Sunday, August 27, 2006

"No Angry"

So I had my first adventure with acupuncture this afternoon... have you ever tried it? Please post a comment with your experience if you have.

I've always been intrigued by Chinese medicine. Those folks in the east sure seem to work on a higher level than us yokels in the west. When we moved to our new abode in Brooklyn, one of the things in the neighborhood that immediately caught my eye was the Qi Gong storefront around the corner. Massage and acupuncture, two things that I keep reading about as good treatments for many of the ailments I harbor in this (not so) wee bod. Lately I keep running across reports of studies that show acupuncture as a promising "new" (haha) treatment for things like infertility and fibromyalgia. About six weeks ago, Dave had a bum shoulder and went to this place for a massage. He had a nearly religious experience. So, I figure, what the hell... I've been stuck with enough needles in my life to not be afraid of a few more... why not give it a try?

The place is your typical small storefront. There's a reception area in the front and in the back they have makeshift bamboo covered walls separating the four stalls. There's some faux painting on the walls and new age music to set the serene tone. There are a handful of staff members, all Chinese and none who speak English all that well, so communication is awkward at best. But I get the message across that I want to find out about acupuncture, so the woman shuffles through a desk drawer to find a paper for me to fill out. I put down all the ailments of concern, placing "infertility" at the top of the list. When the woman returns, she says that the doctor has gone to Chinatown on an errand and won't be back for a half hour... would I like to come back or have a massage?

Needless to say, I had the massage. It was excellent, of course, but nothing very interesting or different to report, other than the fact that two women performed the service, each alternating to answer the phone or whatever and then coming back, murmuring a few words in Chinese to each other, but never missing a stroke.

Shortly after the massage is done, the doctor arrives and sits me down at the desk in the reception area to do a consultation. It's a bit odd, discussing my health concerns there in front of everyone, but hey... I'm Full Frontal Honesty... I don't give a rat's ass if the kid waiting for a rub down learns the timing and consistency of my menstrual cycles. While the doctor is full of good humor, he not very adept at speaking English. Still, we manage. I was a wee bit fearful when he had to look up "infertility" in the English/Chinese dictionary. But he assured me that although his English skills were poor, he was a very good doctor. He said he mixes east and west medicine and therefore he "knows everything." I say "that's why I'm here... because you know everything." We are sharing awkward humor across the language barrier. A good sign.

He takes my pulse and blood pressure, asking me questions the entire time. How long you married? When your last period? Blah, blah, blah... and then he says something about "inflamation" and "TB" and what I gather to mean that other things can cause infertility, other than those my western doctor has talked about. He looks at me earnestly and says something about me being sad, stressed and angry and how that is a problem. He says these things pointing to his heart and I nearly start to cry, although I can't really explain why.

Finally, he took me into one of the makeshift stalls in the back for an examination. It was pretty much the same as a western doctor's exam, although he did a few things that were a bit different. When pressing on my lower back, I had pain and he said he had no evidence, but that he suspected a disk problem and that I should go have an MRI to get a diagnosis. But, other than that, he said the exam was normal and he proceeded with the acupuncture.

He put four or five needles in, circling my belly button, and I didn't feel a thing. Then he put one in each ankle. I felt the prick of each one, and a tiny bit of stinging in my left ankle, but nothing too bad. Then he attached wires to two of the needles in my belly and hooked them up to a tiny machine with a bunch of black dials. This sent an electric pulse into the needles, and he asked me if it was "light or heavy" and I said "medium", so he left it at that level. Then he pointed an infrared lamp over my belly. "Too hot?" "No." And that was that, for about a half hour. He came in and out of the room, asking questions, explaining things. He talked about chi and the balance of yin and yang in Chinese medicine. He talked about coming from Shanghai and moving from Connecticut to NYC. I told him about moving from Chicago to NYC.

He said that the acupuncture and herbs were important, but that the spirit is important, too. "No angry." he said again and again. And each time he did, I couldn't help but laugh. It just summed things up so readily for me. "No angry" is the bottom line. It's probably the key to every illness I've encountered. I kept saying "that's the hard part" and he would say, "you can do it." Then he said he would give me a Chinese tea to drink and that I should come back for another session in a week. So we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I'm going to put alot more energy into finding ways to eliminate the "angry" from my system.

9 Comments:

Blogger Billychic said...

I had acupuncture one time - but the place I went to was too expensive to keep doing it. I had really hurt my back and was trying everything...but didn't try one thing long enough to make it work.

I am so happy you had a good experience. I felt mine was, too - it didn't hurt, and there was a sense of release of energy from the area. They gave me herbs to press on there...

But I think the guy you went to sounds great. He really seems to have the whole mentality down about what the core problems are - stress, anger; the mental part that effects the physical part.

I know that so many of my physical ailments would probably be better if I just relaxed more...or let go of things in my life that were causing me stress. Or the people in my life.

