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Acupuncture and Alternative Health

December 10, 2012

Tis the season again for sickness! Mostly due to the changing weather: people get colds and because we are confined to the campus, illness runs rampant in the theatre department. It has become my professor’s motto, to “wash your goddamn hands” in response to germs.

Although I’m usually illness resistant, I got hit with some nasty allergies recently and I am left with a lingering sore throat that keeps me coughing. Here I am, drinking lemon juice and honey, sucking down Ricolas, wrapped up in a scarf*. I’m just lucky I wasn’t in the musical or opera right now.

If this was a life-threatening thing, there’s the emergency room down the road a ways and I’m still on my parents’ insurance luckily for a few more years. When I worked this summer, my theatre company would take responsibility for any accidents/illnesses that required a doctor and would take you to see a professional before the day was out. Now that I’m back on campus, there’s always the Student Health center which is notoriously unreliable but it’s there should I need them. While it’s great that I have access to medical care in the case of an emergency, it’s the day-to-day suffering a cold that has me down. I feel as soon as I get some energy back, it gets suckered away into a whirlpool of essays and rehearsals. A trip to the emergency room won’t help cure the common cold!

I have learned from experience though, that while lots of sleep and scarf-wearing* are good for prevention; when all else fails, I rely on acupuncture. Crazy but I love it. Me, who hates the thought of doctors, will gladly sit still and have lots of tiny little needles inserted. Although a good acupuncturist won’t put in as many needles as you see in the movies. I think the most I’ve ever had is maybe ten at a time. I know I’m a big wuss when it comes to pain but the needles themselves didn’t hurt any more than poking yourself while sewing.

I’m not an expert in the study and practice of acupuncture and whether it’s actually beneficial to your health…but I know that I get to lie down for at least an hour of mediation/sleep and when I’m done with the needles, I always feel much better, even if I’m seeking some calm.  At my last appointment, I asked specifically about targeting this ridiculous cough of mine, a nasty hacking dry cough that was waking me up in the middle of the night. One acupuncture treatment later, I’ve been cough-free since!

Some people do yoga, others rely on doctors or fresh foods…in my research to be a healthy and cheap college student, I find that I like acupuncture and I also really like that I get a student rate for it. I even brought my roommate along once and she now enjoys it. I’m even trying to be more organic, using honey, lemon juice, olive oil, apple cider vinegar…and contrary to the “freshman fifteen”, I’m really exercising more than ever, between walking  everywhere and my dance/combat classes. I’m drinking lots of water and I sleep a lot anyways: sickness, be gone!

Remember: should you be coming down with the upcoming flu season, I’d recommend sleep, a scarf and acupuncture.

*”ancient Chinese medicine, going back 5,000 years”. Apparently there’s a spot on the back of the neck where evil spirits will enter and infect you with disease. Wear a scarf and stop the evil spirits.

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