Grand Forks patients describe their experience with acupunctureSeveral Grand Forks patients of acupuncture recount their experience and how it has helped them.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
Brian Sadler’s back trouble began in high school with a football injury. It’s plagued him ever since.
“It would get better for a while,” said Sadler, 46, but the pain would return. At times, it was so bad that he couldn’t stand up straight or bend to tie his shoes.
“I was in constant pain.”
The Grand Forks man couldn’t sit for more than five to 10 minutes at a time — a difficult proposition for someone with a desk job.
He tries to exercise regularly, he said, but his back would inevitably go out of whack.
At night, rolling over in bed “was extremely painful and difficult.”
He had recurring pain in his lower back that moved through his hip.
For years, he sought relief from medical doctors, chiropractors and a kinesiologist.
“I got to the point where I was willing to try anything,” he said.
Even so, he was hesitant when his wife recommended he try acupuncture, based on results she’d had for treatment of arthritis.
Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese therapy, has been used to promote healing for several thousand years. Practitioners insert needles, about the diameter of a human hair, in specific points on the body to open the energy channels.
They believe there are 12 channels, or “meridians,” that run the vertical length of the body.
Blockage or stagnation of this energy, called Qi (pronounced “chee”), is the underlying cause of disease or lack of wellness, acupuncturists say. Free flow of energy promotes good health.
“I was skeptical. I was not a believer,” Sadler said, “but now I am.”
In recent months, as a patient of David Magnuson at the Center for Healing and Wholeness in Grand Forks, he has noticed a “definite improvement,” he said. “I’m not as sore.”
After four or five sessions, acupuncture “seems to be helping tremendously,” he said.
He “never felt any pain” when Magnuson inserted fine, stainless steel needles into his knees, ankles, ears, hands, wrists and the top of his head — points that correspond with his areas of pain.
“I felt calm and relaxed after acupuncture, and a lot more flexible,” he said. “There was definitely less pain.”
Sadler said he would recommend that anyone considering acupuncture “to go in with an open mind and give it a try.”
While the practice is not generally covered by health insurance plans, he said the cost “is not very much more than a regular deductible.”
The results he’s gotten are “wonderful,” he said. “My experience has been great.
“It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to bend down and tie my shoes.”
This past summer Tina Seng, 47, of Grand Forks, was stricken with pain in her hands and, especially, in her feet that brought the normally active woman “to a complete stop,” she said. “It was difficult to walk.”
Her usual routine was to walk four miles a day and work out on elliptical and treadmill equipment.
“I had what they called ‘ideopathic neuropathy,’” she said. The tissue that pads the balls of her feet had deteriorated, leading to irritation of the nerves.
She felt like she was “walking on bones,” she said. “It was awful.”
She consulted physicians at the University of Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., the latter recommended she get acupuncture and the former concurred.
“I was amazed, I never thought I’d hear that,” she said, but added that acupuncture “is becoming more popular and more doctors are practicing it.”
Seng was skeptical at first, but after five weekly treatments this fall, she said, “I’m 100 percent better.
“I still have some issues, but I feel so much better.”
At her worst, she said, she was taking two medications, 10 pills a day, for pain.
“I’m off all medications. And I believe a lot of it is due to acupuncture.”
Occasionally, she’ll have a little discomfort, “but I can get through it,” she said, or she may take a pill at night to sleep better.
With Magnuson, “I got excellent treatment,” she said. “He’s very qualified, and he answered every question I had.”
She recommends to “anyone who has an on-going health issue, and if they’re skeptical, to at least give it a chance and try it.”
Those who are dealing with neuropathy, which can afflict people who have diabetes, should consider acupuncture, she said.
“People have used it to quit smoking, for symptoms of menopause, to lose weight — it’s amazing all the things you can do,” she said.
“It’s something I would use for any type of issue I have for the rest of my life.”
Call Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1107; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.