Thursday, January 10, 2002

I'm trying something new after work today: Acupuncture. Actually, I suppose, I should say I'm trying something very old, but new to me.

Yesterday I went for an initial consultation and examination. I called because of my back - I think I mentioned here that I threw it out just before Christmas - but we also discussed my other health problems: digestive troubles and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

First we talked for about 30-35 minutes, as he took my history to get at the root causes of my troubles. He went through the physical, mental, and chemical possibilities and asked good questions about my medical history. Then I got on the exam table and he took about 20 minutes more to slowly examine the length of my spine, pressing in on either side to see how tender the nerve endings were.

The places where I felt the pressing the worst, where I was the most tender, he marked on my chart. On his wall is a poster explaining where these nerve endings go to, and what parts of the body they control. The marks on my chart lined up precisely with the areas I was complaining about: ears, back, and digestive.

Acupuncture works (hopefully) by first numbing, then re-energizing the nerves that control the areas that trouble you. Like throwing the circuit breakers to different areas of your house, you control the current of energy flowing through your body. The acupuncture also stimulates the flow of seratonin, which should help make me feel better too.

The plan of action we decided on was that I will go in for four sessions over the next two weeks or so. He's sure that my back pain will be cured and that I'll have a noticeable improvement in the digestive areas. If the tinnitus is caused by the nerve problems, we'll know by a marked decrease in the volume of tinnitus that I'm hearing. If all that goes as planned, we'll work out a longer-term schedule to deal with the remaining symptoms from there.

Maybe I'm a sucker, or maybe I'm finally on to something good. I don't really care which, frankly. I'm just willing to try most anything. Check here again over the next days and weeks to track any progress.

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