Western and Eastern Medicine

Since August I have had a sinus infection – or sinus issues.  There have been some days when the fog of my clogged head was rivaled only by the fog created by the allergy medication and decongestants that worked only sporadically.   I have seen general practitioners and an ear-nose-and-throat specialist.   I have been on four rounds of antibiotics in four months. And yet, as if on a sine wave, my ability to breathe properly ebbed and flowed depending on the day.

Then, a good friend of mine insisted that I try her acupuncturist.  To be fair, she has trying to get me to try it for practically a year, and I have resisted.  My resistance was more for reasons of time and money than fear of needles, which generally do not bother me.  But recently, I was willing to try anything.

The name of the place is Theracua and it is located in Kami Osaki, just steps from the west exit of the JR Meguro station.  All of the practitioners in the studio are women and it is owned by Ms. Yuko Sugeta, the sensei of the group.  Sugeta-sensei speaks perfect English.

My first visit was on a Friday night about two weeks ago. The first appointment is long – nearly ninety minutes, so I expected it.  Sugeta-sensei took a complete health history from me, while testing my body and its responses to stimuli.  She explained to me the way the nervous system works as well as the problems she perceived in my body.  She believed that I have been so busy and under so much stress that my immune system is compromised.  She promised that if I was willing to come to see her every week for a little while, then she could work on getting my body healthy so that it would be able to fight off bugs.  Perhaps, she suggested, I wasn’t getting infections at all, but various viruses to which my body, in its weakened state, was receptive.  She said a whole lot of other stuff about my body and lifestyle that I won’t repeat here, but the things she observed about me and my life and my body were spot-on every time.

She put needles in my legs and belly to work on my internal organs and my hip placement.  She then put needles in my face along the edges of my sinuses.  She warned me that the best way to keep healthy is to keep my feet warm and my head cool, so she had a heat-lamp on my feet and an ice-pack on my head.  Her colleague massaged my head and face while the needles worked their magic.

I thought we were through after that, but nope; I had to turn over and she put some general health needles in my back.  That first visit she talked the entire time – about the ideas behind acupuncture and what she was hoping to do for me.  It all sounded terrific.

Lo and behold, I felt like a million bucks walking out of there.  Sugeta-sensei though that might happen – and warned me about it.  She also wanted me to take note on when and how badly the symptoms returned.    As the weekend, and then the week progressed, I did take note – of all the tissues I was NOT using!  Oh, I wasn’t perfect, but I was a sight better!  I went again only five days later and felt even better about everything.  The second visit was barely an hour and just as great.

I have my next appointment in a week now, and as of this writing, I’m still pretty comfortable with my nose.  On a scale of 1-10, I’m at about a 2-3 at any given moment, which is excellent considering that since August, my best number has been about a 6.  I am completely, 100% un-medicated for the first time in a long time, also.

Since my first visit with Sugeta-sensei, I have come to find out that another friend uses her as well.  These are two women I trust regarding their health, and mine.

I am not writing this to eschew Western medicine.  Quite the contrary; it definitely has its place.  But there are  times when an infusion of Eastern thought and therapy are just what the doctor ordered.  This is one of those times.

2 thoughts on “Western and Eastern Medicine

  1. It’s great to know of a good acupuncturist here in Tokyo! I had a similar experience back home in San Francisco, and now I think of acupuncture first when something’s wrong (unless, of course, it’s something that needs stitches!) I’ve found that it’s especially effective for systemic things that Western medicine deals with badly, treating the symptoms with a patchwork of drugs that weren’t designed to work together. Also love that here in Japan you can get OTC kampo for colds and flu – much better than the drugstore remedies they sell in the States!

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