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Severe Shoulder Pain
An elderly patient called in one day to ask about what I could do about her severe shoulder pain. I told her over the phone that without seeing her in person it's difficult to say, although I reassured her that shoulder pain of any variety is something commonly treated, whether by Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine. On the day of her first appointment I discovered that she had quite a cold body, susceptible to cold temperatures. Her limbs are always chilly.
According to her, her right shoulder pain appeared after she took a walk, something she always did, in the past summer. At the present time, the pain of the right shoulder joint was so severe, that she needed to take painkillers on a regular basis, which helped only ever so slightly. The range of motion on her arm was literally 0. To outsiders this would be a case of "frozen shoulder" indeed. Furthermore, she couldn't even lie down without excruciating pain on the joint, and therefore sleep was also impossible.
I suggested that the coldness of the body is something we need to target, as it is an indirect cause of the shoulder pain, for which injury as a trigger can be ruled out. So I prescribed a week of Chinese Medicine for her in the hope that her body would warm up and her shoulder discomfort would subsequently alleviate. After a week I called to ask how she was, and instead she reported that there was no change. So I asked her to come back so I could reassess. My reassessment and the response of the first course of medicine suggested perhaps Acupuncture could be a viable option, which she happily agreed to.
Although I had to clarify my position that Acupuncture is a stimulatory therapy and some level of "sensation", possibly discomfort, is required for therapy. Her response was essentially blatant---it couldn't hurt more than what I'm feeling right now. During the Acupuncture treatment, infra-red heat therapy was also used in conjunction in addition to needle stimulation. While she felt discomfort, it was more or less tolerable.
Following the session, the effect didn't come right away, as I told her it would take time for the "qi" or energy of the body to work its way through the obstructed joint. On the 4th day after the treatment, she woke up and found herself able to lift her arm. She came in for subsequent treatments once a week for the next few weeks and now the shoulder problem is essentially not a problem anymore. Sleep is restored, and life is great again. Her body also felt warmer.
Here it's important to understand that Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture don't care what "disease" the shoulder problem is, because as long as the "pattern" is determined, the treatment can be effective. The applies across the board to every disease and condition.