But that is a whole different rant.

Good luck with it, honey!!

xxoo
d

12:02 AM  
Blogger Maritza said...

I have a friend who is Chinese and is going for acupuncture treatments along with IVF. The doctor is a woman so if you want a recommendation, I'll post the name and phone of the doctor (she's in NYC). My friend was telling me that this doctor has had great success. It doesn't hurt to try.

I tried acupuncture when I hurt my back, it was wonderful but expensive.

The "angry" in our system must be eliminated no matter what ails us.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Full Frontal Honesty said...

Please do post or email the doc's info... if I become unhappy with my guy it'll be good to have another recommendation.

You're both right, it IS expensive. Although my guy is not as pricey as some of the others I've researched who specialize in acupuncture for fertilty and work out of a fancy spa or office. But I like the um... authenticity?... of him and the place he works.

Isn't it a shame that our insurance doesn't cover these things? We're so arrogant in the west about such things as our medicine despite the fact that these eastern methods have been used for thousands of years and are beginning to be verified in western scientific studies.

I can't wait to hear what all my other doctors have to say regarding this new development in my healthcare regime!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Maritza said...

Doctor Anna
(212) 226-5178

She is off on Mondays and Thursdays.

Canal/Broadway. I hope it works!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Maritza said...

From my friend, these are traditional fertility specialists:

Dr Sami David
1047 Park Ave
212-831-0430

You can speak with Rosanne, Dorothy or Barbara for an appointment.

It is about $450 for the first consultation. But he does not do IVF but can prob. diagnose
what the main issue are. He is really great and the nurses too.

Dr. Zev Roswenwaks
Cornell
505 East 70th Street
3rd floor

You can speak to Lisa.

212-746-1743. She is really nice but the place is like a factory and
Dr. Rosenwaks is not at all a personable Dr but he is suppose to be one of the best (if not the best) in the field. Per Dr David, he said don’t go with the junior staff there, since they don’t have as much experience.

The facility is very professional but you don’t feel like you are getting the royal treatment. (Maybe they treated Julia Roberts better there)

And the drs tend to run late and there are layers of bureaucracy. My meetings w. Dr Rosenwaks clocked in at about 15 minutes
for both visits so far. They are also associated with the male reproductive health dept so that is very helpful if the prob. is not w/ the female.

Do not go to RMA. They are terrible from my experience. You get better treatment at the vet.

Other people think they are great. I think Celine Dion got knocked up there.

I hope this helps! I posted the acupuncture doc's name and number but I don't see it here.

Good luck to your friend.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Billychic said...

My bad...the comments come to me to put up and I saw it and clicked it...but blogger didn't take it.

So, actually, it's BLOGGER's bad (and mine for not checking it up)

It's up now.

Maritza, you rock! Full Frontal, ain't she a rockstar?

~ d

9:35 AM  
Blogger Maritza said...

A tone deaf rockstar! Whoo hoo - that's me!

Thanks Billy and I hope this info helps Full Frontal.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Maritza said...

A tone deaf rockstar! Whoo hoo - that's me!

Thanks Billy and I hope this info helps Full Frontal.

1:50 PM  
Blogger backcare said...

very good blogger site!.

Do you know BBC News (14/09/2006) Acupuncture for low back pain is cost-effective and works, according to medical researchers. Two studies on bmj.com suggest a short course of acupuncture would benefit patients and healthcare providersThe cost is well below the threshold used by officials to decide whether the NHS can afford to fund a set treatment, they said. Up to 80% of UK residents experience back pain at some point in their lives, costing the NHS £480m a year.—(BBC News 14/09/2006)

And, What do you think about it? Something as follow:

Chinese acupuncture practitioner had almost been accused for website’s ads in Bristol

Dr Zhentong Han is a Chinese registered acupuncturist with twenty years of clinical experience. He is very popular among the patients in the area with outstanding technique. The appointments for him in the clinic in Bradford were always full, however, at Bristol, another place where he set up his business; there were troubles from the competitions in the same field.

It started at the acupunctural website of Dr Han(http://www.backachetherapy.co.uk), which occupied the NO.1 place in a international websites about acupuncture (http://www.passion-4.net/tables/Acupuncture.html). Because of the large number of patients attracted by this website which introduced traditional Chinese acupuncture for backache therapy,and top position in yahoo and google. it caught great attention of other businesses in the same field in a very short time. Some practitioner even registered company names using key words about acupuncture , and notified Dr Han and other practitioners to stop using the some key words for advertising the website. Or else they would probably be charged by the law.

Dr Han claimed that he regretted deeply for the matter, but he didn’t want to get involved in this legal dispute, for the purpose of having a website is not to score high on the network, but to have more patients understand the most veracious Chinese traditional acupunctural techniques through his website, so to help more patients get rid of the pain.

Bristol Chinese Pain relief Acupuncture
www.backachetherapy.co.uk

7:45 AM  

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