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GiaK

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Someone asked about acupuncture in a health group I’m a member of. In the group we all have HIT (histamine intolerance). Susan, one of the group members responded with what I strung together to become this lovely essay. It contains wise words for anyone with any sort of unique health challenge. I know there are many folks who read this blog with unique health challenges. So where it refers to HIT just insert whatever not-so-common health condition you are faced with and heed the wonderful suggestions that Susan makes.
 
I’d like to add here, given there are a lot of readers of this blog that have psych drug withdrawal issues that some of us find that we cannot tolerate acupuncture at all during acute phases of illness. Multiple sensitivities can also make herbs quite risky. It’s worth being aware of these issues too.
 
ORIGINAL LINK: http://wp.me/p5nnb-9GI
(includes photos)
 
By Susan Tenney Advice on how to approach your acupuncturist
 
First of all, let me say that I ALWAYS agree that you need to trust YOUR reaction. My well-meaning acupuncturist, who is a god send for my family, is great with acute care but over many many months of working with him on my skin issues, which were worsening, I stumbled onto the issue of histamine intolerance and realized that the herbs were probably worsening the condition. For example two products in my remedy were cinnamon and licorice which for the general public would be really fine. But for me they are triggers – low level, so hard to identify, but triggers nonetheless. So… you have to be sure to follow what YOU feel, regardless.
 
Also, there are MANY levels of expertise out there. People with our condition are NOT the general population so we need experienced practitioners with a seriously deep well of experience AND a creative approach to healing. If they are following the formulas they learned in school, I’ll bet they don’t take you very far.
 
But with the right person, and by that I do not mean the biggest and best expert but the person with whom YOU feel the best, acupuncture can be a truly transformative remedy. It will not always make you feel perfect – this healing journey of ours DOES include ups and downs. But sessions should steadily bring you toward a better state. If you are seeing regular reactions, you MUST speak with your person about it. Explain that your condition means that you do not respond like the general population and that you need a real fresh approach. Have them ask their colleagues. Have them try new point approaches. If they are the right person for you, they will do their best AND refer you on if they think they cannot help.
 
Also there are a couple more things. One is going to the origin of your symptoms. If your acupuncturist only treats the symptoms, forget it. Move to someone else. They should be working HARD on getting to the root of your metabolic imbalance. They should be researching how to stabilize you DEEPLY, not just to have the heat released (that is relatively standard operating procedure) but working to feel out WHY you have that deep heat. Again, if they are not creative and adventurous, you might be better with someone else.
 
And more and more I really deeply believe you MUST work with someone who listens to your emotional work. Who realizes that your emotions can be CAUSED by your condition as they stimulate all sorts of emotional wind up, but then those same emotions, if left unchecked and un-dealt-with can then further aggravate the balance of chi in your body. That doesn’t mean they have to become your therapist. But it does mean that they can listen a bit and understand that your emotional state will seriously drive your healing – up OR down.
 
Finally, find someone who really understands the depth of complexity of women’s health. I am finding that my male acupuncturist, kind and gentle and as good of a father and husband as he is, just didn’t get the female stuff as deeply as he needed to. I went to my old female acupuncturist, and on the PHONE she cleared up some things he hadn’t caught seeing me 1 or 2 times a week for two years. Not saying it is a gender thing, there are women practitioners who don’t get it and male practitioners who do! But if you feel like they don’t really get it? Keep looking!
 
All of this says that you have to find a real partner in your healing process. That is not always easy to find. Even if you live in a large city with tons of people to choose from. But if you have the right person, and you FEEL safe and productive with them, then acupuncture can be amazing. Right now, even as a 20 year professional in a related field (I do acupressure, mostly with animals) I realize I need to find a new partner myself.
 
So I hope that helps.  I know how wonderful acupuncture is, I also know that it is not for everyone. Or perhaps more accurately, it is not for all periods of the healing process and certainly not with just any old practitioner, no matter how nice they are and how sincerely they wish to help. They just may not have the skills to help our like. I feel like I live on the fringe a bit, and that is a good thing! But I do best when I find practitioners who are comfortable there too.
 
So if you are seeing that reactions are becoming common, take a break! And feel like you can really have a heart to heart with your practitioner. They MUST be your partner, or you have the wrong person. I do not know you well enough to know if you are a fringe-er like me or more mainstream but our bodies, in any case, are NOT responding in the “common” way. We need practitioners who are excited about that, not ones who scratch their heads and shrug their shoulders.
 
