Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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Acupuncture hit a nerve?!?!

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by akl21, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. akl21


    I'm just posting this to see if anyone can relate.

    First off, I've had acupuncture about 5 times before, so I know what it should be like. I went to a new lady yesterday (who is qualified. she has her doctorate in acupuncture). When she put in the PC6 point in my left wrist, I felt like it hit a nerve. I said "ow that really hurts!!" (which I never would have said if it was just a sore pain) and she said that's because it's a good spot for you. Then, she left and I spent the 30 minutes in excruciating pain fighting back tears. When she took it out I told her it bothered me the whole time and she laughed it off and said nothing's wrong and it would have only hit a nerve if put in by a careless acupuncturist who used deeper and bigger needles. BUT I KNOW WHAT I FELT.

    Starting last night I have experienced numbness and tingling in my left foot, difficulty moving my arms and fingers, pain in random spots where needles weren't even put in, an uncomfortable sensation in my arm, weakness, and random twitching: NERVE DAMAGE SYMPTOMS. Today I called her and she said "pain in the site is normal" but it's not pain! It's issues with my nervous system! Is she in denial? I asked another acupuncturist and he also said the same thing: that it probably just means "I'm too deficient for acupuncture." But I've had it before when it went great!

    I went to my primary doctor and she said that it's nerve irritation. It will heal, she said, and she's seen it before from acupuncture. I also found similar posts on the internet about PC6 and nerve pain. So why did this acupuncturist laugh me off? If I say I felt a needle hit a nerve and I've felt issues within my nerves ever since then, shouldn't I be taken seriously? I know what I feel. I'm struggling to walk, move my arms, drive, and hold things because my nerves feels messed up. Also, my doctor even diagnosed it. I cringe/hold back tears every time I think about the feeling of that needle first going in & when I pay attention to how my arm feels.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
  2. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

    I wouldn't see her again.

    I've got someone and I've gone probably a half dozen times now. ONCE and only ONCE she hit a nerve and when I jerked and exclaimed ow... she pulled it out and replaced it so it wasn't so painful. You should feel 'something' when they giggle the needle, but it shouldn't be exceptionally painful (in my experience).
  3. akl21


    Yeah, like her ego was too big for her to acknowledge she may have made a mistake. Not only will I never go back to her, I am also a little too traumatized to ever do acupuncture again. This is sad because it helped me once.
  4. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

    I know the spot you are talking about and I can never have it there. I either pull it out or they do it. I will not tolerate pain. You are not supposed to be in pain with acupuncture. I would find someone else. It's not calming to be lying there in pain the whole time and their goal SHOULD be to relax you. It sounds like this person had a little too much hubris going on. I hope you can find someone else.

    I would do it again. I have had it so many times and I am quite ill, it's also up to you to set limits and tell them, "Take it out now." Or, pull it out yourself. You don't need their permission because you are paying for it!! IT's your body. on them and tell them what you need and if they can't listen or don't respect you...leave.
    merylg and akl21 like this.
  5. Raindrop

    Raindrop Senior Member

    Truly sorry that you are suffering so much and I think I have a feel for what a very bad acupuncture experience is like.
    AFter years of somewhat helpful acupuncture on my arms for soft tissue injuries and pain, many years later I went to one of the very traditional (real Chinese) acupuncturists for bad pain in my arms again. OMG.....She put several needles in various locations and I IMMEDIATELY felt horribly sick, nauseous and much pain at some of the needle sites.It was SO bad that I asked her right away to take every single needle out and she did. I did not have
    pain afterwards like you are having, but I am wondering if some of us are far too sensitive for acupuncture.
    Like you, I felt traumatized and have no intention of returning for acupuncture in the future!!
    The woman you say had a strange reaction which does seem ego-based. When I told the acupuncturist
    to take all the needles out she did say something about my "being too ill" to tolerate acupuncture.
    akl21 likes this.
  6. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

    One time a friend who gets frequent massages, complained during the massage that she was getting increasing pain in her leg the more the therapist kneaded a spot. The therapist said this was to be expected as she was giving her a "deeper' massage than usual and because it hurt, it meant that she needed an even deeper massage. The therapist recommended that my friend just let her continue.

    My friend finally had enough, asked the therapist to stop which she did but at the same time rolled her eyes like my friend was just being a wimp.

    My friend went to her regular doctor the next day as the pain was worse and it hurt to walk. It turned out she had developed a DVT, deep vein thrombosis, from the massage. If the clot breaks off, it can kill you.

    Even if the clot was there before but she was asymptomatic, the fact is that she knew something was wrong, the therapist should have immediately stopped.

    Even if the pain is within normal parameters, stopping, at least for most procedures, should not be the end of the world as the therapist can restart when you are ready or do the procedure at a later time. It also means that maybe the therapist needs to change tactics when interacting with a patient.

    It should be standard practice to stop.

    akl21 likes this.
  7. golden

    golden Senior Member

    Clear Light
    This sounds like a horrible acupuncturist.

    You dont laugh and leave someone in pain. I have had this happen to me by a Nurse who seemed to enjoy doing it.

    I would detail all this in a written complaint to her, stressing that you gained no benefit whatsoever ando asking for a refund.

    I would also consider a complaint to her governing body.

    This may at least make her think and stop her doing it again to someone else.

    As Misfit Toy suggests, an order to 'take it out now' or pull it out yourself is perfectly reasonable in my view.
  8. akl21


    Yep! I regret not demanding her hard enough to take it out, because I KNEW something was wrong. But when someone is so condescending and acts like they know all, it's easy for me to doubt myself and be submissive. The entire time I was thinking of ways I could pull it out myself but I couldn't move because of the needles! I am definitely going to complain (the acupuncture was part of the integrative practice I see) and I am going to suggest having a little "alert button" left with patients in case something is going wrong. The first acupuncturist I saw had those.
    barbc56 likes this.

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