My Acupuncture Experience For Relieving Back Pain and Constipation

Friday 28 March 2014

My Acupuncture Experience For Relieving Back Pain and Constipation

In my previous post I mentioned the neck and back pain that I was experiencing recently. To cure it I went to a little Chinese Medical Practice for an acupuncture session. If you are to try this out, make sure you don't undertake the treatment in a Chinese whore house masked as a medical practice, which I also talked about in my last blog post. The consequences of using somebody with questionable qualifications and experience may give you the opposite effect from what you are trying to achieve.
Chinese Traditional Medicine Acupuncture - back after cups
My back after cups. Five days later I still
have marks, but they have subsided

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a method by which an acupuncturist tries to cure a patient using application of heat, pressure, laser or penetration of needles.

It is a key part of traditional Chinese medicine which often talks about energy flows and other things that may or may not exist. A lot of doctors laugh at it and call it nothing more than a placebo.

Other scientists and practitioners believe that acupuncture stimulates nerves and muscle tissue, which is what gives benefits for the patient. I am a believer of this last theory. People may not necessarily understand why and how it works, but from clinical trials it has been shown that acupuncture works better than a placebo effect.

The acupuncture treatment process

I went to have an acupuncture treatment done for my upper back and neck pain.  The doctor inspected my tongue, measured my pulse by putting her fingers on my wrist. She asked if I slept well and, to my surprise, if I was constipated. Well, I was. I said that constipation was a permanent fixture in my life. The traditional Chinese medicine doctor said that she would do a bit of something to help me out with that as well.

The lady told me to undress myself and leave only underwear on. She left the room. I followed the instructions and lied down on the massage table. The table had a hole for my mouth and nose for comfortable breathing.

Chinese Traditional acupuncture left a bruise
A bruise left after the needle
The doctor came back, turned the heat lamps on to keep me comfortable and warm. She massaged my neck and back to feel where the pain was. She also massaged the legs and feet to find out where it hurt. Next, the acupuncture cups followed. It didn't hurt at all, but I could feel the heat and I could hear the flame. It didn't scare me nor surprised me, because I had seen cups before. My mom used them on the other members of my family when they had some lung or chest problems. The acupuncturist slided the cups down my back, then she held some of them in one place for a little while. Nothing hurt, but I could feel strong suction. Also, they left marks on my back, so don't have this done if you are going on a beach holiday soon afterwards. Give it at least two weeks for the marks to go away.

Needles followed the cups. I was lying on my tummy; one needle was inserted into my calf and a couple into my foot, a few into my back. Then I was left to lie on the table on my own for approximately 15 minutes. When she came back, I had to lie down on my back and a few needles were inserted into my stomach area, one into my head, one into my hand and a couple into my foot. I was left to lie on my own for another 15 minutes.

I could hardly feel the needles being inserted into my body. To be honest, I felt nothing, I heard a little puncture sound each time a needle was inserted into my skin. The only two places where it mildly hurt was my hand and my calf, but it was a very mild discomfort.

The acupuncture results

Neck and back pain

On the same day right before the acupuncture session, my upper back and neck were quite painful. I was able to do things and move around, but I could not move my neck to the left. Immediately after the acupuncture session, I could move my head quite far to the left, not as far as I could move my head to the right, but almost as far as that. My neck and back became mobile. Before acupuncture I felt like I was partially paralysed. I regained 90% of my normal mobility and only a little bit of pain was left.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture for lower back only. In my case, although it was the upper back that was treated, it certainly worked for me.


I emptied my guts after a few hours and again the next day in the morning which is quite unusual for me. I was impressed! Unfortunately, I didn't last. Now I am back to my usual state. To be fair, constipation was not my main treatment, so I shouldn't expect amazing results nor blame anyone. I went there for back pain and it worked.

I have signed up for another session one week apart. The traditional Chinese medicine doctor said that I needed two to three sessions to cure my pain. I can't wait to see if the session on Monday will take the last 10% of the pain away. I don't feel like a cripple any longer, but washing my hair at the hairdressers would feel a bit painful.

The treatment costs £40 per session. It's a one hour long session. Dr. Ling Chen is the doctors name and the practice is called the Chinese Medical Centre, which is in High Barnet.

Final word

Have you ever used acupuncture? If not, would you use it? What do you think of traditional Chinese medicine or any other alternative?

Update on 23rd of April 2014

I went back to the practice one week after the first appointment to have the same treatment for neck and back pain. The procedure was similar and the pain almost went away. However, I could still feel very mild pain when I was trying to move my head to the left.

Unfortunately, a couple days later, the pain came back and I took some painkillers. The pain was nowhere near as bad as it was at its worst, but I would say I had around 30% of the original pain back. Luckily the painkillers sorted me out and the next day I was totally fine again. That was the last time I had that pain. Now I fully pain free, even when I move my head far to the left.

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