See also: Medical compliance? Adherence? No. My MDs are my PARTNERS
 
Susan Tenney, CMT works internationally as a practitioner of Five Element acupressure for animals. She teaches classes for animal lovers of all ages and offers an online certification program through her company Elemental Acupressure. Learn more about her courses, books and acupressure charts at www.ElementalAcupressure.com and www.facebook.com/elemental.acu In the process of working with her health issues for the past 20 years, she  has consulted many helpful and competent practitioners of acupuncture. She uses holistic medicine almost exclusively for her family’s health care.
 
ORIGINAL LINK: http://wp.me/p5nnb-9GI
(includes photos)

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Zoe

Hi Gia-

I am considering acupuncture to help with withdrawal symptoms- mainly anxiety and this burning feeling on my skin. I was looking through the forums looking for anything on acupuncture & came across your post. In your experience might it help with these symptoms? 

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GiaK

it could, yes...but as I mentioned at the beginning acupuncture is not always tolerated at certain junctures during the withdrawal healing process...find someone who seems to understand your sensitivity and who will work with you understanding that it might not work out at this time...

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GiaK

or I should say...find someone who BELIEVES you about your sensitivity and is willing to work with you with it...because no one seems to really understand these issues...

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Zoe

Hopefully this guy will. He was a hospital  nurse for 30 years before going back to study oriental medicine.He is now listed as an Oriental Medicine Physican. I would think he has seen about everything. I am finding that nurse's seem to listen to you way more than Dr's do. Thanks for your advice!!

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Luna

Hi Zoe,

I am an acupuncturist and I have been through multiple drug withdrawals. Being a part of a community of acupuncturists has enabled me to see what acupuncture can and can not do for ME. I am able to get it a lot and I am able to experiment with techniques and "protocols" and different styles. At this point I have discovered what does and doesn't work for me... And interestingly I see the same trend when I treat others.

 

I get hit hard with withdrawal symptoms and it does help me with nausea, anxiety, being teary eyed, aches and pains... And I get it done multiple times a week while going through acute withdrawal.

 

I work in a community clinic and treat people who have anxiety every single day I am there. It helps. For some it helps them get through the day, for others it's a life changer...

 

Of course there is the challenge of finding the right fit and I hope you do find someone who is knowledgable and will treat you with respect regardless of any diagnosis or symptom you speak about... Because acupuncture helps.

 

Now herbs... That's another story. I stay off herbs during withdrawal because there are quite a many formulas that contain herbs that change liver metabolism. And as someone said above licorice and cinnamon even caused a sensitivity. What amazing bodies we have.

 

I hope you find a great practitioner!

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Narcissus

I'm going to try a local acupuncturist soon, really hoping to see a little relief.  

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Narcissus

I'm meeting with an acupuncturist on Monday and in the mean time I've been reading around a bit.  I've seen a couple ear charts that list a sympathetic pressure point, which apparently helps "balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system."  I believe this is a point one would stimulate with an ear bead rather than a needle.  Has anyone tried this?  Given Alto's theory about the over-stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system it seems like it could be helpful.

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Altostrata

My acupuncturist dismissed the ear treatment. He said each person requires personalized treatment at different points.

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trouper

i've been going to acupuncture weekly for over 7 months now. i lie on my back and they usually do a calming treatment. I've done it lying face down twice before but those treatments didn't seem to do anything for me. every now and then it seems like it is REALLY effective - like too calming and i feel loopy and out of it for about an hour or so after. sometimes i even feel i need to concentrate on breathing like my lungs need me to help them out. has anyone experienced this?

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Fireball2014

I don't know which way to go next when it comes to my accupuncture txs; (Rhi suggested I start a topic but I felt it would be more appropriate to add to this one).  It's hard to know just what I'm getting out of them; the last two times I felt I could have been overstimulated but I'm not sure because it could have been withdrawal symptoms.  It has been helpful for my migraines and the provider says low energy is a problem for migraines sufferers so she has focused on increasing energy.  I feel pretty good energy

wise, just foggy/not focused, then like today I plummet down, down, down.  The continuous after effects from the damn AD's that revved my system for 25 years and I still have to be on a 4mg taper of Prozac.  Sometimes I wonder if the Prozac is bringing me down now like I felt the Pristiq finally bring me down last year.  But anyway, I'm babbling, and I will discuss this with the accupuncturist

who I feel good about so far...

