At the outset, let me repeat that I’m not a doctor. This blog is about my own personal experiences, not the science or biology of acupuncture or its affect on the body. Read further at your own risk.
My only exposure to Acupuncture before my cancer diagnosis was watching Sex and the City. Seriously, the only issue that I’d heard acupuncture helped with was infertility and even then it seemed a bit barbaric to me. I’m not a fan of needles, especially since I get stuck regularly now and volunteering to have get stuck with more just didn’t seem like a good idea.
However, pain truly changes everything. Until you have experienced chronic and debilitating pain, the concept of being willing to try ANYTHING to make it stop just doesn’t make sense. Now, I get it. Chronic pain is truly terrifying and I’ve been in that place where it did not matter to me where relief came from, just that it arrived.
When I was still in Orlando, a good friend of mine sent me information on an acupuncturist near Baldwin Park. Dr. Marlo Rapp at Four Seasons Acupuncture changed my outlook on acupuncture. The pain and discomfort of my bone metastases as well as the efforts to assist my body in processing all of the toxic chemicals from chemo was less immediate than the relief of an adjustment, but truly helpful overall. The forced inactivity and rest during the treatments were not bad either. While Dr. Marlo did offer me some herbal remedies, I wasn’t at the place yet where I was interested in attempting to get my medical doctor on board with that.
After I came to Miami, it didn’t take me long to replace this part of my team with Marisol McManus at the Miami Acupuncture Center. Her office is extremely close to my new home and is so convenient. She has engaged with me about the other complimentary medicine I’ve explored and given me herbal and Chinese remedies to try and discuss with my doctors.
I don’t fully understand acupuncture or the science behind it. What is attractive to me about both chiropractic care and acupuncture is that the practitioners approach treatment as not fixing the body, but enhancing and helping the body’s natural processes and the natural healing properties of the body and naturally occurring remedies.
I absolutely believe in Western medicine and I know that I would likely not be alive without it. However, I do know that my body has been affected in a variety of ways that I don’t fully believe my medical doctors acknowledge or know how to deal with. The benefits of combining both Western and Eastern techniques is that I am receiving the benefits of both.
I am not a doctor. I didn’t go to medical school. I haven’t done much in the medical “world” outside of pregnancies and this current terminal diagnosis.
What I do know pretty well and am getting to know even better is my own body. I ignored my body and its symptoms/red flags for so long. I know better now. I listen to my body. When I need to take a break or go to bed early or skip something stressful, I am doing better about doing that. When I know that I need more than Western medicine has to offer, I try other things. I am careful and I do my research, but I also try to keep an open mind and try something when it makes sense.
Acupuncture makes sense to me and I’m so glad that I have this alternative/complimentary benefit available to me.