Like many people, Louise originally came to acupuncture seeking pain relief. Also like many people, she ended up using Chinese Medicine for much more than she expected.
Louise originally presented with pain that sometimes affected her shoulders, sometimes her back, and often her legs . Due to the pain, she was having difficulty sleeping more than a few hours each night. Based on the severity of the problem as well as other factors in her history, I told Louise that I thought Chinese Medicine could help her, but warned her to be patient. I suspected that it may take 3-6 months to see the kind of improvement she was looking for.
As it turns out, the majority of her pain went away after one treatment! However, I don’t take much credit for that because I think there was actually another reason. Louise was in the habit of consuming several diet soft drinks each day. At our first session, I asked her to consider eliminating all artificial sweeteners for two weeks. She agreed and within days her pain was significantly reduced. Of course the acupuncture and herbs may have helped her body recover quickly, but I believe that it was actually the diet drinks that were exacerbating the pain.
On Louise’s second visit, she was fighting a sinus infection. She stated that she typically gets one at least once a year and usually ends up taking antibiotics. I used acupuncture and prescribed an herbal formula. By the next week, the symptoms had cleared and she had successfully avoided that infection.
At the third and fourth visits, we treated shoulder pain from an acute injury, but something interesting happened before the fifth visit. Louise had been in for her yearly physical and had received the usual bloodwork. To her surprise, her Hemoglobin A1C–a test that measures how well a person’s blood sugar is controlled over time–had dropped from 13 to 9 in the past three months (the desired measurement in a diabetic would be around 6). As a result, she asked if we could focus our efforts toward regulating her blood sugar, and that is where we are now.
It is frequently the case that patients seek acupuncture for one problem, only to discover the many other medical issues that seem to benefit from treatment with Chinese Medicine. People often call to ask, “Can acupuncture treat _____” and inevitably the answer is that acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can treat you as an individual. Some symptoms may respond better than others, but as a modality that assists the body in re-establishing an environment of homeostasis, trying it for any medical issue certainly doesn’t hurt. You might be surprised by the results!