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Narcissus

I have seen an acupuncturist on and off for maybe 7 or 8 months now.  It has, at times, been very, very helpful.  I've had at least two treatments that have dramatically improved things for me, opening up nice big windows.  I find that if I don't go for a while (at least a month) I experience more benefits.  If I begin to go weekly the treatments seem to become less effective, and then eventually they start to destabilize me.  I've had two treatments that really set me back, the first time was with a new and unfamiliar acupuncturist, and the second time was a few days after I'd miscalculated my nightly dose of Effexor.  A month later and I'm still suffering from the wave reared up by the botched dose/latest acupuncture session, I'm nervous about returning for another appointment.  Anyway, it's clearly very powerful and certainly worth experimenting with.

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jerzgirl

I went to an acupuncturist an hour away (group on deal) and it cleared up my costochondritis. I want so much to go back but in my state, it is very expensive.

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GreyWanderer

I'm curious whether folks have had success with acupuncture, and to what degree? Given its cost, I want to be careful that it is worth an attempt.

 

If successful, how long did it take?

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lionofJuda

http://www.lesliemcgeeacupuncture.com/contact/


 


chinese Medicine can help you understand SSRI Withdrawal Syndrome. In turn, once you understand the process, you may be able to find additional strategies to help you with the symptoms, as you work with your prescribing doctor to lower your dose or stop these medications.


 


SSRI is an acronym that stands for ‘Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor”. These are drugs that are very commonly used to treat depression. There are a number of these drugs, trade names include Paxil, Prozac, Cymbalta, and Effexor. In recent years I have worked with clients who have had a really tough time stopping these medications. I have found that acupuncture can be quite helpful, and in this article I’d like to share my experience and ideas about how acupuncture can help.


 


If you google “SSRI withdrawal symptoms” you will find a host of articles and blogs devoted to this topic. Although the pharmaceutical companies would rather you not hear about problems when people stop these drugs, it is clear that many people have trouble with a sudden cessation, or even a gradual reduction, of these medications. I should also point out that the drugs that seem to cause the most discomfort are not just SSRI’s. Some of these drugs inhibit the re-uptake (and therefore increase available levels) of other neurotransmitters as well, including norepinephrine and dopamine. Effexor is one of these more complex drugs. When a drug has been altering your brain’s balance of several key neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, it is completely upsetting when the drug is suddenly discontinued.


 


The symptoms of withdrawal of these medications can be very disturbing and even intolerable. People report dizziness, nausea, sweating, insomnia, and something many describe as “brain shocks” or “brain shivers”. It is important to taper your dose of these drugs very gradually, maybe even more gradually than the regular pill dosage allows. I have one client who tapered to 37.5 mg, and then when her doctor suggested she just stop at that point, the withdrawal symptoms became intolerable. She resorted to opening the capsule and using a portion of the little granules in the capsule each day. Her measurements were not precise but the withdrawal discomforts were lessened. It would be wise to consult a pharmacist about how you might create an accurate reduced dose. A compounding pharmacy could help you do this.


 


The brain is amazing and complex, but sometimes a simple Chinese concept can bring insight into its function and health. In Chinese medicine we always come back to yin and yang. Yin is cool, moist, substantial, and still. Yang is hot, dry, immaterial, and active. Our brain is happiest when its yin and yang properties are balanced. Enough yin to allow us to rest and be calm. Enough yang to give us mental focus and energy.


 


These SSRI withdrawal symptoms sound like an example of either too much yang disturbing the brain (insomnia, dizziness, weird shock sensations) OR too little yin to give the brain the nourishment and quietness to cope with life.


 


Acupuncture theory discusses how several meridians “deliver water, or yin, to the brain”. When I first encountered this withdrawal syndrome I used acupuncture points to bring yin-coolness and yin-stillness to the brain. We found that this was a very effective strategy.


 


Another simple safe way to nourish the yin of the brain is to take a good quality fish oil supplement. The omega-3 fatty acids unique to fish are wonderful brain food, and work to nourish and stabilize the yin substance of the brain. Good brands are Nordic Naturals, Carlson’s, or the Costco brand Kirkland.


 


I want to emphasize that tapering these drugs over several months, or even for an entire year, may be necessary. Please work closely with your doctor and/or pharmacist to assist you in developing a tapering schedule and help you calibrate the doses. Consider adding acupuncture to support the journey.  And don’t give up. You can get off these drugs.


