Monday, September 24, 2007


I had an acupuncture treatment for my sore left knee that, in spite of my best attempts to ignore it, just seems to keep on getting worse. I had been assuming that the pain I was experiencing was all in my head—(all pain is, isn’t it?)—and that by sheer force of denial, could make it go away, but no such luck.

So today, I lay on a table while a nice Jewish boy from New York stuck needles in my leg, ankle, arms, and head. A couple on my knee even had electro-stimulation attached to them which felt weird in a pleasant way, sort of like effervescence under the skin.

I’m not sure if I notice any improvement so far; in the past, when I’ve had acupuncture, it takes a couple of days to see any changes, but I’m hopeful. At any rate, if I keep going on a somewhat regular basis for six weeks, I’ll probably be better no matter what I do, so I may as well go.

I’m much more confident, in any case, that these treatments will do better for me than going to see a sports medicine doctor at a hospital or medical center.

It’s probably odd, (or maybe not) being the son of a physician, that I have such skepticism about the efficacy of contemporary western medicine. I’m scared, I guess, that I’ll go see an orthopedic physician and he or she will tell me I’ve got degenerative arthritis and that I should consider surgery or something; and that’s all I need: to have my own nascent concerns about my body falling apart confirmed by someone in a white coat.

Not that acupuncture doesn’t have its own high-priest-of-voodoo thing going on, too; it certainly requires a suspension of disbelief (or maybe a construction of belief) on the patient’s part to imagine that it’s going to help.

But that’s easy enough for me to do since health insurance is covering it.


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