Inspired by Steven Seagal: Going all out with acupuncture

I’ve been out on my own for about eight weeks now and have largely been looking inward and assessing how to start cutting back on the event production and focusing on movie making. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying acupuncture a couple times a week at the Southwest Acupuncture College here in Boulder. I’ve been balancing out the western medical approach that patched me up with longer term eastern medicine tune ups.

Steven Seagal treated himself with acupuncture and moxa in "Hard to Kill".

Steven Seagal treated himself with acupuncture and moxa in “Hard to Kill”.

I’m no stranger to acupuncture. I went to Dr. Pao at the Ruseto Center here for many years but decided to try some others. He keeps track of his patients by first name in a big notebook. Dr. Pao treated my gout many years ago. That was a case of successfully blending western and eastern medicine.

The SWAC has students supervised by instructors develop a treatment for me. It’s sort of like going to get inexpensive haircuts at a beauty school. I’ve had a couple hack jobs there – the worst haircut was when I was talked into getting one at a beauty school in Mexico. So far, the acupuncture school has been a good experience.

I’ve been going a couple times a week for my interstitial pneumonia and the post herpes neuralgia.

The treatment room at the Ruseto Center is a little more spartan than those at the Southwest Acupuncture College.

The treatment room at the Ruseto Center is a little more spartan than those at the Southwest Acupuncture College.

So far, I’ve settled in with Ted and his students – who specialize in Japanese traditions and Michael and his students who specialize in Chinese traditions. I think mixing perspectives is a good way to see what works the best. Like Western medicine, acupuncture is a balancing act with a good share of “hit and miss.”

There’s a Steven Seagal movie called “Hard to Kill”. He comes back from being in a coma and uses acupuncture to make himself better to take on the bad the bad guys. Today, I had the moxabustion treatment, similar to what Seagal administered to himself in the movie.

The moxa is a paper stick infused with various herbs. It was stuck onto the acupuncture needle and heats up the needle and then the skin supposedly moving around my qi. That’s the Chinese approach.

I had the moxa directly burning on my back. The swelling in my ankes and hands went down after the treatment.

I had the moxa directly burning on my back. The swelling in my ankes and hands went down after the treatment.

The guy who is learning the Japanese tradition lit the moxa and applied it directly to the skin on my back. They also used a Vietnamese technique called guasha which entails scraping my skin with a baby food jar lid. It is a more general treatment, but the swelling in my ankles and wrists went down shortly thereafter.

My liver and gall bladder temperature needed to be lowered and my large intestine pulse needed to be balanced out. I have noticed a couple positive changes in my digestion from that direct moxa treatment.

I’m convinced that western medicine is pretty good at dealing with acute issues like helping broken bones heal and otherwise patching things up, but not so good at systemic tune ups.

My western docs don’t think anything is interrelated, whereas my eastern docs think everything is interrelated. For instance, eastern docs say that the lungs and skin are related in that the lungs are the internal organs closest to the “outside” because of air that gets inhaled.

That makes sense to me, but how it all works makes no sense at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s