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dalsaan

Hi lionofjuda,

 

In the above post you have linked to the contact details of a Chinese medicine practice and there take on withdrawal. What connection do you have to this practice? If you have engaged their services have they helped? If so, how (in what way, to what effect)

 

Just posting a blurb from there site doesn't really position us to understand what you are advocating and on what basis. Key questions for any practice/practitioner claiming a capacity to positively influence the course of withdrawal

 

Dalsaan

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Annie3

I am going for my first accupuncture treatment tomorrow. My initial reason was for heart palpitations, nausea, burning skin and anxiety. That has calmed down since I booked, but I know it will be back anytime. From what I have read when I discuss this whole issue I want calming treatments with nothing stimulating such as treating depression. Not to stimulate the vagus nerve, but calm it? I already know I won't be taking any herbs as I am sensitive anyways. Is there any more suggestions for me before I take the plunge? I really hope it helps for the heart racing and nausea. Thanks Annie

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rapunzel2

I wanted to add my experience so far with acupuncture (needles, chinese medicine) - it has helped me very much with withdrawals. but I need to do this very often, because the effect wears off. I had 2 weeks acupuncture every day, at the same time I cut my dose. and I was feeling quite fine!! which was amazing. I think it regulated sleep very well, and I wasn't so tired, and didn't have cognitive problems like usual in withdrawal. but after this 2 weeks the effect started wearing off after half a week. about 1,5 weeks later I was feeling quite bad - so I went for another round and it helped again. 

 

so I'll see how it goes but my hopes are high that it helps me to go through withdrawals a little easier and less painful. my doctor is well aware that coming off antidepressants is hard and may take a long time, so that's good (although she doesn't know specifics, like 10% decrease, she seems to be open to that idea). it will cost me a lot of money, but I need something to keep me functional, and to work (I started new work this year). and to suffer less. 

 

btw, I'm also taking some herbs. I guess those are also doing something. 

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LoveandLight

When I last went for acupuncture, my left arm was really sore after the needle went into my wrist. When I asked what organ this point relates to, he said the heart. If the heart is healed everything else follows..I will ask him when I go back how I can help to heal my heart :)

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Jlynn

Somewhere along my research I saw a guide or information to give to the acupuncturist to show them what they need to do to assist with WD. Can someone point me in the right direction for finding that please.

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lotusflower

I've been off Zoloft since February 2013....we made a transatlantic move in June.....the adjustment was very difficult..... and I was finally experiencing some peace during the past month. Then Wednesday.....two days ago....I went for acupuncture treatment for anxiety and fatigue. The therapy lasted 2.5 hours. She used cupping with electric stimulation and also needles. Since then, I've been experiencing the same symptoms I had when I was tapering. Eye twitching, waking up at 3 am with pounding heart, fatigue, flu like symptoms, brain fog, tearfulness, irritability, just can't cope ar do anything besides lie down. I don't know if this is making any sense because I can not think straight. I am terrified that this is not going to go away. Can anyone out there relate?

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Petunia

Personally, I've never had acupuncture, but have read here that it can increase withdrawal symptoms if you don't receive the calming kind of treatment. I'm sure these symptoms will settle down again in time.

 

See our acupuncture topic to find out what others have to say:  Acupuncture - Surviving Antidepressants *topics merged

