alternative healing: herbs and more herbs…

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As I head fearlessly into my second month of acupuncture treatments, I can’t help but wonder…what do my readers think?  With all of the medical options available today, it can be hard to keep them all straight.  This option treats a certain group of muscles, that option adjusts your bone structure routinely, another aims to rework the flow of energy through your entire body.  But what does it all mean?  Which option is the most effective for me?  This can be one of the toughest questions to answer, and one of the most frustrating obstacles facing an injured dancer.

One of the biggest differences between acupuncture and traditional Western medicine I’ve noticed (besides the extreme difference in needle size, quantity, placement and purpose), is the opposition of herbal supplements versus medical drugs.  I don’t know about you, but if there is an all-natural option promising to cure my ailments, I am alllll ovah dat.  But how hard are these herbs actually working in my body?  I mean, the often immediate relief you feel after taking some ibuprofen is undeniable.  Conversely, if you asked me how much my health has improved after taking a hearty dose of 14 different herb capsules 3 times a day (that’s 42 big capsules, peeps) I would be at a loss for words.  While I don’t have any real complaints about taking the herbs (swallowing a mass amount of capsules is actually a luxurious experience compared to my previous method of herbal ingestion in powder form- I will tell you right now, spooning large scoops of powdery dirt into a shot glass and chocking down the now-goopy mud-like substance then trying to erase the entire process from your memory 3 times a day is even harder than it sounds), I also don’t have a lot of great things to say about them.  The “sleepy-time” herbs do promote a nice restful sleep (so that’s 3 more capsules every night before bed, for anyone still keeping count), and I think my morning round up of herbs do kill the pain for a short while, but I always end up requiring some ibuprofen midway through the day.  Without much instant gratification (something our “progressive” society has taught me to crave) from the herbs, it’s hard to see the point in the whole process…

Soooo here’s what I want to know:  Have any of you ever tried acupuncture?  What was your experience?  Did you have a whole cocktail (kind of like a long island iced tea in this case) of herbal supplements to take?  What other forms of healing have you tried?  Did they work for you?

the lame life

This has been my view for the past 48 hours:photo

Not the most glamourous thing, is it?

Well, sadly, sometimes this is the harsh reality for a ballet dancer.  In the dance world, injuries are frequent, painful and at times, all consuming.  Right now I’m experiencing some pretty intense back spasms, which have left me feeling a lot like an old tortoise: slow moving, weak-limbed, and permanently hunched over.

Being sidelined for these past few days has been difficult to say the least.  Physically, I’m in pain.  Emotionally, I am sad.  Mentally, I am searching for peace.  In an attempt to remedy these symtoms, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor, taking a whole line-up of prescription drugs, and receiving acupuncture treatments.

After one too many less than pleasurable experiences with the chiropractor and 2 days of feeling like I was tripping while riding a huge roller coaster with a stomach full of fried food (read: vicodin makes me woozy), I am beginning to think more and more about the possibility of restoring my health through acupuncture.  The difference between acupuncture and other forms of treatment is that acupuncture aims to restore the flow of qi in your body, rather than merely subduing the symptoms.  I know what you’re thinking, “Qi?  Huh?”, and honestly, at first I was just as skeptical.  But I’ve decided in order to really give this a shot, I must let go of my apprehension and trust this relaxing, albeit slightly strange, ancient practice.  Letting go of these doubts, I can already feel some pressure being lifted from my shoulders.

Have any of you ever tried acupuncture?  What did you think of it?