Monday, February 15, 2010

back to what worked before: acupuncture

Some of you have been following my recent struggles, fighting off a lupus flare while trying to avoid going on prednisone and losing my hair, gaining weight, and turning into a raving lunatic (gee, what's so bad about that?)

For the last 3 months I was on LDN (Low dose naltrexone), which has worked wonders for a number of people, particularly those with autoimmune conditions, and especially those with lupus. But for whatever reason, it was not helping me. In fact, my test results got worse. There are those who say I didn't stay on it long enough, and those who say I might have a thyroid problem, and those who say it's a candida (yeast) problem (that interferes with the LDN's effectiveness). But bottom line, as long as I was on LDN, I could not take any narcotics for pain, and since I don't have anything over the counter that I'm allowed to take that actually works for pain, I figured 3 months of constant pain with not relief constituted me giving it a pretty good chance to work.

Now, I'm not saying LDN doesn't work, or even that it wouldn't work for me, but it isn't working for me right now, so I had to change course. Maybe once I finally clear up all the yeast, I'll go back on it. Meanwhile, I figured, I created a remission last year using just chi gung, gluten-free diet, no nutrasweet, and acupuncture. I got discouraged because my remission only lasted 6 weeks due to a combination of stress and a black mold exposure. So, I guess I wanted an easy answer- just take this non-toxic drug every night for the rest of your life, eat and do whatever you want, and never have another flare. I wanted a magic pill (or in this case, liquid).

Well, as I've stated before, thankfully there are plenty of choices out there for paths to healing, and I'm going back to the one that worked for me before: acupuncture & chi gung. i've added some herbs I read about in "Cure Your lupus naturally," and I'm still gluten-free and nutrasweet-free. And it only took one acupuncture treatment for me to feel a little better. And now that I've had 4, I feel a lot better.

A word about acupuncture: some MDs also do acupuncture, but the only training they've had is a weekend clinic. "Real" acupuncturists have 4 *years* of training. Sadly, insurance will pay for the MD acupuncture but not the more effective real acupuncturists. So, good acupuncture is an out-of-pocket expense. Which is why I also do chi gung; it has the effect of very gentle acupuncture and you can do it yourself for free, and maintain your level of wellness between acupuncture visits.
A good acupuncturist is Chinese-trained and board approved by the NCCAOM. Go here to find one near you:

So, between the acupuncture and being able to take a narcotic when I'm in pain and can't otherwise sleep, I feel like myself again. I was really in a pit of despair after months of non-stop pain, and was losing my sense of humor, and becoming hopeless and defeated. That is so not me, but it goes to show you, a person can only take so much. Why suffer? My goal is to again get all my tests to turn around to "negative" (in this case negative is a good thing), to feel energetic, and to maintain the remission indefinitely.

There are 2 other elements I also want to deal with: emotional and diet. Although I avoid a lot of nasty things like gluten and sugar and nutrasweet, I need to eat a lot more fruits and veggies. Which is why I may be purchasing Montel Williams' healthmaster (an industrial blender basically)... Secondly, I'm trying to get into a reevaluation counseling group. If I do either/both , I'll keep you all posted.
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