Keep an Open Mind

thI have an aversion to needles. And really, who doesn’t? But when faced with a chronic issue, it’s amazing the lengths one’s willing to go in order to achieve relief. I’m not talking shots, I’m talking acupuncture. In the past, the thought of acupuncture was enough to send chills down my spine. Not just one needle, but lots of needles. Horrifying!

But years ago, I developed an irritating itch on my left arm. I went the traditional route of seeking help from a dermatologist. The first told me it was an “invisible” itch—a nice way of saying it was all in my head. Another claimed it was eczema, even though there was no visible rash or evidence of it. Of course, he had the perfect solution—cream he invented that could only be purchased through him. It seemed to help at first. But when I developed petechiae and the skin on my arm became tissue thin, I had to rethink that strategy.

Summer before last, the issue got worse. The itching was so intense, the only relief I could find was with ice packs. My days and nights were interrupted with trips to the freezer. I prayed my way through it, knowing if the Lord wanted to cure it, He could. But I felt ashamed when faced with friends and acquaintances who were dealing with so much more—pain, loss, grief. And I thought of the apostle Paul with the “thorn” in his flesh and wondered if God had another plan.

Then last June, Chris and I combined a six-day chiropractic seminar with our vacation. We flew into Tennessee and spent a week sightseeing some beautiful country. We landed in St. Petersburg, Florida where Chris spent ten-hour days learning a new upper cervical technique (Advanced Orthogonal) while I hung out in the hotel and wrote.

One afternoon, I took a break from writing and jumped into an Internet research (again) of my condition. I’d been trying to find every way to alleviate eczema, as I had no reason to believe it was anything else. But that afternoon, I ran across an article that changed my thinking. It was on brachioradial pruritus, a condition that until recently had been diagnosed as eczema because doctors couldn’t find any other cause. Every symptom fit what I was experiencing to a T. I now understood why it was mostly on my left arm (sun damage from driving) and why heat made it worse.

Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences, which I don’t) the only treatment found—other than ice packs—that relieved the symptoms was a combination of upper cervical chiropractic care and acupuncture. Aside from sun damage, a root cause of this issue is impingement of the cervical spine. Now wasn’t it amazing that as I was reading this article, my husband was learning a new technique that could give me relief?

I don’t know how the combination of these two approaches work, but it was clear that both was needed for success. I thought I’d try the chiropractic alone (no needles) and see if that was enough. It did relieve the itching some, but I’m afraid ice packs were still a necessity, especially at night. So I broke down and called our local, well-respected acupuncturist.

I had my first appointment last Thursday with another scheduled for today, and I’m hopeful. The itching has been greatly relieved and my ice pack hangs out on the night stand, just in case. Yes, I still get the occasional itch. But the blessing is that it isn’t chronic anymore. And I imagine, with continued care, I might find complete relief. And the needles? If your acupuncturist is experienced, they won’t be an issue.

If you have an issue for which you’ve found no relief, think outside the box and keep an open mind. You just might find western medicine doesn’t have all the answers.

One thought on “Keep an Open Mind

  1. Sometimes it is the littlest things that can drive you crazy and chronic anything is just like that. It can make life miserable. I am real glad you found the solution to your itching. I have thought about acupuncture for my chronic head pain, but my insurance doesn’t cover it and I wouldn’t know a reputable practitioner from a bad one.

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