A text message this morning from my sister, reporting her foot pain is gone and she’s feeling much better. Nothing pleases an acupuncturist and healer more than learning that one of their patients is feeling and doing better after a treatment.
On Monday, my sister came for a visit. A few days earlier she called to complain her feet were in pain, and that getting up in the morning was a chore. The soles of her feet felt cramped and constrained, she said. Making it to the bathroom was difficult, and it wasn’t until the middle of the day that the pain receded to soreness. “I need help, Bro,” she said.
I told her to come by the house, since it was a day off, and that I would offer an acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbal medicine to ease her pain. Her condition was not uncommon to me, since I had a similar condition years ago. Also, her foot pain was similar to other cases I treated in clinic. I felt I could help.
Sis agreed reluctantly, as most people who haven’t tried acupuncture and Chinese medicine will often balk at the suggestion. When she came to visit, I asked her about the pain, the nature, quality and intensity; I asked how long she’d had it, whether she hurt herself by falling, straining, or injuring. I took her pulse, checked her tongue, and came up with a diagnosis. I suggested a course of treatment that included Oriental foot massage, a few acupuncture needles, and a Chinese herbal formula for her condition. I asked for a few days of treatment to first ease the pain in her feet and slowly improve the condition. The most important part of her treatment, I urged her, was to take the herbal formula: the real Chinese medicine.
Sis reluctantly, and skeptically, agreed to follow orders.
Later that afternoon, we both went to get Tui Na, Chinese style massage, on our legs and feet. We enjoyed a relaxing and soothing 30 minute massage that stimulated the Spleen, Liver, Gallbladder and Kidney channels along our legs. The rubbing, tapping, and stretching of tired tendons and muscles felt invigorating and relaxing all at once. When I asked her how she liked it, Sis said she could get used to getting a foot massage at least once a week. I told her that if she did, not only her feet would feel better, but that over time her general sense of wellbeing would improve.
Before going home, I reminded Sis to take her herbs first thing in the morning and before going to bed. The formula, I told her, would soothe her pain and take care of it over time. I didn’t expect Sis to follow suit, nor hear from her until a few days later (if ever) telling me that the formula didn’t work because she didn’t take it—or forgot to. Sis is fond of doing things her way. But I was surprised this morning—and pleased!—by her message. Messages like hers are an acupuncturist’s wet dream.
After a brief chat, I warned her to keep at the instructions I gave her: continue with the herbs, get another massage sometime this week, stretch your feet in the morning and through out the day, and don’t over do it. She’s still in recovery, after all. She promised she would. Keep at the herbs, I implored. And, I suggested, I’d be happy to do more acupuncture on her, with some electric stimulation to speed the healing process and get her back on her feet, so to speak, sooner.
This time, instead of saying she’d think about it, she gave me the thumbs up and said she’d stop by for a treatment.