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Asian medicine eases Linebrink's pain

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[Dave van Dyck]

After missing a big chunk of early spring training with migraine headaches and battling back stiffness for years, White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink has discovered his own relief acupuncture and Gua Sha.

"[Acupuncture] hasn't eliminated the migraines, but it has made them more manageable and less frequent," said Linebrink, who personally discovered the ancient Chinese remedy after his signing with the Sox.

"I'll tell you what, it relaxes me more than a massage," he said. "It's a total body thing. I tell [the acupuncturist] what's bothering me [so] he also does the back and shoulders.

"I've never been a big fan of needles, but I'm one of those guys who's willing to try just about anything because I think certain methods work for certain people."

Because of the success of the needles, Linebrink also began Gua Sha treatments, where shoulder skin is scraped to take away stagnant blood and replace it with fresh blood.

"It's not very comfortable and … my back is black and blue," he said. "It looks terrible. The first time I came home my wife said, 'What in the world happened to you. It looks like you got flogged.' ...