Acupuncture Testimonial of Rebecca Tucker, acupuncture advocate and new mom:
The beginning of my journey through traditional medicine begins in my early twenties, my college years. I spent entirely too many hours hunched over a sewing machine or pattern, computer or textbook as I progressed towards my BS in Apparel Design. Adding to the tension and stress building up in my neck and shoulders was the lack of sleep. All while my thoughts on overworking my fatigued body never led to the “light bulb” correlation that my actions could be causing long term damage to my body. That was, in fact, what was happening.
I resorted to consults with neurologists, general practitioners, masseuses, and physical therapists. I was told I had conditions ranging from degenerative disc disorder to a scoliosis/kyphosis component (curvature of the spine to the side and forward- think crooked hunchback) to muscle spasms, all at the ripe old age of 24. I was prescribed pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti-anxiety medicine. I was also told that the conditions were pretty much there to stay and not given much option outside of the medication for long term pain resolution. I continued this regimen of medication treatment for the next 5 years.
At age 29, my husband and I rounded the corner in our lives on the family expansion phase. Before I could start that phase, I had to do the right thing for my future children and get off the meds. I just couldn’t justify exposing my unborn children to anything foreign. I wanted to provide every opportunity for optimal development in utero, and all the meds weren’t a part of that agenda. I had to figure something out.
After digging around and happening upon information for acupuncture, I decided that this believer in traditional medicine would go the route of holistic treatments with acupuncture. I must admit that I was skeptical at the onset. I had tried so many things and nothing had worked yet, so why would this be any different? The focus was dealing with my excruciating pain in my neck and shoulders. I had hoped that the acupuncture could help with the side effects of medication withdrawal as well.
I began the treatments and the progress was marked and quickly effective. Not only would I leave the treatments feeling less pain and more relaxed, I felt the acupuncture was getting me back on the path to overall wellness. I found it absolutely amazing that a “release” of tension would reverberate in the needle when a tense muscle was addressed and allowed to relax. Unlike massage therapy treatments, I didn’t feel “rubbed the wrong way” or overworked in any one place. Acupuncture was different than physical therapy, largely because it didn’t make me cry from the pain, but the relaxation was the key component missing from any treatment. I felt like I was in a delicate state to begin with and delicate handling was paramount.
I had been told by all the professionals- doctors, physical therapists, masseuses- that I needed to relax. Well, if I could do that, I wouldn’t need all the meds and treatments to begin with, would I?? Acupuncture was a Godsend because it DID help me relax. This relaxation enabled improved posture and increased my ability to exercise without pain or pain meds. Acupuncture was the missing link in the cycle of getting my body back to a neutral and natural state.
I was surprised to discover that it didn’t take many treatments to get beyond the pain that I had been dealing with for years. I went weekly for the first 3 months and kept up an every other week treatment schedule for 6 months additional. As a bonus, I added focus treatments for food cravings and mental attentiveness.
I have a two year old, will have another son in a few months, and I haven't had to go back to the medicine at all. The acupuncture treatments broke the cycle, and I have been able to focus on improving my posture, health, and wellness, as opposed to just dealing with the pain. I have become a huge advocate for acupuncture and endorse it as a holistic solution for numerous “alternative treatments”.