Yo. Blogging on my lunch break again. Had to tell y’all that I tried acupuncture yesterday for the very first time and I gotta say, it’s about fucking time. I’m not sure what exactly took me so long, because I’ve read like, a fafillion studies about how it’s the best thing (the ONLY thing) to help with back pain. And have I mentioned my back pain? It bloooooows. I’ve always had low grade back pain, but about a year and a half ago it became severe. I can’t bend over to tie my shoes without pain, sneezing is a special form of torture, sleeping at night is challenging at best. My doctor sent me to 3 months of physical therapy – it did nothing except to make it worse. Which is not to say that it’s the PT’s fault, I think PT works for a lot of things, but it might not be the best place to start until you find out exactly what is wrong with a back, because all the exercises did for me was cause painful muscle spasms and sciatica. Sadly, sometimes insurance companies, including mine, won’t let you do anything else until you try PT first. Even after PT I still wasn’t allowed an MRI, which is where my PCP wanted to send me, so instead I went to the orthopedist. He x-rayed, showed me my pathetically compressed/degenerated (there’s like 30 different terms for this condition, all of which pretty much mean the same thing) disc, and said “let’s try a steroid injection”. Despite the fact that it sounded like an awful idea (hello, I work in pharmacy, I know that steroids are bad, mmm kay?), I tried it – out of desperation. Pain sucks, y’all. I can only describe it as traumatizing. Really. I’ll spare you the details (pain, sweating, wishing I was dead). And AND it didn’t really work! I had a tiny bit of pain relief that lasted perhaps 2 weeks. Since then the pain has been creeping slowly back up to intolerable and horrible. So finally FINALLY my dear sister said “YOU’RE GOING!” and since it was her birthday I had to do what she said and boy, howdy, I feel like a million bucks. No, the pain is not completely gone, but I sneezed yesterday and then danced a jig because there was no accompanying pain requiring 5 minutes of sitting very still and breathing deeply. You guys, go get acupuncture. It’s good for any and everything, or nothing. I mean it! Even if you’re sitting there right now thinking “nothing is wrong with me” (and really, aside from people aged 16 and under, who would say that?) it’s such a great experience. There’s a place here in Portland called Working Class Acupuncture – their philosophy is that acupuncture should be available to everybody, not just rich people. You pay based on what you can afford. They also believe in community acupuncture, meaning you stay clothed and receive acupuncture in a room with a bunch of other folks rather than in a medical/clinical setting. Anyway – I’m raving on and on, I know, but I should have done this a year ago, and if my raving on and on will convince someone (one of the 3 people who read my blog regularly) to go try it, then hip hip hooray. The Working Class folks have started a revolution and community acupuncture settings are popping up everywhere. Check out Community Acupuncture Network for a clinic near you.