We've Tried Acupuncture. Here's a Report on How It Went, Whether It's Painful and How Much It Generally Costs.
Do you have experience with acupuncture? Our Czech colleagues tried it on their own skin - literally.
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Sedentary work, lack of movement during the pandemic and work in crooked positions during lockdown. Back pain is something that most of the population is probably facing right now. Finding a way to guaranteed pain relief is a tough one. So on Tuesday we tried acupuncture at the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Prague. Below we bring you a report describing how alternative treatment works, how much it costs and whether it brought the desired results.
Acupuncture is not just randomly placed needles
If you have no idea about acupuncture and you imagine hundreds of needles randomly placed into your back, the reality is slightly different. Acupuncture is an alternative treatment that originated thousands of years ago in China and is based on empirical experience. The areas where the thin needles are inserted are not random. They are determined by a previous diagnosis, in which the healer selects specific acupuncture points that need to be stimulated to eliminate the problem. Sources say there are up to 2,000 such acupuncture points.
The needles are then applied to the surface of the human body. The depth of the injection depends on the amount of subcutaneous fat. We have to say that application to certain parts of the body was quite painful. At the same time, however, it is not an insurmountable pain and it is definitely worth the promised results.
In acupuncture, we also work with meridians, of which there are twelve, and they actually form a pathway that is precisely defined and represents certain organs. For example, there's the kidney meridian, lung meridian, small intestine and so forth.
"Life energy" flows in these pathways. If this pathway isn't smooth and there's a certain disharmony in it, it'll affect our mental and physical health. By inserting needles into the acupuncture points that affect these pathways, the healing processes are launched, and therefore we usually feel better after acupuncture.
Why the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine?
If you decide to give acupuncture a chance, I think it's important to choose the right place to do this procedure. In addition, we are a bit skeptical about alternative treatments, so we've decided based on the experience of our friends, who had already visited the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine and got rid of health problems, specifically back pain and migraines.
In our opinion, the way the healer affects you, whether you feel comfortable around them and believe they really know what they're doing also plays a role here. The author of the article visited the very much praised Mr. Vaclav Kalous. Since we are thorough, we also checked if he's enlisted in the Chamber of Traditional Chinese Medicine and examined the responses people write about him on the Internet. Immediately upon arrival, I knew we did good. The healer was incredible.
In addition, the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine in Prague has been active since 1996, and in addition to acupuncture, you can also purchase herbal mixtures to address various health problems. They are imported directly from China and are tailored to clients.
Vaclav Kalous not only focuses on the back treatment, but also uses acupuncture to help with joint and muscle pain, blockage of the back, cervical and thoracic spine, states of exhaustion and overload, neurological problems, migraines, chronic diseases, non-healing wounds and injuries, incontinence, infertility, overweight, excessive sweating and other problems. In addition, the needles might aid you during treatment of mental disorders, depression, anxiety or sleep disorders.
Arrival and initial examination
I have never been to acupuncture before and I didn't know what to expect. I was wondering what would follow after my arrival and whether they'd make any diagnosis of the problem. As soon as I entered the Center, I was immediately greeted by a very nice receptionist, who offered me tea and put me in a chair, where I waited for Mr. Kalous to arrive.
Right away it was clear that the healer was popular. There were three rooms in his office, which were fully occupied by "pricked" people.
After only a few minutes, Mr. Kalous picked me up and took me to a room, where he first sat down with me to talk about what was bothering me. I told him that I had back problems, especially with the upper part, the cervical spine and also with the right shoulder, which I had mechanically damaged a few years ago, and the doctors told me that it was an incurable thing that would hurt me for the rest of my life. .
Then he examined me while standing, concluding that my left shoulder was a few centimeters lower than the right one, but he also reassured me that the back is the part of the body that is relatively easy to treat and acupuncture is very effective in this case. He then asked me to take off my T-shirt and shoes, laid me upside down on the bed, and examined the problematic parts by touch.
Needle application and 40 minutes of relaxation
And so the application of needles began. First, he stuck a few in the area of cervical spine and I must admit that I didn't expect acupuncture to be that painful. I have quite a high pain tolerance, and yet I could feel the needles. At the same time, it wasn't the kind of pain that couldn't be overcome.
Mr. Kalous pricked dozens of other needles in my upper back and along my spine, feeling his spot thoroughly before each injection to properly target the acupuncture point. The most painful was the treatment of the shoulder, when I felt exactly when the source of the pain had been targeted and one needle was also placed in the palm of my hand, which was not one of the most pleasant moments of my visit.
If I'm not mistaken, the healer applied about 35 needles, then turned on the heating for me and let me relax for 40 minutes while listening to soothing music. He warned me not to move, as it could be painful, and left the room.
At first I was relaxing, but after a few minutes, I started to feel significant pain in the pricked shoulder, which I later told the healer. He was happy about it, because it meant that the shoulder was healing. After less than an hour, he took the needles out of my body, checked my back again and we said goodbye. I paid 30 EUR, including the diagnostics.
Pain is gone? Not quite yet.
Some people think that once the acupuncture session is over, the pain will be all gone, but this is definitely not the case. As we mentioned in the introduction, injecting acupuncture points only gets the healing process started, which can take days, weeks or even months. It depends on how big of a problem we're dealing with.
Many also recommend that you start acupuncture therapy once a week at first, with the interval between visits being extended, eventually coming only once every two months. However, the number of therapies depends on the individual reaction, so I was also advised to come again in a week, which of course I will do.
What it's like 2 days later
It's been two days since the first therapy and I must say that I already feel some improvement. The upper back almost stopped hurting, but the shoulder definitely needs more attention. On the day of acupuncture, my shoulder hurt more than usual, but as I said, according to Mr. Kalous, this is a good sign, because my shoulder is healing. Day after was the pain milder and today I only feel a slight bit of tension.
If I had to summarize my first visit to the Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, I would definitely recommend it to everyone. The mere fact that when the doctors say we have to live with our health problems and someone gives us hope for recovery is great news. On top of that, when I see that the healer really believes in it and says that he has cured such things in the past, I will certainly trust them again and I'm already looking forward to the next visit.
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