09/08/2014 Killing arthritis with needles

I just came back from helping out for a week at a youth Christian camp. Fortunately, my arthritis had recovered in time for me to be constructively functional. I feel really blessed to be able to still carry on a normal life. One of the things that I was reminded of at the Christian camp was that time is our most precious commodity. There is nothing we can do to increase the number of days we are allocated, but we have no idea how many days we truly have. It is scary to think that despite knowing this we seldom act in such a way to make the best use of our time. I really urge people to stop and introspect on the things that really matter in their lives and make their own adjustments for a better life, and a better cause. Anyway, I digress….

Today, I had taken the first step to seek complimentary treatment. Despite seeing the doctors and the rheumatology specialist, I had not started to take the prescribed medicines. In fact I hadn’t been able to pick up my prescription due to being away from town to serve at the youth camp mentioned above. So before the doctors open again on Monday, mum had managed to book me in to see a traditional Chinese doctor today. I set aside my skepticism and gave it a go. It comprised of a brief chat so the doctor can gauge what the extent of my ailment and approximately 10 minutes of having needles stabbed into me. I kind of wished she had informed me that she was going to stab me with needles (I don’t handle being left in the dark too well). My advice for the people out there that intend to try out acupuncture is to stay still – very still!!! My mistake was to move my fingers to try and scratch an itch but totally forgot that I had needles stuck at certain points that make it very painful to move. Just stay still!!!

After the acupuncture, was this process of pinching/massaging certain other points in your body known as pressure points. This forms the basis of what is known as acupressure. That too was painful. The doctor grabbed my hand and squeezed it very tightly and twisted it in all directions. It hurts! On the plus side, it loosened up the joint and I could actually feel blood flowing back into my hands. She explained to me that my carpel tunnel was blocked/narrow which was restricting my blood circulation the rest of my hand. I noticed colour returning to my hand after the ordeal – a comforting sign. Though this didn’t restore full flexibility of my joint. I wasn’t expecting it, but the return of strength to my hand was a welcomed start! She didn’t prescribe me any herbal remedies but advised me to do self acupressure on my stomach daily for 5-10 minutes as a form of self care/preservation. Her explanation for my condition is that apparently there is too much acid in my blood and that is what is causing the inflammation. The most logical place that the body produces acid is in the stomach, hence the acupressure targeted at the stomach. Further advice on diet and general healthy living was given which are stuff that most people are generally aware of, but seldom act upon it. I really do need to take my own health more seriously.

I’ve been given a week to see how things go. If my joints are still stiff after a week, then I would need to go back. Otherwise, I am supposedly treated and the rest is self management. I must say that this was an interesting experience. I can’t say for certain whether this had worked, but I do feel better than I was. I shall see in a week’s time and hopefully no further treatment will be required. I would be interested to see a x-ray of my wrists now after all that twisting and squeezing. I am currently waiting for the health centre to book me an appointment at the hospital. Until then, I am wondering if I should start the methotrexate and folic acid treatment. I really wish I could avoid taking it if possible. Every medicine that cures is a poison for another.