Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It Works by Scaring the Migraine away . . .

I spent most of the weekend with a migraine, just taking a bit of time out for a Sunday school lesson that did not go so well as planned (when you plan for nine kids aged 6-10 and instead get about twenty kids, aged 4-10 . . . things fall apart).  I suspected that the origin stemmed from my neck, which still has not recovered from that car accident two years ago.  Unpleasantly, my migraine enjoyed its comfortable life in my head so much that he even stuck around for Monday.  So, after school, my friend Maggie insisted upon taking me for some good ole Torture Treatment (my special name for Chinese medicine).

It works . . . but oh, does it hurt.

I've done this type of treatment many times before and although I hate it while it's happening, it actually does improve things.  For example, when I had a very serious flu (might have actually been pneumonia) last October, I simply could not get better.  I had all kinds of Western medicine to deal with symptoms, but none of it was even touching the real problems.  When I finally did three days in a row of even-more-intensive-than-last-night Chinese medicine, I radically improved.  In three days time, I went from feverish and miserable to all the way better.

When I went last night, the lady who treated me was able to tell exactly what was wrong with me from just touching certain places on my back.  She knew all sorts of details like exactly where the migraine was, where my blood was not circulating well, etc.  She said that my neck was badly jammed and spent a long time working on it.  According to Chinese medicine, the darker the purple left by the cupping, the more serious your problem is.  If your body is doing well, the cupping actually only leaves light red marks (I have in fact seen and experienced this).  As you can see in the picture above, my neck turned VERY dark purple, in exactly the areas that were hurting the most over the past few weeks.

Today, I am quite colorful:  covered in dark purple marks from last night's cupping therapy, some areas are red from scraping treatment, plus I am also nicely be-spotted with bruises from the heavy massage treatment.  There is a bit of swelling, too.  It did actually end my three-day migraine.  Of course, I am quite sore everywhere else today!  I feel a bit like some hamburger meat that got beat up by a gang of bullies.

My left arm is a work of art:

I have my own theory about how and why Chinese medicine works, though I am at a loss as to how to prove it scientifically:  I believe that the pain or illness, upon personally witnessing exactly what you are willing to go through to rid your body of it, becomes horribly frightened and flees the scene.  Judging by the amount of pain I went through last night, my former migraine currently is probably huddled in a fetal position somewhere in the middle of Canada, whimpering as it self-consoles to recuperate from its abject terror.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"