During the holidays I heard a story that every red-blooded American with aches and pains should hear, because your very life could depend on it.
The source is impeccable – a family member (who chooses to remain anonymous) told me this story while we were out shopping for Christmas presents, and after hearing him tell the tale there is no denying the awful truth.
Acupuncture is dangerous.
Or at least it can be.
He was suffering some aches and pains in his back and was advised to try acupuncture therapy. When he got to the acupuncturist he learned that needle therapy is only part of the treatment. Also included is meditation and a deep body massage.
The first procedure involved thrusting thin pieces of wire into his flesh. The pain was real, but bearable, and once the needles were in place he was told to lay still and meditate to help his muscles relax.
But he has a bad knee that needs to be elevated, and because he was laying flat the knee started to hurt. So instead of concentrating on the vastness of the universe, his mind was focused on the nine square inches immediately surrounding the patella.
When the therapist returned, she began a deep massage using special oils and herbs to help him wind down. Unfortunately, the ingredients in the liquid caused an allergic reaction, and before long his skin began to break out in hives.
When he left the clinic, he had a bunch of tiny holes in his skin, his knee hurt, and his body was covered in a rash.
Oh, and his back still hurt.
So be careful if you are contemplating a medical procedure that involves ancient techniques passed down through the millennia. As for me, my confidence only goes back as far as 1897.
That’s when they discovered aspirin.