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Acupuncture Feedback


Subject: Voodoo


For someone I've never met, you're someone whose opinions I trust.
I've had some overly nagging pain in my right arm for some time now.

If you say acupuncture works, jesus christmastree, I'll give it a try.

You're one of a select few people on the internet that I can trust
not to sell me down the river.

Thanks for everything you do.

Thanks, Drew.
I hope your luck is as good as mine.

Subject: Acupuncture


I injured my left rotator cuff a few years ago, and it hurt like hell.  I didn’t think it was ever going to get better. 
And where was I going to find an acupuncturist in east Tennessee?  I found one (she went to the same acupuncture
school in San Diego as a friend of mine) in Rogersrville, TN.  And finally I got relief!  We have also used a veterinarian
who does acupuncture on our Corgi, Sophie.  She has low back problems and it has helped her tremendously. 

I first saw acupuncture work on an old horse when I was in San Diego, it was amazing.  Animals don’t have a
pre-existing notion that something will or will not work.  So when it works, it works.  It convinced me.  It may not work
for everything, but it sure can’t hurt to try it.  And it is a hell of a lot better than surgery or some other conventional
treatment that usually just makes you worse.  I will do it again if I ever have to. 
Glad you’re feeling better Bart.
  Marsha in TN

Subject: Acupuncture


Up here in the liberal elitist Northeast, we know about acupuncture, and it is generally accepted. The main reason it
hasn't been accepted in the past is because there was, for a long time, in this country a culture of doctors being deified.
Since doctors weren't the ones doing this, they felt threatened by it and didn't tell people it can work.

From a biology/science standpoint, my understanding is that it works because sticking a needle in your earlobe happens
to stimulate a portion of your brain that also feels pain in your arm, for example. That stimulation is enough to make
your brain "forget" the other pain for a while, and that releases tension in the area (pain causes you to automatically
tense up the muscles in that area). That relief can often be enough to promote healing in the area that hurt, since your
body is remarkably good at repairing itself, if your brain will only let it. All that mumbo jumbo about energy lines and
stuff is just that. Also, he couldn't fix your finger in one go for two reasons: 1) everyone's brain is mapped a little
differently, so they sometimes have to experiment a little to find the right spot to stick the needle(s) and 2) as I said,
that relief from pain is *often* enough to promote healing, but not always.

One major downside to this type of treatment is that you are *only* really treating the pain symptom, not the
underlying cause. That's why your finger still "feels like it's broken", even though the pain is mostly gone.
The underlying injury hasn't really healed, but the body's message of pain has been removed. I would recommend
finding a good physical therapist, if you haven't already, and see if an exercise/stretching program can help you out.
It might seem silly for a finger, but they can work minor miracles, too, just on a longer time-scale and with more
effort from you. Typically, though, this effort translates to reducing pain by fixing the underlying problem rather
than just removing the pain.
 Eric from Boston

Years ago I was getting a tooth fixed when I got a sudden stabbing pain in my hand.
My dentist said that made sense, since they put needles in your hand when seeing an acupuncture dentist.

Subject: Acupuncture

Bart, hey.

First off, yeah, this is powerful stuff.  I’m a total needle junkie.  I love acupuncture.  My most recent foray
into the zone of yin-yang preventative/curative intrusive surgery was for a horrifically aching left shoulder pain
that arrived a day or so after my head bounced off the toilet rim one morning last February.  How and/or why
that happened is another story, but despite the two very tender bruised bumps on my forehead, the more
immediate major problem was that the area of my left shoulder blade, both under the blade, on top of and
surrounding it on up into the back of my neck, basically all that section was punishing and persistently agonizing. 
There are quite a few Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics in my neighborhood, but it took a few days
to find the right one for my needs.  Over the last three decades in Taiwan, I have learned what ot look for. 
Initially I had gone to a “tuī​-ná” (推拿) guy around the corner from my abode.  That turned out to be a mistake. 
Tui-na is a form of joint manipulation combined with deep tissue massage.  This fellow was aggressively vigorous
in attacking the problem, but it felt more like he was crushing my lungs and cracking my ribs than relieving the
actual problem.  But he was certainly sincere in a gruff kind of way.  After the 20-minute session, I thanked him
for the attention, paid my money and left.

