Tuesday, June 18, 2013

my hips. acupuncture. cupping. Chinese medicine.


I've lost over 50lbs (and counting)
I've done Hot Yoga/Bikram for almost two years, 3-5 times a week.
I've had a total of 23 weeks of Physical Therapy.
I've had an MRI, several x-rays and talked with many doctors.
I've 'rested/iced/medicated' myself for periods of 10 days or more, many times.
I've stopped running for 6 weeks or more, many times.
I stopped eating ANYTHING that might even possible inflame any part of my body....anything, for about 45 days straight (and counting, with a few 'cheat days' here and there...and I mean a FEW)

I've stretched and strengthened and rested and medicated and lost weight and ate different and iced and cried.


my pain ebbs, my pain flows, it's harder sometimes than others but it's pretty much always there.
I will have RANDOM days here and there, sometimes even random weeks, with no pain, but it consistently comes back.

According to the MRI I have bursitis on one side, a hip labral tear on the other and arthritis in both.

All things (except the arthritis, which was supposedly minimal) are supposed to be curable with 10 days of ice, motrin and rest.  Except I've done that....about 10 times...nothin'.

The next course of action that an Orthopedic would take would be Cortisone Shots.
Except those don't really 'heal'.
They take down inflammation so your body can get fresh blood in the joints and heal itself.
And, once you get ONE Cortisone shot, the next ones work exponentially less as hard and after a while your body is just done with them and they don't work at all.

So, I use it now, when I'm 34 and then if when I'm older I need it, too bad, tough luck, it won't work.
Plus, it's a known deal that I'm not a 'put chemicals into your body' kinda girl so the idea of this shot just doesn't jive with me in general.

The next course of action, after shots, would be surgery...not even close to proven to help you, may even make it worse....not. an. option.

Last ditch effort:



I got a recommendation from someone at my yoga studio (of course!) and made an appointment.
He asked why I was trying acupuncture and I told him, "it's my last ditch effort"...he laughed,
I'm sure it's not the first time he's heard that.

All I knew it that it was little needles and lots of people said it worked for them and it moves your blood around.

(sometimes my researching abilities blow my own mind, it's ok if they blow yours too....)

I show up, tell the acupuncturist what my deal is and he responds with:
"You don't have any of that.  I don't even think you're inflamed (uh...I just spent the last three years trying to get inflammations to go DOWN, and I don't HAVE inflammation!!!!??? exqueeze me? baking powder?)
You have a backup of metabolic waste, causing a pinching sensation in the joint, let's get the metabolic waste out of the joints, get the blood flowing back to normal and you'll be on your way."

and to do that, we're going to do some acupuncture but really, that won't help the most, if at all.
You need:

Cupping." (click on the word for the WebMD version of what cupping is.)

I giggled.
What the crap is CUPPING!!!!???

I was already crossing a 'hippy' line by getting acupuncture and now you want to CUP me!?

I need a moment alone (to get my giggles out!?).

Holly's version of cupping:
they put suction cups near your joints that are problems, it 'sucks' the metabolic waste out from the joint it's hangin' out in, moves it around so the blood can have a turn rushing through there to clean house.

Makes sense.
Well, it does to me.

One, one hour session with acupuncture (uh...who knew having someone poke needles in you could #1 - NOT HURT and #2 - PUT YOU TO SLEEP!!!!???) and about 20 min's of cupping and:

 I was pain free.

I. kid. you. not.

I'm hesitant to land on this yet though.
It's been 1 1/2 weeks and only two sessions.
I'm giving this treatment a month and two weeks.
That's about a full cycle of pain for me
(some parts of the month are harder than others and I know about when they are, so I need a full month plus to make a complete judgement call).

And if this does work, I might actually be a little MAD.
All that other effort (which I have enjoyed so it's not that big of deal) and a one hour session with needles and glass cups is all it would have taken?

I told my acupuncturist this and again, he laughed...pretty sure he's heard that one before too.

Another odd thing he told me was to use a heating pad...all the time.
Heat makes blood MOVE.

He said, according to Chinese medicine, to never ever put ice to any injury...ice makes blood slow down, when you're injured, you want the blood to move around - der....that makes sense.

I have been doing that and no joke, I can tell an immediate difference.

So, needles, cups, heat...here we come.

I'll keep you posted for now, I'm enjoying my pain freeness.

Like, a lot.

(in full disclosure:  I do feel stiff still, just not pain.  After years of extreme pain, I'll take stiff, thank you very much.  I also just feel 'weak' in those joints - but again, not pain.  I don't know what to make of that but I'm including it to give the whole picture.)

I, once again, hate Western Medicine.  The fact that this is working is not shocking to me.  It's a 'duh Holly' moment.
Acupuncture and Cupping have been in medical literature in the East since the 1000's...and those are just the documented cases.
I'm NOT saying the East has it figured out in all areas of life, but when it comes to medicine...I'm inclined to lean that way.
Weirdo...I know.


Denise said...

Thanks for writing this. I, too, am fascinated by, am a fan of, Eastern Medicine.

For me I have done really well with lymph drainage and reflexology to remove toxins, but am now REALLY INTERESTED in acupuncture.

Were you really bruised from the cupping?

Missy said...

Yay for stiffness and not pain!! 'Bout time you got some relief!