 

~~~~~~

 

When you have a question or comment about a specific symptom, please search to see if we already have a related topic, we usually do.  Then you can benefit from previously collected information and add to the discussion.  This keeps the site organized with all available knowledge in one thread, easily accessible through searches.

 

The search function on this site doesn't work very well.  The best way to search this site for specific information  is to use Google. Type in survivingantidepressants.org then the symptom or information you wish to search for.

 

If after searching, you can't find what you're looking for, please start a new topic.

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Junglechicken

I had acupuncture for the first time last week which I was told would help with headaches.

 

No headaches so far but then I am in a window so can't be sure that it really worked.

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SquirrellyGirl

So, since I'd been sick, a friend suggested acupuncture as a way to help my body get over this lingering upper respiratory infection.  So, I told him I would look into and finally got on my health insurance website to see who they work with. And then an article came my way via the Facebook Mirtazapine Withdrawal page.  It pertains to acupuncture helping anxiety and depression, and so I thought I'd post it here. It would be interesting to see if acupuncture can help people in the neuro versions of these maladies.

 

http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/public-content/public-ask-an-expert/ask-an-expert-neuro-and-psycho-logical/ask-an-expert-neuro-and-psycho-logical-anxiety/3602-is-acupuncture-any-good-for-relieving-depression-or-anxiety.html

 

SG

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Petunia

Topics merged, please use search and add to existing topic if we have one.

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SkyBlue

I love acupuncture and highly recommend it for withdrawal symptoms.

 

When my symptoms are most intense, especially with akathisia, acupuncture is the only things that will

absolutely give me at least a window of relief of a few hours (or more). 

 

Acupuncture is sometimes ridiculously expensive. Google "community acupuncture" to find clinics that

provide high-quality treatment in a group setting, to help minimize cost and help ensure that patients are

financially able to get treatment as often as needed. This is the way to go!!! 

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Reggie

Hello, I've been seeing an acupuncturist for the last 8 or 9 months, every two weeks more or less, on recommendation from a number of people.

 

He is experienced in helping people withdraw from psych-drugs (and calls Venlafaxine the Darth Vader of anti-depressants). He says he works in a way that nourishes the body on a deep level as well as helping with the actual adjustment to reductions, when I have made them.

 

In my case, he consistently works on strengthening the heart-kidney connection, I don't know if that is a common one to work on... I increasingly wonder if the drugs are impeding the deeper healing he is promoting, i.e. I'll get more benefit as I get more of them out of my system, but have to weigh that up against the withdrawal effects.

 

I try not to analyse stuff too much as I can get stuck in that process so I leave it at that; however, though he has says he only uses nourishing 'background' herbs I feel that after reading this I need to ask him what the recipe actually is.

 

I can quite often feel a little worse that day (or just tired and relaxed) but then it helps - like it provokes a little healing crisis.

 

Maybe some of that information is helpful in your choices...

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Hibari

I also have found acupuncture to be incredibly helpful during wd.  I go once a week and take herbs that are formulated for me by a separate acupuncturist in the same office.  .   I also get Reflexology at the end of my treatment by my acupuncturist.    My acupuncturist did not know about medication wd syndrome and I have had to educate her.  She has been wonderful about learning about it and read the information on this site.

 

The treatments make me feel calm, resilient and clear headed.  Usually the day after a treatment I am tired but then feel better and better the days after.  I have gone into sessions at the height of wd symptoms and left feeling better.    My acupuncturist talks a lot about moving stagnation in the body and I feel that fits for what my medications to to my energy. 

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SkyBlue

So glad so many people are finding help from acupuncture. 

 

My acupuncturists will often work on points on the liver meridian. The liver itself is involved somehow in metabolizing the drugs and needs lots of healing.

 

I find acupuncture so, so relaxing.  :wub:

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apace41

A very positive study on the benefits of acupuncture in withdrawal:

 

https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1626-acupuncture-prevents-depression-after-antidepressant-cessation

 

Note that the daily acupuncture treatments will likely be unattainable for most, but my guess is that there are benefits to be had even with less frequent application.

 

Andy

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anonymous4317

Could any of the herbs often recommended to be taken along with acupuncture treatment tend to have any side effects upon stopping after a year?

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gn11

I love acupuncture and highly recommend it for withdrawal symptoms.

 

When my symptoms are most intense, especially with akathisia, acupuncture is the only things that will

absolutely give me at least a window of relief of a few hours (or more). 

 

Acupuncture is sometimes ridiculously expensive. Google "community acupuncture" to find clinics that

provide high-quality treatment in a group setting, to help minimize cost and help ensure that patients are

financially able to get treatment as often as needed. This is the way to go!!! 

I love acupuncture and I use it 1 to 3 times a week because I go to a community acupuncture clinic that it's affordable. It is a life saver If i have a stressful situation  or interaction at work, I believe that it helps me recover faster from stress!  

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wareagle82

My acupuncturist has been a Godsend.  I asked her about getting off Zoloft and she was very very knowledgeable about SSRI's.  She said that they should only be prescribed as a temporary stop gap treatment--not lifelong therapy.  She started getting into GABA and how a single trauma when I was a child may have set me on the course to panic and anxiety.  She said I was blood deficient, from stress and anxiety, and told me not to taper until my body had strengthened enough to withstand the inevitable w/d effects.  She put me on Floradix for three months, and just this week with my PCP's permission, we began the taper.  She had nothing much good to say about SSRI's.  She said acupuncture alone with no herbs will be enough to quell the waves of withdrawal.  I trust her--she cured my sleep apnea,  Then she cured my TMJ.  I am hoping the taper from Zoloft will help with the only thing she hasn't been able to cure, the ringing in my ears.  She admitted it may not ever go away.  She has rightfully earned my confidence.  I am afraid she may move to Sloan Kettering--hopefully not until I am healed!!

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Miko789

I went for my first acupuncture session today, felt really good and refreshed.I highly recommend it to everyone.I had some doubts about it whether it helps relieve stress and so but after the 10min introduction stage I felt really good,It lasted 40min.If you've had similar experience how long lasted your session?

Edited by scallywag
moved from Homeopathy topic

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