Next I went to an actual TCM clinic that provided herb therapy, needles, moxa, tui-na, the works.  After my
diagnostic chat with one of the doctors, another person who I at first had thought was one of the receptionists,
had me sit in a chair and stuck a few needles in the top of my shoulder.  After what seemed not quite enough
time under the needles, she took that out and had me go into the tui-na area to be worked on by large, brutish-looking
gentleman with a friendly smile.  After just a few seconds on this guy’s table, I could tell I was being worked on by
a true tui-na master.  Firm and precise massage manipulation, none of that grab-and-twist-randomly crap. 
It was pure heaven.  Unfortunately, this fellow also did not target the problem area strategically enough. 
It was more of an all-purpose achy shoulder rubdown, but masterfully acquitted for sure.  And I was very
unsatisfied with the acupuncture treatment, feeling it was more show than function.  A couple of days later,
shoulder still not cooperating with my efforts at wish-fulfillment, and insomnia from the pain taking its toll as well,
I went to another TCM clinic, this one conveniently even closer to my flat.  Paydirt!

This doctor took my blood pressure first, found it rather alarmingly high, and recommended I also go visit a
Western-style allopathic medicine hospital doctor person, which I later did, and a good thing too, but that also
is another story.  Anyway, we began a series of acupuncture sessions, each running about an hour, with me
lying on my right side and with about forty or so needles in my back and neck, left shoulder, arm, hand and leg,
and with an infra-red heat lamp glowing on my achy shoulder area.  Three or four visits a week for about four weeks,
a brief talk with the acupuncturist each time, and then about 40 minutes of acupuncture work each visit, and the
shoulder pain was gone.  It turns out actually to be a C1-C6 vertebrae problem, which is basically the end of the
other two stories, I guess.

Despite your never previously having known too much about acupuncture, it is not magic.  Well, okay, I think it
IS magic, but it is not really magic, if that makes any sense.  It is the result of thousands of years of continuous
practice and observation and the recording and study of such.  That sounds kind of like science to me. 
And science is pretty much magic to me.

Sometimes there can be bleeding from the needles, but as far as I know only hygienic disposable acupuncture
needless are employed nowadays, each needle coming in its own piece of plastic.  Sometimes the needles hurt
going in or being twisted.  To my mind, there are two kinds of pain caused by the needles themselves.  One is a
kind of brief, hot, scratching, cut-like ouchiness, which makes sense since there is somebody sticking a sharp and
pointy piece of metal into your skin.  The other “pain” is expressed by the Chinese term “dé qì” (得氣), or “snag the
vital energy”, or maybe “grab the essence”, or perhaps “catch the air”, but basically “get the Chi (氣)”.  This is when
the tip of the needle comes into contact with an acupuncture point within the body that is all fucked up with a yin-yang
imbalance.  The pain itself of 得氣 is like the ache of a pulled muscle, but not as prolonged.  I kind of like the feeling 
When you have those 得氣 moments, this is a sign that the acupuncture is doing its job.  More often than not, however,
there is no pain whatsoever upon needle penetration.  At least, that has been my experience.

It is definitely not a magic pill scenario, and the serious patient of acupuncture does not expect results after only one visit. 
I spent almost a month of several visits a week before my shoulder problem was not bothering me anymore.  The problem
is still there, but it doesn’t hurt anymore. It would behoove me to continue with the sessions for a much longer period of time,
and then perhaps the actual problem would be gone for good, which may now come back to haunt me with pain given the
right (actually, the wrong) circumstances, like banging my head on ceramic again, not something I really make a habit of if it
can be avoided.  But I am a busy guy.  Or a lazy guy.  Or lazy when I’m not busy.  Anyway, in that light, repeated treatments,
I would suggest that you go back to that acupuncturist you visited for an occasional treatment every once in a while to keep
the difficulty at bay.  Yeah, acupuncture totally rules.
 Doug E

Subject: Yes, me, too


A year and a half ago I inexplicably lost hearing in my left ear, Labyrinthitis, I figured, caused by a virus.
I had dizzyness, tinnitus, and no hearing. I saw a doctor and had a MRI to rule out anything bad, but he said,
essentially, "Hey, it happens". So rather than wait around for my hearing to return I decided to see an accupuncturist.

