All day I sat in the same chair behind a typewriter spitting out commercials and radio scripts. After a while, the position that I took began to take it's toll on my health, in the form of a pinched sciatica nerve.
I couldn't bend over to pick up a paper clip without a great deal of pain. It radiated all the way down to the bottom of my foot from my lower back.
I was studying Kung Fu at the same time. This exercise seemed to help a bit, once I'd stretched and warmed up. But after the work-out the pain would return, sometimes it was even worse.
My Kung Fu teacher was highly adept at TuiNa, or Chinese Massage. TuiNa is the forerunner to what we now call Acupressure. I asked him to show me which acupoints to massage to alleviate my pain. He pointed a few out, lower back, where the buttocks meets the leg, down the posterior aspect of the leg, behind the knee cap, around the Achilles tendon, etc... While he was showing me the points, he held his hand down on each point for about 10 seconds each. It felt good.
The next day, to my utter amazement, my sciatica pain was about 90% gone. Normally, when the pain is as acute as it was when I asked him for help, it takes a good two weeks to settle down. In just 12 hours it had just about completely healed. By the 36 hour mark, the pain was entirely gone.
I was pretty impressed. I chose to study this TuiNa to see if I could learn how to do what my King Fu teacher had. About a year later, I was given the opportunity to test it out on someone else.
My dad had aggravated his sciatica in much the same why I had. By sitting in a bad position for too long. He'd just driven out to the L.A. area from Detroit to visit me and my brothers. By the time he got to L.A., he was in as much pain as I'd known one year prior.
I pulled out my notes that I'd taken from what my Kung Fu teacher had taught me. I performed the same movements on the same spots with the same intent and sure enough, I got the same results the very next day. 90% of the pain was gone. The day after that, it was 100% cured!
In fact, my dad reports that he has not had a single bout with sciatica problems since then. And neither have I.
Another year passes, and I find that another one of the students at the Chinese medical college I attend also was suffering from intense sciatica pain. I gave her the same massage that I'd received and given to my father. She reports that it helped a little bit, but the pain was still most definitely evident the next day and the day after that. Not exactly a success story.
Even so, it was my first experience with sciatica pain that set me onto this path of healing with Traditional Chinese Medicine. No one can heal 100%, but when it comes to sciatica, two out of three ain't bad. Especially when you understand the pain of sciatica from first-hand knowledge.