Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Sticky Situation

I've been curious about acupuncture but the thought of someone sticking needles into me just sounded awful. However.... my daughter Zoe, who also is no seeker of pain, has been going to an acupuncturist in the U.K for her migraines and has had good results. So when we came for a visit -- and I've been having a problem with a "trigger finger" -- I decided that this would be a good time to try the therapy.

Dr. Tang is licensed and has many years of experience and Xiao Mei, the herbalist in the clinic, is also similarly qualified. I was apprehensive before my first visit but the discomfort with my hand overcame my reticence.

At each visit, Dr. Tang checks my pulse and looks at my tongue. Then we go upstairs where I lie on an examining table. Dr. Tang covers me with fluffy towels to keep me warm. After cleaning my hands and arms, she starts inserting the needles. I can't watch. Sometimes I don't feel anything; other times, a slight pressure; occasionally a brief twinge. Then Dr. Tang puts a heat lamp on me. Her English is limited and, when she turns it on, she says, "Barbecue!"

Then I settle in for a 30 minute nap. When Dr. Tang returns, she removes the needles and I get a brief massage. Her touch is light as a butterfly as she makes tiny circles with her fingers on my forehead, temples and behind my ears. Then she massages my ears and pops them. This is followed by a gentle massage on both arms and legs. And I'm done!

Dr. Tang suggested some pills for circulation, herbs for soaking my hand and some liniment. I have no idea what the herbs are -- they look like bits of sticks and evergreen plus bits and pieces of other stuff! These I soak, then boil, then cool enough to soak my hand in.

Are these remedies working? Well, my hand is definitely better. Whether this is the result of the acupuncture and medicines or just the healing touch of time, I don't know. I felt very confident with Dr. Tang -- her traditional training is a good assurance of safety of treatment. I'd do it again.

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