Like yesterday, for example. I did my regular (short) set of handstand push-ups and landed a bit off, causing my left glute to crampe up. I tried to shake it off, do some short dynamic stretches but nothing seemed to help. I just had to limp my way out of the gym. Sigh.
I tried to move around at home, but nothing seemed to work. Rotating my hip caused sharp pain in my glute, and the pain kept moving around, up and down my buttock. Sometimes I thought it was the piriformis muscle, other times I thought it was something entirely different. I did a differential diagnosis on it, which was that I'd strained my piriformis muscle together with a deep hip muscle.
Luckily I'd already set up an appointment with my friend Mikko, whom I visited earlier for thai herbal massage (read about it here). He was supposed to treat my lower back, but since I'm accident prone, he got to treat my hip instead.
I was prepared for acupuncture, but hadn't a clue what it would feel like. I'm not afraid of needles, so the thought of having a few needles stuck in my skin wasn't something I feared, although I wasn't exactly looking forward to it either... Well, anyway. Mikko was really soothing, he explained how it would feel when he inserts the needles and he kept asking me how I felt. I felt surprisingly good.
After locating the strained muscle he showed me where he'd place the needles: two needles on the foramens 1 and 2 of the sacrum, two needles on my left glute and one needle on the back of my foot. ( i.e. Gall Bladder 30, Bladder 54&29&30 and Spleen 4.) I'm surprised that placing the needles didn't hurt. I felt a small pinch when the needle went through my skin, but it didn't feel bad at all.
After a few minutes I felt a somewhat tingling sensation combined with a deep heat coming off the needles. It almost felt like electricity running through my glute and thigh, all the way down to my foot. And that was before adding the heat.
A few minutes after inserting the needles Mikko added a few chinese moxa cones (i.e. small pieces of burning coal) on the needles. Since I had five-centimeter (2-inch) needles in my sacrum and 7,5 cm (3-inch) needles in my glute muscles, the warmth was spreading quite quickly through my tissues. Oh, how good it felt. Weird, but good. The moxa cones burned for ten minutes. When the moxa cones had burned all the way, Mikko took the needles off and I got a chance to move around.
After not being able to walk stairs without limping, or even standing on one leg, anything would be an improvement. Now I can stand on one leg, even jump around a bit without pain. The strain hasn't been cured, but I'm so happy to be pain-free.
Mikko said that I shouldn't do any exercising today or tomorrow (bleh), and I should avoid going to the sauna today, since acupuncture may lower my blood pressure.
Have you ever tried acupuncture? Any experiences you'd like to share?
Picture source 1 2