My Right Foot – Part 3: Acupuncture

Having seen the world’s creepiest neurologist, I figured I might as well go all in on the bizarre. I went to see a sports acupuncturist. He came highly recommended by Ultrarunnergirl. She said he cleared up her plantar fasciitis with one treatment. I remained skeptical but for a nominal fee I figured what harm could be done.

I sat down in the examination room and discussed my foot problem with the acupuncturist whomI will call Pokey. Pokey listened to me then pulled out a book and quickly found a page with a drawing on it depicting my problem. Well, whaddaya know about THAT!  He then showed me a picture of the peroneal nerve which runs along the outside/back of the calf straight into the numb area and toward the pinky toe. I explained that mine felt like a guitar string and he said he knew pretty much exactly what was wrong.

Then he asked me if there is anything else bothering me. Well, the true answer is my left knee, my lower back, and my right tricep. I decided to tell him about my tricep. “Okay, let’s see if we can fix that while you’re here.” Go for it.

I took of my shoes, socks, and shirt and laid face up on an examination table. In short order he was massaging my tricep to determine where the needles would go. I figured he’d put one or two in but he went for broke and turned my upper arm into a pin cushion. I didn’t feel him put most of the pins in, only those ones that went into a tight bunch of tissue.

Accupuncture arm Accupuncture leg

Then he moved down to my calf. He went to town down there, finding all kinds of tightnesses. He asked me to tell him if the needles hurt but my leg reacted so much when it did that I couldn’t get “Ow” out of my mouth fast enough. Not that the needles hurt all that much. Just a bit. Each “Ow” elicited an understanding nod or comment from Pokey. Once he was done needling me, he told me to lie still for 15 minutes. I took a couple of pictures of his work. I was shocked at how many needles were in me. I didn’t feel half of them. Also a few needles were hooked up to wires.

Out of curiosity I tried turning my foot. Ow! Not a good idea. Lay still dummy! When we were done he said that he thought the treatment would take completely in about 4 days. (Younger people take less time, he said.)  I don’t notice much difference yet in my foot but my arm is distinctly better. This may just be a placebo effect but I’ll the reason seems irrelavant. It’s better.

Pokey was really very negative about conventional medicine. I told him my diagnosis is spinal stenosis and he laughed. “That’s what they call it when they have no idea what’s wrong.”

When I asked him about Rolfing he was somewhat positive. Basically Rolfing works on the some of the same principles as acupuncture. Acupuncturists find the troublesome nerve or tendon and they used needles to free it up. Rolfers use a sort of targeted deep massage. Rolding can hurt but it also gives you the benefits of a massage. So it’s still on the list of possibilities for me.

Pokey said that he could probably make my lower back feel better but I seriously doubt it. In any case, I’m going back next Monday to see if we can get the foot better. He sounded very confident that 2 treatments would fix it.

4 thoughts on “My Right Foot – Part 3: Acupuncture

  1. I totally swear by acupuncture. It’s helped my back a lot (I have a herniated disc), as well as when I have TMJ flare-ups. Oh yeah, moving when you have the needles in hurts so much! It’s the one thing I’m afraid of when I fall asleep during a treatment…I’ve jerked an arm or leg while sleeping before. Yikes!

  2. Everyone I know swears by it, and since I have tingling from my tailbone to my right pinkie toe, I’m following your adventure with interest. Maybe that’s what I need to try next. Can’t wait to hear (read) the next installment! Good luck!

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