The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Acupuncture

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Jpac, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Jpac

    Jpac

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    This is now on my short list to try. Has anyone tried this this? Studies(if genuine) seem to be show fairly high recovery rates. Thx
     
    manasi12 likes this.
  2. IThinkImTurningJapanese

    IThinkImTurningJapanese Moderator

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    I have tried it, and I won't try it again. :cautious:

    With the second needle, I began having a reaction that was much like the systemic reaction I once had during an allergen scratch test. Skin became flush, heart rate went up, and I began to experience dizziness. I think that with this illness, my nerves may be....resistant to further assault?

    Kind of a shame, my Doctor has a reputation of being quite good at it.
     
    manasi12 likes this.
  3. Mary

    Mary Forum Support Assistant

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    I tried it when my health was first going south and it didn't help. I have just retried it for severe sleep problems and though very relaxing, did nothing for my sleep.

    I've never heard of acupuncture having any kind of recovery rate for ME/CFS, much less a high one. Though I think it probably could be helpful with individual symptoms.
     
  4. confetti11

    confetti11 Senior Member

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    I've used this many times in the past. Never saw a major result. Went to a new (recommended) doctor to try again just last week. First treatment was many needles put in pretty deep (they said) for 30 mins. The next day I felt like total crap. I'm assuming some kind of reaction or healing crisis. Then back to my normal or a little better than my normal. We are doing fewer needles/not as deep/less time now. I would say it's doing something. It's supposed to be opening the meridians, and in my case restore vitality. But, it's also not (by far) the only treatment I'm doing.
     
  5. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions

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    This is interesting. I was speaking to the husband of a friend of mine who I recently found out had ME over 20 years ago. He can pinpoint onset of ME to a viral illness and specifically getting a blood test and the reaction he had to the needle. He described it as a weird rush sensation, and he said he was never the same after.
     
  6. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

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    I tried it and found some mild but noticeable benefit after a few sessions.

    One analogy for acupuncture is that it's like filling a bucket with water, drop by drop. You may not notice much happening at first but eventually the bucket fills. Unfortunately each drop costs in terms of paying for each session of acupuncture. But, if you respond well then it's worth it.
     
  7. Billt

    Billt Senior Member

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    My son has been doing this for awhile maybe 6-8 months. He thinks it may give him slight temp relief. I don't see any diffenence
     
  8. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    If considering acupuncture, I'd get a referral. It's really important to have someone highly experienced and skilled.

    What acupuncture has helped me with most is my feet. I was having symptoms of neuropathy last year, and after one session, my feet didn't bother me anymore. That may be really atypical.

    Recently I started having symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Again, after one session the pain was gone although I've also made some changes like wearing slippers with arch support at home and really limiting the time I go barefoot.

    My success with these 2 foot conditions is probably due in part to going to my acupuncturist very soon after I started having symptoms.

    For stress relief, I love the auricular therapy, with the needles in the ears. It puts me into a very pleasant, relaxed state. It's sometimes used for PTSD.

    Acupuncture has not helped me at all with other conditions, but for me, it's always worth a try.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
    manasi12 likes this.
  9. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    I did try it. It very successfully blocked my perceived muscle aches (they seem to be due to processing of pain signals rather than actual pain signals). That lasted several days. A second try, with different points had no effect. LDN was as successful at blocking the aches, and much cheaper and more convenient. I was also concerned that there could be negative effects, since, after all, acupuncturists really have no idea what they're actually doing biochemically. Traditional acupuncture theory is based on kooky magical energies that supposedly have powerful biological effects...but only as long as no one is actually measuring anything scientifically.

    My conclusion from those two tries, is that it can provide benefits for some individuals. I'm really skeptical of any claim that it has a high rate of success for treating (curing?) ME.
     
    manasi12 likes this.
  10. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    PNW
    I've tried it, I definitely got something out of it -- I lost that pesky money in my wallet. ;-P
     
    nanonug likes this.
  11. Wishful

    Wishful Senior Member

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    :) Yah, my bank account shrunk too. Oh well, it was an experiment, and I gained the ability to tell acupuncture enthusiasts that I tried it and wasn't impressed enough to continue.

    It's really too bad that it isn't more effective. Laying in a dark room on a comfortable bed listening to soothing music was really quite pleasant for a medical treatment.
     
