Pain Clinic #8: Time For Acupuncture

I’ve been waiting for space to open in the pain clinic’s treatment rooms to start receiving acupuncture since the end of October and I was starting to think they had forgotten about me. The wait for an appointment was worrying my friends and family too, and some suggested that I should seek out an independent acupuncturist or naturopath to receive the treatments. Thankfully, I don’t have to go that route because I received a call yesterday from my pain specialist’s assistant with dates for a series of appointments that start in two weeks. I have four 60-minute treatment sessions booked with my pain specialist who is also a trained acupuncturist. Having her treat me with acupuncture, makes me feel more confident that the treatments will be successful because she knows my history with pain, knows exactly where in my body the pain originated and where it spread to, she has immediate access to all my medical records, and she can adjust my medications if necessary.

The breadth of my pain specialist’s knowledge and openness to alternative treatments for chronic pain, make me feel less anxious about trying something new. Years ago, I went to a naturopathic clinic as advised by a close friend to try something new for terrible migraines. The something new then was acupuncture. The naturopath who treated me would place needles under my skin in three or four areas of my body. After the first pinch of each needle faded, it was almost impossible to feel where they stood. With the needle placement completed, the naturopath would then dim the lights and leave me alone to rest for about 30 minutes. When she returned to remove the needles, I would feel as if I had rested for hours. Unfortunately, acupuncture didn’t rid me of migraines but that rested feeling would stay with me for a few days after a treatment; and the treatments did reduce the frequency and severity of my migraine episodes, which was a big improvement in my life.

The memory of the pain relief I gained because of those acupuncture needles is still with me. And I also remember that those fine, silver needles didn’t only target my migraines; they calmed my entire body, somehow quieted my mind, and even helped me sleep better. I am hoping for similar results from these upcoming acupuncture sessions because my entire nervous system needs calming. The way my doctors explain it to me, my nervous system is now like a hyperactive child who has eaten a bowl of sugar. It has run at that level for almost three years in response to the pain from a benign growth that no longer sits in my pelvis. This overdrive needs to stop, and acupuncture – I say this with fingers crossed – should help to slow it down.


David Bowie – Absolute Beginners


3 thoughts on “Pain Clinic #8: Time For Acupuncture

  1. I am glad you had a positive past experience with acupuncture, and I hope you get great results with this visit as well. Have you ever considered working with an occupational therapist as well? They are experts at helping you identify the activities that make your life meaningful to you (whether basic daily activities or more complex activities like work/school/childcare, etc.) and can teach you how to live while healing from the pain. This includes tangible things like postural exercises and activity/environmental modifications to other alternative stress and pain management techniques to prevent flareups. Let me know if you have questions. I wish you the best!


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