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Monday, August 19, 2013

I was terrified of needles


Acupuntura MajorcaBig thank you to Vicki Mcleod for this article.  To see more interesting scribing`s about Life and the  people of  Mallorca Head over to http://mallorcastories.com/  definitely worth a weekly read


“It was 1990. I was bedridden. I had a serious back injury from working as a nurse; a patient had fallen on me and I couldn’t work. I’d had nearly a year off. I had tried everything from osteopathy to faith healing to try to help my back get better but nothing had relieved the pain.  It was a tough time: I was a single mother of two small children. I was doing it all on my own. Whenever I went out I had to walk like a crab, I couldn’t sit. If I ever went to a friend’s house for dinner they had to serve it on the floor for me as I was only comfortable when I was lying on the ground.
“To put it bluntly I was desperate for some relief from the problem. I was on some very serious medication but I was in constant pain. It was suggested to me by my osteopath that I try acupuncture. It was possibly the hardest thing someone could have said to me to try as I was completely terrified of needles. I didn’t have a problem giving injections to my patients, but getting them was a totally different story. But my therapist made such a good argument for the treatment that I overcame my fears and went for a treatment.
“If you’ve never had it then it’s a strange sensation at first, having needles put into your body. There is a stinging, burning sensation and then it’s incredibly relaxing. I was amazed. The acupuncture worked, it was fabulous. After the treatment the pain was relieved, which to me, a trained nurse, was a miracle. I decided that when I was better that I wanted to train to become an acupuncturist. I couldn’t afford the training or the time to train, but I knew I was going to do it. I had always wanted to make a difference and help people, and I saw acupuncture as a really direct way to do that.
“It took me three years to qualify from the British College of Acupuncture. I had to be really dedicated to do it because as soon as I was well enough I was back at my day job nursing. But I was following my dream. I was passionate about it. My kids grew up with mummy being a devotee of acupuncture, I was so passionate about it, I was hooked. I was always looking for new people to treat and help. My kids got used to me treating their illnesses with acupuncture and they loved it too. My daughter who was only little at the time would say ‘Mummy, I don’t feel very well, will you stick some needles in me?’
“After I’d qualified I was able to offer acupuncture at the general practice where I worked. I don’t know how many patients I have treated over the years, thousands for sure. I even had some famous people as clients, the opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa used to come to me for help with a problem with her voice! That was exciting. And I had the comedian Ruby Wax as a client as well. I tell people that I can’t cure their condition, I can’t cure arthritis for example, but I can relieve the pain and discomfort, and the treatment encourages the body to heal and rebalance itself to work more efficiently.
“Acupuncture works by acting on ‘Chi’ which the Chinese think is a vital energy that flows through our body via channels which are called ‘meridians’. The idea is to tap into the meridians at key points in the body to rebalance or unblock the ‘Chi’ which is where the needles come in.
“There’s been research done into the effects of acupuncture. It has been proved that it increases your endorphin and serotonin levels which may be why it helps so much with pain relief. And there has been a great debate about the ‘placebo effect’ of acupuncture. The funny thing is that a placebo effect or not, it does work. I don’t know why there aren’t more thorough medical trials down on acupuncture, perhaps people are afraid of what they might find out.
“Over the years I have had some amazing results with acupuncture. Especially with women. I’ve helped support women who have been trying for children. It has been proved that if you have acupuncture when you are getting IVF it increases the chances of getting pregnant. And acupuncture is brilliant with the hormonal and reproductive systems. I treat a lot of women at my practice, Acu Nova in Palma. I am so glad that all those years ago I got over my fear of needles and went for it, it changed my life.
“One of the most impressive things I have done is ‘turn babies’ in the womb. When a baby has been sitting in the breech position it is possible to gently encourage them to turn around. There is a thing called ‘Moxibustion’ which sounds explosive but isn’t at all! You’d be amazed at what a little gentle encouragement can do”.
Acupuncturist Anne Verrinder was speaking to Vicki McLeod.
©Vicki McLeod

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