mins, they were all out and he was on his way.

The up shot of it all is that my shoulder felt a lot better, and continues to do so- (except today when I have just had a particularly vicious session at the gym- the pain I feel now is down to that, rather than an insidious chronic issue, I think) although the crazy hyperactive spasming scalene is still there.

Would I have it done again?
the one in my elbow

If you're wondering about it, get to see the therapists credentials, insurance etc before going ahead. If they get shirty about it, leave.
Oh, and expect to answer some questions which may not necessarily have anything to do with your ailment at first glance. Go with it, and stop being so hung up about differences between medical practices.

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