A black and blue mark developed on my chest and I didn’t notice it until a fellow swimmer pointed it out while I was in a pool at the gym. The mark is a full inch in diameter and I would gladly take on a half-dozen more for the immense benefit the initial bruising provided me.
Acupuncture eased and minimized my acute pain from a nagging groin pull.
Marianne, the acupuncturist, stuck four or five needles in the upper left part of my chest, and it must have “tweaked” a point connecting all the way to my right groin muscle, which has hobbled me for the past two months. I had an X-ray taken of my back and hip, only to learn I have moderate arthritis in both. (It’s all downhill once you reach 30!)
For the past five weeks, I have exercised religiously five days a week as well as begun a diet allowing no candy or chocolate (a glass of red wine every other night is taken for medicinal purposes), and have returned to the gym to swim a half-mile two to three times a week.
A specialist at the Coatesville (Pa.) Medical Center for Veterans assigned me a physical therapist that analyzed my aches and pains and meticulously devised a specific routine for me to work on muscles and tissues that have gone unused for years. All the exercises were geared to shoring up body parts to support and complement the area surrounding the groin.
But exercising them has not been easy, particularly when I’d rush into the calisthenics as if I were a private in boot camp, trying to get into a fighting shape. I’d pull the groin muscle — again and again.
It wasn’t until the acupuncture needles performed their magic that the parts around the groin started to relax and cooperate. “Relax” is the perfect word for what I believe took place at a special acupuncture service for veterans and their families. My body and mind joined forces to slow down and treat my right side with tender loving care. I “eased” into my daily routine, exercising around the groin, gingerly experimenting one position after another to ensure I didn’t strain anything.
This was the second acupuncture treatment I had received. The first was applied by Ed Cunningham, the head of the teaching clinic at the WON Institute in Glenside, Pa. (See Acupuncture Veterans Clinic) He “attacked” the groin “head on,” applying needles in the groin area. I got immediate relief, but must have pulled it the next morning while putting on a sock. Yes, I suffered pain every time I crossed my leg; I’d reach toward my right foot, trying to place the opening of a sock over my toes and then, ouch! That hurts! (Hobble, hobble, hobble.)
I almost gave up until the following week when Marianne, the third-year student, tried a different and indirect approach through meridian points on my chest. Something connected, and the pain eased and subsided. It lasted into the next day and the next, until I could say after five days without pain that I felt I was on the road to recovery.
I’ll wear a black and blue mark on my chest any day for such relief.