I’ve had foot pain for a long time. It hurts to walk. I don’t like – or take – pain relievers. I just try to ignore the pain (yes, I know — not too bright). A few years ago, I was at the train station talking to my friend Peter. He was telling me about some knee pain he was having. And he said he had tried acupuncture. Sure I thought. Acupuncture. He said that he had gone for seven or eight sessions. And the knee issues had abated. Sure I thought. Acupuncture. He added that he’d gone into the sessions skeptical. And come out. . . .well. . . . believing that there was something to acupuncture.
We got on the train and that was that. My feet growled at me as I walked to my office. Acupuncture. I chewed on the idea. And thought to myself that there was no downside. A few needles. So I called and made an appointment. I went for six or seven sessions. The needles were placed not in my feet but in my hands. A couple in my knee as I recall. Later, there were a few put in my ankle. And when I walked out on that last day, my foot pain was nothing like the first day. Truth be told, I still have occasional foot pain but it’s not like it was. When it returns, I’ve gone back for a treatment. And I walk out feeling better.
As most people know, acupuncture originated with the Chinese. Metal needles have been found dating to 100 B.C. Acupuncture is said to increase (and correct imbalances in) the flow of qi (energy) through various meridians in the body. Thus, a knee pain may be treated with needles in the elbow or stomach or hip. Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture can actually relieve certain types of pain and post-operative nausea (see footnotes 7-9 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acupuncture). And recently, acupuncture has been endorsed for certain conditions by the U.S. National Institute of Health, the National Health Service of the U.K. and the World Health Organization.
I’m still a skeptic. But an open-minded one. But if my feet ever start griping, I know what I’m going to do . . . . .