Saturday, January 7, 2012

Acupuncture for Healing

I've spent the better part of the past 5 days completely disabled by a headache. My surgeon says this is normal and that it will resolve itself when my range of motion returns and my lower jaw gets used to its new position. He suggested taking a large dose of ibuprofen, which is normally my go-to drug for pain, but it wouldn't even touch this headache. Tylenol and hydrocodone won't touch it, either. Add some sleep deprivation to the mix and you get a body that's not healing (as well as a very unpleasant me). Not good.

Since I reached the end of what western medicine can offer me at this time, I turned to acupuncture for relief. All I can say is -WOW! I felt relief as soon as the needles were inserted and felt so good that I fell asleep during the treatment. It was amazing. The headache went away. I felt little flickers of feeling in places in my mouth and face that previously didn't have feeling. I felt good for the first time in days.

Unfortunately the full effects of the treatment stopped as soon as the needles were removed. I felt better than before the treatment, which was good, and even better was that I had hope that a few more treatments can get me through this headache crisis and help my body to heal.

One interesting side effect of the treatment is that my face's oil production has shot back up. Right after the surgery I was told that my skin's oil production would increase and that I should be diligent about washing my face to prevent breakouts. Oil production did increase for a few days, but then it went back to normal and I was glad. Now it seems that the oil production may have something to do with blood flow and healing - I'm not sure exactly what the connection is, but I'll be trying to figure it out over the next few weeks. My next acupuncture treatment is on Monday and I can't wait!

I had a follow up appointment with my surgeon on Thursday and everything still looks good. He reduced my elastic wear to nights only and eventually I won't need them at all. Woo hoo! Nose oozing/dripping continues but is greatly reduced. Facial swelling comes and goes. I foolishly thought it was gone for good after my last post, but noooooooooooo. Recovery from this surgery really is a marathon. I have months more to go.


  1. My doctor was suggesting I do acupuncture but I'm terrified of the idea of having needles stuck in me. I've been doing massage therapy and it helps to an extent but it just makes me sleep more than anything.
    Hope your headaches resolve soon, people underestimate how hard it is to function with headaches.

  2. Terra, I highly recommend that you try it if you can get past your fear of needles. The acupuncture needles don't hurt at all, they are so tiny. You feel a little electric zap when the needle gets to the right place and then you feel nothing at all. It's weird - instinctually you think it will hurt, because it's a needle.....but it's so small (smaller than a strand of hair) that you don't even feel it.

    I might give massage therapy a try as well. I've been a little afraid of laying flat on my back but the need for relief is stronger than wanting to avoid swelling that may or may not happen as a result of laying flat.

  3. I'll try to build up the courage lol
    I haven't been able to get through to my doctor for pain meds and I'm getting tired of taking painkillers so I'm going to try to warm up to the idea of acupuncture.
    Massage therapy is great if you find the jaw pain is keeping you awake. I slept for like 2 days straight after my last massage.
    Hope you feel better soon :)

  4. Hang in there, buddy. You're really doing great. I can't believe the difference in the swelling in just a few days. Now if those headaches would just go away...

  5. Lookin' good! Sorry to hear about the headaches... sounds like acupuncture provided some relief. I was thinking of trying it to alleviate bruxism, but it has since ceased post surgery. Have you tried acupressure? Maybe you could copy what the acupressurist does at home?