When Acupuncture Doesn’t Work

results may varyI hate it when my patients don’t improve how I expect.  It’s maybe just 10% of the time, but I hate, hate, hate it.  Mostly I get mad at myself, even though it’s probably not my fault.  I’ve seen several common denominators as to why some people get results and others don’t.  Here are some reasons why natural medicine may not work:

 1.  The problem is more serious than anticipated.  For example, if I treat someone for shoulder pain, there should be some pain relief within a couple of treatments.  Notice, I’m not saying “cured within a couple of treatments,” but some indication that things are getting better.  Huge difference —  the problem can be serious (think old injuries with scar tissue, worn out tendons, etc.) and still make small, incremental progress.  I’m happy with that.  

Some people want to get better faster, but you can’t rush real healing.  If NOTHING changes at all, then it may be time for an MRI, PT, or possibly surgery.  Time to bring in the “team” of professionals for more information and assistance.  

A lot of the people who heal quickly are doing multiple things to get better:  eating right; taking supplements; working with a physical therapist or chiropractor; and getting regular massages all help the process.  

2.  The Western medication is getting in the way.  It’s no secret that I am pretty much anti-medicine.  But, there is a time for it.  When your body is healing, however, you have to work with the doctor who prescribed the medicine to GET OFF OF IT.  

Here’s why:  We can’t tell what’s working and what’s not.  Say you’re feeling better…great!  Time to ask your MD about lowering / weaning off the Rx.  That’s the best test as to knowing whether or not your body and organs have fully healed.  

Also, synthetic medications interfere with your organ functions.  It can clog up your Liver; it can tax your Kidneys; and most importantly it will interfere with the area that I’m trying to help you heal!  For example, if someone is on birth control and we are trying to balance hormones, the medication is chemically adjusting what your body is trying to do naturally.  It’s just not going to work.

3.  Poor diet.  So many things depend on a good balance of nutrition in your body.  Too much sugar or not enough vitamins set you up for mucho problemos.  Excess weight makes your joints hurt.  Processed foods cause inflammation and pain and can interfere with your sleep.  Eventually your immune system starts to break down.  Ain’t no amount of acupuncture gonna fix that.

4.  Wrong mind-set.  This can manifest in a couple of ways.  When your mind gets “right” for healing, you can see the forest for the trees.  Even just believing you are going to get better is about 35% of the way there.  That’s just placebo effect!  Once I asked a psychic about my fears of patients not getting better and she reassured me that it’s just because they are not ready to “let the healing come in.”  I am not a magician.  I am not “doctor Jesus.”  

People who get better just allow me to help them heal themselves.  They know that they are an active participant in the process and are ultimately responsible for their choices.

5.  Don’t give it enough time.  Some results should show quickly, but healing does take time and I’ve known many patients who give up WAY too soon.  Often, people just need more treatments and the treatments need to be closer together.  Often, we need to treat with herbs, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture.  Then we run into the issue of affordability and TIME.  Not everyone is blessed with tons of free time and tons of extra cash!  

I see people who stick with it and get better months or even years down the road.  There’s no one way to heal.  It’s an individual journey and many things need discovering to get there.  Don’t rush it, but DO follow your intuition.  Nobody knows your body better than you do.  

Luckily, I mostly see people getting better.  That’s because most of my clients 

  1. stick with it and 
  2. are motivated to heal.

If you set your mind to get better, you will get better.  It may not manifest in a way that you expect, but you will heal if you decide to heal.  Have a blessed holiday.  

2 Comments

  1. Hi,

    Is odema treatable, (hot swollen ankles and feet).

    Does the alternative patch type acupunture work.

    Rex,

    Reply
    • Rex, in Chinese medicine we have to assess the body’s whole constitution first. Whereas in Western medicine, edema is lumped into 1 category, in Eastern medicine, there could be 5 different types of edema! But yes, to answer your question, it is treatable.

      Reply

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