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My Verse from Today

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

In 2015, the year I had my second spinal surgery (making 14 lifetime surgeries), I began another season of “pass through the rivers and walk through the fire” periods. Multiple areas of my body decreased in function and the adjustment and healing time was long. About the time I was adjusting to my new normal, my parents both had prolonged illness and in February 2018, we lost my father. My mother continues to live with my family. Just 8 months later, in the late summer of 2018, I began battles for my health again when my stomach motility shut down along with loss of additional strength in my right arm.

This verse means a lot to me because it so clearly describes how I feel going through these trial. I’m in the water, but yet can breath because God won’t let me drown. The fire is hot but doesn’t burn me because I have His protection. It’s not easy and in fact, is extremely difficult to go through these tough times, but with God by my side, He keeps joy in my heart!!

A Novel Approach for Me!!

Image by tomasdelgado from Pixabay

If you’ve read my recent posts on my experiences with alternative/complimentary medicine, you know that along with some other things, I’m trying acupuncture. I went into it with limited knowledge, knowing that it is an ancient Chinese art, involves needles, and that it proposes to help a variety of ailments. I had no first hand experience nor did I talk with anyone who had tried it. Due to lack of time (mostly) and the novel notion that going into something “blind” might be a nice experience, I did no prior research. This is WAY out of my comfort zone since I typically research everything to death, lol.

First Blush…

Bye Bye Level Ten Pain

After my first two sessions, I started noticing a few things. Most importantly, my pain decreased! Initially that lasted a day or so but by the third session, I noticed it lasted a bit longer after treatment. Awesome!! This is the primary reason I went in for treatment.

🤢Nausea No More

The intermittent, very annoying nausea I’ve battled for years disappeared! I normally have to start the day with a banana. It was the only food that wouldn’t trigger the nausea in the morning. I love eggs and didn’t want to give them up so I ate a banana about 20 minutes prior to breakfast and that worked.

After my second acupuncture session, there was a day that I didn’t have time for both so I just started with eggs and toast, foregoing the banana. Ten minutes passed, then 20, and then the realization that the nausea was not coming!! Wow…what a breath of fresh air. I have been able to continually start with a real breakfast, no longer feeling the nausea that has been my companion for years.

😴Sleep Again!

Another BIG win, in my book, is the ability to sleep longer periods, at a much deeper and sounder level. Insomnia is something that has continually progressed since day one of my spinal cord injury. I went from a person who could sleep through a tornado to someone who looked haggard and baggy eyed.

At my worst, shortly before starting acupunture, I was only getting hour long shots of sleep. The most I slept at night was about four hours, broken up into segments. This led to a seemingly endless cycle of periods without good sleep alternating with a crash and burn effect, where my body would just drop for a 10-15 hour daytime nap. Grrr…I’ve always hated day napping as it throws off nighttime sleep, and results in an entire loss of a day! I’m liking the return to more lengthy sleep periods!


I also noticed that I’ve become a raving maniac in the appetite department. I can’t seem to eat enough, although my weight stays consistent. That’s a good thing since before my GI issues, I carried a bit of extra weight. I told my dietician it was an excruciating, unintentional way to lose 20+ pounds and I had no intentions of putting it back on – lol. I tolerate a greater variety of foods and am getting close to normal portion sizes, although I will always keep meals on the smaller side because, well, it’s just healthier for me.

🌞More Energy

Another thing I’ve noticed since starting acupuncture, now having three sessions under my belt, is the increase in energy. This could be a combination of getting more sleep and a decrease in pain level but I wonder…

Let the Research Begin

Focus – Cause and Effect

After experiencing these improvements, I could contain myself no longer, so I dug into the world of acupuncture. I focused my initial research on a basic overview and how acupuncture is affecting me. After downloading my medical record of the acupuncture treatments and I found, to my excitement, that my provide recorded the “points used” from each treatment session. Yay!! I wanted to know if the treatment correlated to the results. I carefully looked up each acupuncture point used in my treatments, looking to see what condition it targeted. The findings amazed me! But first…a little overview of my scientific, non-documented, informal research.

