“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ~Maya Angelou
“Ray of Hope”
Hello wonderful people! I am back in action after a vacation on the east coast where I visited some friends and family. While I was away, my wheels were still turning as I was in correspondence with a friend, reader and big supporter of thislittlelark regarding her first time seeing a Chinese Medicine practitioner. Elisha was first in touch with me several days before her appointment, asking questions, sharing what made her feel nervous and excited. After the treatment, she was happy to report it went extremely well and she can’t wait to go back. She has graciously agreed to write about her experiences to share with all of you. Perhaps it may answer some questions, spark new ones, or encourage you to try it for yourself (if you haven’t already).
The following is a list of questions I e-mailed her:
- What brought you to see a Chinese Medicine practitioner?
- How many other specialists and treatments did you experience prior to this appointment?
- What were your thoughts beforehand? Nervous? Excited? Hopeful? Any prior knowledge?
- What stood out the most in the intake?
- What kind of treatment did she give you? Acupuncture? Herbs? Cupping? Moxabustion? Describe your experience.
- Will you return to see her? Do you feel optimistic about your condition improving?
Here is her story. Feel free to ask questions or share your reflections on your “first time”… Thank you Elisha! Please keep us updated on future visits! Happy Thursday everyone! Until next time…
When I was younger, I got headaches every once in a while. They would start with losing my peripheral vision and soon turn into a torturing headache that left me in a dark room or by the toilet throwing up! About 2 years ago, I started getting sinus headaches so I took Excedrin and Tylenol Sinus. They worked for a while until the headaches got worse and I found myself taking Excederin every day. I knew it was bad to do this but I couldn’t function if I didn’t take something for the debilitating pain.
I finally mentioned to my doctor that I was having daily headaches, so she sent me to an allergist. After many shots and $500 later, I found out that I wasn’t allergic to anything. The next thing my doctor did was prescribe Xanax to chill out and relax my neck muscles (which still works great and I am yet to be weaned off of). Even though my muscular pain was better with this med, the headaches were not letting up, so my doctor referred me to see a neurologist. The neurologist thought it was terrible that I took Excederin and Xanax every day and put me on Topomax to replace them. Topomax was terrible and I didn’t stay on it for long; I couldn’t even eat I felt so sick all the time. The neurologist switched me to depecote 1000mg/day. My headaches seemed to get better but I couldn’t quite think right. It felt like my brain wasn’t working (!!), so he lowered the dose to 750mg/day.
Meanwhile, the neurologist noticed that one of my pupils was larger than the other so I went to an eye specialist [this is the 4th specialist now] who said it was either from the migraines or that I had a virus in my eye. I had an MRI, MRA, and a CAT scan. The CAT scan revealed that I had a small aneurism which made it so I went to see a neurosurgeon [#5] who said I would have to be on watch with a CAT scan every year to make sure it doesn’t grow bigger than 5cm. If it does, I’d have to go in and have it clipped. They said the aneurism definitely wasn’t the cause of my headaches, it was too small.
After a while, I thought, you know, after taking the medicine I’m on, I still have a headache. I’m only 30 years old and I have a healthy lifestyle, I try to eat organic food – what am I doing on these heavy chemical drugs?? In the long run, what are my liver and/or kidneys going to look like?? I decided I needed to taper off these meds and go natural.
I believe in natural medicine, so that was half the battle, I think! So, I started OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment) with my primary care physician. This helped to make sure my back is in alignment. I also decided to try acupuncture which has always caught my attention, but I thought my insurance wouldn’t cover something like that (Anthem Blue Cross). I was wrong, but never so happy to be wrong!
I feel like I knew it would help and that’s what drove me to make an appointment. I have to admit, I was terrified of the needles! The practitioner, we’ll call her Ms. K, was so relaxed and easy to talk to. She wasn’t pushy at all and told me if I wanted to stay on medications that’s fine, but if I want to wean off them, she could help with that too. It was a breath of fresh air, finally someone who is letting me pick!
She proceeded with interviewing me about my eating habits and expectations from the treatments. She had me lie on my stomach in order to put various needles in my back, which didn’t hurt at all (except one on my foot). She stimulated the needles with heat and then rubbed her hand lightly on all of them [this is a form of manipulating the needles]. She then did some cupping [see photo below] which was so great I wanted to fall asleep. It loosened up all my upper back and neck muscles. I felt pampered!
I then flipped over and she put more needles in: one on the top of my head which drew blood a when she took it out and she said it was good? [yes this is good for your condition, Elisha!] Near the end of the treatment, she rubbed my back and neck with some essential oil that smelled like pine [it may have been rosemary?] and it was great!
I left with the intention of going back every week for a while. I feel very positive this is what I need to make my headaches better. I felt more relaxed the day after. There was some pretty intense bruising on my back from the cupping, but not painful at all.
If you need to know anything else just ask. I’m so happy to have found Chinese Medicine! What a great job you will have!!