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Success Stories

Unleashing the Joy of Mobility: 70-Year-Old Overcomes Arthritis Pain, Reclaims Active Lifestyle and Reconnects with Loved Ones

Elana was in her late 70’s when she came to see me for help with neck pain. She had a long history of neck pain as she spent her career working at a desk and on a computer. She had pain daily and it has been preventing her from engaging in daily activities like housework and gardening. It also made it more difficult for her to travel by car or plane to see her family in another state. Her medical diagnosis was diagnosed as arthritis. It was unrelieved by pain medications and there were no medical treatments available to her but she had worked with a physical therapist at various times over the years. Her biggest fear was that her quality of life was declining, and she said that she felt like her life was getting narrower. She had never had acupuncture before, but she was referred to me by a friend whom I had helped with back pain. I explained that acupuncture can help reduce the level of pain related to her arthritis. I asked her to share some goals with me for activities that she would like to be able to do in both the short and longer term. Elana began an acupuncture treatment plan in March and was able to work in her garden that spring. As her pain level decreased, I recommended that she reconnect with her physical therapist, and we worked together to help Elana increase her tolerance for physical activity so that she was able to go on a vacation with her family that summer. 

Reclaiming Digestive Freedom: 52-Year-Old Peri-Menopausal Woman Finds Relief from IBS and Acid Reflux Without Drastic Diets

Suzanna came to see me because she had experienced a significant downturn in her health over the past three years. She was 52 years old with teenage children and a busy work life in academia. While she had always been healthy and active, she had recently been struggling with constipation, loose stool, and indigestion. She had seen medical specialists, who had diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and acid reflux. She had met with a nutritionist who recommended an extensive elimination diet, but she felt hesitant about making such dramatic changes and didn’t know if she would stick to such a limited diet. Her primary care doctor had prescribed a short course of medication for the reflux and suggested that she see an acupuncturist for the IBS symptoms. In our first meeting, I learned that Suzanne had been through a series of stressful events at work and that parenting her teenage son had become increasingly difficult for her. She also explained that her periods had become more irregular and while she had not thought much about how it might affect her health, she assumed she was heading for menopause soon. After doing my acupuncture assessment, I identified that Suzanna’s digestive pattern was linked to emotional stress and menopausal changes. Her body needed support to regulate digestion.  I explained that acupuncture could help to regulate her digestive system as well as calm her nervous system, which has a significant effect on both hormones and digestion. As her digestive symptoms lessened, I began to help Suzanna to find simple strategies for managing her stress level. She also felt more open to exploring how what she ate was affecting her body, and I supported her to make small but significant dietary changes that allowed her to have much more control over her symptoms, while not sacrificing the pleasure of eating and cooking for her family. After three months of care, Suzanna rated the intensity of her symptoms at a 2 out 10, compared to 8 out of 10 when she started treatment. 

Conquering Pre-Hypertension: 42-Year-Old Mom of 4 Defies Medication Dependency with Acupuncture

April was a 42-year-old stay at home mom of 4 young children when she came to see me because she had been diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure at a recent physical exam. Her doctor had suggested that she spend the next 6 months trying some natural methods of reducing her blood pressure before she prescribed medication. She had used acupuncture during her pregnancies and came back to see if I could help with this issue. She had always been healthy and active and was very worried by this diagnosis and the prospect of being on medication for the rest of her life. After talking with April, I completed an acupuncture assessment for her and discovered that she fell into two categories in terms of acupuncture theory. She was deficient in vital substances and had excess tension, which could be an underlying reason for her elevated blood pressure. Once I had identified her patterns, I created a treatment plan for her that consisted of acupuncture and a stress management technique that she could practice in 3 minutes, twice daily. We discussed some of the factors in her life that contributed to her tension level. She thought about ways she could adjust her busy daily routine to allow her to rest and decompress at the end of each day. With these elements of support in place, her blood pressure came down into a normal range and she was able to maintain it in a healthy range. She was relieved and here doctor was pleased that her blood pressure was no longer out of balance by the time of her next visit. 

Transforming Heartache into Joy: 34-Year-Old Triumphs Over Multiple Miscarriages, Finds Renewed Hope and Fertility with 3 Months of Acupuncture

Shawna was 34 years old when she came to see me for help with her goal of having a baby. She had suffered 3 miscarriages in the past 18 months. She was referred to me by her medical doctor to see if acupuncture could help her to hold her next pregnancy. Her greatest concern was the impact that the miscarriages had on her marriage and her 3-year-old daughter.  She explained that, as much as she wanted another child, she was almost afraid to conceive again. When I first met her, I could immediately see how difficult this experience had been for her and her family.  I explained to her that our first objective was to use acupuncture to calm her nervous system and help her to heal from the trauma of the miscarriages. Next, I would use my fertility assessment process to identify the underlying cause of her body’s difficulty holding a baby, according to traditional acupuncture theory. While there was no medical cause for her miscarriages, she clearly fit into a category of vital substance deficiency. She had suffered from extreme fatigue during her first pregnancy and was diagnosed with anemia when she was post-partum. She had returned to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave and her job was very physically demanding.  She had difficulty sleeping and she often felt anxious, which were clues to help me understand her pattern. Shawna’s initial treatment plan lasted for 12 weeks and included acupuncture, a customized herbal formula and specific nutritional recommendations. During this time, she felt calmer and slept better. By the end of the third month, she felt ready to try to conceive again. She got pregnant within a few months and carried her baby to full term, welcoming a baby girl into their family. 

Conquering PMS Nightmares: 22-Year-Old College Student Finds Relief from Severe Symptoms, Discovers Empowering Tools for Monthly Harmony

Marguerite was 22 years old when she came to see me. She was a college student who suffered from severe PMS each month. She felt irritable and hopeless for about a week before every period. She had tried several medications, including birth control and various depression medications. She was frustrated by taking these medications, which did not change the feelings that she had when she was premenstrual and had side effects that she had to deal with throughout the entire month. She had used acupuncture for headaches in the past and wondered if it would help with her PMS. Marguerite and I talked about her lifestyle, stress level, and the impact of hormones on her sense of well-being. I completed an acupuncture assessment and discovered that Marguerite fit into the category of excess tension and hormonal dysregulation. I explained that acupuncture can help with the hormonal changes that were causing her to feel so unwell around her period. I suggested a plan for her that included acupuncture as well as getting some support from a counselor at her school. She came to each visit and followed the plan that we had laid out. Within the first two cycles of treatment, the length of time that she experienced PMS symptoms decreased from one week to 3 days. In the cycles that followed, it decreased even further, and the intensity also diminished. She felt more and more confident about managing her mood changes around her period. When she left to go home at the end of the semester, she told me that she felt like she had a very solid set of tools for PMS and no longer dreaded the week before her period.

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