Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pin cushion

Always ready to have a new experience!

I am not going to tell you about my aches and pains.  It seems like we all have them.  I am horrified when I realize I've spent a whole conversation with my friends commiserating about what hurts where and what the different treatments are...  I sound like my mother-in-law!

Anyway, yesterday I went to a bone-setter.  Do we only have them in Japan?  Not a medical doctor, not really a chiropractor.  A masseuse of sorts with origins in sport injuries (judo in particular).  Tetsu tells me they specialize in treatment for dislocated shoulders, strained ligaments and setting broken bones.  They are covered by regular insurance so it is not a quacky operation, but still...

The large room had about 10 beds in it divided by curtains, and there were 4 or 5 therapists at work on their patients.  The nice thing about the therapists is that they take the time to talk to you and they don't just type information into their computers (my complaint about medical doctors... In the hospitals the patients are in and out of the examining room in 3 minutes and the doctor never takes his eyes off the computer screen and then prescribes pain killers!)

In other corners of the bone setter clinic were chairs with people hooked up to static machines which stimulate and loosen muscles...  Hmmm.  Another corner was covered in a cloud of smoke and wafting a sweet aroma.  The patients there were having incense treatment with little discs of incense taped to different aching parts of bodies....  Again... Hmmm...

Anyway I had my massage and then was asked if I was adverse to acupuncture treatment.  No...  I have friends who absolutely swear by acupuncture treatment.  I even know an American couple who make it a practice to visit "their" acupuncturist whenever they visit Japan.  But I've never tried myself...

The nice therapist explained that the set of 12 "needles" are delivered sterilized and disposed after use.  No reusable needles.  The points are tapped into the skin and then deftly twisted until they are at an effective depth, about an inch... gulp.

Well, there I lay as 11 needles were anti-septically applied (the first needle the therapist had used to explain the theory to me.  He bent it in two and disposed of it).  Nope.  I didn't feel a thing.  I stayed a human pin cushion for about 10 minutes and then was sent for some light stretch therapy.  No blood, no pain but no great change either.

For all that, consultation, a 15 minute massage, 10 minutes acupuncture treatment and standing on a stretch block for 5 minutes, the fee was about 15 dollars.  I can handle that.  I'm supposed to go back again today and maybe once or twice a week for a month.

Well, it is more proactive than sitting around complaining with my friends...

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