Happy Winter Friends & Patients!
I hope everyone survived the blizzard of the decade (and none of you had tickets to Hamilton on Saturday). With so much snow, comes a lot of shoveling. With the amount of snow that we got over the weekend, even snow-blowers were not always up to the task. I've already heard from friends and on the news about the back pain, muscle fatigue and general fatigue that comes with lifting those heavy shovels full of snow in such cold temperatures. Many are in the habit of running straight for the ibuprofen, or sometimes even stronger pain medications. But as we're seeing in the news, painkillers are a big problem in our country right now.
When I watch the news reports, political speeches and panels discussing this subject and focusing on rehabilitation and breaking addiction (very important and significant) I find myself wishing there was more conversation about alternatives for pain relief in the first place. A great majority of the time, acupuncture, particularly motor point acupuncture (an orthopedic/sports medicine style that I practice) can resolve pain without the use of medications. One of my most rewarding experiences was helping a woman with severe back pain who was on a cocktail of many pain killers and muscle relaxers - all of which made her unable to keep her eyes open through a conversation, or have the ability to stay awake or alert enough to raise her four children; the oldest had to run the household - convert to needing only ibuprofen occasionally - after 3 months. The drugs made her a "zombie" but didn't actually help her pain or movement. She was thrilled to get her life back and be able to move around.
So. If you are having any pain - snow related or not, consider acupuncture as a gentle first intervention - one which will have lasting results - before going straight to the more "nuclear options" of pain killers or even surgery - both with a low success rate of treating back pain.*
In practice related news, I'm excited to report that my Brooklyn practice at the Church Ave Yoga & Bodywork Center is moving to Saturdays! My new hours are 11am to 5pm. Having a full day to dedicate to my Kensington neighborhood practice on a day when more people can make it was the obvious choice.
I'll close out by sharing with you all the piece I colored in my Adult Coloring Book. If you recall, I mentioned this as a meditative exercise in my last newsletter. I'm pleased to report that it really worked, it was a rest for my brain as I focused on coloring and shading.
Take care (& stay warm!),
*To note: in some cases, the "nuclear option" is the appropriate intervention - I am referring to the majority of muscle related back pain - not to spinal stenoses or other vertebral problems which are not muscle related