What does a porcupine, a pin cushion and a needle have in common?
That’s a pretty simple question. Of course you know the answer. But here is another question for you: What does a native of Maryland, a degree in English literature, and working in a non-profit domestic violence agency have in common? You don’t know the answer? Let me give you a hint by asking another question.
What does a Master’s fellowship in documentary film making, a developmental director for Alternet.org, and the Managing Director of “Baykids” have in common? A hint about “Baykids.” This is a group of hospitalized kids learning to express themselves through movie making. Does that help?
Hmmm. Well, how about a brief stint in Peace Corps in Vanuatu, Melanesia, a former pet care business owner or the mother of two. Does that help any?
Geez – maybe this will help. A Masters degree in Chinese Medicine; passage of the California acupuncture board exam in 2009, and the sole practitioner of the “Beach Community Acupuncture”.
Those are all the clues you can have. Rather than have you go to Google to check her out, let me tell you that one person that has achieved all of the above – well, not the porcupine part –and is none other than our own Ocean Beach resident Nicole Murray.
Hers has to be one of the most impressive resumes I have ever seen, and as an administrator, I have seen many. So what exactly does she do?
Her clinic has seven very comfortable recliners in a large, airy room. Soft music is playing and most of her clients are either sleeping, reading, or relaxing.
Unlike the porcupine and needle, there is virtually no feeling as the acupuncture needles are placed in a variety of points on your arms, legs, head or neck. Because acupuncture channels flow across the entire body, it is possible to treat back pain, for example, with points on the hands and feet.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, metallic, solid, and hair-thin. Some people feel energized by treatment while others feel relaxed.
Acupuncture relieves pain. My first experience with the needles was when I broke my back in 2004. Nothing helped in relieving the pain. I went to pain doctors; chiropractors; and even got hooked on morphine to help get through a few hours a day pain free.
Someone suggested acupuncture and I turned it down. I am afraid of needles and did not want to be a human pin cushion. But when the pain was so bad that I couldn’t stand it anymore, I had my first treatment, and I have to tell you that the relief was almost instant. I walked into the office hunched over and walked out of there almost upright. After many treatments I was able to resume everything I had stopped because of pain, and only seldom do I have any of the same twinges I had back then.
I want you to know why I am seeing Nicole, and her able staff of three, Ashley, Mary, and Brutta.
Eighteen years ago I was operated on for breast cancer. I had no ill effects, and continued working through the chemo and radiation treatments. In the armpit there are 24 lymph nodes, and these nodes carry the lymph fluids throughout the body. I had 20 of the 24 removed to check to see if the cancer had spread. (Nowadays, they are able to remove far fewer to check for spreading.)
I was never bothered with lymphedema – swelling of the arm – which is a common side-effect from breast cancer surgery, until 9 months ago. One day my watch popped off of my wrist, and I was horrified to see that my arm was the size of an elephant’s leg – no lie – it was, and, unfortunately, still is. I have seen my oncologist who tells me that in 30 years of practice, he has only seen the swelling occur in one other patient so long after the surgery.
I have had over 20 physical therapy treatments; have had it wrapped, and yet the swelling remains. As a last resort I am trying acupuncture to see if that procedure can reduce the swelling and have the system in my body start to work correctly.
Here’s the good part – my insurance will not pay for acupuncture. But each visit to the Beach Acupuncture Clinic only costs $20! (I was paying $80 when my back was broken.) At that cost I can afford to go often and continue with the treatments until I am helped or until we feel that the procedure will not help. And it isn’t just $20 for me – it is $20 for all of Nicole’s clients.
Nicole says she is passionate about affordable health care. She certainly puts her money where her mouth is. If you are hurting; if you can’t sleep; if you feel you need something but just don’t know what it is – give Nicole and acupuncture a chance. The needles don’t hurt. Really. The benefits far outweigh any fear you may have.
Nicole’s brochure lists many things that can be relieved by acupuncture:
- back pain,
- Bells palsy,
- ulcerative colitis,
- circulatory disorders,
- menopausal symptoms,
- muscle strains,
- abdominal pain,
- post-stroke care,
- morning sickness,
- menstrual disorders,
- urinary disorders,
- obesity, and much more.