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Heal...With Eastern Medicine

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

This past weekend I watched the documentary Heal on Netflix. I am not quite sure how it came out in 2017, and I am just now watching it, but it was amazing (and I’ve added another ten books to my already insane library). It was pulled from Netflix this past weekend, but you can rent it on Amazon and it is worth it. Why did I love it so much? It discusses energy, meditation, mindfulness, and Eastern Medicine, which has become another passion of mine, and I love to learn about it, especially after what acupuncture did for me five years ago. I truly believe our bodies are so freaking awesome and their ability to heal, and fight infection, disease, and illnesses are quite amazing,should we give them the appropriate tools to do so.

Five years ago, I blew out my back shoveling snow (which is so weird that it happened). I had been training for the StrongFirst Iron Maiden Challenge (1 pull-up, 1 legged squat, 1 press with a 24KG/53# bell) and bodyweight certification (1 arm push-up). I was stronger than I had ever been, and one false move. I went to the doctor and had an X-ray and MRI that revealed bulging discs in my lumbar spine. The pain was excruciating. I would sneeze and it felt like someone had stabbed my back. The pain trickled into my glutes and down my leg as well. For four months, I was in pain. I couldn’t touch my toes. I drove an hour and a half to a physical therapist then another one. Still, I couldn’t get out of pain. I tried a chiropractor, and would always leave me in worse pain. I researched and stretched. I worked on stabilizing. Nothing happened. Anything I did was just flat-out pain and until that point, the worst pain I had ever been in. Even when I tore my ACL in college, every day improved after the surgery.

Finally, I felt like I had nothing to lose, so I called up and scheduled an appointment with an acupuncturist. As I explained what happened, she took notes and listened. Then, it was time to get on the table. At first, she went to my lower back, and I nearly shot off and out of the office. She took that needle out and decided to work above and below the back. I never loved needles, so it was already a traumatic experience. After spending a couple of hours with her, it was finally time for me to head home. I moved and everything seemed okay. She told me not to do any crazy physical activity for the rest of the evening. I remember we had a kickball game that night, but I chose to sit and watch instead of participating. I had this burning/fire-type sensation that went through my body. When I woke up the next day, I jumped out of bed. I went down to touch my toes, and it actually happened. No pain. I couldn't believe it. So, I went downstairs and did some bodyweight squats, which felt fine. I grabbed my kettlebells and went outside. Squats, swings, get-ups. Absolutely no pain. I couldn't believe it. The following week I returned to the acupuncturist, and she was even surprised it had worked so quickly.

I kept returning for other reasons for her to treat me and I welcomed the opportunity to learn from her. I picked up many books that she had suggested and continued down the acupuncture path for some time. This was another tool that can be used to help keep people healthy, out of doctors' offices and living life. Eastern Medicine focuses on fixing the problem, and I absolutely love that. I don't want a quick fix or band-aid. I refused pain meds when they were offered for my back. I didn't want to just be out of pain, I wanted the problem gone so that it would be gone for good. When you have downtime, turn on and rent the documentary Heal. Nothing is ever perfect when it comes to Eastern or Western medicine. Still, I hope that with a little more mindfulness, meditation, and energy healing, you can improve your health and wellness by including the mind. If you watch it, let me know what you think! Until next week, Charlene "Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates

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