I have been a runner almost my entire life, and have completed seven marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2010. After Boston, I had my second knee surgery and my surgeon suggested that I limit my mileage. So marathons are out, but I continue to run. Where others may turn to yoga or meditation, running is the way I reach a state of equaniminty.
Last February, after a fairly hard run, I experienced knee pain that refused to go away. In fact, it got worse. To the point where I literally could not run across the street. I tried rest, I tried a whole lot of Advil, and it simply did not get better. For a life-long runner (for whom running serves as the functional equivalent of yoga or meditation for equanimity), this was a terrible development. I was even thinking that I might need knee replacement.
Figuring I had nothing to lose, I began a regimen of acupuncture with a doctor in my building. My son had struggled with painful shin splints for several years until seeing this same doctor, and his shin splits vanished. Well, guess what? I’m running again. At the same speed as I was a couple of years ago. With no pain.
Would I have reached this point even without acupuncture? We’ll never know; there is no control group. Was the effect essentially psychosomatic? Can’t say. All I CAN say is that I’m running again.