Acupuncture Success

For those following my Acupuncture history and impressions, I thought these quick stories would also help.  For in many of my acupuncture experiences I didn’t usually follow the long-term results of my treatments but with family and friends, it was easier.  So here are a few stories — again, without post-hoc analysis.

Allergies & Sleep

My brother had allergies — runny nose and sneezing.  I was home in the USA on a short vacation from Japan and he asked if acupuncture would help his allergies.  We were in the back seat of a car,  I broke out my needles and  put about four needles in his face while we were riding.  He clearly felt the Qi and after twirling them a bit, I told him to rest with them in his face for about 10 to 15 minutes.

When I removed the needles his nose wasn’t running and his face tingled.  The next day he called me and asked in an almost angry voice,  “What did you do? That day I went home and fell asleep at 4:30 pm and did not wake until 8 a.m. the next day!  I normally sleep only about five or six hours.  You should have warned me.”

I had never seen that happen before so didn’t think about warning him.  He said he did feel better still. His allergies, by the way, were never cured by one treatment — more treatments are needed.  But I was just visiting and would not see him again for several years.

Tennis Elbow

My mother’s best friend (50 years old) had tennis elbow for 2 years that interfered tremendously with here daily life.  She asked me if I would mind treating it.  The friend had surgery planned in two weeks.  I gave one treatment with three needles in her arm and the pain was gone and never returned.  She cancelled her surgery.

Thumb Pain

My friend’s sister had thumb pain for five weeks.  After feeling the tension on her muscles, I decided to only use one point at the middle of her scapula–  Small Intestine 11 (“Heavenly Gathering”).  With a four minute treatment on that one point her pain went away and never returned.  This is an example of treating a point far from the source of pain.  Some traditions emphasize this method, some emphasize points close to the pain — many use both.  For example, a point which is claimed to help menstrual cramps in just above the ankle (“the meeting of the three Yin”).

Back Pain

My father visited me in Japan after I graduated from Acupuncture school.  He brought his second wife and he requested if I would offer to treat her chronic back pain.  So during their two-week stay I gave her four treatments both with acupuncture and moxibustion.  Her pain was relieved and did not return until about 1-year later.

Again, this is how I remember these stories.

Other related posts:


Filed under Medicine

6 responses to “Acupuncture Success

  1. Wow. I’ve tried some alternative therapies, but never this. That may change. Thanks Sabio. Can I look forward to more posts about acupuncture?

  2. i have suffered from allergies most of my life. sinus infections, sneezing, runny nose (when sinuses aren’t impacted), itchy eyes, trouble hearing, and a surly disposition to top it off. nothing i tried worked and if it did work, it would leave me groggy or hazy and wouldn’t prevent the sinus infections.

    a friend said that acupuncture worked for her and that i should try it out. i thought it was a load of crap but after she kept bugging me, i went in skeptical and only because she was paying for my first session. i had much the same reaction that your brother did, despite my skepticism.

    i went twice weekly, then weekly, and finally monthly when i was living in the DC area. even drove down from seminary during my first year to continue treatments. it was described to me by the doctor as ‘injuring the body to heal it.’ which made about as much sense to me before and since. i don’t know why it works, i believe it shouldn’t, but it does.

  3. @ Dan,
    Yes, more acupuncture post will be coming, I hope. But though these may sound evangelical, they are not intended that way. My hope is to be more anthropological. You will see as the posts progress.

    @ Zero,
    Many folks have had your experiences.
    You mention two important points:
    (1) Nothing more powerful that seeing what you had no intention of seeing.
    (2) The reason given for why something work (the theory) can be complete bogus, but it does not negate the empiral evidence.

  4. Boz

    sabio, what is the status of acupuncture in scientific literature? In controlled settings, double blind, etc.

  5. Boz,
    That is a perfect question. Thank you. It is a question I value immensely! I have not looked at that data for over 10 years. I will be, perhaps, in a while. The interesting thing is, most “believers” have no clue and don’t care. Likewise, many anti-believers don’t know either.
    Many anti-believers, lump all CAM, all attributes into one lump.

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