Friday 20th December

Today is my first session with Amanda for acupuncture. I have had acupuncture before. My body responds well to it.

“So what is it?” I hear you say….   Acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the skin – or applying various other techniques to the acupuncture points – to restore balance and encourage the body to heal itself. Scientific studies have shown the potential for acupuncture to be effective in treating many disorders. Acupuncture is effective and safe when performed by a skilled practitioner. Source (Better Health Channel Victoria, November 2011)

The first time I had acupuncture was when I was pregnant with my son Samuel. At the time I was under extreme stress, my first Husband was an alcoholic and drinking like a fish, I was working to support the family, my father was diagnosed with cancer and at the time he was caring for my mum who was chronically unwell with the outcomes of years of metastasised breast cancer.

It was an amazingly stressful time. I was about midway through my pregnancy and my blood pressure was too high. Funny that! I was determined to have my baby naturally so when I was told I may need to be admitted to hospital for the last weeks of the pregnancy I asked what I could do to help myself.

I was told acupuncture may help and I found a lady in the Blue Mountains who agreed to help me. I had 4 sessions, each time I would arrive with my BP at 145/95 or something similar and 45 minutes later I would sail out Zhen like with a reading of 110/70 and this would last for 3-4 days. It was amazing.

The second time I tried it was soon after I married the wonderful Marc and moved to Inner South Sydney. After an old back injury came back I saw a local physiotherapist who uses acupuncture in his practice. I had back spasms that normally took up to 10 physiotherapy sessions to steel, he sorted me in 2 with acupuncture.

So in short, if you haven’t tried it and you are open, have a go! It has been an amazing addition to my wellbeing toolkit. Just in case you are freaked out by needles, it is not like having an injection, the needles are as fine as hairs and do not hurt.

I meet Amanda from Sydney Integrative Medicine, who is lovely. She takes my history and tells me she has just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s of the thyroidalso wow! She explains that the acupuncture will help my liver cope with the toxins ( surgery, drugs, chemotherapy)  from surgery and treatment, will help my digestive system, and my kidneys function optimally. It will also help me to relax and manage the enormous emotional and physical changes I have been through.

She puts needles literally everywhere, as she does this she explains what each point is for. This I love – I am an information freak. I then lay there for 20 minutes relaxing and allowing the needles to do their work.

The first needles were to relax me and were in my side. I felt immediately like I had had 2 glasses of wine, it was amazing. Teach me that one! I would love to do that whenever required, perhaps a permanent needle implant there would be great.

After the session I feel relaxed, balanced and empowered. I learned a lot, Amanda is very gentle and wise and I feel like she will teach me many things over coming weeks and months.

I will see her again after chemo which starts in about 2 weeks and then probably weekly after that. My next appointment is made for day 5 after chemo begins.

Can I encourage you; if you know of anyone who is going through treatment for cancer, anyone going through chronic illness, anyone coping with ill health or chronic pain, please share this blog, or what you have read about acupuncture. Seriously, it has made such a difference for me and I would hate to think of someone missing out who could benefit. We all deserve to feel the best we can, and to be able to make informed decisions about our own health management.

The hardest thing about cancer is that the treatment can be worse than the disease at times, and at least complimentary medicine supports your body to heal and for you to feel stronger and almost human again.