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Posts Tagged ‘dry needling’

This morning my fabulous physical therapist Fabian came over with his massage table, acupuncture pins, and some power box that would surely bring a corpse back from the dead if affixed to the proper nodes.

He lives in Woodside, too, and is just recently-trained in the therapy of dry needling. He’s giving a few treatments away to some of his patients in the hopes that we will spread the word. You already know how much I appreciate the work he’s done on my muscles–I joke about the pain and awkward positioning but honestly, the man has The Touch. You also know that I’m somewhat of a connoisseur of acupuncture, having tried out four other needlers already (Acupuncture for Athletes the best of those, by far). So me recommending Fabian’s dry needling is not me helping out a friend, it’s me truly saying: he’s good, and his pins heal.

The main difference (that I can see) between what Fabs does with his dry needling and the acupuncture I’ve received before is that the other therapists left the needles in for up to 20 minutes to stimulate the blood circulation in the area and promote healing. Fabian’s method is to get in to adhesions and knots with the needle, release them, and get the needle out of there. This means that while I miss out on that floaty, dreamy relaxing 20 minutes on the therapy table, I actually get needled a lot more in the same amount of time, so Fabian can hit more trigger points. In 45 minutes, he pinned the muscles all the way up both sides of my spine, released my glutes, my hamstrings (that was painful), my left hip, and my calves.

As he did this, he kept up a steady patter of “Yeah dude,” whenever he felt a muscle relent to his poking. (This seems to be his signature phrase.) Acupuncture can be uncomfortable or startling as muscles are releasing, but it’s not supposed to be painful. Every now and then, though, a needle will pinch. Some of Fabs’ needles pinched, mainly in the hamstrings which I find to be extremely sensitive anyway, but he of course took them out right away and tried again.

For his big finale, he put two pins in each calf, and hooked me up to his electric pulse box thingy. He amped up the charge until my legs were vibrating from the knees down. It was the oddest sensation. Not unbearable at all but all my muscles were twitching, completely out of my control. This carried on for about five or ten minutes, during which Fabs sat on my new turquoise couch and chatted at me.

Then we were done, and my muscles were so supple. The pinched nerve in my heel was quiet. My plantar fasciitis was quiet. It was time for a runt run. That’s right, Fabian left me¬†with the explicit instructions to run today AND tomorrow.

Fabian left with his table and Frankenstein box, and I left with Little G and my house keys. It’s been so long since I ran my Sunnyside Loop (the last time was December 27, 2011), that it’s a rediscovery. I was dusted with white flower petals along upper Skillman, I shivered in the dark shadows cast by the Tucker Robbins building, I recognized the steady pitch of my neighborhood’s hills.

For a moment, when I saw I was running a 10:40 pace, I wanted to cry–I’ve lost so much speed, stamina, strength! But really, that was self-pity ¬†pricked by pride. Running fast is a satisfaction, definitely. But it’s also a vanity. The simple truth is, I’m grateful I can get out there for 2.51 miles, even if it takes me 26 minutes and 43 seconds to get it done.

PS here are The Fabster’s deets! Check him out; give him a try!

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