Last week, I put needles into my patient and she began to cry. This is not the first time that this has happened in my office. In fact, I keep a box of tissue nearby for those who cry after the needles are inserted. When you are an acupuncturist, it may not be a good idea to have a reputation of making patients cry—but sometimes there are exceptions to the rule.
The patient presented with migraine headaches and lower back pain. Her migraines began in her mid 20’s and have continually gotten worse over the years. She described her pain as a “hot poker stabbing her in the right eye and going to the brain.” They never completely go away. She had migraine surgery several years back which brought some relief for about six months, however the pain has managed to find a new pathway to her brain. She is incapacitated 80% of the time and feels that 90% of her life is dysfunctional. She is not able to take typical migraine prescription medications for relief because she had a myocardial infarction. She complains of dizziness and loss of equilibrium, resulting in frequent falls. A recent fall led to the low back pain that she was experiencing on the day she came to me.
This was one of those patients who had tried everything else, so she decided to give acupuncture a try.
This was a difficult case and I knew that there would be a lot of layers involved in helping this patient. My first goal was to treat the imbalances which were appearing on the graph. As soon as I was done putting in the tonification and sedation points, I asked her how she was feeling. She told me that the pain seemed as if it were going away. I asked her the exact location of where she was still experiencing pain. She said that it was through her eye but more localized.
I put one more needle somewhere near Liver 3 and she began to cry!
I asked her if she was okay, and she said: “The pain is completely gone… I don’t know how you did it, but I am not feeling any pain.” I let her sit with the needles in for another 20 minutes or so. When she got up off of the table she was equally surprised to find out that her back pain was also gone.
I share this story, not because I did anything wonderful and amazing. I share this story because I am convinced that balancing the graph is what caused the amazing results for this patient. It is my experience that if you balance the graph before you try to deal with any presenting symptoms, the patient gets better twice as fast and the treatment results are longer lasting. The graph tells a story of what is going on energetically in the body. In fact, I am finding that 80% of the patient’s symptoms disappear simply by balancing the graph. If we trust the graph before we go in and start taking care of symptoms, then we become better practitioners.
It’s okay with me that I am gaining a reputation around town of making my patients cry. I’ll take the happy tears from happy patients any day of the week. This is just another reason why I love my job.
Have a fabulous week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Acupuncture Research Analyst
Miridia Technology Inc.