Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


No, the Needles Don’t Hurt

I am always a little reluctant to tell people that I see a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. My practitioner uses acupuncture needles, prescribes herbs, and gives advice on nutrition. But for some reason, this amuses some people and horrifies others.

I started seeing my current practitioner about six weeks ago. I have had acupuncture and herbs before, and having found them to be beneficial in the past, I picked up where I left off. This time it is to deal with a couple of chronic issues along with pain management for my knee, Achilles’ heel, and hip.

My regular M.D., when I told her I was seeing a TCM practitioner, smirked and said that if paying extra money to such a person would motivate me to live a healthier lifestyle then she had no problem with it as long as I still followed her directives. This is often the attitude of Western doctors because TCM has not been fully explored through western research methodology and protocols. There is no proof that TCM should work.

Yet it seems to be working for me.

There is a very steep flight of stairs at my church that leads from the narthex to the balcony. Six weeks ago I could only walk up that flight of stairs clutched to the rail and using only my good leg to step up. This morning I charged up those stairs without holding the rail with absolutely no pain whatsoever.

Then there are the people who are so freaked out by anything not Western in origin that they think I am engaging in some sort of supernatural, paranormal activity. Seriously?

We are incredibly complicated creatures according to the judeo-christian scriptures*; therefore, it is reasonable to assume that we do not know everything about the human body and how it functions.  Why then is it so difficult to believe that inserting needles in certain parts of the body can stimulate the body to heal itself?

The same scriptures tell us that all plants were made for our good.**  There is even a recipe given by the Creator to the prophet Ezekiel that is nearly a perfect source of protein.*** The Creator has given us food and herbs as medicine.   The herbs my practitioner prescribes and the foods he tells me to eat are not magical, they are scriptural.  So how can that be bad?

Is traditional Chinese medicine a miracle cure for everything that ails us? Of course not. Like western medicine it doesn’t always work. But it’s working for me at the moment. Until I experience otherwise, I am holding on to this.

* Psalm 139
** Genesis 2, Revelation 22
*** Ezekiel 4:9



1 Comment

What’s That Green Sludge in the Mason Jar?

I am interested in all sorts of alternative health and wellness practices.

For example, I have an extensive collection of essential oils that I use for home remedies and body care. I use fresh and dried herbs to make immunity-boosting extracts, tonics, and tinctures. I have practiced tai chi chuan and some yoga (both of which I don’t do anymore because I am just too impatient to do the routines). I practice meditation (which is ironic considering what I just said about tai chi and yoga).  Currently, I engage the services of a licensed acupuncturist, nutritionist and herbalist to get certain issues under control.

That being said, I still have a healthy respect for western allopathic medicine. I check things out before I try them on myself. I thoroughly researched the health benefits of the macerating lemon balm-vodka sludge in the back of my refrigerator. (It is supposed to have a calming, stress-reducing effect when consumed).

Here are some resources I use to check out the usefulness, side effects and contraindications of these substances and practices.

The University of Maryland Medical Center
The Mayo Clinic

BUT, let me add that even these resources are not perfect.  No one should ever self-diagnose by relying only on internet sources.  My “the-buck-stops-here-final-word” consultant is always my regular medical doctor. If you engage in any alternative practices, be sure to check them out first with your physician.

Now, I am off to engage in the stress-reduction properties of vigorous hand drumming.