Who knows, if it was the accupuncture, but my (partial) hearing returned over a year of treatments.
When I missed a week the dizzyness returned until the next visit.

He used about 10 needles every time, I especially liked the one in the forehead that caused a wonderful relaxed state.
I really enjoyed my visits which included lying in a darkened room with soft music and feeling very relaxed for about
50 minutes ( I would have laid there all day!)

Western attitudes doubt the effectiveness because the results are often subtle and take many treatments, but,
as the practitioner told me, they are treating the cause of the dis-ease, not just the symptom.

So who knows? I do know that often you are on your own when you have an affliction.
When traditional medicine is not helping I say try anything. It sure helped me.
Acupucture seems a pretty mainstream approach now, and for good reason.

Good luck with your stuff, Bart man!
 Rick from Fullerton

Subject: Acupuncturist

I once was sent to a therapist for co-dependency. 
This gal used acupuncture as an adjunct for her treatment. 

Well, I went in one day with my nose running so badly that I told her she'd best
get the tissues before I drowned us both.  She handed me th tissues and started to work. 
By the time she got the needles placed, my nose quit running.  My reaction:  "Maybe this shit does work."

Another time, I became impatient with a student, and you know the teacher pose.  But, I could not
get my left hand onto my hip.  (I was told I had rotator cuff damage.)  I had been writing on the
chalkboard left-handed and a little behind me so that I could watch the first and second graders
while I wrote.  It took a little while, but an acupuncturist and the exercises suggested by a
chiropractor got me back to the point where I could actually hook a bra behind my back again.

I didn't have as good a result overcoming a long term cough, although I would get temporary improvement. 
I seemed quite healthy otherwise, but the cough was both wracking and embarrassing.   Turned out I had a
noncontagious mycobacterium related to TB, one with which I couldn't infect you but which had a similar
effect on lungs.  I did eighteen months of big-time TB antibiotics. The doctors were amazed with my tolerance,
my continued appearance of good health, no weight loss or side effects.  Acupuncture and nutrition get the credit for that.

One of the clients I visit with in the waiting room said she had an allergic reaction to antibiotics. 
They caused some liver problems that would ordinarily be treated with--you guessed it--antibiotics. 
She was sent home to die.  She absolutely credits the acupuncturist with having saved her life.

Well, it does better for some things than others.  Pain is something for which it usually works extremely well. 
I've used acupuncture for part of my health care for years, and it is totally not covered by my insurance. 
It's my first choice for treatment.

Congratulations on your good fortune in finding this treatment,
being open to trying it, and wanting to share your experience.

Subject: acupuncture

Hey Bart,

One day, about twenty years ago,  the left side of my face started losing feeling and muscle control. 
I thought I was having a mild stroke so I rushed to my Doctor.  The diagnoses was “Bell’s Palsy”. 

The doctor prescribed steroids and that seemed to help except I began to have intense pain on the
left side of my face.   Went back to the Doctor and he sent me home with more steroids and pain meds.  
Most of the feeling and muscle control (but not all) came back in a few weeks.   Then about a month later
it started again with the same symptoms.   Back to the Doc for more steroids and pain meds.  

Bart…..after two years of pain and only being able to smile on the right side of my face, I had enough.  
I went for a second opinion.   Same diagnoses with more steroids and more pain meds.   
I had to do something so I disobeyed my scientific and logical mind and went to a local acupuncturist. 
After the first treatment, I felt great.   After about three months, I finished the treatments and twenty
years later, not a single reoccurrence of “Bell’s Palsy”.   I have never returned to acupuncture and I still
can’t figure out how needles can stop pain and loss of facial muscle control but I’m glad it worked for me. 

Thanks for sharing your story Bart and I hope the acupuncture keeps working for you.

