As many of you will know from my previous posts, I suffer from migraines. It has been a long journey learning how to cope with this debilitating disability of the brain.
Today I want to talk about Chinese medicine and in particular Chinese herbs and acupuncture for healing.
I first discovered my Chinese herbal practitioner over ten years ago. I was somewhat cynical about whether he could help me. By this time I had seen so many people from the medical profession, all professing to help and non being able to deliver on that promise.
Firstly, unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine looks at your body as a whole. I was asked to stick out my tongue, which apparently can tell him everything he needs to know about my state of health.
We then went through my family history and he noted down illnesses which were common. The initial consultation lasted around 40 minutes and at the end I was told I was suffering from liver migraines.
He said he would be able to help me but depending on how long I had suffered from this condition it may take a while. You have to be patient with anything natural, it isn’t like taking a pill and expecting your body to go back to normal. Your body is capable of amazing healing properties but you need to work with it in order to achieve this.
I was also told I was overusing painkillers and giving myself a painkiller headache. Basically my body was completely out of balance.
He talked about my cycle and how I was in touch with the moon, which I thought was completely crazy! Women tend to move in cycle with the earth, which now when I think about it makes total sense. We are after all life givers, the yin of the yang.
I was then given a treatment of acupuncture, which for a person who hates needles this was no mean feat.
He told me exactly what he was doing with each needle (which contrary to urban myths they are not the size of your nan’s sowing needles). They are in fact very thin and don’t hurt at all when placed into your skin.
I had a migraine when I went to see him and he started to put needles over my body and head. One in particular which stands out was when he put a needle into the skin between the thumb and forefinger and twisted it. I kid you not when I say, the migraine I was suffering from was pulled out of my head. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up feeling the most calm I had felt in years.
I was then given my first batch of Chinese herbs called Bend Bamboo which are given for Chronic headaches. You simply put a teaspoon into a cup and pour hot water, not boiling, over the herbs to open them up. They taste and look like pond water but they are so powerful and they started to work almost immediately.
I had to take these herbs three times a day and I went for acupuncture once a week. This was the beginning of changing my life and the way I looked at food, healing and medicine.
People always say Chinese medicine is full of animal parts and I would imagine some of them are. However, my practitioner who happens to be American, would strongly state non of the herbs he gives me contain animal parts. They are in fact roots of herbs.
I will go into more detail in future posts as to what happened on this journey, but I can tell you now we need to learn from other cultures and be open to new ways of healing. There is a lot of beauty in Chinese medicine. It has served the Chinese people for thousands of years.
I was a keen martial artist for a long period of time and my best friend at school was Chinese, so I already know the beauty of Eastern culture. I had the privilege of staying with her and her family in Hong Kong when I was 15 years old. We also went over to China to meet other members of her family. It was a holiday of a lifetime and she remains someone who I thought the world of and admired greatly.
If you are struggling with a debilitating condition and no doctor can seemingly help, I would seriously consider going down the alternative route. It not only heals your body but opens your mind up to a completely new way of thinking. One which is more natural and in touch with the planet.