Brief Summary of General Research
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After several days of researching scientific journals and articles, I discovered the following three, frequently encountered, themes regarding Western based Acupuncture:

  1. There is clear anecdotal evidence that support the positive outcomes of acupuncture. A huge volume of of people discussing their positive experiences exists. While some don’t benefit, I ran into more positives than negatives, in my informal survey. Duration of relief seems to be the biggest variable so many may not find it suitable
  2. Multiple scientific studies conclude that it works, however, no clear consensus tells us why it works. A plethora of highly scientific and technical theories exist, and by far, the most common one endorses the concept of endorphins. Introduction of the needles at specific points stimulates the release of these “feel good”, body generated hormones into the body. The name endorphin comes from the words “endogenous,” which means “from the body,” and “morphine,” which is an opioid pain reliever.
  3. Both in the scientific community and outside, there are those who will never believe acupuncture works.
Overview of Research Specific to Me

After reviewing the acupuncture points, chosen specifically for me, I clearly see a correlation with the relief of symptoms I am getting. This includes pain, nausea, insomnia, inability to tolerate normal quantities of food and appetite. I know this is not a placebo effect because I had no idea my physician was even targeting things like nausea, insomnia and appetite. I just thought it was a therapy for my chronic pain. I’m realistic and nerdy enough to know that my chronic pain improvement is a combination of many different therapies. Acupuncture plays a role in it but I don’t believe it alone has improved my pain.

The other symptoms, I’m highly convinced, show improvement, largely due to the acupuncture. The timing was too perfect. Pain was the last thing to start consistently being better, so I don’t believe these things improved due to better pain control. Anyone who knows me is aware that I don’t believe in coincidences.

Bottom Line

So why do I think acupuncture seems to be working for me? In my humble opinion, the combination of inserting the needles at the correct place to do their physical thing in the body, along with prayer, and trust in God resulted in the perfect therapy needed for me. While I may pursue research on the different areas acupuncture can target, I will do so from the perspective that even if science doesn’t understand it, the process works.

I do not look at acupuncture as a spiritual thing, although I use the therapy time to talk to God. I do this frequently with my other therapies so He can add His healing touch and walk with me during the tough times.

God gave man the brain and ability to learn things about the human body, much of which we will never fully understand, but from which we can get much benefit. So the bottom line, I will continue to seek growth, strength and healing through our Lord with all my might! I will embrace the gifts he has given man to help temporarily heal our earthly bodies, including those therapies that show effectiveness, whether science can prove it or not!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3

Music for the Soul

“Never Been a Moment” written and performed by Micah Tyler

(I do not own the rights to this song or video)

Never Been a Moment (lyrics)

I’ve been sinner
I’ve been a saint
A little bit of both every single day
I’ve been lost
But somehow I’ve been found
There’s been some pain
Been some regret
Been some moments I’ll never forget
But when I look back
From where I’m standing now

There’s never been a moment
I was not held inside your arms
And there’s never been a day when you were not who you say you are
Yours forever, it don’t matter
What I’m walking through
‘Cause no matter where I’m going
There’s never been a moment that I was not loved by you
Loved by you
Loved by you

You’ve been the rock
You’ve been the peace
Always showing your good heart to me
My days are marked by grace I don’t deserve, no
You’ve been the price I could never pay
You’ve been the light that has led the way
No matter where oh I am, I am sure

There’s never been a moment
I was not held inside your arms
There’s never been a day when you were not who you say you are
Yours forever, it don’t matter
What I’m walking through
‘Cause no matter where I’m going
There’s never been a moment that I was not loved by you
Loved by you..Loved by you

So where could I go that I could wander from your sight
And where could I run and never leave behind
Your all consuming
Heart pursuing
Grace extending
Never ending love
Your love

There’s never been a moment, no
There’s never been a moment
I was not held inside your arms
There’s never been a day when you were not who you say you are
Yours forever, it don’t matter
What I’m walking through
‘Cause no matter where I’m going
There’s never been a moment that I was not loved by oh
No matter where I’m going there’s never been a moment that I was not loved by you
Loved by you…Loved by you…Loved by you…Loved by you…Loved by you…Loved by you

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