Since my bike-car-accident-extravaganza back in October I’ve had to contend with recurring lower-back issues. These range from stiffness in the morning, easily relieved with some simple stretches to searing pain and inflammation within my sacroiliac joint.
Back pain, even in its dullest form, is frustrating and disruptive. I hate not being able to move fluidly and the way my day to day routine is affected. I resent an imposed gym-free existence and am bitter towards any injury which hampers my ability to sit at a desk and write.
To top it all off, if the ‘ancient yoga mystics’ are to be believed, because the sacrum is at the centre of mass of the body, pressure applied at or near to it has a much bigger effect on the entire body, which explains why one can generally feel pants when their lower back area is injured.
The sacral plexus affects the pelvic organs, including the lower part of the digestive tract, and together with the coccygeal plexus controls the rectum, ankles, feet, arches, toes, lower legs, sciatic nerve, and prostate gland. ***
This week I am insanely jealous of all the women in the world married to osteopaths. Imagine, having the strength and healing power of those hands available on demand. Proverbial sigh. My chosen osteopath is somewhat of a find; he has the perfect balance between science and spirituality, understanding of an active lifestyle and an affable nature. He’s also a registered acupuncturist. This unnerved me at first, I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of mixing two concepts into one treatment, but after a needle in my knee, which provided instant relief in the first few weeks after the accident, I was converted. Since then I’ve experienced acupuncture right in my sacroiliac joint as well as all along my IT band, quite possibly the weirdest sensation ever. I can’t knock it though, almost immediately after the deep tissue massage and acupuncture, the pain resided.
So this got me thinking about traditional acupuncture and its mutation through the years into a fully integrated alternative medicine technique. Naturally, when I’m curious about something, I type it into google.
I found the research fact sheets particularly interesting as they outline the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating certain conditions as outlined by Western research. Conditions include depression, fertility, IBS, Herpes and insomnia (you know there’s always some sort of link to sleeping well in these posts)!
Best news of the week? Apparently acupuncture is set to become available to patients on the NHS suffering from chronic back pain. Hurrah!! You can see the dedicated NHS site and I urge you to read some of the comments as they were amusing. Some a little sceptical, as well as a troubling comment regarding the quality of the NHS nurses’ service. One, in particular, likened the concept of acupuncture to “medieval medicines” and it did make me recall Secondary school history when you learn about the old practices of “letting” and “leeching” in order to restore balance back to the body and therefore cure ailments such as colds and the plague. Of course, draining someone’s blood is in no way akin to sticking needles into pressure points in the body, but I do understand how certain people would require much convincing. I however do not, and I hope you will give it a go too.
Talk to your local GP if it’s something you’re interested or alternatively find a practitioner near you.
***For more information on the link between the sacrum and the yoga chakras, take a look at this site.
Have a healthy and happy week.