Dear readers, what can you tell me about acupuncture?
I went to my primary care physician today to get input about the arthritis in my hands. I have heard good things about hand surgery/joint replacement. I wanted an evaluation of my current condition and perhaps a referral to a specialist.
The doctor, who is filling in for my regular doctor, who I don't really know either because I'm in Group Health, which I like, but this doctor position at my clinic is a revolving door and I have not had the same doctor for more than a year or two in about ten years - whew, where was I...Oh, today's doctor was a lovely young man probably from India. He let it be known that he believed in surgery only as a very last resort. He'd rather put a patient on narcotic pain medication than surgery.
While my arthritis can be painful, I am much more concerned with it becoming debilitating. I have lots more stuff to do before I retire my hands, or any other part of me, and it is getting harder and harder to grip things and do fine movement, such as is needed in sewing. I am getting clumsy.
I won't return to that doctor, friendly as he was. I need more than his "opinion", which he admitted he was giving. In the mean time, he suggested I do cold/hot treatments and/or acupuncture.
Cold/hot treatment means sitting with my hands in ice water for ten minutes and then putting them in a warm wrap. The ice water part sounds bad, and the whole thing means standing/sitting around for 20 minutes unable to use my hands.
Back to my initial question - What do you know about acupuncture? A recent compilation of studies indicated that the benefit in pain relief might be due more to the placebo effect than to actual pain treatment. I am naturally suspicious of "alternative" treatments, and I'm not a good candidate for the placebo effect.
Have any of you been helped by acupuncture, and if so, for what kind of pain?