I like to write about alternative therapies. In the past 15 years, my hubby and I have had many opportunities to try different therapies, some that have had huge impact on our healths, others not so much. Chiropractic care is one of those therapies that did me much good but also harm. Let me explain.
I had a chiropractic manual adjustment go wrong in October 2009 which led to a night in the ER and six months of blood thinners to prevent any clotting. This was a chiropractor who I had seen for 18 months so you can imagine my surprise when the day after my adjustment, my eye lid was unable to stay open, my speech slurred, and my head absent. I still have issues after all this time but wanted to share with you what has done wonders for my neck. I like to focus on the positive!
As much as I resisted ever seeing another chiropractor, I needed help with the permanent neck discomfort the last chiropractor had given me. It’s pretty ironic that I did this chiropractic care treatment to prevent pain but it actually caused me chronic discomfort, something I had never had before that dreadful day in October 2009.
I did a lot of research and found a few therapies who helped me tremendously. That is when I was introduced to Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care called NUCCA and a slightlghy different version of it (which is what Dr. Nimira does in Santa Monica, CA).
What is NUCCA Chiropractic Care?
This gentle, non-invasive technique was developed more than forty years ago to create a radical new way of healing that can help restore body balance and perfect health. The focus of the NUCCA work is the relationship between the upper cervical spine (neck) and its influence on the central nervous system and brain stem function. It is this relationship that affects every aspect of human function from the feeling sensations in your fingers to regulating hormones, controlling movement, and providing the ability to hear, see, think, and breathe.
The first time I went to see Dr. Glen Cripe in Orange County I instantly felt relief in my neck. Sadly, I didn’t have the time or patience to spend more than an hour and a half each way for each visit. That is when I found Dr. Nimira, a chiropractor in Santa Monica, CA. I went to see Dr. Nimira for a year where she helped get rid of my chronic neck pain. I loved the fact that she wouldn’t automatically adjust me every time I saw her like so many chiropractors do. She takes two different factors into account and will adjust you if both measurements are off.
After finishing my treatment care with Dr. Nimira, I decided to explore acupuncture. I had done acupuncture several times over the past 10 years but thought I’d try it again to take my neck and overall health to the next level.
Acupuncture, Cupping Therapy, and Moxibustion
Per the recommendation of a friend, I started seeing Dr. Chong, a wonderful acupuncturist in Korea Town, Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Chong has introduced me to “wet” cupping and moxibustion.
Acupuncture is based on Oriental medicine and has been used in Asian countries for thousands of years in order to preserve health and diagnose, treat and prevent illness. An acupuncturist stimulates “acu-points” found at specific locations on the surface of the body by inserting very thin needles through the skin.
The theory behind acupuncture is that proper physiological function and health rely on the circulation of nutrients and energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”), through a network of meridians. This network connects every organ and part of the body, which provides balance, regulation and coordination of physiological functions. When the flow of qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by things such as, disease, trauma, injuries, surgeries, and meds, as well as lifestyle factors such as stress, poor diet…, the result is pain and illness.
Cupping is a method of treatment used in traditional Oriental medicine that involves placing the inverted cup on some part of the body and creating a vacuum, which anchors the cup to the skin and pulls the skin upward. It is believed in traditional Oriental medicine that disease is due to stagnation or blocked qi. Cupping unblocks and realigns qi, thereby restoring health. “Wet” cupping involves puncturing the skin before applying the cup. It is believed that this allows “poisons” and “toxins” to be sucked out of the body.
Cupping has not only helped my neck but the occasional discomfort I feel in my hips, back, or knees. Cupping on the back is not so bad but cupping on the front of my body like my legs is rather uncomfortable. I can’t say that it hurts but it’s not comfortable. It’s good that it only lasts a few minutes. 🙂
Moxibustion, or moxa for short, uses the herb mugwort to tonify the ‘yang’ energy of the body. Yang energy governs movement and warmth in the body. The mugwort is lit, is placed on the skin, and can be held in one place, rotated in circles, or ‘pecked’ over an acupuncture point. This warms the area and brings circulation to it to promote healing. Moxa can be used to treat many different conditions, ranging from pain and arthritis to digestive complaints.
Have you tried any of these therapies before? How have they helped you? I’d love to hear your story.
I’ll leave you with this thought. Be open minded to trying different alternative therapies and give them enough time to see if they will work for you. Don’t expect miracles overnight even though they can happen. Sometimes you’ll find significant improvements after days, weeks, or even months. Remember how long it took for you to be in the state that you’re in now.