Is it common for acupuncture to trigger a detox reaction
I realize I'm posting on a forum for TCM proponents, so answers I receive will have that sort of slant, but I just wanted to seek opinions on my experience with acupuncture thus far. My story's kind of long, so apologies in advance for the impending novel.
I've been experiencing progressively worsening neurological symptoms over the course of about 8 or 9 years (started when I was 14, and I'm 23 now). To name a few of my symptoms (I have dozens), I have 24/7 pain on my back right side of my head, trouble recalling words, possible nocturnal seizures (my neurologist doesn't seem to think it's necessary to test for seizure activity even after the technician when I went to have a CT scan of my brain said it sounds like I may be experiencing a form of seizure at night), difficulty concentrating, balance issues, hand and tongue tremors, trouble processing new information, anxiety attacks, random numbness in various parts of my body, frequent urination, chest pain, a rapid heart rate, on and off fatigue, and sensivity to fluorescent and strobe lighting.
I've been to a GP, an internist, and a neurologist. The GP chalked all of my symptoms up to anxiety and prescribed me Xanax, which I never took because I've heard scary things about it and know that my problems extend well beyond anxiety. The internist referred me to the neurologist. The neurologist looked at my CT scan, said he didn't see any abnormalities aside from some volume shrinkage, which he shrugged off as insignificant, and said he wants me to wait 5 more months before putting me on any medications. Frustrated, I told him that, seeing how I've been having these issues for almost a decade, I don't think any magic is going to happen 5 months down the line, and I'd really like to try SOMETHING that can maybe help me get some semblance of my life back. He responded, "I understand that, but at your age, I don't want to put you on a bunch of medications."
So I emailed a local acupuncturist out of desperation and asked if he thought his treatments could help with my issues. He called me, and over the phone, he sounded pretty confident that he could help me with a combination of acupuncture and herbs. However, once I went to see him, he started recommending that I visit all of these specialists, e.g. a cardiologist and a hemotologist, so maybe he no longer thinks TCM alone can help me? I don't know. Anyway, after the first acupuncture session, I felt really spacey for quite some time, which I've read is fairly common. The pain in my head did seem to diminish right after he inserted some of the pins, but it returned with greater intensity shortly after. The following day, I was debilitatingly tired. I work from home and was trying to work on some projects, but I kept falling asleep. I also had bad pain in my chest, back, and arms. I've experienced feelings like this before, so I didn't know whether I should attribute them to the acupuncture or not, but the thought of detox did cross my mind.
I went back for another session two days later, and the acupuncturist did say that I could likely be experiencing a detox reaction, and it could be indicitive of a viral root to my issues. After the second treatment, I felt very spacey again. The pain in my back and chest did diminish for a little while, but it returned within an hour. I'm still extremely tired and fighting to stay awake so I can finish all of the work I have due Sunday.
At this point, I don't really know whether I should discontinue the acupuncture or give it a few months to see if it has any benefits. At the present moment, I really don't feel like it's accomplished much of anything for me. I feel worse, although, as I said, I feel like this periodically anyway, so I wouldn't necessarily blame the achiness and fatigue on the acupuncture. I don't even know if I can attribute the diminishing of my physical pain following treatment to the acupuncture because my symptoms come and go all of the time, and they do tend to be less intense after I've been relaxing for a while. Plus, the physical pain is honestly the least of my worries...I can live with intense pain for the rest of my life and learn to cope with it; the issues that are most troublesome for me are the cognitive issues, tremors, and balance issues, which I've seen no change in at all. I also find the acupuncture needles sort of painful. Not unbearably so, but I don't see any point in continuing to subject myself to expensive discomfort if I'm going to wind up in the same place I started at the end of it.
The acupuncturist hasn't prescribed any herbs yet; he said he's going to start going into that next visit. Herbs sort of scare me because of the lack of regulation, and some of them have some pretty serious potential side effects, but I'm willing to try them.
Anyway, yeah, any input on my experience thus far would be appreciated. Is it at all typical to experience a "detox" reaction following acupuncture, and do you think acupuncture and perhaps herbs could help my condition?
I may not be back for a day or two because I'm really backlogged on work, but I will return to read your responses as soon as I can. Thank you!