As I mentioned in the last article, Ron had received an excruciatingly painful cortisone injection in his heel. This experience had made him wary of the use of needles in that area, and I didn't want to treat Ron in a similar fashion.
So - what options were left? As usual, moxibustion comes to the rescue.
What's moxibustion you ask? I have a post that explains it here.
I think it's ironic: the gentlest, most humane (and effective) way of treating heel pain that I've encountered, appears to be burning the heel. I know it sounds awful, but it really is a very comfortable procedure. So far, every patient I have treated for heel pain falls asleep while I work.
What makes it so humane is that nothing physical is inserted into the foot. Instead, the heat from moxibustion has unique properties that allow it to penetrate deeply to the site of the problem. As the practitioner, my job is to ensure that the amount of heat felt in the foot is noticeable, but not uncomfortable. No damage is done to the heel in the process.
So how did I treat Ron? First, I checked out his overall state of health, and applied an acupuncture treatment designed to improve his energy levels and wellbeing. As a rule, I do this for most of my patients irrespective of their complaint.
Then, I pressed around the heel and looked for the most sensitive spots. I marked them with a pen, then applied moxibustion until Ron could feel the heat consistently.
That's it. Nothing too complicated.
After the first treatment Ron reported that his pain levels had gone down from 8/10 to 4/10. After four treatments the pain was completely gone, with only residual minor discomfort. After 6 treatments, Ron was back at work with full use of the heel restored.