Why we Do what we Do…stories of healing with Chinese Medicine

We see a lot of people come through the doors at Stillpoint Acupuncture. The vast majority of the time, they leave feeling better than when they came in. Sometimes, people say, “I feel better just sitting in the waiting room!”  We intentionally try to create a space in which you don’t have to do anything or be on guard. You can simply be. And once you can have that experience, your body often takes care of the rest with a few simple suggestions in the form of needles or herbs.
We get asked a lot, “Does acupuncture really work?” or “What kinds of things can you treat with acupuncture?”  For our practitioners, these questions can be difficult because we spend our days doing our best to be sure acupuncture works for all kinds of different symptoms. Because it’s human nature to focus on our failures rather than our successes, sometimes we forget that we are actually making a difference in people’s lives.  So here are several case studies shared by our practitioners and by our patients themselves. We hope this helps shed light on what we do everyday!
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often associated with hearing loss, and
can be very difficult to live with. There are often little or no treatment options available, and patients will often be told to learn to live with it. If you suffer from this condition consider Chinese medicine, which has been shown in certain cases to be effective for relief, or to slow down progression of certain cases of tinnitus and hearing loss.
I recently treated a patient who had tinnitus and hearing loss in one ear for a few months following a bad head cold and a round of antibiotics. After a few treatments with acupuncture, the tinnitus had reduced from about an 8 out of 10 to a 3 out of 10, and general mood improved.
Even in Chinese medicine, tinnitus can be difficult to treat, but there are
options available that may help. 
Jesse Andreas, L.Ac.
I have Meniere’s Disease, which is an inner ear problem that, in addition to hearing loss, can cause bouts of extreme vertigo, or dizziness.  My hearing specialist had nothing to recommend.  I began acupuncture after several months of unpredictable episodes of dizziness which kept me from work and travel.  Life was very much circumscribed by this issue.  With acupuncture, (and diet changes) I began to see a steady improvement.  After about two months, I had my life back again!  I am very grateful to Jesse for his skillful and caring treatment and for the gift of health again.
Cosmetic Acupuncture
A 42 year-old woman comes requesting facial rejuvenation acupuncture to diminish wrinkles and lines on her face.   She also has outbreaks of acne associated to stress and her menstrual cycle. We began a 12 week series of cupping and acupuncture on her face, supported by distal body points.  By the end of week 2, the lines on her forehead were disappearing.  At week 4, the lines around her mouth were disappearing.  At week 8, most of the lines around her upper lip have disappeared as well.
 Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is a  weekly series of facial cupping and needles for 12 weeks, then a break for 3-4 months with a second series.  The treatment process will need to be repeated once yearly after this in order to remain effective.  Acupuncture facilitates the flow of blood and Qi to the face and neck, strengthening the skin and toning the fascia for a more youthful appearance.
   Debby Jennings, L.Ac.
Anxiety is a very common problem among people of all ages.  Often we do not realize we have it until things change and we recognize that we feel better.  Acupuncture can assist in easing and can even completely remove anxiety.
Here are three examples:
  • Young woman with situational anxiety related to a project she has undertaken.  She had a great deal of performance anxiety because she had to learn a new skill quickly.   Acupuncture and ear seeds on ear points helped to transform the performance anxiety enabling her to perform with a great deal of ease.
  • A middle age man with severe anxiety and inability to sleep through the night came for acupuncture.  A combination of clearing treatments, scalp acupuncture and ear seeds have reduced the anxiety and enabled him to sleep through the night without interruption.  After only a few treatments, he commented he has not slept so well in years.
  • A young woman came in after a medical procedure.   She  complained of fear and anxiety related to the process.  A combination of yintang, scalp acupuncture and ear seeds left her feeling completely relaxed.
Debby Jennings, L.Ac.
Pregnancy Care
Justine came in for treatment with acupuncture and herbal medicine after 2 years of fertility treatments resulted in two miscarriages in less than a year, one at nine weeks and one at three weeks.  She had had a baby four years earlier but had difficulty conceiving a second child.  About two years after she had her first child she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and hypothyroidism.
She also suffered from restless sleep, disturbed by anxiety, often waking her four times a night feeling hot and sweaty.  She described her energy during the day as sluggish with a dip after lunch but she felt like she was running on adrenaline during her work week. Her RA affected different joints at different times with red joints that were hot to the touch and worse in humid weather.
Her menstrual cycle had lengthened since she began taking Synthroid lasting 29-31 days between periods.  Her periods themselves were long, lasting seven days with heavy bleeding three of those days with dark red blood clots.
I diagnosed Justine with a shortage of cooling, moistening energy leading to heat in her body, heat in the blood and qi stagnation.  Based on her description I diagnosed the cause of her two miscarriages as blood heat.
Five and a half weeks after she first received acupuncture and herbs at our clinic to help cool the blood and nourish fluids, she had an intrauterine insemination procedure and became pregnant.  We adjusted her herbs throughout her pregnancy to support the pregnancy while also, at various times, alleviating morning sickness, treating colds, and supporting healthy sleep.
Justine delivered a happy, healthy baby girl at 39 weeks.
Christi De Larco, L.Ac.
I started acupuncture at Stillpoint about 4 months ago.  I have struggled with headaches and neck pain for about 40 years.  I suffered with a headache almost every day with differing severity of the pain and had been taking prescription medicine for the headaches for YEARS.  The headaches and neck pain had affected my life.  I was missing out on fun activities, work and events with family.  I could easily end up with a migraine and be in bed for a day or two and even had a few hospital visits.
In the last 4 months, I have had maybe 3 headaches.  Christi De Larco has helped me with pain and stress management so much.  Before the session begins, she asks a lot of questions – how am I sleeping; bathroom habits; body temperature; water intake and so forth.  Not only does this give her the data she needs for her treatment of me, but it has made me more mindful of my health.  I take note of how I slept and what was different.  (I now realize that I don’t sleep well and don’t feel as well if I eat Chinese or Mexican food for dinner.)  I drink more water because I know Christi is going to ask me about my water intake.  Same goes for vegetables!
Christi seems to truly care about my health, sleep, stress level and overall wellness.  She provides suggestions on certain stretches that will help my neck; reminds me to make my meals 50% veggies and encourages me to keep exercising.  I have recommended Stillpoint to several of my friends for chronic pain and stress management.  It has truly changed my life for the better.
Gallbladder inflammation
A 35 year-old woman came in during a “gallbladder attack.” Her doctors were recommending surgery.  When asked her specific symptoms, she complained of nausea and inability to eat. She experienced pain every time she ate with acid reflux and significant abdominal bloating and constipation. After evaluating her signs and symptoms, I decided this was a fairly straightforward case and prescribed a common herb formula . Within one week, she was basically back to normal. She took another week of the pills to consolidate the effects. Over the next few months, she had one minor recurrence and took the herbs again. Now, two years later, the symtpoms have not returned and she has never needed surgery.
Heather McIverL.Ac.
Urinary Issues
63 year-old woman complaining of feeling heavy, constipation, congestion in nose and sinuses. During the intake it was discovered she was recently having some distention sensations in the lower belly and her urination seemed incomplete. She seemed to have the urge to go frequently, but with scanty volume.  She was given an acupuncture treatment and an herbal formula.  Within two doses of the herbs,  the urinary symptoms began improving and after one week, the constipation and sinus congestion had also improved.  She felt “back to normal” after 10 days.
                                Heather McIverL.Ac.


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