When I was in my late 20s, I developed an autoimmune disorder. My very open-minded doctor told me that Western medicine didn't have a lot of good answers for my condition other than taking six pills a day to address the symptoms. While I needed to start on that regimen, I had no intention of living my life that way. Six pills a day and liver testing every six months? Nope, not for me. There had to be another answer. There just had to be.
Since my doctor was clear that she had no other options to suggest, I was forced to consider Eastern medicine options. Fortunately, my open-minded Western doctor was encouraging about this. I decided to try acupuncture. Now, keep in mind that I had the same view of acupuncture as I had of voodoo. But I was willing to try anything that may help my condition. If acupuncture didn't work, then I would just try something else.
I found a really experienced acupuncturist and paid my $50 in cash for an initial appointment. Feeling a little like someone getting ripped off by a snake-oil salesman, I walked into the office and asked the acupuncturist, "So, how do I know this is really going to work?" He turned, smiled, and said, "Because it has been working for about 6,000 years in China."
OK, I have to admit it—that was a pretty good answer.
I decided to try it for a while. What did I really have to lose, anyway? Fifty dollars and a little bit of my pride, I supposed. So, for the next few weeks I would spend half an hour lying on a table while I had needles stuck in various points on my body. (And no, I really couldn't feel a thing when they were put in.) I just lay there and waited. I really didn't believe that this could possibly be doing anything. Whatever.