Apologies in advance and also late for mushy posts (like last night). I feel happy that I don’t need Dr Lee but I also need Dr Lee. It felt really good to go because I wanted to go and not because i believed I needed it. What a difference. I LOVE acupuncture!!

I went to bed with this song in my head.

Full disclosure: i say i had this song in my head. It’s really that i only know the first line and I just sing that over and over again.

Acupuncture for RSD

What works for me is JUST getting needles to sedate and support my nervous system – nothing else.  I do think that because of the autoimmune aspect of this condition, that treating organs and body  parts actually can make for some unpleasant RSD headache.   I feel it makes sense that, if one of the major treatments for RSD (ketamine) severely sedates the body, using needles for a similar effect can work.  The following is from Dr Lee’s site:

How does  Acupuncture work?

“From the Western perspective, research has demonstrated that acupuncture stimulates the brain to produce natural opiate called endorphin. Further investigation has demonstrated that acupuncture not only affects pain but also regulates a wide variety of  body systems.

The relaxed feeling one gets from acupuncture comes from sedation of the sympathetic nervous system, or the “flight or fight response”. This helps de-stress, and improves blood circulation, muscle tightness and digestion, just to name a few.

Acupuncture has also been shown to affect a wide variety of hormones including those that control ovulation and menstruation due to its effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPOA)

Acupuncture affects neurochemicals such as serotonin that, among other things, affect mood and mental states.”

Stress-Related Weight Gain

As I reported a few weeks back, I started to gain unexplained weight (there were no other lifestyle changes) when i was undergoing the two months of intravenous vitamins. My gut (pun intended) tells me it was the high dose C. I felt an extra pull on my system the days i had high dose C.

I have tried the normal tricks to lose weight – more exercise, fewer calories, more green tea. Those didn’t work and I actually think it made things worse!

Then something clicked for me last Friday. If it is an increase in cortisol and other stress hormones from the extra pull on my immune system, working out and adding more caffeine might make things worse. So, I started doing several epsom salt baths a day to get that magnesium in. I also did a few baths where I included raw apple cider vinegar with the salts to pull out excess toxins that have been building up. I have a fat belly. But it’s now deflating.

So i just looked online for other ways to lower cortisol levels.

Omega 3 fatty acids, maybe ironically vitamin c (i assume they mean orally), tea leaves, magnesium, and herbal supplements like ashwagandha, chammomile and even turmeric to help your body fend off cell damage from this chronic stress.  I love taking turmeric supplements for pain.

I may also book an infrared sauna again (i did one of those on Saturday along with a very light Swedish massage and it felt like it calmed things quite a bit).  I also had moxibustion yesterday at acupuncture to get that fat heated and moving on out. And yes, I also have those acu beads taped to my ears. Every few hours i touch my ear and go “what the sh*t is that?! Oh, oh yeah.”  I may need to work on my memory next. 😉

Acupuncture For Pain: It’s Not in Your Head

A NYT article backing up what i already know: acupuncture works. So, while you may be batshit crazy, believing acupuncture helps you isn’t why.

Even if you don’t believe in the premise of qi flow, the mere act of calming the body down helps ease pain. Acupuncture is the most relaxing thing i do all week.


Mind and body

It’s an accepted notion in our society (both inside and outside the doctor’s office) that stress can harm a heart patient and potentially cause a cardiac event. That’s totally accepted and nobody assumes that person is bonkers – he just has heart trouble.

You can’t separate mind and body.  Stress will exacerbate pain. Don’t feel mental because of it. I actively work to reduce stress with qi gong, acupuncture, walking or epsom salt baths. It helps!

My pain levels are low enough now that i take no medications and i think a big part of that was due to me looking at my life differently. Some of that just came naturally as the last five years completely changed my view of the world.  I feel i have become a nicer, more compassionate person and my priorities just shifted on their own.   But I have also made a conscious decision to change how I react to things because nothing is worth egging myself into a pain cycle.

RSD Headache

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to focus on something but you can’t because your head hurts. It’s not a normal headache. Some days it’s not too bad, other days you can’t function. You really can’t do anything.

In recent months I have been trying to cleanse my liver which I knew was overburdened from years of prescription drugs.  It is this trial and error that leads me to believe this brain feeling is due to our livers being stagnant. I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend to be. But from a common sense perspective (often missing in medicine), when your liver is not removing toxins from the body efficiently, the sympathetic response (your inflammatory response) goes bananas to try to fend off those toxins. Could that be why our diet can affect our RSD symptoms? Perhaps that eating leafy greens and things that help cleanse your liver might ease your brain symptoms? And perhaps also ease the burning pain since your inflammatory response is calmed?

All I can say is I have noticed a substantial difference by adding Gentian drops (bitter root) to my water, cooled dandelion tea to my smoothies and upping my leafy/bitter greens. It may very well be that the meds prescribed to help calm our brains may be actually contributing to the very issue they are meant to treat. Your liver then has to process that pill.  Even if your liver function tests come back normal, there is a very good chance it is not functioning optimally due to the extra stresses put on it.

I am headed to the doctor this week to ask to go off the last med i am on. I was put on Cymbalta in April of this year to see if the calming of my nervous system would help the sympathetic nerve blocks last longer.  There was a slight change but the biggest benefit was for my brain. I was able to think a lot more clearly and that RSD brain ache was lessened. But I want off of it. I have not taken any Robaxin (muscle relaxer) in months and am relying solely on cupping and epsom salts for muscle issues and I took one Advil recently when my headache was out of control.  Otherwise I have relied on foods, qi gong, acupuncture and turmeric capsules for pain. It is my goal to not take any medications whatsoever.

If I dramatically improve without any Cymbalta and by continuing to treat my liver, I will be one happy girl. And then I will start my 2 week trial of intravenous Vitamin C to hopefully knock this thing into permanent remission.  I have said for a few years now that I believe the medications we are put on end up causing more problems than they fix.  I still believe that.