Acupuncture for My Feet?

Have you ever done acupuncture? I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about this foot of mine that’s been bothering me for the last almost year. If you are new to the blog – I had knee surgery in August of 2011, and since then, I’ve had some kind of ache and pain somewhere in my lower body. Now that my knees are completely healed, I have developed what some doctors have called a Morton’s Neuroma, some doctors think it’s metatarsalgia … whatever it is, it hurts. I can’t wear heels, and I can’t walk very far without pain a lot of the time. You can imagine how limiting this can be. So, I decided to try just about anything to see if it would help. A month or so ago … I tried acupuncture. This is the story of that experience.I got a recommendation from my regular ol’ doctor – he’s recommended some pretty good doctors to me so far, so I figured this was a good recommendation. I finally got around to booking the appointment about a month after he gave me the number, and the process was really smooth.

Old Chinese medical chart on acupuncture meridians

Old Chinese medical chart on acupuncture meridians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Up until this point, I’d been trying to book an appointment with acupuncturists who just hadn’t called back – 3 other ones. I might’ve taken that as a sign from God that I wasn’t to do acupuncture, but I kept going.

The acupuncturist called me back, and we set an appointment. I wondered then if my health insurance would cover ANY of the cost. I hoped it would at least be covered enough for me to try acupuncture out on a regular basis for a month or two to see if it helped.

Then, the acupuncturist sent me a questionnaire to ask about every faction of my life. I knew as soon as I wrote down that I enjoyed a diet sode on a regular basis that I would probably get in trouble with the acupuncturist for that fact.

I went in to meet the acupuncturist, and we went through my extensive medical questionnaire that also asked about my parents’ health background. Standard for a lot of doctors to ask you about your medical history, not so standard to actually sit down and talk about everything candidly. That alone might’ve been worth the money I paid – I am a talker.

Then we got down to the nitty gritty. The needles. It was really weird to have needles in my forehead. In my arms wasn’t so bad, but the needles in my forehead made me feel like a bug. Then she asked me if she could put needles in my feet, and I thought, “What the heck?! Might as well.” I’m pretty tough, and I can take some pain so I figured I might as well.

This is the weirdest sensation I think I’ve ever been through. Some of the needles that went in made a sensation totally SHOOT up my leg. And then some of the other needles it was no biggie. And then some of the needles I could actually feel twisting in my feet. Not the most pleasant feeling in the world. But I still haven’t figured out what the big deal is … it hurts worse to have a headache some days.

My feet were actually a little bruised a few days afterwards, and I didn’t have much pain like I normally would the next day. However, the pain has been with us again since then. To be fair, I haven’t been back because I haven’t figured out how to afford it yet. Acupuncture seems like something for people with more time and money on their hands. And the internet says that acupuncture may be a lot of your mind thinking that it’s helping. The jury is still out for me.

Anyway, I’ve now had acupuncture, and I might return again to see if it can further help with my feet, but it certainly wasn’t a magical cure all. Certainly not after just one treatment.

Have you ever tried acupuncture? Would you?

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  • cel

    My experience with acupuncture (two different practitioners) was that I had to do a series of 3-5 standard “qi cleansing” appointments before they started working on the problem for which I came in (the first one is intimidating, with needles all down your back, but not painful). These were independent of each other, not affiliated. They both said that they needed a clean slate to work with. The first practitioner I went to was a personal acquaintance of mine, a recent acupuncture school grad, and had so-so results. I felt better, but not “better enough,” especially for the expense. After a treatment that left me with a huge bruise and lingering discomfort in my shoulder, and after being burned one too many times with moxa, I wasn’t comfortable going back.

    The second practitioner, who is my current practitioner, I suspect is actually working some kind of powerful magic. I went in for help with anxiety and PTSD, on the recommendation of my
    primary care physician. I’ve progressed to the point that I’m off
    benzos for panic attacks… although there is a valid argument that I
    could have gotten off benzos with just Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. About two months ago, after being with this practitioner for about a year, I mentioned that I’ve had hemorrhoids for two years (hello, everyone on the internet!), which my primary care physician treated okay with prescriptions, but could not fix. I was just too embarrassed to mention it before. My acupuncturist said, “okay, I think I have a treatment that might help; it’s thought to help with prolapsed things; we’ll see what happens” and stuck a needle in the top of my head. About a week later, the hemorrhoids cleared up and haven’t been back since. This practitioner has a long list of professional credentials (head of this, board of national that, instructor at respected place). I have found acupuncturists to be a lot like medical doctors — they all made it through school, but they’re not all the same. I think it all comes down to the practitioner.

    • nettaP

      That is so interesting. Tell me more about what moxa is? That is amazing about your second practitioner. They don’t happen to be in the NYC area do they? ;) You are blowing me away with the roids story. That is incredible. I wonder if your magic practitioner might have a recommendation in the NYC area, perhaps? Thank you for your comment Cel! xoxo

  • jessica

    I have tried acupuncture, and after it helping with a lot of back pain and asthma, I decided to become an acupuncturist! I love its theory and methodology, and after seeing results in clients its very rewarding.
    I believe that you need to find the right practioner for you, that not every pracitioner is right for every person/body, but once you have found that person who is right for you, things will improve. I also believe that mindset is key, I do hear that “its all in your head”, but hey why not go into with with the mindset that ‘hey this could really help me and that would be awesome’ I think being in a positive mindset helps our bodies to heal faster, but that’s a personal statement.
    I do know that this cost of treatment is expensive, but most practitioners are there to help you heal and not make a killing off you, some may be open to arrange a sliding scale of pay or packages that can help save you money, you can always call and ask.
    All the best to you and your feet (ps LOVE the pedi!!)
    I love hearing that your doctors are refering you to try acupuncture, that’s a really progressive person, some are still unsure about where acupuncture stands in the medical world due to the lack of research.
    Oh and Moxa is a herb that is burnt either directly or indirectly on the skin to do a few things, increase the circulation of blood, to add heat to a cold body/area, to move any obstructions of Qi and there are others…most people enjoy it.
    Good luck, and I hope you find the relief soon so you can wear those heels again :)