Exhaustion after acupuncture for chronic pain and fibro

longtimer

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
49
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
CA
State
AB
Hi - I started getting Chinese acupuncture (as opposed to physio acupuncture) in November. I have such deep tissue scarring (from an accident in 1976) that the acupuncturist had to break up the scar tissue during the first 5 treatments, to get anywhere near the nerves. I went every week for a one hour treatment til just before Christmas. I was sick with pain through it all and I have hesitated to go back. I know that I need this treatment, but I am also suffering from intense fatigue - overwhelming fatigue. I saw that I posted about fatigue in March 2020 - that seems eons ago, and now i feel I am much worse. The acupuncturist asked me to not exercise while i was getting treatment to allow the muscles and nerves to recover, so I have not been doing anything.

I know I don't have covid - as no one in my family of 5 here at home has had any, and I've had three vaccinations. But I also am having problems gasping for breath - the muscles around my chest are so tight.

It has also been extremely cold here for 4 weeks - minus 20s to 30s Celcius - can the fatigue be from the cold??

I take several supplements and a multi vitamin - can you suggest anything? or help me understand why I feel so awful. (I had a heart monitor and blood work done in October and everything was normal)... please help!
 

JayCS

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
908
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
Hi - I haven't been able to try Chinese-trained acupuncture, but I tried two different docs, once 9x, 1-2x per week, once 1x, and I was also sick with pain every time, could hardly move during and also after and that lasted for 1-2 days or even longer. This reaction of ours is completely unnormal and I can't imagine it being right. The second doc told me for people like us they shouldn't use many needles, but then he still used a lot. The first doc about 20, the second about 14-16. A different Chinese-trained doc again told me they should only use 2 or 3 needles for people like us. But my GP who also does acupuncture said REAL Chinese acupuncture uses really big long needles, and is completely unsuitable for us Westerners.
If you really do go again, please let me know how you fare - good luck!
 

longtimer

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
49
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
CA
State
AB
Thanks for your comments it is weirdly reassuring that other people react to the treatment in a bad way too. The doctor I saw tried to go easy on me after the first couple of times it made me dizzy and sick. The thing is that I have tried all sorts of therapies for the chronic pain and this one does seem to get down to the basic problem - the original injury. But I don't understand how this kind of acupuncture can it be unsuitable for Westerners? don't we all have the same nervous and muscular systems? My husband who researches these things, specifically suggested Chinese acupuncture rather than Western style acupuncture.
 

Charz

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
21
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
03/1980
Country
US
Needing to rest after acupuncture is standard procedure. I always go home and sleep.
And fatigue is the most common symptom of fibromyalgia. You can try herbs for some energy.
 

JayCS

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
908
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
Thanks for your comments it is weirdly reassuring that other people react to the treatment in a bad way too. The doctor I saw tried to go easy on me after the first couple of times it made me dizzy and sick. The thing is that I have tried all sorts of therapies for the chronic pain and this one does seem to get down to the basic problem - the original injury. But I don't understand how this kind of acupuncture can it be unsuitable for Westerners? don't we all have the same nervous and muscular systems? My husband who researches these things, specifically suggested Chinese acupuncture rather than Western style acupuncture.
I agree with you on all points, actually:
Now you say it, it made me dizzy and sick too, almost every time.
I very much understand acupuncture like all of TCM going deeper to the basic problem. So I got acupressure instead, for a year, also TCM-influenced, without needles penetrating the skin, and using the ear as a mirror of the body, as well as acupressure points sharply pressed, which hurt for a minute, not for days. This helped me with local pains and also 3 deeper things (breathlessness, cold tolerance and leg "strength") more than any other physiotherapy. Unfortunately despite the acupressurist hoping so, it didn't help with Ache, fatigue, stiffness etc.
I think the contradiction about Chinese practice is brought about by my GP referring to acupuncture in China using really enormous needles, see the Chinese video "ACUPUNCTURE How to heal with LONG needles?" I can't remember if the explanation they can do this we can't had to do with tradition/culture or praps with a slightly different body system, but I'd think it's also a longer more intense training.
Like your husband a pain doctor also specifically suggested Chinese acupuncture to me, but CoV prevented the two acupuncturists in my town taking me on (one trained for years in China, one Chinese). It has actually still been on my list, however hearing you have the same experience as me, I won't try it after all! :cool:

Edit (#6 I think :cool:): But I've just realized I haven't ever tried home acupressure, altho she'd shown me some points. Now I'm once again looking for & finding good youtube videos showing them, starting with breath/lungs first.
 
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longtimer

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
49
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
CA
State
AB
Thank you JayCS - I will look into acupressure - I'm willing to keep on trying new things to find help. But the fact that fatigue sets in after treatment also happens to you too makes me wonder if its the fibro reacting to the nerve stimulation... if that's a good thing?
 

JayCS

Very helpful member
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
908
Reason
DX FIBRO
Diagnosis
02/2020
Country
GE
wonder if its the fibro reacting to the nerve stimulation... if that's a good thing?
I know what you mean. I sometimes had some initial worsening after acupressure and then it got better. That's what all complementary therapists will suggest or even claim if if gets worse. That wasn't often tho. And it was a kind of fatigue, yes, sometimes making me rest a lot, but not more.
But I've also often had fatigue (e.g. of late) where it doesn't get better.
And with acupuncture I had a lot of pain while the needles were in, cramped up a bit because of that, had pain after, had fatigue, and as you say nausea & dizziness, sometimes couldn't cycle, had to lean on my bike walking. I think that's a kind of reaction where I say: No. And no excuses. Doesn't mean ending it, means I tell the therapist: Do it different. And if it isn't better directly the 2nd time, I'm off.

BTW I'm getting pretty elated about acupressure at the moment, because I've tried only 3... edit: 5 things and they've immediately helped. It'd be understandable as expert acupressure was the thing that helped most before. Just I underestimated being able to do it myself. But it's also wonderful, cos I can do it myself, I can do it immediately and as flexible as I need it, so I'm neither physically nor mentally dependent. I've been looking up acupressure plus 1 symptom on youtube. up to now lungs, energy, stiffness, itchiness and tailbone. Every time I get one down, another becomes apparent, but the others stay down, so they become less and less. Spooky. Dunno how this is working. Tailbone is still there, a bit less, cos I'm sitting on it on the hard floor - praps that's a bit much to expect... But the lungs are good, energy too, stiffness I'll try now, itchiness has decreased even more. :cool: Well I'm not that stiff, but I haven't been sitting long, and it was over half an hour ago, that I rubbed 2 points on the side of my knee....
 
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