I was a non-believer. The active ingredient in acupuncture MUST have been the placebo effect. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the placebo effect, the mind is our most powerful healer, but surely that was the only thing powering acupuncture.
Then I started having horrible eye "dryness." I could no longer wear contacts because they were so dryly uncomfortable. So I started wearing glasses again (which I wasn't particularly happy with) and this helped for a while, but within a couple months the dryness came back, even without the contacts. For those of you who do or have worn contacts, it was similar to the feeling you have when you have slept with your contacts in. They're dry, they're sticking to your eyeballs and you can't WAIT to get those suckers out!
The ophthalmologist checked the amount of tears that I was creating. I tear more than the average person, so that wasn't the problem. When he looked at my eyes more closely, he found little bumps on the surfaces of my eyes that happen with allergies. We tried every eye drop known to mankind. Prescription, over the counter, under the counter, around the counter, you name it, I tried it. Nothing was helping longer than 5 minutes! I couldn't stand to keep my eyes open because they would feel like they were drying out, and I couldn't stand to keep them closed because it felt like there was sand in my eyes. I was left squinting and rubbing my eyes constantly.
The only suggestion from the poor doctor who had tried everything he knew of to help me finally suggested I take Benadryl everyday for the allergies. While in theory this was a great idea, in practice, not so much. I was working 20 hours a week while going to college for my undergraduate degree. I couldn't stay awake through any of my classes!
In comes acupuncture. I was desperate! There was an acupuncturist who shared an office with my chiropractor, and at this point, I was willing to try ANYTHING, even if it was just placebo! Within 2 weeks I was finally able to stop squinting, but still wasn't completely comfortable. Within a month I was feeling 100% again! How's THAT for a placebo effect? For a while I still had to see her every month or two for a tune up, but I was completely better, and now I haven't had any symptoms for about 5 years.
During one of my acupuncture visits, we talked about school and my plans to become a veterinarian. When she said, "Don't forget acupuncture for animals!" it hit me hard. Duh! I needed to use acupuncture to help animals regain their health! I needed to learn this medicine that had helped me so much!
Along the way my plans have changed a little. I didn't attend veterinary school, I attended acupuncture school instead. Through school I learned to treat humans, through my vet I learned how to use this medicine on pets.
I'm a very lucky girl; I get to help the WHOLE family return to health!