All posts tagged: Acupuncture

The 7-Year Prick: Chinese Medicine on Age & Fertility

(Illustration by Kat Borosky; Graphic: TueNight) Here are a few ways that classical Chinese medicine describes a women’s aging process once we get to, oh, about mid-century: “Our rich essence wanes.” “Our volume of precious fluids diminishes.” But one of the starkest might have been from my favorite Chinese medicine teacher in grad school: “Once you’re 49, your eggs are cooked.” Cooked! The class laughed. To be clear, this teacher lived through the Cultural Revolution. She was a medical doctor and acupuncturist/ herbalist in pre-revolutionary China, and had to start all over when she came to the States, ultimately becoming an amazing acupuncturist and revered teacher of Chinese medicine. She had a full head of white hair and wore stretch pants unabashedly. Every wrinkle is earned, each gray hair has a tale to tell. And she did not mince words. Back in my 30s I was among those amused in class. Now, in 2015, as I experience my own personal wanings and diminishings, it seems a bit harsh. I became a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist almost 13 …

30 Minutes in the Dark, with Needles

What does it take to get me to really sit still and shut up? Being immobilized by needles and electrodes in a dark room, apparently. No, this was not some wild and wretched sounding 50 Shades of Grey moment, just an attempt to alleviate a very un-sexy inflamed tendon in my hand with a 30-minute acupuncture session. Being rendered basically useless and left alone with my thoughts made me realize that apart from going to sleep at night, it’s rare that I take time to really simmer down. I think that almost everyone has this problem, but perhaps mothers are most guilty of not taking proper quiet time. Be still! We tell children to do it all the time, but most of us can’t get the hang of it. We often read to relax, or watch television to try and zone out, but we are actually filling our heads with more information; and exercise or yoga, as wonderful as they are, are all about bodies in motion. I am talking about the full-on Zen of …

Was My Acupuncturist Helping or Hurting Me?

My feet hurt. They hurt so much and for so long, I finally sought help to make them feel better. A personal trainer showed me a series of stretches and strengtheners. A chiropractor specializing in Active Release Therapy pressed his thumbs so deep into my hamstrings, I saw stars. A massage therapist twisted my toes like a Taliban torturer. And still, my feet hurt. Every day. Then a friend told me he’d had great success with acupuncture for a chronically sore hip, so I made an appointment with his guy, Dr. M., a compact man with an impish grin that featured an occasionally missing tooth, depending on the day. A neurologist by training, Dr. M. completed his medical degree in China and had a bustling practice in New York. On my first visit, we talked about my feet and my sleeplessness (I hadn’t slept more than a couple of hours at a time for over two years). Dr. M. believes that diet is fundamentally related to inflammation, which, according to his theory, is the root …