Friday, July 11, 2008

Acupuncture - Chronically Ill Patients Swear by Their Life Changing Results

In the Eastern civilization, acupuncture has, for thousands of years, been used as part of the holistic healing process. Nevertheless, it is just starting to explode in the West. Most of us have seen the pictures of patients sitting or lying on a table with long needles sticking from their body. Well, after hearing my sister, Ann, relate to me her amazing results, I wanted it and I wanted it bad.

Acupuncture is a part of holistic treatment. Holistic is the whole body approach toward a more balanced lifestyle. It is considered the most extensive health care in history. Phylamena lila Desy says that it is an ongoing journey toward being healthier and living better. For best results, healthier eating and an exercises such as Qi Gong is sometimes suggested.

Qi Gong as taught by Dr.Brophy consist of meditative techniques and special movements that can benefit people of all ages and physical condition. Finally an exercise that even I can do. We will certainly go into this on a future blog.

Unlike hypodermic needles, the needles used in acupuncture are solid and much smaller. Acupuncture causes the body to release chemicals into the body called endorphins. When natural endorphins are released into the body they help you feel emotionally better. Now I could use that. The needles also divert blood flow to the injured area promoting healing. Dr Mao says that it is not unusually for some bruising to occur in the areas where the needles perforated the tiny blood vessels. But, the bruising should go away in a few days.

Because of a deteriorating hip, my sister, Ann, has recently retired. She called me in tears telling of her unbearable pain and that her prescribed medication was not working. There had to be something else. We stayed up way into the morning. Just talking. She calmed down, we said our I love yous and hung up the phone.

A few days later, she ran into a friend who told her about acupuncture. She called and told me she was going to try it. one of my many philosophies in life is "if you think it can help you, it just might".

Following her first visit, she called me from her car. She was so excited-this could not wait until she arrived home. Ann said she was not feeling any pain. That was all I needed to hear. I was sold. But she was not through. She stated that she was not walking with her cane. She felt great.

Her acupuncturist suggested she see him three times a week. In the event her pain returned before her next appointment, he showed her a pressure point on her hand that would ease or stop the pain. He also suggested an acupuncture pen or laser pen to help her apply a more centralized pressure.

When her pain returns, she follows his instructions. it truly is a new way of life and a new way of thinking.

It is not a cure. But the pain medication I take all day long is not either. The difference is when she leaves a session with her acupuncturist, she can get in her car and go where ever she wants to go. When I take my pain medication, if I were to drive a car, it is called driving under the influence (DUI).

No acupuncturist will tell you to stop taking your doctor recommended medication. It is meant to work along side these treatments. As you improve you may be able to reduce your other medications (only you will know that). But acupuncture's primary goal is to effectively provide you with the relief, the level of health and the life style you are seeking.

Me? Well, I called medicare and inquired about acupuncture, I was told that no alternative procedure is covered by Medicare.


Jeanne said...


I have acupuncture tomorrow (technically today since it's after midnight in my neck of the woods now). I cannot wait for my acupuncture session!!!

With no disrespect to the many specialists I see for numerous chronic illnesses, MY ACUPUNCTURIST HAS HELPED ME MORE THAN THE REST OF MY DOCTORS PUT TOGETHER!!!!

I wish I could write back in more detail now but I can't risk oversleeping and missing my acupuncture! So I'll do an outline now in the hope that I'll flesh things out a bit on a later post…

1) For the amount of benefit it provides anyone I know who has had acupuncture done, it is worth every penny!

2) My insurance is terrible and doesn't cover a penny. I will put off just about ANY other bill to keep going to acupuncture. Seriously. It's right up there with food and water for me. I'm not kidding much!!

3) Acupuncturists' holistic approach tends to help patients view things differently... in a good way! As I believe you touched on, acupuncture isn't intended to replace seeing other docs but is to be used to complement other treatment options.

4) If you have any docs who aren't really helping you AND if it's not medically dangerous to stop seeing them (or to simply see them less frequently… to save up $), perhaps you can spend the co-pay $ you WOULD HAVE spent on those unhelpful docs to go to acupuncture. (When I get to "dead ends" with docs after seeking 2nd and 3rd opinions, I ditch that specialty-type and use the $ for acupuncture instead. (I'm not a doctor & that's not medical advice!)...

