By Elliot Wagner, O.M.D., L.Ac., Doctor of Oriental Medicine
Over the years I have practiced acupuncture and Chinese medicine, I have treated many cases that were considered hopeless by conventional medicine. Many examples of these patients could be provided, and most of those in this article suffered from orthopedic or neurological problems. For the most part their doctors had given them pain relievers or anxiety medications, and dismissed them with the apology, "I'm sorry, there is nothing more we can do."
I hear this in my practice daily. One patient whom I treated for a stroke suffered more than two years prior responded, when I asked him why he had come to see me, "because I realized my doctors were not going to help me." Yet patients who have been resigned to their pain or disability find that the human body is amazingly resilient, and that, in fact, their health problem can and does respond to care with acupuncture, even after years of suffering with their condition.
Let me give a few examples, not just of effective treatments, but of "miracle medicine," healing in cases that were otherwise considered hopeless.
One patient suffered from peripheral neuropathy (PN is a condition of numbness, tingling, and pain, usually in the feet or hands) so severe that for eight years she was unable to sleep with her feet beneath the covers. She awoke most mornings unrested and in pain. She now gets a full night's sleep; without pain or numbness.
Another patient had psoriatic arthropathy (a type of inflammatory arthritis) so terrible that his body was covered from head to foot with bleeding sores and scales. He was 80% healed in two months with acupuncture, herbs, vitamins, and sunlight.
A 76-year old woman suffered from low back pain, sciatica, and neuropathy so severe that walking or exercise were very difficult. She is now 85% healed. Her physician was amazed. He claimed he had never before seen a case of neuropathy actually improve. Physicians normally see neurological problems only deteriorate.
A young professional woman with severe hyperhidrosis (excessive perspiration) and extremely low immunity from years of over-treatment with steroid and hormone medications, is now able to live without taking a handful of antihistamines each day. At one time she had endured a series of 50 Botox injections in her hands in an attempt to relieve the constant sweating.
A young man with trigeminal neuralgia (a severe nerve pain — called by some neurologists the worst pain imaginable) was completely healed with acupuncture after years of conventional treatment, including neurosurgery, proved ineffective.
A ninety-year-old woman suffered from constant numbness and tingling in her right hand and fingers, as well as weakness and sleeplessness. She was cured of her problems after only a few weeks of treatment.
A professional boxer with low back pain from years of training and fighting, and who was faced with the prospect of further years of pain, responded to acupuncture care in a his first few treatments.
Such miracles are commonplace in Chinese medicine because it heals the source of the problem, not just the accompanying symptoms. It works with the understanding that healing is not only possible, but given the proper strategy and enough time, probable.