“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” Lao Tzu

The above quote surmises my journey since losing my husband.  The first two blogs that I have shared with you detail the painful endings that my love and I endured over many years.  All of my future blogs will share with you my journey to new beginnings as it relates to my mind, body and soul, as well as, offer alternative solutions to physical and emotional pain remedies rather than using our traditional Western medicine methodologies. 

First, what my sweetie suffered as to chronic pain is “shared by 100 million Americans more than diabetes, heart disease and cancer (61 Million) combined.  Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system. It is a leading cause of disability and it is a major contributor to health care costs” (source: American Academy of Pain Medicine http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx). I know personally the five years of our medical bills could have paid for several of our children’s college educations and a new home.  Yet, I would have done anything to help him alleviate some of the pain that he was in. 

Furthermore, the most common treatment for chronic pain is to mask it with painkillers.  Yet, “nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers—also called opioid pain relievers. The unprecedented rise in overdose deaths in the US parallels a 300% increase since 1999 (I hate to think what the new statistics are now) in the sale of these strong painkillers. These drugs were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined” (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/rxbrief).  What happened to my husband was simply a rising trend in Western medicine’s malfunction and I feel a true threat to our society. 

Second, emotional pain is also relentlessly on the rise in the US. As for myself, emotionally surviving my personal loss has been a long hard journey in self survival and I could have not done it without Eastern medicine philosophies, my amazing family and dear friends. 

I used to get severe panic attacks and have debilitating chest and neck pain.  I was a strong woman and I had to keep going on to earn a living so I kept my loss "in" and it was seriously killing me. 

In both cases, treating physical and emotional pain, with Acupuncture is a compellingly viable solution.  I only wish more western doctors prescribed Acupuncture as a treatment. “According to Chinese philosophy, the body contains two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called "qi" (pronounced "chee"), flows like rivers along pathways, or meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang balanced. However, the flow of energy can sometimes be blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam. A disruption in the flow of energy can lead to illness.

Approximately 2,000 different acupuncture points lie along the body's meridians. The idea behind acupuncture is that stimulating these points with acupuncture needles or pressure relieves obstructions in the flow of energy, enabling the body to heal” (source: How Stuff Works http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/alternative/acupuncture.htm)

Acupuncture is used as a treatment for addiction, stroke, headaches/migraines, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, infertility, menstrual cramps, pregnancy problems, dental pain, and side effects from cancer treatment.  It also is an ideal treatment for stress, mental health trauma, injuries and promotes overall health of the mind, body and soul.  Often Acupuncture is used in combination to create an overall approach to health and healing, emphasizing diet and prevention and using herbal medicines, massage, exercise, yoga, and meditation to stimulate the body’s natural curative powers.  I will individually speak to each of these techniques in future blogs.

For me personally, working with Laura Metz, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., my acupuncturist and the creator of our line of Earth Apothecary products, has enabled a path to my mind, body and soul’s new beginning (my rebirth). I feel complete again; healthy, stronger, full of love and able to cherish every breath that I take in this beautiful world.  I hope you will thoughtfully consider using Acupuncture for your health care needs. Namaste Jamie Hagen, Partner Alpenol Feel the Relief Store.com   

I leave you with this thought provoking quote from the Dalai Lama