Adventures in Acupuncture

Dave Hoskins

Parker County, Texas
I had my first acupuncture session yesterday afternoon. Twas interesting. The doctor who did it was Asian and also a minor league hockey player. Interesting combination. He had me on the table on my stomach and started sticking needles in my lower back. Barely felt any of them at all except one where there was a lot of scar tissue. What I did not realize was ( I guess I missed that in the initial exam) was that he was gonna hook wires up to them thar needles. AWK!!! By the time he was set I had 13 needles in my lower back. He hooked up 6 of them to the electro gizzy. Then he started shooting the juice to them. Actually wasn't so bad. Kinda like a Tins machine internally. The session lasted about 25 minutes. Lower back along the spine felt kinda numb. I also had better mobility. So, it seemed to be a win win. Have 3 more sessions and the doctor and I are hoping for further progress. I know it is not a fix it deal, but if it helps a lot with the pain, I'll take that instead of having to take pain pills, which I do hate, but now and then have to bite the bullet.
One of my chemo drugs did a lot of damage to the nerves in my hands. The doctors had me try a lot of different things.

I took a variety of vitamins and still do although I haven't seen any improvement.

Next we tried acupuncture for which I had to drive 60 miles one way. That did nothing for me but create anxiety. I don't know why because I am not in the least afraid of needles but this use of needles I found to be troubling. Perhaps it was the thought that they were being left in.

Next they had me use a TENS machine. I did it faithfully 3 or 4 times a day for about three months before I finally gave up. The machine cost around $100 but the real expense was replacing the sticky pads that were stuck to your skin through which the electrical jolts were transmitted. It seemed that most of the time I would not get more than 3 or 4 uses out of a set of pads. I was buying the replacement pads 20 at a time and I seem to recall that a set of 20 was $15 or so.

My last adventure was hot wax stimulation. Insurance would not cover this treatment but I was willing to undergo just about anything to regain the feeling in my hands. I had to go to a day spa for this treatment. The doctor suggested I immerse my hands in the hot wax that is used by the technicians at the spa for depillation such as creating a Brazilian on the fairer sex. I thought he was kidding but I went to the spa appointment and asked for the specific technician he said I was to see. She was a very pretty young woman but I soon found out she was into torturing old men. She had me immerse my hands in this super hot vat of wax and leave them submerged for 15 minutes. The initial shock of sticking your hands into this viscous liquid which was around 110 degrees was quite severe but once your skin didn't fry it became somewhat pleasant. There were only women in the spa every time I had my treatment and they looked at me like I was sasquatch or something. The technician would let me simmer for the appropriate amount of time and then return to take my hands out one at a time and clean them. My hands became bald up to the wrist. I would also say that on days when I was "waxed" I had the cleanest hands in the county save for a surgeon prepping for an operation. I ended up getting 10 treatments because I wanted to give it a fair try. They cost me $50 each. All I got out of it was bald and clean hands and the pleasure of this beautiful young woman holding hands with me as she cleaned off the wax.

So for me nothing worked
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Mine was done at the VA in Fort Worth in the Physical/Occupational Therapy Clinic. I did a fair amount of mowing this morning and it still feels alright. The Fort Worth VA Clinic even offers chiropractic therapy for those who are candidates. I'm not a candidate for that.
Years ago had a stiff neck (could not turn my head). Doc said he would give me a cortisone shot and then he took his fingers and started pushing the medicine around the injection site. I was getting close to vomiting. He asked if I had anything against acupuncture. I said, "nope". I don't know how many needles he stuck in my ear but it was like flipping a light switch. No more nausea. Instantly. He had me lay on the table after he was done and I fell asleep. The shot helped my neck but man I became a believer in acupuncture that day.
Dave good luck . Elector stimulation worked for me many years ago when I crushed 4,5&6 in my lower back. 3 times a week for 2 years. after 3 weeks in traction. I wouldn't let them operate because I heard to many horror stories, today I probably would let them operate. I've learned to live with it and every few years I'll do something stupid and by back goes out for 2-3 months.
I for electric treatment. So ride with it it's takes time.
I have some friends who've had good results with acupuncture, and others who've not. I went to one session many years ago (at my first wife's insistence) in an effort to stop smoking. I guess you could say it worked...I stopped smoking 30 years later, lol. Seriously, I remember sparking a cigarette as I was leaving the practitioner's office.

For a few months Wife #2 was taking our terminally ill dog to a vet for acupuncture treatment in an effort to reduce the dog's pain. He was getting two sessions per week. Couldn't really tell if it helped the dog, but it made my wife feel better. (Plus, her friend was paying for it, so I couldn't argue against it.)
David, it actually wasn't all that bad. He gave me the option of when to stop cranking up the juice. Not sure just where I stopped on his dial, but it was about where I set my tins machine at. I was told from the outset that this is not always gonna work. So, hey. So far, so good.
I have some friends who've had good results with acupuncture, and others who've not. I went to one session many years ago (at my first wife's insistence) in an effort to stop smoking. I guess you could say it worked...I stopped smoking 30 years later, lol. Seriously, I remember sparking a cigarette as I was leaving the practitioner's office.
I've never smoked, tried when I was a teenager, but it didn't take, tried again at 35 when the first wife started smoking... figured if I had to kiss an ashtray might as well ... it still didn't take, so I really don't know how hard it would be to stop... my dad smoked for 60 years, just after his 74th birthday he developed a bronchial infection and his doctor said he had to quit... so he laid them down and quit.... my aunt in California smoked as long as I remember knowing her until one day she decided to stop... she laid a half package on the end table by the couch where she sat to watch TV.... they laid there beside her for about 4 months before she threw them away.... my stepson Ed that is living with us temporarily (at least I hope it's temporarily)... he's tried to quit half a dozen times, but keeps going back... point I'm trying to make, can't see how acupuncture would help... I've heard hypnosis works, but not so much the acupuncture.

Sad part of my dad and my aunt, 3 months after he quit, Dad had a massive heart attack and passed.... my aunt fell out of the bath tub, hit her head on the tile wall and pasted from an anurism of the brain. Her husband, my uncle, developed and died lung cancer a few years later and never smoked.