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  12. rel8ted

    rel8ted

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    It's not something that ME patients should expect immediate relief from. I'm fortunate that my insurance covers 12 visits a year and also that that I have a practitioner schooled in China who is very interested in my issues.She is VERY conservative in my treatment and gets that more is definitely not better. I've had swollen lymph nodes for as far back as I can remember & she's been working on clearing them one at a time. Finally got to a more persistent one this week and had a healing crisis (oops). She is very interested in the theory of a latent virus due to the lymph node swelling.
    I have also had success in the past with relief of some migraines, but it is not cheap.

    The whole principle of the treatment is basically that blood flow (and healing energies) can be redirected so that the body can do its own healing. It is probably not going to work quickly enough for most people to stick with it. Some practitioners like to sell you on a bunch of herbs, too - mine does not.
     
    manasi12 likes this.
  13. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    Years ago when I first had acupuncture, I went into a really altered state. I had a funny image of a passenger train in India. The odd thing is that all the passengers were cows and were seated, and all the employees waiting on the cows were human.

    It sounds so much like a Far Side comic that I assume it probably was although I don't recall having ever seen a cartoon with the image I described. It's one of those things that doesn't mean anything, but I was entertained.
     
    AlwaysTired likes this.
  14. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    I have been doing acupuncture now for a couple of months, 1-2x week at a community acupuncture clinic where the rates are much better.

    I am completely off all pain medication, including over the counter and definitely can tell a difference. It is a slow process though and I would beware of anyone who tells you otherwise. I wouldn’t start it without committing to yourself to stick with it at least for a month for every year you’ve been sick.
     
    andyguitar likes this.
  15. RebeccaRe

    RebeccaRe Moose Enthusiast

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    I did acupuncture for about 6 months. It wasn't an unpleasant experience--it didn't hurt, and the acupuncturist stuck me under a cozy heat lamp for about half the session while the needles were still in. However, I didn't really experience any symptom relief so in the end I stopped going (I might have tried a little longer if it wasn't so expensive).

    In spite of my experience I still think that acupuncture is worth a try! It's a pretty benign treatment--low risk of harm, and low risk of side effects (much lower than most drugs!). And some people swear by it. Western medicine hasn't done a great job in figuring out how to treat ME/CFS symptoms--maybe Eastern medicine may help where Western medicine can't.
     
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  16. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    I got to know 2 oriental practitioners pretty well. One from China other from Taiwan. Both said it was difficult for western practitioners to understand Chinese medicine and apply it well. Main problem being that westerners try to combine our medical system with those of the East.
     
    PatJ likes this.
  17. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    If any of you are interested in the subject of how Chinese medicine might help, put this into your search engine 'TCM for chronic fatigue' The best papers to look at are PubMed written by the Chinese and Japanese. There has been a lot of very good reliable research into what herbs work and why. Also what does'nt work. I doubt that accupuncture on it's own would be worthwhile for many. For one thing it can be too stimulating and also the cost. Herbal med on it's own is most probably the favoured approach in the east. Advice from an Oriental practioner would be your best bet.
     
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  18. blueberry

    blueberry

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    Acupuncture has helped me massively. It was the only treatment I had for my first experience with M.E. back at the turn of the century. I made a full recovery but it took a long time, about three or four years of regular treatment. Unfortunately for me, I relapsed horribly a year ago. Straight back on the acupuncture and I'm now able to work part-time, after being mostly in bed for 5 months to begin with. Might I have improved my myself anyway? Possibly. That's the un-answerable question. This time round, I also went to see a medical herbalist, until I ran out of money! I wasn't sure it was helping, but now I've been off the medicine for a couple of months, I think I can safely say it was helping! I'm really, really lucky, my Mum is now paying for my alternative treatments, as I'm able to earn just enough to pay the bills and eat. She's sending me back to the medical herbalist this week, having seen the downturn since I stopped it.
     
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  19. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Was the medical herbalist trained in the western herbal tradition @blueberry? Did your acupuncturist identify a particular 'syndrome' or 'pattern of disharmony'?
     
  20. blueberry

    blueberry

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    Yes, he's a western herbalist. My acupuncturist hasn't spoken in terms of patterns or syndromes, and I struggle to remember what he tells me as I'm always relaxed and woozy after a treatment. In the last few months, the acupuncture has been very useful in moving on what feel like "stuck" viruses, that give symptoms but don't come to any kind of resolution, linger for weeks and just apear to make the usual ME symptoms worse. Often, the "stuck" virus will "come out" a day or so after the treatment and then resolve.......until the next one!
     

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