Day 9 // East Meets West


At some point modern medicine will have to grant more credence to Eastern medicine and healing practices. Having my eyes opened even further with the “grey” that comes with chemotherapy, the physical and psychological benefits from ancient Chinese medicine like Acupuncture and Japanese healing in Reiki are claiming their stake and aiding in the process.

The hysterectomy was “black and white” – incisions made, organs and tumors removed, stitched and glued back together, catheter placed inside, recovery with or without pain meds, and Ta Da! You are back to your normal baseline in about 6 weeks.

Chemotherapy, however, has no such distinction. Every patient is different in how they respond. In my possession is what I would consider a “tree” (mountains of papers) with a plethora of side effects and what can POSSIBLY be done to provide relief. Guess what? There is no clear cut, proven method on how to treat, relieve or manage the side effects! Seriously? Enter alternatives.

Not everyone may buy into the power of energy healing or tiny needles. But after reading through my “tree,” I decided there has to be another way. The simple fact that taking such things as Motrin, Tylenol or Aleve will not alleviate the potential pain I could experience was enough for me to turn from the West to the East for help.

Over the last 36 hours hours I’ve had the opportunity to experience both Reiki massage and Acupuncture. Yesterday was about finding my “energy” and “detox” was the word for today. And how do I feel? AMAZING!

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. My transformation with Reiki was indescribable. About half way through my session, energy flowed from within my belly like waves crashing onto the shore from the ocean. I was filed with an extreme heat sensation followed by a sense of calmness. The experience was out-of-body like and as I type this I still cannot fully explain what transpired. Mystified.

Now comes Acupuncture – a system of complementary medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Heading into my appointment today, I was still experiencing pain in my legs from the neuropathy side effect. Since Day 1, I’ve rated my lack of pain on a scale of 1 to 10. While every day has been above a 5, I’d rather they all be close to if not 10s! Because modern medicine’s answer to the neuropathy is to switch the chemotherapy drug and hope for the best, that simply is just not enough for me. Not when your legs feel a fiery sensation throbbing as though a hammer were hitting them continuously. But after today’s detox session, an immediate relief to my burning legs felt like an absolute miracle!

Does it really work? Is it all in my head? Time will certainly tell and there’s no reason to not continue. As of this moment I’m pretty confident I could squat my PR. Mind-blowing right? But that’s how incredibly different I feel!

Gia happened to be with me for the treatment as we needed to birthday party shop afterwards. She really has been a trooper throughout this journey and her sense of humor continually puts a smile on my face – including the picture she decided to snap of me on the treatment bed. Jokingly, Gia thought I looked like a Chipotle billboard:)

And the day would not be complete without my workout. It was “leg day” – and why not! Within hours after the treatment, one-leg squats, walking lunges, hip thrusts and reverse lunges graced my muscles. Oh….it felt soooo FABULOUS!