Friday, July 23, 2010

On pins and needles

I've tried so many things to alleviate my migraines -- lots of drugs and drug combinations, standard chiropractic and cervical chiropractic adjustments, adjusting my diet -- and so far, nothing has worked in a durable way. I've wanted to try acupuncture for a while, but I didn't know anyone personally who'd tried it and/or could give me a referral to a non-quack.

A couple of weeks ago, lunch with a friend led to a friend of hers recommending an acupuncturist; this woman, too, had had several migraines a week and after being treated with acupuncture weekly for a couple of months, no longer had any. She's now gone a year and a half without a migraine and gets acupuncture monthly as a preventative treatment. I could barely believe my ears ("I can even drink WINE now!" she said), so one thing led to another, and I had my first acupuncture treatment Monday.

I have to say, meeting with the acupuncturist was really different from my standard office visit with an MD. The acupuncturist took a really thorough medical history, including looking at my tongue and drawing a picture of it for my treatment chart. She spent a long time sort of pressing on my abdomen and lower rib cage. As she pressed I kept thinking "But it's my head that hurts. What is she doing?" And then -- ow! A tender spot right under my ribcage on the left. Weird. But she said "Aha!" She want to the same location on the right side, and there too was a sensitive spot. Apparently, soreness in these areas correlates to "congestion" in the liver and gall bladder. That congestion in turn correlates to headaches and migraines.

Talking through my symptoms and triggers took a long time, and then -- out came the needles. She placed several on both sides of my abdomen where the sore spots were, a couple on each of my feet, and then a couple more in the backs of my hands and forearms. My job during all this? To lie on the table and relax. It was not in the least bit painful, but the sensation coming from a few sites where the needles were placed was interesting -- sort of a tingle or radiating feeling. After about 20 minutes, she pulled out the needles. Done.

I'm going to go weekly for a while. I really hope it will provide some relief.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Sure hope it helps as well!

My doula recommended this for inducing labor. I'm thinking it might be more pleasant than Castor oil.