Topless in the Kitchen

Since I started law school I have been having trouble with tension and pain in my right shoulder.  It has everything to do with how I sit and how I drive and I have been working on that endlessly.  Sitting up straight, taking breaks, stretching my shoulder out, the whole shebang.  But my shoulder muscles get to a point where they are so stretched and tense that they just will not chill.  Even my muscles need to be told to calm down.

I first went to a chiropractor.  I had never been before and it was an interesting experience.  Lots of popping and cracking and such and working with the muscles around my shoulder blade.  It worked for awhile, but I ended up at a physical therapist.  And they agreed with my chiropractor, that it is down to my posture.  Mainly, that it currently involves sitting at a desk for hours on end.  Lets be honest, the rest of my life is going to involve sitting at a desk for hours on end.  The physical therapists massaged and stretched and taught me exercises and I was fine for about a year.

I don’t know if I have been working longer hours or have slipped back into bad habits, but the pain is back again and while it is definitely bearable, it is just annoying enough for me to want to do something about it.  I discussed it with my new doctor at my women’s yearly exam (fun times for everyone) and she wrote me a referral for acupuncture.

Um. What?

I am not opposed to alternative medicine or holistic healing or whatever the PC term is these days, I’d just never thought of it.  I sat on the referral for a couple of weeks because, really, I didn’t have time for more appointments in my life and I knew that it wasn’t going to be one appointment and badaboom I am cured.  But my shoulder was irritating me enough that I finally called my insurance and yes! they cover acupuncture. An hour later I had an appointment.

I googled extensively so I would know what to expect.  Acupuncturists often use a variety of techniques that were all foreign to me, but all the websites assured me that it was painless, so I thought, what is the worst that could happen?  A slightly weird experience and continued shoulder pain.  I was fine with that.

Well.  The experience was weird, but not off the charts weird.  Not even as weird as that time I saw a man dressed as a sea captain from the 1800s in Starbucks.

The acupuncture wasn’t just painless,  I couldn’t feel it at all.  Had he not told me there were needles all over my shoulder, I would have had no idea.  And it was nice lying under the heat lamp for awhile (I am always cold).

He didn’t just do acupuncture.  He also did cupping therapy.  I had read about cupping on the website and I knew it involved suctioning of the skin, but somehow I missed that it involved FIRE.  So when I heard an open flame above my shoulder (couldn’t see a thing!) all I thought was, Oh dear, please don’t light my hair on fire!

I am pleased to say he didn’t light my hair on fire, but I did leave with some excellent souvenirs (which, according to the interwebs and the acupuncturist, are totally normal).
photoright after

IMG_080024 hours later

My shoulder pain has decreased significantly.  Like, for reals people. If I weren’t the one with the pain, I wouldn’t believe it. But here I am, with almost no pain in my shoulder and a follow up appointment for next Tuesday.

I will report back next week on my continued foray into this new world.

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