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Saturday, June 24, 2017

A foray into acupuncture

As my calf pain continued into a second week of injury, I was getting miffed that it still hurt to walk. I wasn't healing very quickly. My body has been pretty resilient this year: I have not really had a break, despite running two marathons in three weeks, so I suppose I can't grudge my joints some down-time. But I want to get back out there for some of the short, summer races, so I looked for some help healing.
Naturally, I decided to go see Jimi at Crescent City Acupuncture. He's the talented fellow who writes the Power Milers workouts, and Allison recommended him; he'd treated her similar calf pain before.

I've never had acupuncture, but Jimi explained that he'd be treating the tissues near the bone to recruit healing cells to the area and stimulate muscle fiber reorganization. So... kind of like dry-needling, but if you say that in front of Jimi he'll probably have a stroke (and never speak to you again). AND. I have to admit that he is right. I've had dry needling before, and I thought it was effective, but acupuncture was much more targeted, and I felt results much more quickly. Dry needling non-specifically stimulated healing to a large area of affected muscle, and as a result, not only did it take longer for the damaged areas to heal, but it sort of gave me that not-quite-satisfied feeling, like when you just can't dig deep enough with the foam roller. Acupuncture hit exactly the irritated spot, and after 20 minutes of electrical current application, felt immediately better. I think a big difference is in the depth of the needle placement: I felt like dry-needling was very uniform. The same needles were inserted to the same depth all over, with varying success. But Jimi was able to insert the needles much more adeptly: he got some into the back side of the bone, and I could tell at once that he'd hit the right spot.
Waiting room full of Runner's World: always a good sign!

I am now a total acupuncture apologist. I walked up the stairs to my appointment with a limp. I walked out without pain. Amazing! That was last night, and the effects have mostly remained. I still have some pain when I stand on my toes or do heel lifts, and NO WAY would I tempt fate by running yet, but I am 75% better. I'm on my way back!


  1. Wow, that is awesome that you felt a difference so quickly! I have never tried acupuncture but would be willing to give it a shot if I knew of a person that worked with athletes/got a referral from someone I know!

  2. That's awesome it worked for you. I still haven't tried it but I keep hearing from people that it works, so I would probably do it if the need arose! I'm happy you are feeling better.