Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ask Bella: Acupuncture

Q: I've never had accupuncture before and am scared of the little needles. But I am tempted to try it, after having read your website. Would you strongly recommend it for the numbness? I also had a genioplasty (where they take your chin bone and slide it out forward to create more of a chin), and I can't even remotely feel ANY sensation in my chin. Which is, apparently, normal. But if I can speed up the process of the numbness going away, I'd love to do it. I'm just a little scared.

A: The first time I had acupuncture, I was scared, too. But it doesn't hurt that much, if at all. I mean, think about everything you've been through so far - do you really think acupuncture with its teensy little needles will ever compare to having a bone saw taken to your face? After what you've been through, you can handle anything!!

Also, some naturopaths or physiotherapists do it, which means you might be able to find someone who can help you with all of your post-surgery recovery needs. It's important to find an acupuncturist you can communicate well with. I've had some excellent acupuncturists who could barely speak English. They were great at what they did, but it was difficult to understand them, so if you had any questions or wanted them to explain what they're doing to you, you were out of luck. If you haven't had it done before, keep that in mind!

I did notice a big change in the numbness after I started going to acupuncture. Everyone's different, but it really helped me.

*To ask Bella a question about her jaw surgery, email her at smilingbella at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post. Go ahead: ask away!!


chinderella said...

I had acupuncture a couple years ago for soemthing unrelated to jaw surgery and it worked wonders; you can hardly feel the needles, they're so tiny. I'm definitely going to find someone to work on my chin's numbness in a few weeks. And Bella you make a good point about finding someone you can communicate with.


Kelly said...

how many treatments did you have before you can feel the results and feeling back in your lip/chin?

Bella said...

Here's an entry I wrote in the early days of acupuncture: Poke me baby.

To quote myself in that entry, "Two weeks after my surgery, I had about 75% of the feeling back in my chin and lower lip. In the days following the acupuncture treatment, my feeling came back rapidly. By the one month post-surgery mark, I had 95% of it back, and today, I would say that I'm at about 98%."

I really noticed a difference after each acupunture treatment. While it wasn't cheap, I feel it was worth it.

Anonymous said...

i had the surgery (le fort I + BSSO + genioplastry) one year ago. My chin/lip still has some numbness. Do you think acupuncture can still help at this point?

Bella said...

Hey Anonymous,

Three years after surgery, I still notice that the sensation in my chin, lower lip continues to improve (it was really good a few years ago after surgery, but it keeps getting better.) So, yes, I do think it could still help. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try. Good luck!


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