Acupuncture for Pain Management, A Personal Journey
By Dr. Davina
My pain management journey
When I was 12 or so, I hit a fence on my bike, was flung head over heels, and landed on my back. At the time, I rested for a day, and mostly forgot about it. However, beginning in my teens, I started feeling bad.
At first it was subtle, my head would get hot at night and I had to use a fan. Later I started getting poor appetite and occasional headaches. However, by my mid-20’s, I would have debilitating, throbbing headaches that would last an entire day. Additionally, I would get nauseous, and would often go the entire day without eating, or eating very lightly, and if I wasn’t careful, I would vomit.
During these episodes, I couldn’t lie down, since that made my headaches worse, and I couldn’t take pain killers because of the nausea. I would instead have a very miserable day attempting to go about my life as best I could, neither able to rest nor function. By the time I found my way to China, I was having these headaches 3-5 times a week.
Finally, out of a mix of curiosity and desperation, I decided to try acupuncture.
I went to multiple sessions over a 2 month period, and during that time had dozens of needles placed directly into the areas I was having pain. However, after multiple sessions, the results were unremarkable.
Then, on what I decided would be my last attempt, my acupuncturist changed her approach, and tried non-local points instead. I distinctly remember she put a needle in the base of my palm, and I felt an electric jolt shoot up from my wrist into my shoulder.
The next day, several people asked me if I was ok. I checked in the mirror, and found that my face, and indeed my entire body, was flushing a dark crimson red (similar to a niacin flush).
This eventually cleared, and afterwards, I was 100 times better.
I went 6 full months without a headache, was sleeping better, and felt more calm. I later learned the magic point was Shen Men, the gate to the Spirit, and I understand now how so much of my body pain was due to my emotional stress and distress. I wasn’t cured, and still have chronic pain I have to manage.
But instead of severe headaches every few days, I get mild headaches every few months. Instead of being in pain everyday all the time, I have mild tension and discomfort that I can manage with stretching, tai chi, mindfulness, and regular acupuncture.
This powerful experience inspired me to learn more about Chinese medicine, and become an acupuncturist myself.
From this experience, I learned how difficult pain can be, physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I also learned how effective Chinese medicine, combined with diet, exercise, mindfulness, and relaxation, can help manage even the most stubborn chronic pain.
Come see Dr. Davina for compassionate and effective pain relief.
Many Lives Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturist Redwood City
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