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John Chew

Acupuncture Needles In My Neck

April 8, 2006 at 1:06 AM

I've fallen off the practicing bandwagon, and resolve to get back on this weekend. My students have been crazy - where do they get all that energy - can't they channel it into their math exercises?

I have been a little down but last night I listened to Itzhak Perlman's recording of the Bruch concerto No. 1 in G minor, and found it so beautiful. I had been listening to the unaccompanied violin suites by Bach for awhile. In terms of listening (not playing) I tend to live with a piece of a music for a long time listening, learning, interpreting making it a part of me until I tire of it, and then move to another new piece. I did that with Bach's Ciaccona when I was an undergraduate. Someday, I hope to play it. Man oh man, I love one of the themes in the Bruch concerto - I'm listening to it right now as I am writing.

Earlier in the week, I had a stiff neck. I couldn't turn it to the left. Has anyone else ever had that problem? I have a friend who is an experienced acupuncturist. My neck on Monday was so painful that I couldn't turn it comfortably to the left. My friend put a thin needle into my left hand - I did not even feel it going in - he said "exhale" as he tapped the needle into my hand. I truly do not feel it was mind over matter, but the muscles in my neck did in fact feel more relaxed. He found another point on my forearm, and placed a needle there. I tell you I slept comfortably last night with minimal discomfort in my neck. I have never believed in the validity of acupuncture, but after last night, I feel more open minded about it. My friend didn't charge me, but the next time we go out, I will be buying the first two or three rounds!

Anyhow, two days to relax, recharge my battery, and of course PRACTICE!!

From Gabriel Kastelle
Posted on April 8, 2006 at 6:38 PM
After a different injury had left me perhaps unusually vulnerable, and after a freakish fatigued unplanned sleep with my head on my arm on a table, I woke up in the middle of the night with left thumb in spasm and first and second fingers paralyzed. Couldn't even pick up violin, let alone play a note. Lost a lot of work, even a whole symphony season because it happened to be at that time my year for what might have otherwise been a more routine re-audition. I have much Western science lab-worker type experience as well, but the West still isn't too good at nerves, honestly, and a kind old Vietnamese guy in South Philly gave me my hand back with acupuncture. Just two sessions. Chi goes through the meridians, 12 of 'em, two hours each, so full effects may take 24 hours after the needles, but about an hour only after first session, my thumb unlocked and relaxed, as if a switch had been flicked, after nearly a week of uninterrupted painful spasm/ clench!! Thumb returned fully within days-- the other two fingers remained very weak for longer, but acupuncture vastly accelerated the regaining of volition, independence, and, I think, strength. A month and a half or two, and I was pretty well back. All seems well now and since then (about three years ago). I am a big acupuncture / chi meridian believer. Yoga is shrewd, I think, although my acupuncturist was miffed I did that instead of tai chi.... Sleep still scares me a bit-- funny thing for one's only phobia...
From Karin Lin
Posted on April 9, 2006 at 5:05 AM
Heh, I know what you mean about the energy and asking, "Why can't you channel it into something useful?" I ask myself that all the time with my kids. ;)

I was never a big believer in acupuncture until my second pregnancy when it really helped with the nausea. If it works, even if it's just a placebo effect, who am I to argue?

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