Pain, Fatigue, and Acupuncture

I live on Canada’s West Coast, where Chinese culture permeates through our culture, merging with it.

I also live with muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue.

A classmate told me about acupuncture and how a China trained master helped her with her health issues, so, I thought I’d give it a try.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The oddest part of the experience was the diagnosis. My wind heat was stuck and I have too much damp cold. I need to wear socks, shoes, and a longer sleeve shirt. I am not supposed to eat salad, frozen food, ice, or drink cold drinks. I was given a ginger tea to boil with herbs and drink three times a day.

How can the cause of all my muscle pain have something to do with cold, damp, and wind heat? What is wind heat? And why does it have to move? It doesn’t sound like a diagnosis to me.

To the touch my body always feels cold, however, I always feel too warm. Add to that I don’t like being warm, it makes me tired, nauseous, and sick. I hate the feeling of socks on my feet and I always feel hot when others are cold.

The only time I feel cold is when I sit still on the couch in the evening. I don’t produce much heat and sometimes need an external heat source to get warm enough to sleep.


This part of the experience was surreal.

I was asked to lie on the table / bed with my knees supported by a pillow, which elevated my knees and my hands on my stomach. I was then stuck with needles, which I barely felt: Three on each arm and some on the tops of my feet.

She covered me with a blanket, turned off the light and left me there for an hour. I was so tired I almost fell asleep and I might have, if it wasn’t for the ropes of pain running through my legs.

It was weird, I closed my eyes, and concentrated on the painful sensation of a white rope of energy moving back and forth through my legs, like a skipping rope moving in a wave pattern, then, it would pull taunt and disappear. At one point I felt the rope above my leg, outside of my body.

To see if this sensation was due to the needles or due to the position she had me in, I went home and lied down in the exact same position before focusing on my legs and the pain. All I felt was the normal muscle weakness and ache. No rope moving through at an increased level of pain.


I am drinking the tea. I haven’t put on socks yet or warmer clothes. I’m still tired, but not as tired as I was yesterday, though my muscles still hurt with a feeling of both weakness and pain.

I go back tomorrow to shovel more money, which I can’t really afford, at this lady who doesn’t speak very much English, to see if my heat wind has moved any and to get pricked with needles again. I’m trying to keep an open mind, it’s not easy for me. I would prefer she told me what her diagnosis means in western medical terms.



After three sessions the pain in my muscles was gone and I had more energy. This lasted for three months and even then the pain that came back was less and intermittent. Not sure why it works or how, but it does.


Click for the Book: Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her


There Must be More to Life

Excerpt from 40 Something. A book about life, family, children, marriage, dating, careers, rivals, sisters, friends, technology, abuse, love, and so much more.



Was there ever a time when it was simple to be a 40 Something woman?

Was it easier back in the day when everyone knew their place? When men were men and women were women? Did that made it simpler. I hope not, because if life was easier, better, more productive back in the day, what was the point of struggling for feminism and equality?

It’s just that, it doesn’t always feel like our lives are better. There is more pressure, more stress, and more responsibility. It feels like something is missing. Like this can’t be all there is to life? Like it’s all one big revolving wheel that goes nowhere. Take my life. Every morning at our house is exactly the same:

“Mom where are my shirts?” My daughter Emma asks.

“Shirts? In your closet?” I reply.


“Folded in a basket?”


“Damn. Are you sure?”

“Ya. Never mind I found them.”


“Wet and stinky in the washing machine. When did you wash them?”

I try to think. I can’t really remember when I did.

“Do you have a dirty one that you can wear?”

Sending my daughter to school in dirty clothes, what would my mother say? Thing is I know exactly what she’d say, she told me just last week.

“You just need to do things during work breaks. You work from home, how hard can it be to stop, take a break, switch out the laundry, do a load of dishes, sweep the floor, then go back to work?”

It is a good question. I generally don’t take breaks, and if I do, I’m surfing the net, grabbing a coffee, getting a bite to eat or checking my social media. I don’t really think to do the laundry. Hence my daughter yelling at me about how hard done by she is because she has to wear a shirt she already wore to school. Heaven help us, what will the kids think? What will her teachers think? Will they call social services if her shirt gets dirty enough?

My husband comes down to save the day. He does this a lot. He’d grabbed a couple of clean


shirts she doesn’t like, out of her dresser, walked into the kitchen and said,

“Your choice, the dirty one, one of these, a smelly one, or you could just go in your bra. Up to you.”

I choke on my coffee. ‘And if she’d chosen to go in her bra, then what?’ She doesn’t. She just says Daaaad in that oh you’re so embarrassing way teen girls have and grabs a clean one out of his hand.

“I’ll go run the load, pour me a cup of coffee” he says and disappears into the laundry room.

My gawd, I can’t even imagine what my great-grandmother did before washing machines were invented. I turn, pour my husband a cup of coffee, add two teaspoons of sugar, and pop a bagel into the toaster for his breakfast.

I’ve filled the dishwasher and am just turning it on, when I feel his strong arms wrap around me from behind. I lean into him. It feels so normal.


Our ten-year-old son’s voice interrupts us and I am twirled around to face my husband who kisses me, while our son makes fake gagging noises. The kiss is just a passionless peck, normal, boring. He did it to gross out our son more than to kiss me.

“Your coffee, kind sir.”


I look at him, shake my head, and turn to butter his bagel.

“Gus and Rose’s place Sunday afternoon?” He asks and I nod. “Girls’ night after?” I nod again. “And I’m stuck babysitting?”

“Parenting dear. It’s called parenting when the kids are yours.”

“Are you sure they’re mine.”


That’s a typical morning. Every day it’s the same. A chore I forgot to do, my husband swooping in to fix things, my kids needing something or disapproving of something I did or didn’t do. Each day is pretty much the same; chores, kids, work, bed. Always the same. Perfectly the same. Perfect. The perfect life.
I am forty years old. I have a wonderful, loving husband, two well-adjusted kids, a gorgeous home in suburbia, and a career. I have a good life and I feel like I am missing something, like I’ve forgotten something, did something wrong.

Did my mother feel this way? Did my grandmother? Did my great-grandmother? Did my grandmother ever forget to switch over the wash and have to wash the load two more times before it made it into the dryer? Did she own a dryer? Did she have to run her kids around from one activity to the next? Help them with homework more advanced than when she’d gone to school? Did she feel the pressure of friends, family and society to be perfect? Did she always feel judged? Did she ever look at her life and wonder if she made the right choices?

copy-of-copy-of-40-10Will it be different when my daughter is forty?

By then everyone will probably just swallow a pill and say, “that’s dinner.” So, if women have more time because they don’t have to cook, will life be any different? Or will my daughter be looking at forty saying, I think I forgot to do something.

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Shannon Peel (6)

Photo on 2014-04-17 at 12.25 PM

Shannon Peel is the author of 40 Something, Captive, and  THIRTEEN. For more information check out her