5) If you factor in how much you pay for Rx co-pays, office visits co-pays, medical insurance premiums (not sure how your insurance works since that's not what I have)... AND if you factor in how wildly successful acupuncture is for SO many people, then it eventually pays for itself! Honestly! I would elaborate but I'm risking oversleeping and missing acupuncture and I can't have that!!
Finally, my daughter (who is just 7 years old) was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 3. After MANY, MANY meds and a nebulizer machine and an inhaler... the pediatrician referred us to an asthma specialist/allergist for her. Long story short, this doc was nice enough and all that & she did help us pinpoint some allergens to avoid *BUT* wanted to drug our sweet daughter up too much!!

Long story short... about 1 year ago my husband and started having my daughter see my acupuncturist to treat her asthma! (He does pediatric acupuncture). We saw immediate & great results with her asthma!!! (Kids respond faster than adults to it).

Long story short: her Flow meter numbers jumped UP (GREAT!!!) while her expensive Rx and OTC meds were actually REDUCED (!!!) --- all definitely because we started her on acupuncture!!!

I understand the financial issues! Truly. I am living now in a VERY VERY bad place financially!

HOWEVER, acupuncture is SOOOO valuable that I would pick it over many other things. Seriously.

Perhaps you can work out a gradual payment plan with an acupuncturist near you??? If your sister lives in your area, maybe she can put in a word for you (about how you want very much to go but your insurance won't cover it). These are just a couple of ideas. There are many corners I cut to keep going to acu.! When I tried staggering my acu apart further after my husband got laid off, my symptoms became WAY worse and I quickly realized the skyrocketing increase in Rx co-pays, doc visits, and gas $ to visit all the MDs was more than just paying out of pocket for acupuncture!!!

Maybe you can try calling the acupuncturist first by phone… to see if the acupuncturist IS generally useful for YOUR specific conditions.

I cannot say enough about acupuncture. Truly. It's a miracle for me... and for my daughter... and for my support group members who have tried it. It's just amazing!!!


creativehealinggoddess said...

I have had acupuncture which was really beneficial to me. Also working as a massage and aromatherapist we use acupressure points to stimulate the energy system. Re your medicare enquiry, I would check training programmes that offer lost cost treatments so their final year students can practice. We have a very successful 'polyclinic' here in Westminster university england where the students are heavily supervised and the results for patients are really good. I hope this helps when I do my talks on healing I suggest to people to go to training schools as a Holistic Teacher myself we provide a really good service. You can also do this with massage and other complimentary therapies such as aromatherapy and homeopathy.

Mckaye K said...

Jeanne, you have given me much to ponder. I am so happy that you responded to this post in such a positive manner. Of course, I will take each of your suggestion into consideration. I truly believe that acupuncture will help with my pain and allow me to reduce my pain medication. At this time,I am totally refusing any more procedures on my back.

My financial situation is critical but the hemorrhaging has stopped. I can not finance any frills. My joy comes from having a home to live in (which had it not been for my family, I would have lost) and my garden to escape into.

My sister lives on the other side of the country. If she were here, she would probably have set up a family plan for us immediately! No grass grows under her feet.

Creative Healing Goddess, Thanks for your suggestions. I will call our local university and see if they have a lost cost treatment program in place. If they don't maybe they will consider starting one.

"You have not because you ask not." Those words always come to me when the old me tries to find some pride. Pride is too expensive!

There are also small colleges in the area that I may find helpful. I shall burn up the phone lines this week and get back to both of you with my results.

yOnnA said...

u must have a beautiful backyard i guess :)

thnx for dropping to my blog..
and u have a nice blog too :)

Jeanne said...


I have posted comments about you and this blog on MyBlogLog and on

See the comments as follows:

"Jeanne July 16, 2008 12:53 pm

Mckay K, I just posted the following message on ------ "McKay K, I'd just like to thank you for your kind words (above) about my endometriosis (and chronic illness) blog! I thoroughly enjoy reading your chronic illness blog as well. (You are listed in my short list of favorite links)! Here is McKay K's link: Hers is not an endometriosis blog but it is a chronic illness blog. Thanks again for the kind words, McKay K! You are helping so many people!! Be well, Jeanne at" ------ I GREATLY appreciate your extraordinary support for me, my endometriosis/chronic illness blog, and now the CureTogether medical research organization!!! Your blogs are awesome and so are YOU!!! Jeanne"

You are truly inspirational!!!

