Chronic pain is so widespread in the USA that I was told today that it is the #1 reason people go to the doctor. People fill up on over-the-counter drugs or medications that can have horrible health consequences, yet they are frequently only masking the problem, and at worst they are still in pain. It’s not necessary, there are other answers to pain relief!
As you’ve read in the majority of posts I’ve written, releasing the spasms that are putting pressure on the insertion points where the muscle tendon inserts into the bone is the best way to stop pain. The analogy I use is, just as pulling your hair will hurt your scalp and prevent your head from moving, in the exact same manner when your muscle is in spasm/knots it is shortened, and the shortened muscle is pulling on the tendon, stressing the bone and preventing it from moving without pain…and you have joint pain. If you first release the spasms, and then stretch (I prefer trigger point yoga as a safe stretching method) you’ll find that the majority of time you’ll be able to quickly relieve pain.
I like to think that when the caveman was out chasing down the mammoth beast, then butchering it and making food and clothes from it, that at some point he rubbed his own shoulders to ease the pain. And that some kind person in the tribe would rub his shoulders when he was so sore he could barely move…the beginning of massage!
Another proven method for relieving pain, especially systemic pain is acupuncture. Today I’d like to discuss this ancient method, which was first recorded 5,000 years ago (who knows how long it was in use before it was finally recorded) and how acupuncture has been vital to my life and to the life of a young man who was a patient in a medical office where I worked several years ago.
I had a horrific case of psoriasis that slowly spread from my eyebrows, down my entire face and neck, and was in the process of spreading to my trunk. It was more horrible than I can describe…white scales, pustules, bleeding, and crust covered my entire face and neck. It was disgusting to look at and while it itched like a million mosquitoes bites, when I touched my face it would burn like I had a piece of hot charcoal pressed onto my skin. Every drug that the doctors gave me didn’t work…the horror just kept spreading and getting worse. Any movement at all – yawning, sneezing, smiling (not much to smile about at that point), or squinting my eyes made my skin crack and bleed, but the scales were so thick I couldn’t even feel the blood as it trickled down my face. People would gasp and tell me my face was bleeding. I wanted to die! I definitely didn’t want to go outside and see anyone, but since I’m self-supporting, that wasn’t an option.
Fortunately I met a woman who was an acupuncturist who also used applied kinesiology to diagnose and give direction to her acupuncture session. Applied kinesiology is a testing method that uses the body’s responses to give answers, and it’s just incredible. She tested me and found that I had an allergy to pesticides and pollution. Apparently having just returned to the Mainland after living in pollution-free Hawaii for several years, my body was in shock from the onslaught of toxic materials in the air. She did the first session of acupuncture for these two allergens. I wasn’t allowed to even touch a vegetable (or ketchup, mustard, etc.) with my fingertips for 24 hours.
Within an hour the itching had completely stopped! I almost expected to look in a mirror and see clear skin again, but following her direction I kept throwing warm water at my face (not ever rubbing my face at all) and I watched as the scales just started to peel off! I was told to barely pat dry my face, and actually to let it air dry when possible to prevent any scarring that would occur if a scab was torn off my skin before it was ready. In one week I was 80% better! My next appointment showed I still had an allergy to pollution, so I again had an acupuncture treatment, and this time as well as vegetables I couldn’t even touch any type of grain — no bread, rice, etc., for 24 hours. But, by the end of week two I had two small patches on my neck and the rest of my face was clear.
I came to be grateful that the burning sensation I had experienced had prevented me from scratching my face during that nightmare time, so I had no scars at all from the experience.
The third week I went in I still tested positive for pollution so after my treatment I could only have water from the French Alps and canned tuna fish for 24 hours. I didn’t care, I was so happy that I was almost free of this disgusting condition that I would have done anything to prevent its return. Finally, on the fourth week, I tested free of the allergy, and it’s never returned!
The second story is even more important because acupuncture saved the life of an 18 YO young man. He had been diagnosed with an inoperable benign brain tumor that was slowly crushing his brain. His parents were told that there was nothing that could be done and that sadly he was going to die as the tumor pressed on his brain, slowly destroying it until he died. That is by far the most terrifying thing a parent can be told, his parents were frantic. Fortunately they heard about an amazing acupuncturist, named Najeeb, who was a medical doctor in his country before he immigrated here and couldn’t be a physician any longer, but he could practice acupuncture.
The young man went to see Najeeb 2-3 times a week for several months. Brain scans showed that the tumor had stopped growing, and then started to shrink. I still remember the day when there was a lot of happy noise in the office, happy crying, and hand-shaking all around. That very day the boy had his brain scan done again and it showed that the tumor was GONE! Acupuncture saved this boys’ life!
Modern medicine has been around since the 1700’s. I find it interesting that practices such as massage, acupuncture, nutrition, homeopathy, yoga, and so many other natural practices are called “alternative,” even though they have been used successfully for hundreds, or thousands of years.
I strongly suggest that you consider “alternative” therapy when you are dealing with any type of pain or systemic condition. It’s definitely worth your time, energy, cost, and effort to explore all avenues of pain relief.
Wishing you well,