Published on 02-26-2022
Hi, I received a 2nd treatment today for anxiety. He put a needle in the outside left wrist. It immediately shot tingling(nerve?) Up my fingers and I panicked. It subsided in about 30 seconds. He took it out after about 20 minutes. I've had a burning sensation at the Left elbow and around it all day. I called him and he did not seem concerned. Said it would be okay and would subside. I'm worried. Is there damage? This is a well respected tcm doc. Hes treated like 100,000 patients and been in the us since the 90s.
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First, I'm sorry to hear of your experience, particularly when you are going in already for anxiety this is not a great 2nd experience. Injuries from acupuncture are extremely rare and the few things that do happen will generally self-resolve in days to weeks. There are a few points that are more common to experience issues than others (for example, PC 6), but generally it is rare across the board. There are reported cases of longer term nerve damage in research studies, etc., but, again, these are extremely rare. These longer term cases are almost always entirely localized, so when you experience the pain far away from the needle insertion it is, not guaranteed mind you, but far less likely to be something longer term.
In most cases it is simply localized tissue irritation and will be gone in a few days, maybe with some light massage in the areas to unbind the tissue. Not knowing exactly what point he used, possibly TH 5, it's hard to comment much more on your specific situation, but it would be extremely uncommon for this to cause any type of permanent issue.
Why not try another local practitioner? And let the new practitioner know about your reaction (to what was presumably an insertion at TH5). The good news is that there are many, many other point combinations and Acupuncture micro-system treatments (.e.g., ear Acupuncture) that can successfully--and sometimes very quickly--treat anxiety. Just because a practitioner is famous doesn't necessarily mean they're the best fit for you.
Also consider asking for an adjunct herbal remedy for your condition, Depending upon the pattern or patterns causing the anxiety, a compatible herbal formula can greatly amplify the effects of Acupuncture treatment. This could something as simple as a strong cup of chamomile tea before bed. All Acupuncturists in California are fully licensed in both Acupuncture and Traditional Oriental Herbal Medicine.
Finally, there are adjunct internal breathing, movement, and meditational exercises that many but not all Acupuncturists can teach you, that can also be powerfully effective against anxiety. Any such techniques you learn and successfully put into practice will belong to you for the rest of your life!
Mild to moderate anxiety, irregardless of etiology, is not usually difficult to manage with just Acupuncture alone. More severe anxiety, or if the anxiety is being driven by unavoidable lifestyle factors--like a highly stressful job for example--then a more comprehensive mix of treatment modalities is often needed.
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