I was up early on Monday morning. My mission was to book treatment for my psoriasis at the Chinese Medical Centre. After an initial consultation with the doctor I was taken into a quiet room where he inserted fine needles into my arms and legs. There was no pain just a slight tingling sensation that was not unpleasant. Then I lay there for approximately forty-five minutes and just let myself drift. It ‘s a lovely experience to be able to switch off the constant chatter in one’s head and I took full advantage of the opportunity.
Having spent a year hovering between intense pain and the fear of inevitable flares, my mental health can only be described as fragile. My thoughts, from waking until sleeping, are constantly focused on my illness. It affects everything from relationships, social life, ability to parent even right down to basics such as personal hygiene. I admit that at some points I have over indulged in alcohol (a common problem amongst people who suffer chronic illness) and , at my worst point, considered suicide.
However, Monday brought a sense of purpose and a promise of hope.
When the acupuncture was over I received a medical massage. I lay there and was basically pummelled, pushed and chopped. The Doctor was determined that no knot would go unpunished. It was quite painful at first but what did I expect when my body had been subjected to a year of pain, stress and tension. Every muscle in my neck, shoulders and back was as hard as rock but the benefit was immediate. I swear I walked out of there a couple of inches taller and a few pounds lighter.
We discussed my course of treatment and it became clear that the problem needed to be treated from the inside. I was advised to avoid alcohol (not a surprise) and also fish and seafood (which was a surprise). I was given an herbal infusion to drink twice a day and a pot of cream to strengthen the affected skin. The main treatment however was to be the acupuncture and medical massage once a week for ten weeks to detox and restore body balance. Unsurprisingly my immune system is low. My first brush with psoriasis came six years ago during my marriage break up. The condition was treated at the Chinese Medical Centre and I was clear within a month. It’s reappearance (I believe) was triggered by two miscarriages in the space of nine months. During one of these miscarriages I almost bled to death,requiring emergency surgery, morphine and a blood transfusion. Little wonder that my immune system is compromised.
In conclusion, this is not going to be a ‘quick fix’ solution and I don’t expect to be totally pain-free for a while yet. However, I am already feeling the benefit. My outlook is increasingly positive, I am handling the pain better and I look forward to my weekly sessions. I now have a sense of purpose and feel more in control of my life. Some may argue that this is a placebo effect and I don’t doubt that the power of positive thinking can have as much effect on a person’s health as conventional or traditional medicine can. What I will say though is that I find myself in a better place than I have been for a long time and, placebo or not, it feels great.
Weekly updates to follow.