Subject: Acupuncture

I've had some experience with acupuncture, and with similar amazing success. Once I had a huge welt
on the back of my left hand for months- the result of having accidentally slammed it against a door frame.
The tendon was swollen out like a grape. It wasn't that painful after the first few days, but it would not
go away and I thought maybe it might be there forever. Went to an acupuncturist, who put one needle in
each side of my forearm up by the elbow and it was an instant miracle. I could feel all the tension and pain
in the tendon immediately shoot out the tips of my fingers and that was it. The next day the swelling and
pain was completely gone.
I also have had a lot of back pain over the years, and used to go to an acupuncturist/chiropractor in Japan
who would first do Shiatsu massage to relax the muscles, then do the needles, and then do the chiropractic
alignment at the end when all the muscles and tension were gone.
I think for strutural ailments like arthritis, tendonitis, joint pain or swelling, etc acupuncture really is magic.
I've also heard that it really is just as great for lots of other things including even quitting smoking.
Congrats on your discovery!


Subject: Acupuncture and stuff

Hey Bart
Years ago I had a problem that my Chiropractor could not fix.

Despite your experience with a chiro, mine is excellent and uses kinesiology, which is based on the same
meridians (lines of energy transport) that acupuncturists use. He performs his 'miracles' by tapping or pressing
on a certain point. The difference is profound and mystifying enough to draw a smile every time I see it work.

He will have me hold out my arm (for instance) and press down on it while I resist. If my resistance is week
(he can easily push my arm down) he will tap a spot on my heel or elbow, then have me hold out my arm again.
He can no longer push my arm down. There are different tests for different meridians, and different acupressure
points to activate, depending on where the imbalance is.

Acupuncturists do something similar, except with needles. They pinpoint the activation point and apply
the needles there, or at various other. I saw an acupuncturists to get a handle on a mystery abdominal pain.
She was anglo, and was actually someone I had met in the past before she trained to become a practitioner.
I think I went through a dozen or so sessions; it was 20 years ago so it's a little foggy in my mind.

Most of the needles I never felt; the exceptions were the web between fingers/toes. Those were painful.
The problem resolved, although I can't recall if the sessions cured me or just time. I made dietary adjustments
at the same time so who knows?

It's good to be open/receptive to these alternative treatments. Doctors usually only want to treat, not cure.
Still see the same chiro when needed; over 30 years and I trust him completely.
Wishing you continued success,

Subject: Acupuncture

Hi Bart!  Three years ago I had a massive stroke which destroyed three large sections of my brain
(I have the MRI images to prove it;)  The doctors were useless so my hubby called our dear friend
who is a top-notch acupuncturist.  She immediately started working on me and within a couple months,
I was very close to normal again (still am).

My neurologist could not believe it when I walked through the door for the follow-up exam.

I don't even want to think about what would have happened if I hadn't started acupuncture treatment right away.
I'm sorry that you had to live with that pain - if I had known, I surely would have sent you to an acupuncturist!
Jo-Ann from Minnesota

Subject: Acupuncture

Bart, my family had race horses for many years and the trainers swore by acupuncture for the horses. 
It relieved their pain, drug free (many medications are severely restricted for race horses as the effects
can influence race results and the bettors don’t necessarily know which horses are drugged).

I have a really bad back from an ancient car accident (1964!), I went thru several orthopedic surgeons
before my neighbor told me about his Chiropractor.  Coming from a medical family, I always equated
Chiropractors with witch doctors.  One day I was in horrible pain but there must have been an orthopedic
golf tournament that day because no ortho’s (real doctors) were available.  I made an appointment with
the witch doctor (chiropractor) who, after 60 days of treatment, fixed my back pain. 

That was 15 years ago and, although I have minor pains every now and then, the debilitating pains are gone for good. 
That Chiropractor retired about 10 years ago and all of the Chiropractors I’ve tried since haven’t been worth a damn.

I think you accidentally found a good acupuncturist like I found a good chiropractor. 
I’ve found that some actually know what they are doing but most are not worth the trouble.

BTW, MD’s (medical doctors) don’t get any training on the homeopathic arts (acupuncture, chiropractic,
herbal, etc.).  If you want a doctor that knows both medicine AND homeopathic arts, look for a D.O.
(Doctor of Osteopathy) instead of an M.D. 
 Dennis in DC


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