Jeanne from

Jeanne said...


Like creativehealing goddess, I am a fan of homeopathy. Homeopathics give much "bang for the buck". The trick is finding a holistic doc (i.e. a naturopathic doctor) or a homeopath to guide you on what to use. The homeopathic remedies are far cheaper than prescription copays ane can be very helpful for many conditions. The trick is getting the right remedy for you.

I also liked her aromatherapy suggestion. I'm not "heavily" into it but I do use peppermint essential oil. It is invigorating and causes alertness so I keep it in the car for when I get tired driving. Obviously I pull over if I'm too sleepy to safely drive (!!) but the peppermint oil does help me to "perk up". I just keep it right in my cupholder next to the steering wheel for those days I'm tired and driving to one of my many specialists! That is just an example of ONE aromatherapy oil. There are MANY and they have various purposes...


Mckay K said...

Jeanne, thank you for those beautifully encouraging comments you post on

You have given me so many avenues to travel by supplying me with information to help control my chronic pain on your endometriosis blog at

I am working on finding a good holistic doctor in my community. I think it will have to be word of mouth investigating. Never the less, I will find one.

Thank you for being so nice. Thanks to my son, I do have a beautiful back yard.

Anonymous said...

My acupuncturist is a miracle worker. With out her I'd probably be in bed most days. yes, it's expensive, but I go to the other doctor's offices far less now that my body is balanced and my qi is centered!

Mckay K said...

yaya, thank you for your inspiring comment. As you can tell, there has been nothing but positive responses for acupuncture.

That in it's self is interesting.

creativehealinggoddess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
creativehealinggoddess said...

This is really positive information, keep up the good work if you have any queries regarding any other Holistic Therapies or Oils to use please let me know. I will be posting information about essential oils for my blogger blog in the near future.

It took long to reply as my computer had a virus pity i couldn't find an oil for the virus lol.

9:32 PM

Mckay K said...

Welcome Creativeheallinggoddess,

Sorry about your computer virus. I hope you did not have to purchase a new one.

I am very much interested in Holistic Therapies and oils and so are my readers. So get ready for my questions. I have many!

Thanks for the visit and the always welcome comment.

Aviva said...

Does Medicare cover chiropractic? Sometimes you can find chiropractors who have an acupuncurist on staff and can get the treatment through insurance that doesn't cover acu.

Another suggestion is to look for an MD who does acu. Again, they sometimes have different codes they can put the treatment down as that will get it through insurance. Oh -- try physical therapist offices too. My health insurance never covered massage, but if I got it at the physical therapist's office, somehow it was a covered treatment.

Acu wasn't a cure for my conditions, but when I was doing it twice a week, it made great strides in my energy levels. And it's amazing how much more tolerable pain is when you're not beyond exhausted all the time!

Anyways, I hope that helps. Also, do call around and ask about rates. I just read about a place here in Portland, OR, where they treat a lot of people in one big room and because of that can charge as little as $15 per treatment. (Wow!) I pay $45 per treatment for my acupuncturist, which I can only afford because my parents were generous enough to cover the expense for awhile. But while I wouldn't want my acu to raise her rates and be too unaffordable for me, I think it's quite a bargain that someone with eight or so years of college only charges $45 for an hour long treatment. (But I do understand that when you're chronically ill and money is tight, even a "bargain" like my acu can be totally out of reach. :(

Do call around and ask every acu in your metro area because you might be surprised and find someone you can afford. Good luck!!

Mckay K said...

Aviva, You must be my angel of the day. You have given so many new possibilities. And, believe me I am going to try them.

I want to work with doctors who look at the body as a whole instead of the part of my body of which they specialize.

You are also right about the financial aspect of the treatments. It the money is not there then it really doesn't matter how inexpensive the treatment is. It realistically can not be achieved.

However, I am still going to research it. In answer to your Medicare question, I do not know if chiropractic treatments is considered alternative medicine or not. I will call Monday and find out.

Thank you for sharing your valuable information with me as well as my readers.

Chronic Chick said...

Chronic Chick Talk

Hi there blog hopping

Mckay K said...

Hi Chronic Chick, You are always welcome to blog hop here!

Be Well