What am ! talking about? Well I found myself being the patient and at a colleague’s acupuncture clinic earlier last week. I recently had a renewed bout of Costochondritis which was getting me down, and after going to the docs last year and being told to take pain killers I knew acupuncture could be more effective at getting to the root cause of the problem.
Costochondritis is a very painful condition, it is where the cartilage between the ribs and sternum becomes inflamed. In my case the pain mainly occurs first thing in the morning, my whole rib cage is sore with stabbing type pains when I move, this is painful enough to wake me up and I just can’t get comfortable! The only relief is to get up, and then it gradually subsides, unfortunately sometimes this is at 5.30am!!
The causes are basically unknown, inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to infection, irritation or injury, so any of these factors could be contributory. In my case I couldn’t find a specific reason in Western medical terms, so I looked to Traditional Chinese Medicine for the answers.
The main organ involved in TCM diagnosis would be the Liver. The Liver is affected by anger and frustration, which in themselves can be caused by fear. Emotions are believed to have a dramatic effect on health, in TCM the mind & body are not separated but have a direct influence on each other. Added to the nature of the Liver, are its functions: -
* Stores the Blood – the Liver controls the flow of Blood to the muscles and sinews during activity, and its return at times of rest
* Maintains the Smooth Flow of Qi - If the free flow of the qi is stagnated by the liver, the blood will in turn stagnate as well leading to pain
* Controls Tendons & Sinews – nourishing the tendons, any Liver deficiency or Qi stagnation will result in tendons and sinews being weak leading to numbness or the dysfunction of joints.
So having ‘diagnosed’ myself (which isn’t always wise!) with Liver Qi Stagnation I wanted to get a second opinion and also being acutely aware that I would not be able to needle all the points required, I headed over to see the lovely Rebecca Geanty @ The Acupuncture Rooms.
She agreed with my diagnosis (phew!) but also pointed out my general Qi deficiency, which I knew about but hadn’t factored in (this is why its not wise to treat yourself, as stated earlier!) this meant that my Kidneys and Spleen both needed strengthening as well as getting my Qi moving, to deal with the Stagnation.
So after having our consultation and general discussion about how fab acupuncture was, I lay on the treatment bed and was ready to become completely relaxed. I’m not going to lie I did feel a few of the needles, but not in a really painful way, just a jolt or a sting or scratch, each one was different! Then once they were all in I was left to relax. It was great I have to say have someone else look after me for a change!
In the following week I did feel a decrease in the severity of the pain and also how early in the morning I was being effected. So we are on the right path, just need to a have a few more treatments, 3 or 4 should do it I would think.
I’ll keep you posted.
If you are suffering with Costochondritis then give me a call on 07794 844196 to see how acupuncture can help