So, you know I've had some issues with pain over the course of my storied running career, right? Baker's cysts and tendinitis being the most obnoxious causes of pain, but other ugly little issues have raised their heads from time to time.
So I decided to try acupuncture. Mostly because I got a deal on LivingSocial.com. You know how much I HATE to pay full price for anything.
Clearly, having a stranger stick needles in my body isn't something I feel I should pay full price for either. Makes perfect sense, no?
Don't worry, I did my due diligence.
Is the place of acupuncture in my (small, NOT urban) hometown? Check. (I spend enough time in rush hour traffic already, and it don't gotta be in the big city to be good!)
Has it been in operation for more than 8 months? Check. (It's been up and running for NINE months)
Is it run by someone who understands athletes? Check. (He's a former All-American NCAA gymnast.)
|Focusing on the knees and ankles.|
Anywhoo..... It's kind of strange but the first few times it didn't hurt at all. But as I've upped the ol' mileage and abused the bod, I've gotten more sensitive. The last treatment hurt like a son of a beyoch! Apparently, that's normal. Your body starts to know what to expect with the acupuncture and reacts more strongly or something.... also, having run 20 miles makes your muscles a tad more tender than usual.
So the process goes like this: you talk about what ails you, and then needles are placed in locations intended to target your target areas. Then you are left alone for 10-15 minutes, then the practitioner comes back in and messes with each needle to make sure you REALLY feel each and every one and then leaves you alone again for another 10-15 minutes for the needles to do their magic.
|These needles target the relaxation muscles.|
(there is such a thing, right?)
This is my arm by the way.
The treatment regimen is to do two treatments per week for two weeks and then maintenance of one per week for however long you want to continue. I've moved through the two per week and have progressed to the one per week. I have two sessions left and will be using them after my little jog from Two Harbors to Duluth.
Oh, and word to the wise: once the needles have been placed, DO NOT flex your muscles or move a lot or try to get your phone out of your pocket so that you can take pictures of the needles piercing your skin. Movement HURTS and you will regret your stupid decision. It's best to just relax and enjoy the alone time.
So the best part about all of this is that my tendinitis hasn't been as much of an issue lately. And I've been sleeping better, too. Is it the acupuncture? Honestly, I don't know. But it doesn't seem to have hurt anything. So I'll keep at it and see if these positive trends continue.
Anyone else ever try acupuncture or other types of non-Western medicine to combat pain, anxiety or anything else? What are your thoughts?