Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back in Shanghai

After a restful but busy month traveling to the U.S., Panama, and Mexico, I'm back in Shanghai. I moved into a new place downtown, closer to subways and activity, and it also has central heating. Shanghai generally doesn't get that cold, but it has high humidity so it can feel a lot colder than the temperature indicates. I'll still be shuttling back and forth between China and Korea, with a trip to Japan also planned for the end of the month.

Tonight I went to a Chinese masseur to have a foot massage. I have something called a Morton's Neuroma, which is an inflammation--scar tissue actually--on the nerve between the 3rd and 4th toe. It's a fairly common injury, in my case probably from a broken toe several years ago. It doesn't bother me constantly, but on occasion, it can be annoying and painful, and when irritated burns and throbs even when I'm not standing or walking. I got some orthotics to lessen the irritation and I wear sensible shoes, but they don't completely do the job. In the U.S., the "cure" is to have surgery to have the nerve removed, but many people have complications from this surgery that can be worse than the original problem.

I've been reading a lot about Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture and massage. Although I tried reflexology in the States, it really didn't work very well for me. Deep tissue massage is common here, and after talking to a colleague who had a similar problem, I had a 30 minute session tonight. It's quite painful, and likely I'll have to have more than one session, but I'm hoping that it at least lessens the frequency. Even if not, it won't break the bank---one session was about $9.

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