To Needle or Not?

Acupuncture bloody hurts! But does it work?


I’m in the lucky (for you) position of having torn both my right and then my left calf muscles with six months of each other. Both were diagnosed as Grade 2 calf tears (each by different physios). The first was treated by the usual techniques of RICE, massage, ultrasound, double-leg and then single-leg calf raises and aqua-jogging. The second was treated solely via acupuncture.

So which healed faster?


With the standard physio approach, it was 50 days before I could run again, and another 95 days before my run fitness reached its previous level. There were multiple recurrences of the injury along the way. The total impact of the injury was 5 months!

With the acupuncture approach it was 21 days before I could run again, and another 22 days before my run fitness was back to its prior level. Any twinges were needled before they could turn into anything serious. The total impact of the injury was 1.5 months!

Of course this is just one person’s experience, not a scientific study. There are the usual caveats of “no two injuries are the same”, “multiple external factors affecting recovery”, “had learned from first injury when recovering from second injury” blah blah blah. And both of these injuries are still not 100% right and have to be nursed along. But I know what I’ll be doing the next time I tear a muscle (please NO, please NO!)

Editor’s note: The author of this article has not admitted to crying like a baby whenever the needles were presented, and spending multiple evenings in the foetal position with a spasming leg and thumb in mouth whimpering “mummy, mummy”. This writer for one believes that the author will never step foot in an acupuncture studio again!

Footnote: Found this article. Not sure why this guy is considered a social outcast…

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