Thursday, June 07, 2007

Vitamin Chi

You know it's a good sign that I'm back on the blogging trail when I can actually remember my blogger name and password. Things are on the upswing, my friends, and let me tell you why.

But first, for those of you who haven't heard my incessant griping over the last couple of years, let me get you up to speed on my neck.

I have a pain in the neck. Literally, figuratively, every '-ly' you can think of. Seriously, it hurts.

It started a couple of years ago, and I went to a chipropractor because I was having trouble turning my head for what had seemed like weeks. That is how I became addicted to crack, har, har. I went to him for several months and it wasn't getting any better so I gave up and just decided to live with it.

Then the headaches came. And then, finally, the tingling in the last two fingers of my right hand. Headaches I can deal with, but the tingling and loss of sensation in my fingers freaked me right out and so I went to my doctor. After twisting my arms around this way and that (which, incidentally, sent a shooting pain up my arm that felt like a toothache) he told me I have thoracic outlet syndrome.

As far as I can tell, it's caused by a bunch of things: poor posture (check), jobs where one or both arms are frequently held above your head (check), long days sitting at a computer, probably with bad posture (check), reacreational activities that involve lots of shoulder movement (drums, check).

I have bad posture. I know and fully embrace my bad posture. And I even know that when I get stressed out it gets worse. I will be sitting at my computer, analyzing data, and realize that I am leaning very far forward in my chair. If stress is a flight or fight response, then my head and neck have obviously chosen flight because they are leading the way out of there.

So my doctor recommended physical therapy. I went to 25 PT sessions which were painful at times but for the most part helped a lot. My headaches went away, the tingling went away, I could do almost all of my exercises without feeling much pain or tension, etc. Also? They put my neck in traction which is both awesome and hilarious at the same time.

And then I decided to go to an acupuncturist. Why? I don't know why. Maybe because I've always been right on the border of belief and suspicion when it comes to Eastern medicine. But a friend's story about how an acupuncturist cured her headaches by making her hand "sweat" made me try it. Also, the guy I go to will actually integrate Western and Eastern medicine and I am comfortable with that. See? On the border.

Anyway, acupuncture is pretty sweet. After feeling the top of my head and looking at my tongue (which amused me), the dude taps a bunch of little needles in, and then turns the lights down and leaves the room so I can just chill out and let the magic happen. And you know what? For the most part I do feel a little bit better afterwards, and I do OK for about a week or two before I go back in.

Now here is the awesome part. Every time I'd gone in he'd put a needle on the tops of my feet. Being the curious scientific sort that I am, I ask about
everything he does and why he's doing it. My friend insists I'm mocking him, but I'm really not. OK, maybe a little. But really, I don't know anything about this stuff, and isn't the patient supposed to be their own advocate? I think so.

But back to the feet. I asked why he always puts a needle in my feet, and was told that this is because my chi is blocked. And for some reason, this bugged me. Like, really bugged me. I was mad at him. Who the hell was he to tell me my chi was blocked? I was mad at my chi. Stupid chi. Who needs chi anyway?

And then, last time I went to see the pokey guy, I didn't get needles put in my feet! You are reading the words of a woman whose chi is flowing like the Yangtze, dude. I am irrationally happy about this, and when he asked if I had changed anything in my life lately I had to think about it. I'm sure he meant something like this or maybe this but in all honesty the only thing I've done lately is I started taking a Vitamin B-12 stress complex thingy every day.

I cracked up, and yelled out, 'it's Vitamin Chi, dude!'. He turned down the lights, told me he'd be back in 10-15 minutes, and let me chill out with my needles, giggling the entire time.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You, as I have said before, are funny. Also? You are a dork.
But I'm happy about the Yang-chi flowing.

10:57 AM  

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