Gymnastics my friends is not a back friendly sport. Sadly, I remember my first real back pains starting somewhere between my sophomore and junior year of high school. And subsequently, for the past 15 years, I’ve been keeping the chiropractors from Chicago to San Diego in business. However, all good things must come to an end, and for me, chiropractic care was not going to be enough on its own any longer.
So, I added massage, and of course I never got them frequent enough. I’d be a twisted, mangled mess before I’d slow down long enough to even schedule one. They’re expensive and time-consuming. Plus, now I needed to schedule my massage before my chiropractor appoint so I could maximize the back, cracking benefit of the treatment.
You can see how this process could get exhausting. And it did. I needed something else, because at this point, I was taping heat packs to my back and popping Ibuprofen like vitamins.
Before I turned to acupuncture, I took one final swing in western medicine and completed about 2-3 months of physical therapy. It helped me become more aware of my posture, but I could clearly see that it was not going to be my saving grace.
Finally, what is this, my fourth intervention?… I relinquished myself to acupuncture. And for the first time in months, if not years, I started to experience improvement. I gave it 100% too. I quit caffeine, started taking “herbs” and quit my night shift job. All of which were suggested to help my body heal.
Like any good nurse I maintained a regular pattern of acupuncture and chiropractic visits until I thought I was better. Then I allowed myself to fall back into my same habits. Work out too hard, lift a heavy patient, wear crappy shoes, drink too much coffee… you get the picture. I know, living on the wild side.
But, I do learn from my mistakes. As my pains returned I’ve been able to pin point what activities may have been the culprits and make changes. I am continually challenged with taking my herbs regularly, as they are not the least bit tasty, but I’m getting better. I stick to a minimal caffeine allowance with mild amounts of decaf coffee and infrequent chocolate. I am changing my lifestyle for the healthier and my back pains are subsiding.
Even though I can’t tell you when my back pains finally surrendered to my relentless fight, I can tell you they are gone. And because I am all the wiser from my previous ignorance, I know they are not far away.
This is why I will continue with my acupuncture treatments. They are helping my body balance itself and I would be doing it an injustice to just stop. My challenge for 2014 is, “12 Months of Acupuncture”. One appointment every month and my continued attempt with daily herbs. Today was my February appointment and it’s hard to explain how great I felt when I walked back out into my life.