ACUPUNCTURE AND BACK PAIN – EFFECTIVE OR A WASTE OF TIME?
By CHANTAL COOKE
If you’ve got a sore, aching back then probably the last thing you want is someone sticking needles in it. After all you’re in enough pain already. But it turns out that needles could be just what you need!
I’ve had a back, troublesome back for almost 20 years. I’ve tried many things to sort out the problem… and at best they have managed to keep it under control. But not much more. So it was with a sprinkling of scepticism that I tried acupuncture.
Acupuncture is described as; ‘a system of medicine that restores and maintains health by the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the surface of the body. Needling these points activates the patient’s own recuperative and healing powers. Over 2000 years ago Acupuncture was already well established as part of the repertoire of Chinese Medicine. Traditionally, Acupuncture is seen as redirecting the “Qi”, or vital energy, of the body that flows continuously through the meridian system, an energetic network interconnecting the acupuncture points as well as influencing the internal organs and other body systems.’ (see; http://www.acupuncture-helps.co.uk/acupuncture.html)
The first couple of sessions didn’t seem to make a huge difference, but my lovely acupuncturist Sue Kalicinska of Shenshakti www.acupuncture-helps.co.uk had warned me that it could take a few sessions as the problem had been there for so long. If I’d come in the first time I had a sore back I would probably have had an immediate result. But since it was a chronic problem of many years standing, it would take the needles a little longer. But by session three the improvement was noticeable – I had more movement (and more energy)!
It’s fair to say that progress was slow, but while my back took time to respond other little niggling aches began to disappear and my energy levels improved. So I was very happy to stick with it. And I am glad I did!
After about six treatments the improvement was considerable. My back is no longer sore, there is more movement than there has been in a long time and sitting at my desk doesn’t cause me the problems it used to.
And in case you are wondering – no, the needles don’t hurt at all. They are so fine you can hardly feel them. In fact, often I couldn’t feel them at all and once they are in, then you can easily forget they are there as you lie on the couch trying not to doze off.
Many people have said to me ‘oh I couldn’t try acupuncture as I am afraid of needles’ – but these really aren’t like ‘normal’ needles. Forget doctors’ surgeries and those huge ones they use when you give blood. These are so, so very tiny and thin that there really isn’t much of a needle about them at all! I imagine that other needles look at acupuncture needles and scoff!
So don’t let these tiny bits of metal put you off… because when it comes to back pain needles really could be just what you need!
Sue Kalicinska of Shenshakti www.acupuncture-helps.co.uk
British Acupuncture Council http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/
About the Author:
Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster with a passion for the planet. In 2002 she co-founded the award winning radio station PASSION for the PLANET and in 2009 Chantal was awarded London Leader in Sustainability status. Chantal also runs a successful communications agency – Panpathic Communications.