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Acupuncture can help alleviate lower back pain, weight control, stress, PMS, and many other ailments.
Acupuncture can help alleviate lower back pain, weight control, stress, PMS, and many other ailments.

Health, Santa Monica, Columnist, Hot Flash

A Little Prick, And You're Good To Go

Barbara Bishop, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Barbara Bishop, Columnist

Posted Jul. 24, 2013, 9:06 am

Barbara Bishop / Hot Flash Columnist

I have a herniated disk towards the end of my spine, what the medical experts call L5. It hurts every day. I’ve been to a surgeon. After much discussion, I asked him if he were me, would he do surgery? He answered with a resounding no. That answered my question about surgery as an option. And, I do not want to be injected with cortisone. My grandmother used the stuff, and it literally killed her.

I checked out other less invasive options. I’ve been to a chiropractor. It helped a little. I get regular massages. They help, as long as I do it every other week. I lift weights twice a week. This has helped enormously, strengthening the muscles around my back, alleviating a lot of the pain.

But sometimes, my back just freezes up. And the only thing that seems to work is acupuncture. It’s an amazing practice. Especially for those over 50. When I did my initial research, some of the many ailments it helps to alleviate include lower back pain (check), weight control (check), stress (check), PMS (check), and many others, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, hip pain, arthritis pain, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, and a whole host of other age-related stuff. I’m grateful not to have checked them all!

I was referred by a friend to Dr. Miles Reid. Dr. Reid offers something rare in the field; he is an MD and a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.). Okay. This is good, I thought. If he sticks me with a needle and it starts to bleed profusely, he’ll know what to do to stop the bleeding. I am such a wimp.

My fears immediately went away when he walked through the door. First of all, he was HOT! Such a cutie. Also, highly trained, very spiritual, and very knowledgeable. He also showed me how tiny the needles were. Let’s get this acupuncture thing started!

He felt my pulse. It checked out as normal. I was surprised, considering how good-looking he was! Then he had me stick out my tongue. I asked him why? He said when he checks out the tongue, there’s a lot he can tell about his patient’s health status. I found out my tongue was healthy. Whew. Never thought about my tongue being unhealthy.

Next came the actual acupuncture. I laid on a massage table. Instead of putting the needles directly in my back, he inserted them in different pressure points on my body.  These tiny needles were placed in my ears, top of my head, hands, arms, neck. When they first went in, I felt a little pinch – that was it. The hand needle did hurt more than the others, but settled down as I relaxed into it.

He then left me alone for about 45 minutes. I literally dozed off very soon after he closed the door and dimmed the lights. So relaxing. After the session was over, my back pain was gone. And my stress. And my PMS. I think the weight loss part will take more than one session, but I am willing to incorporate it into my new fitness regime. Besides, gotta make sure my tongue is healthy on a regular basis!

Hot Flash Universe is the go-to source for women over 40 looking for insight into the hottest, most current trends, products, and issues. Topics are approached with candor, intellect, and a healthy dose of humor. We search for the best Santa Monica has to offer for women of any age to be sexy, smart, and savvy.

Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments, suggestions, email

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Jul. 24, 2013, 10:44:15 am

Ran Firebird said...

thanks for your review and glowing report of acupuncture. I too have the same condition, plus L-3, 4, 2. I did acupuncture and NO result. Back pain treatment is very low consensus. They (the experts) don't know what will work. BTW: did cortisone and it helped with no ill effects. To each his own.

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