Below are three patient cases, detailing pre-menopausal anxiety, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and chemotherapy side effects. The intention of sharing these cases is to increase awareness within the local community about the benefits of acupuncture.
Chief complaint: Pre-menopausal anxiety and migraine.
Complaints: The patient recently had a uterine ablation for excessive and frequent periods occurring every other week. She was experiencing fatigue and emotional depression, possibly from excessive bleeding and hormonal imbalance. Severe anxiety began two months ago. She also complained of her habit of biting nails under stress. Migraine headaches began 6 days ago. Mild hay fever symptoms throughout year, increased during spring season.
Treatment progress: The first visit immediately reduced anxiety and the patient was able to sleep better for the next 3 evenings. The patient came in twice a week in the first 5 weeks and then once a week. Each acupuncture treatment gradually decreased the anxiety, sinusitis, migraine, and biting of nails. She was able to do a strenuous work out with sustained energy and less muscle aches afterwards. After the 7th visit, her period came without the usual intense anxiety. Anxiety was minimal or absent in the following two periods. The patient came back 7 months later with a stress headache and anxiety related to a law suit. She reported an immediate elimination of both sharp forehead pain and anxiety at the following visit 4 days later.
Discussion: In addition to pre-menopause, the patient was going through stress of dealing with personal matters. With acupuncture, she was able to confidently deal with stressful situations without her mind and body over-reacting. Also, interim issues such as cold/flu and leg injury from a work out were successfully addressed.
Chief complaint: POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
Complaints: Dizzy spells daily, especially on turning of head and getting up from sitting position. Hay fever, necessitating regular allergy shots. Frequent stomach cramps and diarrhea. Low appetite and tendency to skip meals.
Treatment progress: From the first visit, the patient noticed lessening of POTS symptoms in intensity, frequency, and duration. After 10 acupuncture sessions, the daily occurrence of dizzy spells had reduced to two to three episodes per week, lasting only 1-3 seconds at a time. By the 20th acupuncture session, POTS symptoms were mostly gone. He was able to participate in strenuous sports activities with his peers at a 4-day long camp. Other symptoms related to hay fever and indigestion were also much better. With Chinese herbs, his appetite and digestion improved. He often asked for extra servings, which was rare in the past.
Discussion: Acupuncture relieved most POTS symptoms, which encouraged the patient to follow through with dietary and acupuncture regimen. He performed better at school and was physically able to catch up with peers. The hay fever, tearing of eyes, and swelling of face since age 3 were successfully addressed. Intolerant foods, which caused cramps and discomfort in the digestive system, were identified. Now he feels he is close to putting all these issues behind and able to go forward.
Below is a personal statement from the patient, who was mentioned in the last newsletter, with side effects from chemotherapy. Although English is her second language, her words were not edited to preserve integrity of her statements.
“When I had the second chemotherapy I began to see Dr. Lee. I had many side effects: headache, bone pain, chest pain, heart beated very fast and difficulty sleeping etc. Dr. Lee only used a fewer acupuncture needles on several acupuncture points, this is totally different experience compared which I had before during my 20 years. I felt more comfortable than before during the treatment. The second day I felt that I was getting better than before, everything was improve. I had more energy and less pain. I had regular the treatment twice a week and drunk the herbs every day. I am very appreciative Dr. Lee of his professional skill and patience. When I had the sixth chemotherapy I found I only had the stomach ache side effect and didn’t need to take many medicine to kill pain and uncomfortable feeling.”
Disclaimer: Acupuncture results may vary since each individual case is different.
Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine
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