acupuncture, healing, Israel, marriage, pain, vertigo

In Sickness & In Health

“If someone told you a year ago that you’d both be here about to get acupuncture, would you have ever believed them?”

“Beth,” I began, “I can beat that. If someone said 20 years ago that I’d be living in Israel and raising six kids…My life seems to be filled with actions and outcomes that I never expected.”

We all had a good chuckle over that.

Thus began my acupuncture session with my neighbor and friend, an incredibly talented midwife, Chinese Medicine expert and acupuncture guru.

My road to acupuncture and alternative medicine has certainly been an interesting one…and not one that I ever expected.

Three years ago, a few days before my friend died of cancer, I threw out my back giving the kids a quick bath before I returned to her bedside. I couldn’t find relief through physical therapy, pain medication or anything else. 

Beth knew that I was hurting, in many ways. “Just come for one session,” she said. “I promise I won’t hurt you, and you’ll see if it works.”

I walked out of the acupuncture session completely straight and pain-free.
I’d say that this moment made me a believer; but it didn’t. It made me more of a person who was willing to say, “Hmmm…interesting.” 

When I started having chronic problems with vertigo over a year ago, I tried everything that I could imagine. I went back to my general practitioner at least a dozen times, I tried every vertigo medicine on the market, I saw the neurologist and the ENT, and I explored my physical therapy options. And months later, when the room was still spinning and I was feeling lost, my general practitioner recommended that I see Beth.

Now why didn’t I think of that, I thought to myself? But what could acupuncture and Chinese Medicine possibly do for vertigo? I took myself, and my skepticism, to Beth’s door and she welcomed me with open arms. She is used to people being skeptical and she always says that the facts speak for themselves and she doesn’t have to talk her way through convincing people.

It worked. 

In an entire year, acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been the only – ONLY – thing that has made the room stop spinning. I went twice a week at first, and then moved to once a week. Now, I go back as necessary and I’m always sure before I get onto her acupuncture table that I’ve exhausted this route and will have to find something else that will work. Every time, however, my symptoms abate after the session and soon disappear.

A number of months ago, my husband was experiencing neck and back problems, and he, even more of a skeptic than I, decided to see Beth. It wasn’t a magic bullet, but it certainly helped with his recovery.

Which brings us back to our session recently, where we went to see Beth together. So there we were, doing a dual acupuncture session on two parallel beds in her clinic. It was the first time that Beth had ever treated a husband and wife simultaneously and we all giggled our way through the appointment. 

When I’ve told people what acupuncture has done for me, and I see that skepticism in their eyes, I reply that the facts speak for themselves. I see myself in their skepticism and I’ve tried to analyze what made me change (in addition to the fact that it’s working). 

There are so many things in the world that we can’t explain; and sometimes we have to envision possibilities for ourselves that we never thought possible. This is something that I try to remind myself, as a look at a life that has taken so many turns, twists and unexpected changes. It’s something that I’m trying to raise my children to understand as well. 

My son, imagining possibilities through photography.

Sometimes, we just have to jump in with both feet and accept that there are forces in the world that are larger than we are, and that not everything needs an explanation that we can understand.

Our medical issues can’t always be explained away by facts, tests and charts. Sometimes, we just have to put our faith in something extraordinary, something different, and believe that it just might work.

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