Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My First Acupuncture Experience

I try hard to keep an open mind about everything.  I figure most things have a reason for being what it is or doing what it does, including humans.  Some of those things may not set well with me, but quite often they are popular with others.  And I certainly don't have to accept them if I don't want to.

For example, just a couple of weeks ago I had never tried chiropractic treatments.  Frankly, I didn't even know how to spell it, much less know anything about what it involves.  And for years I paid no attention to it at all as a possible treatment for my ailments.  I was likely indoctrinated by traditional medical practitioners who convinced me that it wasn't 'real medicine' no matter that millions of people relied on chiropractic treatments for ailments that regular doctors could not successfully treat.

Because of my Sweetie, who was being successfully treated by a chiropractor for an ongoing and painful leg injury, I too became a believer.  I wrote about it below in an earlier post.

Well, eventually, even the chiropractor could not completely rid me of some back pain that appears to have resulted from a worn out mattress.  So we ended up purchasing a new, hi-tech, mattress that offers considerably more support for my large body than the old mattress.  Even so, I still have some residual pain that I would like to see gone so that I can return to my exercise program.

So today she presented me with a visit to a local acupuncturist.  And once again, my life changed as I learned first hand that acupuncture is not just sticking needles in people's bodies.  It is a traditional form of treatment that has been successfully used for thousands of years.  And today I became another acupuncture patient.

My wife made the appointment because of the pains in my hips, lower back and front, and legs, and feet.  The visit included a hot-oil/hot and hot stones treatment to my back.

First, the young lady acupuncturist asked a number of questions regarding my current and former health.  She even asked to see my tongue and check my pulse, saying my tongue color suggested I had a fatty liver, but my pulse suggested a strong heart.  I suppose that's necessary information before being stuck with pins.

Before you ask, yes, I opted for naked because part of my pain was on my hip/buttock area.  But I had a towel over my tail feather area until she needed to get to the points where she was sticking me with the pins.

The entire process, including the questions she asked before going into the treatment room, was really not so different than visiting a regular doctor.  She just wanted to know where I was hurting, and questions about my health in general. 

She even discussed the problem of drinking cold water and cooling down too quickly after exercise is a no-no, because the cold water or cold air closes up my skin's pores and does not allow the toxins to leave my body through my skin.  As a result, the toxins have to remain in the body until absorbed by the kidney and liver, or something like that.  So I’m to just ‘air dry’ after exercise from now on.

But the acupuncture itself was painless, well except for one place on my ankle that hurt a little.  She explained that the pain there was because it was an area that really needed treatment.  Once the needles were in, there was no pain associated with them at all.  I suppose they were working like little antennas, broadcasting my pain from my body.

I actually believe the acupuncture helped relieve the pain in my hip and back.  Not all the way, but it could be gone by the end of the day.  It is noticeably less than this morning.  Even if it takes another treatment, I think I’ll go for it.  After reading about acupuncture, I’m pretty much convinced that it’s not all quack doctoring. 

She suggested some hot tea (which she made hot for us and we ended up buying some).  It wasn't sweet like our tea with it's two packets of Splenda.  Oddly, this tea tasted healthy.

I’m kinda anxious to see how this one trip there does for my back and leg pain.  Now that I know what acupuncture is and feels like, I won’t hesitate to go back when needed.  I think the total bill was $80.  Well worth that.

2-16-17  Update:  Well, it appears that the acupuncture did not work.  So I have an appointment with my regular doctor tomorrow.  I'm sure he will want to run some tests.  I hope he does.

2-17-17 Update:  I saw my primary care doctor yesterday just to make sure I'm covering all the bases. He checked me over and concluded that I probably have a pinched nerve that can repair itself with some rest and staying away from strenuous activity.  He also gave me a hip shot to help with the pain and inflammation.  I feel better already.  But if it doesn't go away soon, I probably should see my back surgeon again.  So for now, I'll just relax and see what happens.  Actually, I'm sorta relieved that he didn't find something wrong with my internal organs.  But he did have me do a urine test just to make sure.  I should know the results next week.  Aced the urine test.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Our New Bed

We finally, after a year of trying to make a decision, purchased a new California King Select Comfort Numbers Bed to replace the one we bought many years ago.

The warranty on Select Comfort beds is 25 years, and we had ours for probably 16 years before we started to notice that it was just not providing the support as well as in earlier years.  So we replaced some of the internal foam pieces (each has a different density and serves a specific purpose).  That helped, but only for a while.

The fact that we (mostly me) weigh more than we did years ago is probably a major factor in the foam not performing well.  I'm working on the weight problem but we needed to make a decision on getting a new bed.  And as of Friday, February 10, 2017 we're sleeping on a new Select Comfort bed.

It feels great, much better than our old bed.  So we're pleased and are looking forward to many more years of joyous sleep comfort.

The old bed still had plenty of life left in it so we offered it for sale on our neighborhood internet chat room to the first person who wanted to buy it.  Within five minutes of posting, a nearby neighbor/friend rung our doorbell and said he wanted to buy it.  He paid the asking price, but because it requires special California King sheets and comforter, we threw in for free a complete set that I didn't particularly care for because it was too light weight.

He said he had three possible places where it may end up being used: to replace his and his wife's bed, replace his athletic son's bed, or replace the bed he hates in their beach house.  No matter where it ends up, I think it will be welcomed and appreciated.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our new bed is loaded with technology that actually measures our time in the bed, the amount of 'restful sleep,' 'restless sleep,' and even periods when we may be out of bed during bathroom breaks or can't sleep moments.

Once our Age, Height and Weight is programmed, the app will help to determine our best setting for a good night's sleep.

It even measures and records our heart and breathing rates (don't ask me how), and precisely how long if takes for us to actually fall asleep once we climb into bed.

The results of all this data is calculated to be our nightly 'SleepIQ.'  That number can accumulated and then be used to help determine which number setting (air mattress is best for each of us).  My number is 40 now but will likely be lowered to 35 in a few nights because 35 provides the softer bed that I prefer.

But the real number to look at is my SleepIQ.  97 for last night.  I got some great sleep.

Judy's SleepIQ will probably suggest a higher number because of her age, height and weight and personal preferences suggest a firmer bed.

But if either of us decides for whatever reason, that we want to sleep at a higher number for the night, we can just instruct the wireless controller to take us that number.  In a few seconds the mattress will be providing additional support on just our side.  And by simply pressing the Favorites button, it will take us back to our preferred support.

This is so cool.  Instead of just thinking, "I feel like I slept well last night" we can actually see a graph of exactly how well it was.  It's one of the first things we check on our computer and smart phone every morning.

We're going to love this new bed.