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Acupuncture? Why not?(10 posts)

Acupuncture? Why not?TypeOne
Oct 29, 2001 12:51 PM
I met a friend-of-a-friend at a dinner party the other night and began talking with the guy about cycling, and I mentioned my abbreviated racing season due to IT problems. He told me that he worked at an Eastern medicinal clinic and performed acupuncture, and he was sure that he'd have me fixed up after just one visit. He said he had runners and cyclists as clients and he knew the problem and the solution, no problem.
I had gone to a physical trainer and found that the IT pain in my left knee was due to a misaligned pelvis from a crash and a tight hamstring. So I have been stretching and doing correction exercises for a few months and things are a little better...up until about 30 miles, when I have to get off the bike and twist my leg around for awhile.
I figured I may as well go ahead and try it. But as I was thinking this, they guy went on to ask if my right shoulder hurt, because he said there was some "axis" that would make my right shoulder hurt if my left leg hurt. Then he carried on about the natural rhythms or tunes of the body, and about all the other things acupuncture could "cure," including bad breath.
Now I figured the guy was a nut, and no way was I going to visit. Heck, I might as well wear crystals, magnets, a pyramid-shaped hat, and burn incense and candles if I am going to trust pseudo-science.
Am I being too hasty? Does anyone have advice one way or the other on acupuncture?
And should I ever go out with these people again?
Why not?TJeanloz
Oct 29, 2001 12:56 PM
Near the end of my racing career, I had some pain in one of my knees. My cousin had just finished acupuncture school, and she put me under the needles. It helped. It might have been a placebo effect/psycological help, but regardless, it did make me feel better.

I'm not one to get all supportive of Eastern medicine, but acupuncture has been around the block. The study of acupuncture is much older than modern medicine- and nearly as refined. A certified acupuncturist is in school for almost as long as a full-on M.D.; it's a minimum of 4 years of specific training.

How does it work? I have no idea, but it did work for me, and it might work for you. What do you have to lose besides pain?
Why not?TypeOne
Oct 29, 2001 1:03 PM
Thanks. I'm glad to hear it worked for someone. I think you're right; what do I have to lose? I guess the guy can't do permanent damage or anything. He just worried me with his naturopathy babble! In regards to the placebo effect you mentioned, maybe I do need to believe in it before it will work!
Why not?Jon
Oct 29, 2001 1:15 PM
I believe that the acupuncture might help with the inflammatory effects of your ITBS. But it
won't do anything to correct the fundamental skeletal misalignment which has created the
problem in the first place. I suffered from exactly the same condition as a runner, with the
same root cause. The permanent cure for me was chiropractic treatment, combined with
massage therapy and weight training for core stability. You need to get your pelvis aligned
properly and your lower back and abdominal muscles balanced so that you maintain
proper skeletal alignment. In the meantime the acupuncture may give you symptomatic
relief. Just my personal opinion...and no, if the treatment is for real, you'll get better regardless
of your belief system!
some stuff does workColnagoFE
Oct 29, 2001 1:49 PM
I occasionally go to one of these "witch doctors" and believe it or not some of the stuff they do works. Treatments can range from herbs, accupuncture, chiropractic, balancing energy, etc. Sure there are plenty of quacks out there, but if this guy is legit you might just be surprised that they know stuff that the traditional medical establishment doesn't know--or chooses to ignore. The problem with most of em is that they don't take conventional insurance. Still I find it worth it for the occasional "tune up" when my old body starts acting up.
Find a chiropractor that does accupunctureSoftrider
Oct 29, 2001 2:24 PM
Alot of chiropractors are doing accupuncture these days, and generally their treatments are covered under insurance.
My primary health care providermoneyman
Oct 29, 2001 3:19 PM
Is an accupuncturist. She treats all my family members for our health needs. There is science behind it, and it really does work. Sometimes things can be taken care of with one visit, sometimes with several. But it does work.

When we go to MDs, the first thing they generally do is prescribe medication or surgery. The accupuncturist is much less invasive and searches for the problem to fix, rather than just masking it with meds. We have been so inundated with the fallacy that the MDs know it all that it is difficult to believe that non-traditional medicine like accupunture, even though it has been around for thousands of years, is little more than a gimmick. I would argue otherwise.

$$
Very InterestingKristin
Oct 29, 2001 3:31 PM
I'm having a very similar problem. Hip misallignment from birth (I guess you could call it a defect) and I ended up with ITBS. The doctor thinks the pelvic rotation is the cause. If you try the accupunture, I'd be very interested in seeing a report afterwards. I'm a nervous about eastern medicine.

Are you doing anything with a Pysical Trainer right now? Mine had me tweak my cleats and gave me lots of strenght training. However, my IT band still gets irritated when I ride longer distances.
Very InterestingTypeOne
Oct 29, 2001 7:08 PM
The PT gave me a list of stretches and a "correction exercise" to do. The exercise to get my hip rotated correctly consists of me lying on my back and picking my left (injured) leg up with the knee bent. Placing my hands behind my leg, I give resistance as I try to push my leg down--like the downstroke on the pedaling motion--without using my hamstrings. Simple as it sounds, it seems to work. The PT said he saw improvement after a few weeks of doing this daily. I wonder if it goes back to that misalignment after an hour of riding, though.
Otherwise, I am concentrating on stretching the hamstring and other stretches for the IT band. Sitting down at my desk at work with my left leg crossed and the foot on top of my knee, while leaning forward, works well.
Based on the posts above, I guess acupuncture is ok for getting rid of the pain, but maybe a chiropracter/acunpuncture person would be good to see about the misalignment.
Good luck! I'll have to post when I get stuck with pins at this guy's office.
re: Acupuncture? Why not?mhtom
Oct 31, 2001 10:47 AM
As someone who has had to deal with back, neck and shoulder problems, I can say acupunture definitely helps and is a great deal better than constantly popping pain killers or muscle relaxers that "doctors" give you. But, just like doctors, not all acupuncturists are the same. Acupuncture is as much an art as it is science. So make sure you find a good one.