There are hundreds of thousands of people who swear that acupuncture works. It can help everything from pain to cravings. How can inserting needles into the body actually stop pain? And can it help my Lyme Disease or chronic pain?
Acupuncture is a form of pseudoscience and alternative medicine involving thin needles being inserted into the body. It is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine. TCM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge, and acupuncture is commonly described as without scientific basis. There is a diverse range of acupuncture theories, involving different philosophies. Techniques vary depending on the country. The method used in TCM is likely the most widespread in the US. It is most often used for pain relief, though it is also used for a wide range of other conditions. It is generally only used in combination with other forms of treatment.
Acupuncture is a form of pseudoscience and alternative medicine involving thin needles being inserted into the body.
I've been struggling for about a year with foot pain after a bad step down landed me in terrible pain and a few trips to the podiatrist. Having Lyme disease puts me at greater risk for strains and tears because of the medication and weakening of muscles.
I have had several injections into my foot to try to stop the pain, nothing is helping. Even after 4 months of physical therapy, the pain is just as bad if not worse. So the next step was to try acupuncture.
My first visit was pretty routine. Lots of questions and papers to fill out. Some pressure and stretching, and me trying to be calm about the idea of putting dozens of needles all over my body to try to alleviate the pain in my foot. Oddly, no needles actually went into my heel at all!
So I've been going to acupuncture and this is what I am left with.
The needles aren't that bad. Yes, some places like my palm and ear hurt. But overall, it is actually pretty calming once you get them in. If you are afraid of needles, this isn't the thing for you. The needles are left inserted for about 45 minutes and you can feel them moving about.
What I like about acupuncture is how calming the setting and forced relaxation is. You go in, the room is warm and dimly lit, and you take a light nap with calming music. I even had a heat lamp on my feet to warm the area.
Did it help the pain on the first visit?
No, it was about the same. And I really wanted to have some relief. I believe that for some people, for some issues, this might work faster. But when I stepped down and I was still suffering, it's was disappointing.
However I have stayed with it for a few more sessions and I am starting to see some improvement. Mainly the change came when we went to more manual therapy, digging into the muscle and trying to relieve pressure.
I have a few more sessions scheduled. I'm hoping for positive results. But so far I've spent a year in treatment, it's not difficult to believe that it takes time to rid myself of the pain. We will see!
Have you ever had acupuncture? Did it work? Tell us your story in the comments.